A fading aloe plant is frequently caused by overwatering or poorly draining soil, which causes the leaves to become brown or yellow and look to be dying. A dying aloe plant may also be the result of insufficient sunlight and low temperatures (below 50°F).
The following are the most typical causes of aloe plant death:
- Ample Watering (brown or yellow drooping leaves with a mushy texture).
- The ground dries out too slowly (brown or yellow drooping leaves).
- not emptying water from saucers and trays (which can cause root rot).
- Not enough sunlight (aloe plants require at least 4 hours of direct sunlight) (aloe plants require at least 4 hours of direct sunlight).
- Damage from cold (aloe plants can wither at temperatures below 50°F)
In this post, I’ve outlined the five most typical causes of aloe plant death or apparent death, along with each issue’s resolution.
Find out why your aloe plant is dying and how to fix it by reading on.
Table of Contents
1. Over Watering (Leaves turning Yellow, Brown and Drooping)
Overwatering is by far the most frequent cause of aloe plant death.
Aloes are drought-resistant plants that thrive in the sunny, hot, and dry climate of Oman, in the Arabian Peninsula (for more information, see my post on the best potting soil for aloe vera). They grow in generally stony or sandy well-draining soils with low humidity.
Aloe plants exhibit symptoms such as leaves becoming yellow or brown and drooping if they are watered excessively.
If you can salvage aloe with brown and yellow leaves before root rot sets in, aloe plants that are frequently overwatered can develop root rot.
The issue is usually always overwatering rather than underwatering because aloe plants are so well suited to drought conditions.
You are overwatering your aloe plants if you give them water more frequently than once per week.
The answer is…
It’s crucial to stop watering your aloe right away so the soil can dry up.
Replicating the watering conditions of the aloe plant’s natural habitat is crucial for effective aloe plant growth. This entails giving your aloe plants a good soak, followed by a dry spell during which the soil entirely dries out.
Give the dirt a good soak, and then time how long it takes for the soil to dry out at the bottom of the pot to determine how frequently to water aloe plants.
The best way to achieve this is to use the drainage hole in the pot’s base to feel the soil at the bottom.
If the soil still feels wet or damp, wait a few days before watering. If the soil feels dry, water at this time.
Aloe plants benefit from watering every three to four weeks as a general rule, but to be sure, read my guide to watering aloe vera plants, which covers all the best procedures for watering aloe plants.
- If an aloe is stressed out from over watering, it is crucial to remove the yellow or brown leaves to stop the rot from spreading throughout the plant.
- In general, they ought to be simple to remove, but if they resist, use a pair of pruners to clip the individual leaves back to healthy, green tissue.
Sometimes all it takes to revive a dying aloe plant is to reduce watering, let the soil dry out (and replace it if it retains too much moisture), and cut off the afflicted leaves.
Check your aloe for root rot, though, if the condition is growing worse and there are more yellow leaves with a mushy feel and a drooping appearance.
If your roots are lighter in color, the aloe should not have root rot; instead, they are healthy.
The huge white root in the picture is being used as a drought survival tactic to store water. The other aloe roots are sound and free of root rot, but they have a slight brownish tinge from the potting soil rather than any disease.
However, if portions of the roots on your aloe plant are dark brown like those in this picture, your aloe plant may have root rot.
It can be very challenging to save any plant with root rot, but in the case of aloe plants, I advise taking cuttings from any good leaves to help with growth.
Aloe plants may be grown from leaf cuttings extremely easily, and this is frequently the only option to preserve a dying, overwatered aloe plant. See the following YouTube video to learn how to grow aloe plants:
2. The Soil Drains Too Slowly
In their natural habitat, aloe plants thrive in soil that is very arid, permeable, and well-draining.
The aloe plant can suffer the same symptoms of overwatering, such as leaves turning yellow or brown with a mushy texture and a drooping appearance. However, conventional potting soil holds moisture around the roots of your aloe plant for an excessively long period of time for it to endure.
A long period of time in poorly draining or wet soil might cause the aloe to have root rot and eventually die.
The answer is…
Aloe plants should be planted in specially formulated succulent soil, which is available from garden supply stores and online retailers. This soil profile mimics the well-draining soil of the aloe plant’s natural environment.
To save your aloe, you should replace the soil if it does not entirely dry up after two weeks of soaking in normal potting soil.
With care to protect the roots, take your aloe plant out of the pot and gently remove the potting dirt.
Ideally, use a new pot or carefully wash the old one with a disinfectant that destroys any bacteria responsible for fungal diseases.
Replant your aloe in the clean pot with fresh soil.
Implement a good watering plan, making sure that the soil dries out between bouts of watering to replicate the moisture cycle of the aloes native environment, and remove any brown or yellow leaves to stop rot from spreading.
If you remove the damp soil and replace it with specially formulated succulent soil before the aloe develops root rot, it will fully recover.
(Read my post on how to determine whether your aloe plant is being overwatered or underwatered.)
3. Trays and Saucers Prevents Soil Drying Out
The use of trays and saucers (or decorative pots) underneath the pot of your aloe plant, which causes water to pool around the base of your plant and cause signs of stress like leaves turning brown or yellow, is a common reason why aloe plants die. This is similar to overwatering or slow draining soils.
After a round of watering, saucers and trays are helpful for avoiding excess water from flowing inside the house.
However, they must be regularly emptied because if not, the soil around the roots may become saturated, which is not what this drought-tolerant plant prefers.
To keep your aloe plant healthy, make sure it is in a pot with drainage holes and that the soil can fully dry out by emptying any extra moisture from their saucers or trays.
(Read my post on selecting the best pots for aloe vera plant growth.)
4. Not Enough Sunlight
In hot, arid locations with lots of sunlight, aloe plants frequently thrive in areas that are rather open.
The aloe leaves frequently droop, turn pale, and become spindly when they are in too much shade as they seek out more light.
An aloe plant that lacks sunlight will focus its energy on growing its younger leaves in the direction of the sun or the strongest light source.
The older outer leaves become brown, dried out, and drop off as a result of this.
The answer is…
For at least four hours, aloe has to be in direct sunlight if it wants to keep its compact shape and avoid looking lanky.
How long your aloe has been in too much shade will determine how simple it is to rescue it.
The leaves do not raise up again in reaction to increased sunlight once they have severely drooped under their own weight.
Cut each of these individual drooping leaves back to the base, leaving only the upright leaves, to enhance the appearance of your aloe plant.
Place the aloe progressively in more sunlight, increasing its exposure to the sun each day.
Bringing the aloe plant into more sun gradually prevents the leaves from turning brown from sun burn, whereas moving it into more sun for longer periods of time each day prevents the plant from burning.
The best course of action is to take cuttings of the leaves that look the healthiest for multiplication if all of the leaves are drooping and the outer leaves have significantly died back. This is because leaves do not stand back up once they have been seriously compromised.
5. Cold Damage in Temperatures Cooler then 50°F (10°C)
Since aloe plants are not cold resilient, prolonged exposure to temperatures below 50°F (10°C) can result in their death.
55°F to 80°F (13°C to 27°C) tends to be the ideal temperature range for aloe plant growth.
Some aloe plants enter a state of dormancy at temperatures greater or lower than these ranges as a survival tactic to deal with poor light and chilly temperatures in the winter or excessive heat and drought in the summer.
Depending on the severity of the cold, the aloe’s leaves may become mushy in texture and turn dark or black, giving the appearance that they are dying.
Typically, only a small portion of an aloe plant’s leaves become mushy and soft.
The answer is…
Make sure to continuously move the aloe plant to a space that is between 55°F and 80°F (13°C and 27°C) and that none of the leaves come into touch with a chilly window or an air current.
Wait several days, if not weeks, for the mushy, cold-damaged part of the plant to start to dry out and it should start to develop a callus.
Cut the leaf back to below the damaged area once the mushy portion has dried up because the majority of the time, the particular cold-affected areas do not recover.
To avoid further issues, wait until the callus on the leaf cut has fully healed before watering the aloe again.
The aloe plant can ultimately produce new leaves and begin to regain its natural appearance after being damaged by the cold, but it will take some time and patience.
- Overwatering and poorly draining soils are common causes of root rot in fading aloe plants. Aloe plants that receive insufficient sunlight can grow leggy and lose their leaves. Aloe plants often die back in temps colder then 50°F.
- Aloe plants are accustomed to drought and require the soil to dry out between bouts of watering. Root rot can occur if the soil is very wet.
- Aloe plants need at least four hours of direct sunlight daily to appear healthy and flourish at their best. Aloe leaves that receive too much shadow weaken and droop, and the plant may even wither away.
- Aloe plants can suffer cold damage at temperatures that are persistently lower than 50°F since they are not cold resilient. Aloe plants thrive best in temperatures between 55°F and 80°F (13°C and 27°C).