Plants of the aloe vera family are widely grown and used for their therapeutic benefits. So, it’s a little off-putting that a plant that’s supposed to be a symbol of health is looking a little sickly.
But even aloe plants get sick from time to time, and a wilting brown aloe isn’t unusual, especially if the plant is ignored or its care needs aren’t addressed adequately.
It is a shame that Aloe plants can’t fix their own issues when six, yet to fix these isn’t too challenging.
In our guide, you can learn what your Aloe vera plant turning brown and soft. There are a few reasons, so the fixes can be different. By the end, you’ll have more than enough information to notice soft spots on your aloe leaves and what causes leaf browning.
Aloe Vera turning brown is common, yet your plant will live to fight another day. (Learn How To Propagate Aloe From Cutting)
Should I Cut The Brown Off My Aloe?
Trim off any leaf brown tips or whole leaves that turn brown with a pinkish hue. These brown spots show the leaves are dying, so removing them helps make sure your plant lives healthy and green.
Use a sharp knife on small and medium-sized plants. Use sheers for large, thick leaves. The exposed end of the leaf will seal up on its own in time.
Dealing with this can be straightforward, yet not every time will offer the same cause and solution.
Here are the main reasons you can see your plant turning brown for no obvious reason.
Heating and Cooling
This plant is not a type of cactus, so don’t get it mixed up and think it can survive extreme heat. They do, however, thrive in sand and fertilizer that drains water and dries rapidly, as they are a desert plant. Your aloe vera leaves will turn brown in the cooler, wetter weather rather than mild summer heat.
Warm weather with temperatures between 55- and 75-degrees Fahrenheit (12 and 23 degrees Celsius) is ideal for succulent growth.
Avoid Direct Sunlight
Sunburn might occur if you place your Aloe Vera plant in direct sun. Place it in the center of the room, rather than immediately on your windowsill, where it will receive too much direct sunlight.
When aloe vera turning brown and red from sunburn, it’s time to move it to a new location. You’ll have a happy plant without those brown leaves when your succulent receives bright light but is not directly exposed to excessive sunlight. (Read Why Does My Spider Plant Have Brown Tips)
Aloe Vera Disease
You may experience aloe vera turning brown because of disease. Here are some diseases related to Aloe Vera plants, including:
This is a fungus that develops black and dark brown patches on the leaves, eventually turning your aloe vera brown. The blackened region that is exposed oxidizes and does not discolor further. Because the illness can spread to surrounding cultivated plants, prevention is the best control.
This fungal disease creates reddish brown/normal brown discoloration on the leaves, like aloe rust.
Basal Stem Rot
Wet and/or chilly weather, as well as over-watering, cause stem rot from wet feet. Because the base of the plant is affected first, resulting in rotting roots/stems, you may not notice your aloe vera turning brown at first. The tissue becomes black or reddish-brown color as it rots.
Bacterial Soft Rot
Soft rot is a bacterial disease that causes Aloe turning brown with a few leaves that are mushy and water-soaked. These patches may spread and meld together. If the rot starts near the crown, your plant may be more prone to soft rot.
Leaf Blight Disease
Over-watering causes certain fungal diseases. You can try to prune the unhealthy leaves and limit watering, but the results aren’t excellent. Your plant may need to be replaced.
Prevent these illnesses by not over-watering the plant. To avoid wetting the plant, water solely from below and into the soil. Also, water early in the morning to allow for evaporation.
This fungal disease develops black and dark brown spots on leaves, eventually turning the aloe vera plant brown. The exposed blackened area oxidizes, not discoloring. The illness can spread to surrounding cultivated plants; therefore, prevention is key.
Aloe Vera Pests
Aloe plants are thought to be extremely hardy and resistant to pests and disease. But aloe vera is susceptible to a variety of pests that can harm the plant and cause dark stains on the leaves.
Your aloe plant may be harmed by mites, flies, mealybugs, and fungus gnats. This damage is ugly, and it can even be fatal to the plant.
Prune infected or sick leaves using a pair of shears or sharp scissors. Fungus gnats result from overly wet soil; allowing the soil to dry out will kill the gnats and prevent them from spreading to other plants.
Mites cause irreversible damage to the growth of the plant. Wipe off any stubborn bugs using a cotton bud dipped in rubbing alcohol.
Too Much Fertilizer
As desert plants, aloe vera plants do not require a lot of fertilizer. These succulents are naturally adapted to dry, weak soils, and feeding, too much fertilizer will hurt your growing plants.
Excess salt in your fertilizer burns roots of your succulent and leaves brown aloe leaf tips (tip burn). By soaking the soil and washing away some of the fertilizer, you can save your aloe plant.
Set your potted aloe plant in the sink or outside for several minutes to fully flush the soil.
Allow the excess water to drain out of the drainage hole. Wait until the soil is completely dry before you water.
Don’t overfeed an aloe plant with fertilizer. There is little need, yet you can use a half-strength succulent fertilizer once a year during the spring. You won’t need to fertilize your plant for years if your potting soil contains fertilizer. (Read Is 15-15-15 Fertilizer Good For Lawns)
Not Enough Light
It’s simple to over-light your aloe vera plant, but it’s equally easy to under-light it. It’s not a low-light houseplant, but it also can’t handle direct light.
Lack of light weakens your plant where you get leaf bends or folds near the base or center of the plant. Pale leaves or a lanky growth habit are other signs of inadequate light.
Put your plant by a window. During the darker, colder winter months, you may need to move your plant to a brighter location. Rotate your plant every two to three months to get equal sunshine exposure on all sides. This prevents the plant from leaning one way.
Excessive heat or cold can induce browning on aloe plants. Temperature shocks of any kind are another cause of browning leaves.
Unless the plant has been frozen or dried out, it is unlikely to be salvaged. If it’s frostbitten, bring it inside and see. Same with a sun-burned plant: remove it from the sun, water it well, and hope for the best.
Extreme temperatures can cause irreversible harm; therefore, avoidance is vital. To avoid this, you should always monitor indoor and outdoor temperatures to ensure they are within the aloe plants’ tolerance zone.
Aloe plants thrive in temperatures between 55-80°F. Temperatures outside of this range might cause damage, especially if exposed for lengthy periods.
If you plan to leave your aloe plant outside in the summer, acclimate it to the heat. Protect your aloe plant from chilly drafts and extreme temperature changes during the winter.
Keep the plant away from air conditioners, heaters, cold windows, and direct sunshine indoors and out.
Mushy roots and leaves show over-watering and root rot. This bacterial infection generates water-saturated areas on the skin. The deterioration of the roots spreads to the plant’s interior before leaves mush up and collapse.
During the summer, water your aloe when the potting soil is dry. Soil moisture is something they can’t deal with. Never let your plant or drainage saucer remain wet and choose potting soil or potting mix that drains well.
If you spot such a disease early enough, you may save your plant by repotting it. Put them in sterile, barely moist potting soil to help dry out the plant and avoid further root assaults.
Use hydrogen peroxide to kill root rot. Pour two tablespoons of 35 percent hydrogen peroxide into a gallon of water and water your plant as usual. The peroxide kills bacteria surrounding the plant’s roots and aerates the potting soil, preventing root rot. About half of your potting mix could contain a gritty substrate to further aid good drainage.
What Does An Overwatered Aloe Plant Look Like?
Its stem may also appear mushy as stem tissues become spongy because of excess moisture. Water-soaked leaves make the succulent look limp, weak, and mushy.
As stated previously, your plant may become soft and brown for many reasons. Too much water is harmful, so water it properly to keep it healthy.
Soil moisture levels should be kept constant to avoid larger issues when indoor gardening in poor soils. Brown stalks are natural and it’s normal for the aloe plant to sprout new leaves when the older leaves turn yellow.
There are several reasons why your aloe plant’s leaves may be yellow. Incorrect irrigation is the major cause. When you over water your plant, the potting medium stays wet all day, promoting disease and bacterial growth.
The disease damages the roots, preventing the root ball from getting enough nutrition. As a result, your plant’s leaves will be yellow. Insufficient watering is another issue.
Leaf bending in the middle or at the base shows a lack of light. Aloe needs at least six hours of natural, bright sunshine per day to develop well. Lack of light results in a weak plant with crumpled or bent leaves that gets weaker.
Moving your potted plant to a brighter place is one approach. This is vital during the gloomy winter months when they need more light to survive.
Place your aloe near a bright window but out of too much direct sunlight and rotate it every two weeks to get indirect light on all sides. Install grow lights if the light isn’t good enough. For optimal results, suspend the bright lights 6-12 inches above to keep your plant healthy.
A floppy aloe vera plant can be because of several reasons, including cold temperatures, fungal infections, or inadequate sunlight. Repot your aloe in a wide shallow pot with a good drainage hole. Make sure that your plant has at least six hours of sunlight during the day.
How Do You Fix An Overwatered Aloe Plant?
One of the number one causes of an aloe vera turning brown must deal with water issues. You can notice soft spots that appear soggy on the leaves. If the over-watering continues, the entire leaf will discolor, stay soggy, and eventually turn brown.
Normal watering does not brown aloe. You should only be concerned about an aloe plant turning brown if you overwater or underwater it. Remember that aloe plants are succulents, and while they don’t hold as much water as desert cacti, they’re still pretty thirsty.
Make sure your aloe plant is potted in well-draining soil (commercial succulent soil works well) with drainage holes on the bottom. Plastic will hold water, making it difficult for the soil to dry, whereas terracotta and clay will absorb water, allowing the soil to dry. (Learn How Long Do Real Christmas Trees Last)
Always check the soil surface before watering. If not, wait until the top 2 inches of soil are dry. If you’re unsure, dig a finger into the soil. If the top layer is still wet, you must wait until it dries completely before watering your aloe plant.
If your aloe is suffering from over-watering, act quickly before it dies. Soak the roots in water for 30 minutes. Under-watering can also be problematic, and browning leaves can be a symptom of under-watering.
The first sign of under-watering is browning at the tip of the leaves. Eventually, the leaves will shrivel and shrink. Just because aloe plants can tolerate some drought, it doesn’t mean they can go without water for extended periods.
Some people forget to water their plants. While this is a great plant for those of us who are forgetful, an aloe vera that has turned brown indicates a lack of care. Your plant’s leaves will appear shriveled and hardened. Under-watering is much easier to solve than over-watering.
Rehydrate your succulent until the water runs out of the pot’s holes. Wait for the soil to dry completely before repeating until your leaves are healthy green again.
You may only save your aloe by propagating from leaf cuttings if the conditions are too severe.