How to Save Aloe Plant Turning Brown

How to Save Aloe Plant Turning Brown

Aloe plant turning brown when the soil surrounding their roots becomes too wet due to overwatering or inadequate drainage. Aloe plants are drought-tolerant plants that need the soil to dry between waterings. Aloe leaves get brown and mushy when the soil becomes too wet.

The following are the most typical causes of browning in aloe plants:

Root rot is caused by overwatering (aloe plants need the soil to dry out between waterings).

Potting soil absorbs too much moisture, causing root rot (Aloe plants require specially formulated “succulent and cacti soil,” which mimics the aloe’s natural soil conditions).

Aloe plants put in pots with no drainage holes at the base (Decorative outer pots, saucers, and trays allow excess water to collect around the roots of the aloe, causing root rot.

Sunburn has burned the aloe plant, giving it a reddish brown color (moving aloes from relative shade to full sun without time for the aloe to adjust to the increase in light intensity causes brown scorched leaves).

As the plant grows, the leaves of the aloe plant become brown and crispy at the base (this is normal for aloe plants, although it can also be caused by underwatering or not enough sun).

After repotting, aloe plants become dark and squishy owing to root rot caused by potting soil that holds too much moisture (normal potting soil retains too much moisture for aloe plants to tolerate or the pot does not have drainage holes in the base).

Because of a rapid change in circumstances, the leaf tips of aloe plants become brown (a sudden increase in light intensity, temperature, or lowering of humidity causes the leaf tips to turn brown; underwatering can also be a factor).

Underwatering may cause browning and thinning of aloe leaves. Aloe plants need their soil to dry out between waterings, but they should always be watered thoroughly to make sure water gets to the roots where it’s needed (otherwise, the leaves will get thin and brown as a sign of drought stress).

To keep aloe plants from turning brown, try to mimic some of the conditions of the aloe plant’s natural habitat by watering them less often, letting the potting soil dry out between waterings, putting the aloe in the sun for 6 hours in the morning, and planting it in a pot with drainage holes in the bottom.

High temperatures may also contribute to the browning of an aloe plant if they are kept beyond their normal temperature range of 55°F–80°F (13°C–27°C) for a prolonged length of time. Continue reading to find out why your aloe is going dark and how to rescue your brown aloe plant.

Aloe Plant Turning Brown How to Save it

Aloe Leaf Browning and Softening due to Overwatering

Symptoms include the aloe plant turning brown and becoming limp and mushy.

  • Overwatering, potting soil that holds too much moisture, pots with no drainage holes at the base, and saucers and trays that allow water to pool around the base of the pot are all causes.
  • The most frequent cause of browning aloe plants is root rot, caused by overwatering and inadequate drainage. Aloe plants are drought tolerant and need the soil to dry out between waterings. If the soil remains wet, the aloe plant will develop root rot, turning the leaves dark and mushy.
  • Aloe plants are drought tolerant and have especially evolved to grow in gritty, well-draining soil with intermittent rainfall and high temperatures in their native ranges of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
  • To effectively develop an aloe plant and keep it from becoming dark and mushy, mimic some of the growth conditions of the aloe’s original habitat by putting the aloe in well-draining, gritty potting soil and allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.
  • Most aloe plants turn dark and mushy when they are watered too often or put in regular potting soil, which holds too much water. This is because aloe plants grow best in dry environments and struggle in wet soil.
  • If there are no drainage holes at the bottom of the pot, water may pool around the aloe plant’s roots and make the soil wet.
  • If you don’t drain the saucers and trays under the aloe plant’s pot, water may collect around the base of the pot, keeping the potting soil from drying out and causing rot, which will turn the aloe plant dark and mushy.

How to Restore a Browning and Soft Aloe Plant due to Overwatering

Cut back on your watering. If you water your aloe plants more than once a week, you are overwatering them, which is why they get brown and squishy. Allow the potting soil to dry between waterings to mimic the regular watering cycle of the aloe’s natural habitat. Watering every 14 days is typical, but this might vary according to climate, pot size, and potting soil type.

Repot the aloe plant in potting soil labeled “succulent and cacti.” Even if you water your aloe plant on a regular basis, it might become dark and mushy if the soil holds moisture around the roots for an extended period of time. Repot the aloe with carefully prepared, well-draining soil that mimics the aloe’s natural habitat. The most important component in avoiding the likelihood of aloe plants becoming dark and soft is well-drained soil.

Planting Aloe vera in soil made for succulents and cacti (on the left) makes root rot much less likely than planting it in regular potting soil.

Plant aloe in containers with drainage holes at the bottom. Aloe plants may grow in any sort of container as long as the base has drainage holes and the container is appropriate to the size of the aloe. Good drainage is vital because the potting soil must dry out between waterings to keep the aloe from turning brown.

Plant aloe in pots that are appropriate to the plant’s size. The more soil in the container, the higher the ability to store moisture, causing the aloe to become brown and squishy. If your aloe plant is going brown, place it in a container that is 1.5 inches bigger on each side of the aloe. This allows the potting soil to dry faster, preventing root rot and dark, mushy aloe plants. (See my post on the finest aloe vera pots.)

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Feel the dirt at the bottom of the container via the drainage holes in the base to determine how often you should water your aloe plants. If the soil seems damp, wait a few days before watering. If the soil seems dry, now is the time to water it.

To minimize root rot, this frequency of watering efficiently mimics the deluge of rainfall, followed by a drought-cycle of watering in the aloe plant’s original habitat.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to empty saucers and trays before water pools around the base of your aloe plant and stops water from draining properly.

Once you’ve let the aloe’s soil dry out completely, cut back on how often you water it, added more soil, and repotted it, the brown color should fade over the next few weeks.

If the soft, mushy, brown portion of the aloe grows in size, it is critical to use a sharp, sterile pair of pruners to clip that specific section of the aloe back to healthy development.

Cutting away the aloe’s soft brown rotting patch stops the rot from spreading further.

The ensuing wound will calluse over in a few days, and the aloe plant will be able to recuperate. Aloe plants are more resilient than they are typically given credit for, and removing rotten areas of the plant is frequently the best method to maximize the likelihood of your aloe reviving.

If the aloe plant is becoming more brown, soft, and mushy, another alternative for propagation (which may be used in combination with cutting away the brown, mushy sections of the aloe) is to take cuttings from healthy tissue.

Aloe plants grow well from leaf cuttings (in their original habitat, succulents commonly spread from leaves and offsets to create a new plant), which may be a simple, affordable, and entertaining solution to rescue your aloe plants, especially if the brown, soft, mushy rot looks to be serious and spreading.

Browning of the Aloe Plant due to Sun Burn

Symptoms include burned brown/yellow/reddish leaves and all parts of the aloe becoming limp and mushy.

Aloe plants may burn in direct sunlight throughout the summer. Aloe plants might get sunburned if you move them from partial shade to full sun without letting them get used to it first.

Sunburn is one of the possible causes of aloe plant browning. Aloe plants can usually handle full sun, but if they are moved quickly from a somewhat shady and cool area to a full sun area without having a chance to get used to the more intense light, they may turn brown and burn.

Most aloe plants grown as house plants (such as Aloe vera) are tolerant of hot, sunny, and dry environments in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and flourish in them.

Aloe plants normally need at least 6 hours of sunshine every day to thrive.

If you live in a place with a lot of sun, like Arizona, 6 hours of morning sun followed by shade in the afternoon is usually enough to keep aloe plants from getting sunburned and brown.

Aloe plants are very flexible and can get used to different light conditions inside, even if they aren’t ideal.

However, if the aloe plant is transferred to a brighter position, or maybe brought outdoors during the summer from a more shaded area to harsh direct sunlight all day, the aloe plant might develop a reddish brown hue owing to the abrupt change in light intensity.

Aloe plants benefit from moderate exposure to direct sunlight to avoid scorching and to adjust to the greater intensity of light.

How to Save an Aloe Plant Turning Brown Due to Sun Damage

The aloe does not recover to its natural color after being burnt brown. However, there are certain recommended practices to be aware of in order to avoid additional harm and to enhance the look of the aloe.

Always progressively expose aloe plants to more direct sunshine over a two-week period to get them into full sun. Move the aloe into the sun for 20 minutes longer each day for two weeks to allow the aloe to acclimate to the greater levels of light intensity. When they have acclimatized to more sun, the potting soil may also dry out much faster, so test the soil to identify when it is dry and moisten the potting soil once it has dried.

If the aloe has become brown due to sunburn, relocate it to an area with morning light followed by afternoon shade. Avoid removing the aloe entirely from the sun, since this might potentially create difficulties. The morning light is less powerful, and temperatures are lower, so the aloe should be revived.

Brown burned aloe plants do not recover in appearance, but the plant should survive. Although the aloe is not in immediate danger, the sunburned part or leaf may dry up and fall off since it can no longer photosynthesize. Cut any dried areas of the aloe back to healthy growth, which may help promote further growth.

If most of the aloe plant has been sunburned, I would suggest leaving it alone for a while to see if any new growth appears. Any parts of the aloe plant that do not recover should then be cut back with a sharp, clean pair of pruners, either to healthy, undamaged growth or to the base, whichever is most convenient.

If the rest of the plant can’t be saved, take a clip from any living tissue left on the plant to start a new plant.

The Base Symptoms of Aloe Plant Turning Brown

As the plant grows, brown leaves appear at the base of the aloe plant.

Symptoms include browning and crispy leaves at the base of the aloe plant.

Causes: As part of the aloe plant’s life cycle, a lack of water or sunshine may lead to the leaves becoming brown at the base.

The explanation for the browning of aloe leaves at the base is that the leaves naturally get brown and crispy as the plant ages. The aloe moves energy from keeping the older, lower leaves alive to helping new growth higher up the plant. This makes the lower leaves turn brown and dry.

As the aloe plant becomes bigger, this is a normal component of its life cycle.

As the plant becomes bigger, the older leaves at the base of the aloe typically become shaded out, resulting in less accessible light for photosynthesizing and therefore costing the aloe plant more energy than they give.

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Lower aloe plant leaves normally get brown and crispy and fall off or may be carefully taken away from the plant.

If the brown leaves keep holding on, I think you should wait a few weeks instead of trying to force them off, which could hurt the plant.

If the aloe plant is lanky (growing extremely tall and spindly) and the leaves at the base are turning brown and withering, it is due to a lack of light.

Aloe plants need around 6 hours of direct sunshine every day. In shady locations, the aloe plant sacrifices lower leaves and encourages development in order to find more light, giving the plant a lanky look.

Underwatering is another aspect that may have a role.

Even though aloe plants are drought-tolerant, they still need a full soak so that extra water drips from the base of the container (to guarantee the water reaches the roots) when it’s time to water.

If you water too lightly, just the top inch or two of the soil will be soaked, and the water will not reach the aloe’s roots, resulting in dried brown leaves.

How to Restore Aloe Plant Turning Brown at the Base

There is nothing to worry about if the aloe sometimes develops brown, crispy leaves at the base of the plant. The lowest leaves of the aloe plant get brown and crispy as they develop. Simply remove any crispy brown leaves at the bottom of the plant, but do not push them off, as this might harm the aloe.

More light is required if the aloe is leggy and the leaves are becoming brown. Over the course of two weeks, move your aloe plant to a more sunny spot. Aloe plants require time to adjust to brighter light (otherwise they would burn), so relocate the plant to a sunny position for 20 minutes each day. After roughly two weeks, the aloe should have adapted to the brighter environment without burning. If the aloe is very tall, you might want to take cuttings to make more plants, since aloe grows quickly.

Always give aloe plants a good bath while watering them. Watering aloe thoroughly, allowing excess water to drip from the pot’s base, ensures that the potting soil is equally saturated and that the water has penetrated the soil. This avoids drought stress, which may lead to dry, crunchy leaves. When the soil at the bottom of the pot feels dry, water generously. Feel the dirt via the drainage hole at the pot’s base to identify when it is dry, then thoroughly water it.

Aloe Plant Turning Brown after Repotting

Symptoms include browning and softening of aloe leaves.

Root rot is caused by repotting aloe in potting soil that holds too much moisture, pots lacking drainage holes in the base, or water gathering around the pot’s base.

Aloe plants typically turn brown after repotting because they are repotted in soil that holds too much moisture. Aloe plants are drought tolerant and need the soil to dry between waterings. Soil in a pot that stays wet for a long time can cause root rot, which makes the aloe leaves turn brown and soft.

Aloe plants grow naturally on well-draining, gravelly soils that are very porous and do not retain much moisture, even sporadic rains.

Between waterings, aloe plants need the potting soil to dry out.

A common issue when repotting aloe plants is using regular potting soil (rather than specially prepared succulent and cactus soil), which remains too damp for the aloe plant to accept.

This encourages root rot and causes the aloe plant to become dark and mushy.

Another typical reason why aloe plants become brown after repotting is that the new pot does not have drainage holes at the base, allowing water to collect around the roots and cause root rot.

Aloe plants like to thrive in well-drained soil and do not tolerate constantly wet soil.

Excess water may also pool at the bottom of aloe pots from saucers and trays, causing the aloe to become brown and mushy.

Aloe Plant Turning Brown? How to Save it

How to Resurrect a Browning Aloe Plant After Repotting

Watering should be reduced.Aloe plants need the soil to dry between waterings, so any more water will aggravate the issue. Allow the soil to dry fully after refilling the potting soil with succulent and cactus soil.

Repot the aloe with potting soil labeled “succulent and cacti.” Succulent and cactus soil is specially prepared for succulents such as aloe plants. The specially made soil has better drainage and holds less water than regular potting soil to make it more like the soil where the aloe plant came from.

Repot the aloe in a container with drainage holes on the bottom. Aloe plants should be grown in pots that are appropriate to their size (very large pots contain more soil and can hold too much moisture for aloe plants). Unglazed ceramic and terracotta pots are porous, allowing the soil to dry out evenly. Drainage holes in the pot’s base are required to enable water to flow freely and prevent root rot.

Regularly empty saucers and water trays. If you see any water accumulating around the base of the pot on a saucer or tray, remove it immediately so that water may drain properly from the pot and the soil can dry out between waterings.

The length of time it takes for the aloe to recover varies on how long it has been stressed by too much water, but you should see changes in the coming weeks.

Once the dirt has dried out and the aloe is in the proper soil, the brown mushy part should shrink and the aloe may recover.

If the brown, mushy part of the aloe grows in size, cut the rotten piece out using a sharp sterile pair of pruners, either back to healthy growth or to the plant’s root, to prevent the rot from spreading further.

The wound should heal in a few days, and the aloe may begin to heal.

Consider taking cuttings of stems or leaves from any good tissue for propagation, since this is an excellent strategy to salvage an aloe plant if it has been substantially harmed by water stress and does not seem to be improving in condition.

Browning Leaf on an Aloe Plant

Symptoms The leaf tips of aloe plants get brown and crunchy. The leaf tips may sometimes become brown.

Causes. Temperatures rise, humidity decreases, light intensity increases, and underwatering occurs.

A rapid rise in temperature, sunshine, a drop in humidity, or underwatering are the most common causes of aloe plant leaf tips becoming brown. Aloe plants can handle hot temperatures, direct sunlight, and low humidity, but when things change quickly, the tips of the leaves turn brown.

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Because aloe plants have evolved to live in dry, hot, and sunny settings, they often thrive in our houses, which have little humidity and high temperatures owing to central heating.

However, aloe plants may adapt to their surroundings even if the circumstances aren’t ideal, with less light, some humidity, and average temperatures that are outside the aloe plant’s normal desired range.

When things change quickly, aloe plants lose more water than usual through their leaves, which causes the tips of the leaves to turn brown.

Brown leaf tips are often caused by a combination of a fast rise in heat, bright sunshine, and low humidity, which may be aggravated by underwatering.

This is common if the aloe plant has been relocated outside for the summer, or if the aloe has been moved to a different section of the home with full sun or near indoor heating, which may suck moisture from the air and rapidly dry the soil.

A rapid heat wave may also induce browning of leaf tips.

Aloe plants can handle hot and dry conditions, but they usually need some time to get used to a new set of weather conditions instead of a sudden change.

Watering too seldom or too gently might also cause the aloe leaves to become thin and brown.

The aloe takes water from the succulent leaves, causing the leaves to shrink, and the brown tips on the leaves show that they are stressed by drought.

The good news is that aloe plants often recover from dark leaf tips after some time, but there are some things you should do and treatments you should know about…

Brown Leaf Tips for Reviving an Aloe Plant

Soak the aloe well. Brown leaf tips on aloe plants are commonly caused by warmer temperatures, greater sunshine, and lower humidity, all of which increase a plant’s need for water, so you may need to water the aloe more often. Soak the aloe plants well, allowing excess water to touch the base of the container. This guarantees that moisture gets to the roots where it is needed. Feel the soil through the drainage holes at the base to check when it dries. If the soil is still wet, postpone watering (to avoid root rot). Water the aloe thoroughly when the soil is dry.

Gradually expose the aloe to high light intensity. Move the aloe to a more sunny spot for 20 minutes longer each day for around 2 weeks to allow the aloe to acclimate to the increased light intensity. This keeps the aloe from burning and reduces the stress that causes the leaf tips to become brown.

In hotter areas, place aloe plants in 6 hours of morning light followed by 6 hours of afternoon shade. This means that the aloe can get the most out of the sun when the temperature is lower, instead of having to deal with higher temperatures during the day.

To prevent brown tips, move the aloe away from any sources of interior heat. Indoor heat reduces humidity and may cause the soil to dry out too soon, contributing to the browning of the aloe leaf tips.

Should I remove the brown leaf tips from my aloe plant?

As a general rule, avoid cutting brown leaf tips from aloe plants. The dark leaf tips appear as a result of an abrupt change in environmental circumstances such as light and temperature. When the aloe vera gets used to its new environment, the brown tips of its leaves often turn back to their original green color.

Once any faults or unfavorable circumstances in the aloe’s habitat have been corrected, the leaf tips often turn green again on their own without the need for removal.

If the circumstances are suitable, it should take several weeks for the leaf tips to recover. It is also worth mentioning that brown leaf tips heal more quickly while the aloe is actively growing and much more slowly when the aloe is inactive (due to low light levels in winter).

Aloe plants can also go dormant in the summer if the temperatures are very high. When this happens, the aloe often stops growing to keep water in the soil.

Cutting down the brown tips of your aloe plant using sharp, sterile pruners does not necessarily hurt the plant and may be a simple way to enhance the aloe’s look.

If the leaf tips are dark and mushy, this is typically due to overwatering; in this situation, use a sharp, sterile pair of pruners to return the leaf to healthy development.

(For additional information on how to conserve aloe plants, see the article Why is my aloe plant dying?)

Key Takeaways: Root rot caused by overwatering and inadequate drainage causes aloe plants to become brown and mushy. Aloe plants need the soil to dry between waterings. Soil that stays wet all the time makes root rot and fungal diseases more likely, which makes the aloe leaves turn dark and soft.

When exposed to direct sunlight, aloe plants may become brown. Aloe plants may typically thrive in full sun, but they need time to acclimate to the increased light intensity. If an aloe plant is transferred from partial to full sun without enough time to acclimate, the leaves might burn and become a reddish brown.

As the plant ages, aloe leaves naturally become brown and crispy at the base. This is a natural occurrence and does not signal that the plant is dying. Underwatering or a lack of light might cause the leaves at the base to become brown.

When aloe plants become brown after repotting, it is mainly due to the aloe being repotted into potting soil that contains too much moisture for the aloe to accept. Between waterings, aloe plants need the soil to dry out. Because of root rot, the aloe plant’s leaves become dark and mushy if the potting soil stays moist.

Aloe plant leaves become brown at the tips owing to a rapid change in light, temperature, humidity, or underwatering. When aloe plants are brought into full sun, the temperature abruptly rises or the humidity falls dramatically, the aloe leaf tips become brown as a response to the abrupt shift in the environment. Underwatering may also cause the tips of aloe leaves to become brown.

To rescue an aloe plant turning brown, squishy leaves, clip the afflicted leaf back to healthy growth using a sterile set of pruners to prevent the brown rot from spreading. Reduce watering and let the soil dry between waterings to improve the likelihood of the aloe reviving.