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Why Your Aloe Plant is Turning Brown & How to Fix it

Aloe Vera Plants are extremely popular indoor succulents. Not only do they have an attractive appearance that can add character and color to any indoor space, but the juice within their leaves can also be used to treat and relieve pain caused by burns, cuts, and even bug bites.

While the Aloe Vera plant is relatively easy to grow, some indoor gardeners find that the leaves can turn brown and mushy. If you see your Aloe Vera plant suffers from discolored and droopy leaves filled with brown spots, we are here to help!

Not only will we explain the reasons for your Aloe Plant turning brown, but we will also explain how you can quickly and effectively correct the issue. By following the basic instructions listed below, you will be able to help your little succulent thrive!

Reasons why aloe leaves are turning brown

If you have an aloe plant with browning leaves, there are a few potential reasons for this issue. Here are some steps you can take to manage your aloe plant and help it recover:

1. Assess the watering routine

Overwatering is a common cause of browning leaves in aloe plants. Ensure that you are not watering the plant excessively. Aloe plants prefer well-draining soil, so water them only when the top of the soil is dry. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, and make sure the pot has drainage holes.

How to Prevent This Issue

Aside from following an appropriate watering schedule, another way you can prevent excess moisture from turning the leaves of your aloe plant brown is to make sure that you are using an appropriate pot and a suitable soil mixture.

The soil needs to be well-draining, which is why it is really important that you choose a succulent-friendly soil mixture. These soil mixtures are designed to allow moisture to flow through them, rather than cling to the soil and pool around the roots. The pot you choose should also have a drainage hole, as this will allow excess water to flow through the bottom of the pot.

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How to Repair Brown Leaves Caused by Excess Moisture

If you find the soil is waterlogged and you cannot correct it by letting it dry out for a few days, you can address the problem by repotting your Aloe Vera plant. To do this, remove the plant from the existing pot by gently turning it upside down.

Remove as much of the wet soil as you can from the plant’s root ball. Inspect the roots for signs of root rot and cut away any roots that look black and soggy. From here, replant your Aloe Vera plant in a more suitable, well-draining soil that is filled with gritty, porous substances, like sand and pumice.

2. Adjust the lighting conditions

Inadequate or excessive light can cause aloe leaves to turn brown. Aloe plants thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. Ensure that your plant is receiving enough light without being exposed to direct sunlight, especially during the hottest parts of the day.

To prevent your Aloe Vera plants leaves from burning and turning brown, you should place it in a location where it receives plenty of indirect sunlight. Rather than place your plant in a windowsill, consider placing it a few feet away from the window. A well-lit room where the plant will receive plenty of natural light, rather than being directly in the sun, will help it thrive.

3. Check for pests

Pests such as mealybugs and mites can damage aloe plants, leading to browning leaves. Examine your plant for any signs of infestation, such as webbing or small insects. If you find pests, you can try using a gentle insecticidal soap or neem oil to control them.

4. Evaluate the temperature and humidity

Aloe plants prefer temperatures between 55°F and 80°F (13°C to 27°C). Extreme temperature fluctuations or very low humidity levels can cause leaf browning. Avoid placing your aloe plant near drafts or in areas with high temperature variations. If the air in your home is very dry, you can increase humidity by misting the plant occasionally or placing a tray of water nearby.

5. Prune damaged leaves

If the browning is limited to a few leaves, you can prune them off using clean, sharp scissors or a knife. Cut the damaged leaves close to the base of the plant. This will improve the appearance of the plant and redirect its energy toward healthier foliage.

6. Monitor fertiliser use

Aloe plants are not heavy feeders, and over-fertilisation can lead to leaf browning. If you have been using fertiliser regularly, consider reducing the frequency or strength of the application. Use a balanced fertiliser specifically formulated for succulent plants, and follow the instructions on the packaging.

Remember, it may take some time for your aloe plant to recover and produce new healthy leaves. Be patient and provide the appropriate care, and your plant should start to regain its vitality.

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7. Browning Caused by Excess Salt in the Soil

While this is not a common cause of browned Aloe Vera leaves, it is worth taking into consideration. Unfortunately, Aloe Plants are very sensitive to salt, as well as various chemicals, like chlorine and fluoride.

How to Avoid This Issue

You can avoid excess salt in the soil by making sure you choose succulent-friendly potting soil. These soils are designed to have a low salinity level, which helps make them ideal for plants like Aloe Vera.

To avoid browning that is caused by fluoride and chlorine, you can choose to water your Aloe Vera plant with bottled or filtered water. Another way to reduce the number of chemicals in the water is to fill an open-top container with tap water. Leave the container out for at least 24 hours, which will allow some of the chlorine and fluoride to evaporate from the water.

How to Address the Issue

Unfortunately, an Aloe leaf that is severely brown as a result of salt or chemicals usually has to be removed. This is because it will not return to its original colour. In these situations, it is better to remove the damaged leaves so new, healthy leaves can grow back and take their place. Use a clean and sharp knife and remove the damaged leaves near the root line. If it is done correctly, new leaves should eventually take their place.

Other Potential Causes of Browned Leaves

If you have worked through the three causes listed above and your plant’s leaves are still brown, it is possible that the environment is too cold. Aloe Vera plants prefer warmer temperatures, and they will start to brown if the temperature dips below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you have tried everything and your Aloe Vera plant’s leaves are still brown and yellow, it is possible that the plant is just getting old. Yellowing naturally occurs as the plant ages and reaches the end of its life cycle. It can also occur when the plant is shedding old leaves so new ones can take their place.

Below is a summary of all the possible causes of an aloe plant yellowing or browning.

Reasons for Yellow or Brown Aloe VeraSolutions
Overwatering– Reduce watering frequency.
– Allow soil to dry out between waterings.
– Check for root rot and trim if necessary.
Poor Drainage– Ensure pot has adequate drainage holes.
– Repot in a cactus or succulent mix.
Excessive Sunlight– Move plant to a location with bright but indirect sunlight.
– Acclimate gradually to new lighting conditions.
Pests– Inspect plant for pests.
– Use insecticidal soap, neem oil, or other treatments.
Improper Soil– Use a cactus or succulent potting mix.
– Consider repotting if in regular potting soil.
Disease (e.g., fungal infections)– Reduce watering and improve drainage.
– Remove affected plant parts.
– Consider using a fungicide if necessary.
Nutrient Imbalance– Use fresh soil or a balanced, diluted liquid fertilizer.
– Be cautious not to over-fertilize.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can brown aloe vera plant turn green again?

Yes, brown aloe can turn green again if the cause of the browning is addressed. Aloe plants might turn brown due to various reasons, including sunburn, overwatering, under-watering, or pest infestations. By identifying and rectifying the underlying issue, it’s possible for the aloe plant to regain its health and vibrant green color. Refer to the remedies in the article above to determine why your aloe plant is turning brown.

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Why are the tips of my aloe vera plant turning brown?

When the tips of an aloe vera plant turn brown, it’s usually an indication of specific environmental stressors or care issues such as including sunburn, overwatering, underwatering, or pest infestations.

Why is my aloe plant turning yellow?

Yellowing of an aloe plant is very similar to browning which usually indicated environmental issues such as sunburn, overwatering or pest infestations.

Why is my aloe plant very mushy?

A mushy aloe plant may be due to several factors such as:

Reasons for Mushy Aloe Vera and Solutions:

  • Overwatering
    • Reduce watering frequency. Only water when the soil is completely dry.
    • Ensure the pot has proper drainage holes.
  • Root Rot
    • Check roots for a black, mushy appearance.
    • Remove affected roots and let the plant dry out.
    • Repot in fresh, well-draining soil.
  • Cold Damage
    • Move the plant to a warmer location.
    • Protect the plant from sudden temperature drops and frost.
  • Poor Drainage
    • Use a pot with adequate drainage holes.
    • Repot in a cactus or succulent mix.
  • Prolonged Wet Conditions
    • Avoid letting the aloe sit in water.
    • Use pots with drainage holes and avoid saucers that can trap water.

Remember, a mushy aloe plant is often a sign of water-related stress. Adjusting watering habits and ensuring proper drainage are key to helping your aloe recover.

Can You Bring a Wilting Aloe Vera Back to Life?

If your aloe hasn’t sustained prolonged damage and its root system remains at least half intact, along with a sturdy main stem, there’s hope. To rejuvenate a wilting aloe, consider relocating it to an area with better lighting, address any diseases, and modify the watering schedule according to the plant’s needs.

Is There Hope for a Brown Aloe Vera Plant?

The possibility of reviving a browning aloe vera largely hinges on the cause of its discoloration. Issues like sunburn, insufficient hydration, or even excessive water can sometimes be corrected in time. While brown patches won’t revert, sun-affected plants can regain their natural hue if exposed to dimmer lighting conditions, or if placed outdoors, the hue might lighten during the fall.

Should Brown Aloe Vera Leaves Be Removed?

If aloe leaves brown due to disease or overhydration, they should be taken off. However, leaves that brown or fade from sun exposure can be retained to shield the plant from further harm. Typically, sunburned leaves will naturally detach or require little intervention to remove.

Does Aloe Vera Prefer Direct Sunlight?

While aloe vera can tolerate extended sun exposure, they thrive best with a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Inadequate sunlight might cause the leaves to lose color and exhibit a spindly growth pattern.

Can Excessive Sunlight Cause Aloe to Turn Brown?

Aloes can change their color when exposed to sunlight, often adopting a rich reddish-brown shade. If the plant appears otherwise healthy (e.g., leaves aren’t brittle or mushy), it’s probably just flaunting its sun-induced colors.

Remember, brown isn’t always undesirable—except when discussing plant leaves! Monitor your plants diligently and ensure they receive the care they need. You now have the knowledge to do so.

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Sunday 14th of August 2022

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