Aloe Plant Turning Brown? (How to Save it)

Aloe Plant Turning Brown? (How to Save it)

Aloe plants become brown because of excess moisture in the soil surrounding the roots brought on by improper drainage or overwatering. Aloe plants need the soil to dry out between waterings because they are drought-tolerant plants. The aloe plant’s leaves get limp and brown if the soil is excessively wet.

Most frequent causes of aloe plant browning:

  1. Too much irrigation results in root rot (Aloe plants need the soil to dry out between each watering).
  2. (Aloe plants need specially formulated “succulent and cactus soil” that replicates the well-draining soil conditions of the aloe’s original environment.) Potting soil holds too much moisture, which causes root rot.
  3. Aloe plants should not be grown in decorative outer pots, saucers, or trays since the excess water will pool around the roots, leading to root rot.
  4. Aloe plant has a sunburned 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).
  5. As an aloe plant ages, the base of the leaves become dark and brittle (this is normal for aloe plants although it can also be causes by a underwatering or not enough sun).
  6. Root rot brought on by potting soil that retains too much moisture causes aloe plants to become brown and mushy after repotting (Normal potting soil retains too much moisture for aloe plants to tolerate or the pot does not have drainage holes in the base).
  7. A rapid change in the environment causes the leaf tips of aloe plants to turn brown (A sudden increase in light intensity, temperature or lowering of humidity cause the leaf tips to turn brown, underwatering can also be a factor).
  8. Aloe leaves can become brittle and discolored from underwatering. Aloe plants need the soil to dry out between waterings, but they should always be watered well to make sure the hydration gets to the roots where it is needed (otherwise, the leaves may become thin and brown and show signs of drought stress).

Reduce watering frequency, give the potting soil time to dry between waterings, place the aloe in six hours of morning light, and make sure the aloe is put in a pot with drainage holes at the bottom if you want to prevent your aloe plants from becoming brown.

If temperatures rise over their typical range of 55°F-80°F (13°C-27°C) for a lengthy period of time, high temperatures can also cause an aloe plant to become brown.

Continue reading to find out the causes of your aloe’s browning and how to apply the remedies to keep your brown aloe plant alive.

Aloe Leaves Turning Brown and Soft (Overwatering)

  • Aloe plant symptoms include browning and a soft, mushy texture.
  • Causes. Overwatering, potting soil that retains too much moisture, pots without drainage holes, saucers and trays that allow water to collect at the base of the pot, and potting soil that is excessively moist.

Root rot brought on by over watering and poor drainage is the most frequent cause of browning aloe plants. Aloe plants need the soil to dry out between waterings because they are adapted to withstand drought. The aloe plant gets root rot, which makes the leaves mushy and brown, if the soil is kept moist.

Aloe plants can withstand droughts and have evolved specifically to flourish in the arid, well-draining soil that characterizes much of their natural area in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

It’s crucial to mimic some of the growing conditions of the aloe’s native environment when growing an aloe plant in order to keep it from turning brown and mushy and developing a drooping appearance. To do this, plant aloe in well-draining, gritty potting soil and let the soil dry out in between waterings.

The finest potting soil for aloe plants is described in my post.

The most frequent causes of aloe plants turning brown and soft are overwatering or planting them in regular potting soil, which holds too much moisture. Aloe plants are suited to desert-like conditions and suffer in damp soil.

Due to the base’s lack of drainage holes, which causes more water to collect around the aloe plant’s roots, potting soil might also be soggy.

If you don’t remove the saucers and trays from underneath the aloe plant’s container, water may pool there as well, preventing the potting soil from drying out and encouraging rot, which causes the aloe plant to turn soft and brown.

How to Save an Aloe Plant that is Turning Brown and Soft

  • Restrict the irrigation. Aloe plants become brown and floppy if they are overwatered, which happens when you water them more frequently than once per week. Allow the potting soil to dry out in between waterings to mimic the regular watering cycle of the aloe’s natural habitat. Watering should be done about every 14 days, however this can vary according on the environment, the size of the container, and the potting soil.
  • With “succulent and cacti” potting soil, repotte the aloe plant. Even if you water your aloe plant at the proper intervals, it may still become dark and mushy if the soil surrounding the roots remains wet for an extended period of time. Repot the aloe in soil that has been specially designed to mimic the soil characteristics of the aloe’s native location and is well-draining. The most important component in lowering the likelihood of aloe plants turning brown and soft is well-draining soil.
  • Aloe can be grown in containers with drainage holes in the bottom. Aloe plants can be grown in any kind of container as long as it has drainage holes on the bottom and is the appropriate size for the aloe plant. In order to keep the aloe from becoming brown, the potting soil must dry out completely between each watering.
  • Aloe should be planted in containers that are appropriate for its size. The more soil there is in a larger pot, the more moisture it can hold, causing the aloe to soften and turn brown. If your aloe plant is beginning to turn brown, place it in a pot that is approximately 1.5 inches larger on either side of the aloe plant. To avoid root rot and dark, mushy aloe plants, this aids in the potting soil drying up more quickly. (Read my article on the top aloe vera pots.)

Feel the dirt at the bottom of the pot via the drainage holes in the base to determine how frequently to water your aloe plants. Delay watering for a few days if the soil feels damp. This is the ideal time to water if the soil seems dry.

In order to prevent root rot, this frequency of watering effectively mimics the cycle of watering that occurs in the aloe plant’s native environment—a deluge of rainfall followed by a drought.

(To find out how frequently to water aloe plants throughout the year, read my post on how to water aloe vera.

Emptying saucers and trays is crucial because it stops water from adequately draining from collecting around the base of your aloe pot.

Your aloe has a chance to revive with the brown hue fading over the next weeks if you’ve allowed the soil to dry completely, decreased the frequency of watering, replenished the soil, and repotted your aloe.

It is essential to use a sharp, sterile pair of pruners to clip that specific portion of the aloe back to healthy growth if the soft, mushy, brown section of the plant gets larger.

Cutting away the aloe’s soft, dark, decaying part stops the rot from spreading.

In the days that follow, the wound that resulted should calluse over, at which point the aloe plant should start to recuperate. Aloe plants are more resilient than they are sometimes given credit for, and the easiest approach to improve your aloe’s chances of survival is frequently to remove any rotting areas of the plant.

plants with severe root rot in aloes

Take cuttings from healthy tissue for propagation if the aloe plant is becoming gradually more brown, soft, and mushy. This option can be used in conjunction with cutting the aloe’s way brown, mushy areas.

Aloe plants can be easily reproduced from leaf cuttings, which is a simple, affordable, and enjoyable way to save your aloe plants, especially if the brown soft mushy rot appears to be severe and spreading. Succulents frequently spread from leaves and offsets in their native environment to form a new plant.

Watch this instructive YouTube video to learn how to quickly and cheaply grow additional aloe plants from cuttings (as long as you propagate from any viable tissue that is still present):

Aloe Plant Turning Brown (Sun Burn)

  • Symptoms. The aloe’s leaves change color to a burned brown, yellow, or reddish hue without becoming mushy or soft in any way.
  • Causes. Under the summer, aloe plants can burn in direct sunlight. Aloe plants should be acclimated before being moved from partial shade to full sun to avoid developing dark leaves from sunburn.

Aloe plants may become brown for various reasons, including sunburn. Aloe plants can often withstand full sun, but if relocated abruptly from a mostly shaded and cool position to a full sun region without the chance to acclimate to a greater light intensity, the plant can become burnt and become brown.

The majority of aloe plants grown as indoor plants, like Aloe vera, are native to hot, arid climates in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula and thrive in sunny environments.

For optimal growth, aloe plants normally require at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.

To prevent sun-burnt, brown aloe plants, it is normally better to give them 6 hours of morning sun followed by an afternoon of shade if you reside in a region with exceptionally intense sunlight, like Arizona.

Aloe plants are extremely adaptive and can thrive in environments with lighting that falls short of ideal levels.

However, the aloe plant can turn a reddish brown color as a result of the abrupt contrast in light intensity when it is transferred to a sunny spot or possibly moved outside during the Summer from a more shaded region to intense direct sunshine all day.

Aloe plants benefit from more gradual exposure to direct sunshine so they can adjust to the higher intensity of light without becoming burnt brown.

How To Save a Aloe Turning Brown due to Sun Burn

The aloe does not change back to its former appearance after it has turned burned brown.

However, there are some recommended practices to be aware of that can stop additional harm as well as some fixes to enhance the aloe’s appearance.

  • Aloe plants should always be moved into full sun over the course of two weeks by progressively exposing them to more direct light. Over the course of two weeks, extend the time the aloe spends in the sun by 20 minutes each day to give it an opportunity to get used to the stronger levels of light. The potting soil may dry out much more quickly once they have adapted to more sun, so be careful to test the soil to see when it is dry and give the potting soil a good soak once the soil has dried out.
  • Move the aloe to a position with early sun followed by afternoon shade if it has gone brown from sunburn. Avoid fully depriving the aloe of sunlight as this can potentially lead to issues. The aloe should be revived in the morning because the sun is less powerful and the temperature is lower.
  • Although burnt aloe plants do not recover in appearance, they should still survive. Even while the aloe may not be in immediate danger, the sunburnt leaf or piece may dry out and fall off because it is unable to photosynthesize. Cut down any aloe that appears to be drying out so that it can resume healthy development, which can encourage more growth.

I would advise leaving the plant alone for a while to see if any new growth appears, and then cutting back any parts of the aloe plant that do not recover with a sharp, sterile pair of pruners, back to either healthy, undamaged grow or the base or wherever is practical. This is especially important if the majority of the aloe plant exhibits signs of sunburn to some extent.

If the rest of the plant cannot be spared, try to take a clipping from any viable tissue that is still there to reproduce…

Aloe Plant Turning Brown at the Base

  • Symptoms. Aloe plant leaves at the base are getting brown and crunchy.
  • Causes. Lack of water or sunlight can cause aloe plants’ leaves to turn brown at the base as a normal part of their life cycle.

Aloe leaves naturally turn brown and crispy as the plant ages, which is why the bases of the leaves start to turn brown. The aloe shifts energy away from supporting the older, lower leaves and toward encouraging new development higher up the plant, which causes the lower, greener leaves to dry up and turn brown.

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

As the plant gets bigger, the older leaves at the base of the aloe frequently become shaded out, which means they have less light available for photosynthesizing and consequently use more energy than they provide for the plant.

Aloe plants’ lower leaves typically become brown and crispy, and they can either fall off or be carefully taken away from the plant.

I advise waiting a few weeks if the brown leaves are still stubborn rather than applying force that might harm the plant.

The aloe plant is not receiving enough light if it is lanky (growing very tall and spindly) and the base leaves are fading and becoming brown.

Normally, aloe plants need six hours of direct sunshine per day. Aloe plants develop more quickly and sacrifice their lower leaves in shady locations in an effort to find more light, giving them a lanky appearance.

Underwatering is another potential cause.

Even though aloe plants are drought-tolerant, they nevertheless need a really good soak before watering so that excess water drips from the bottom of the pot (ensuring the water reaches the roots).

If you water an aloe plant too lightly, only the top inch or two of the soil gets moistened, and the water does not get to the roots, leaving the leaves dry and brown.

How to Save Aloe Plants with Brown Leaves at the Base

  • There is no cause for concern if the aloe plant’s base occasionally develops brown, crispy leaves. The lowest leaves of the aloe plant get crispy and brown as it grows. If there are any crispy, brown leaves at the base of the plant, simply remove them gently. Avoid forcing them off because doing so could harm the aloe unnecessarily.
  • The aloe requires extra light if it is lanky and the leaves are becoming brown. Over the course of two weeks, move your aloe plant to a more sunny area. Aloe plants should be moved to a sunny location for an additional 20 to 30 minutes each day until they have had time to adjust to the stronger light (otherwise they may scorch). The aloe should have adapted to the sunnier area without burning after around two weeks. Consider taking cuttings for propagation if the aloe is very lanky because aloe is a plant that spreads readily.
  • Always give aloe plants a deep bath when watering them. In order to ensure that the potting soil is evenly moist and that the water has permeated the soil, water aloe thoroughly until surplus water drips from the base of the pot. This avoids the stress caused by drought, which can result in dry, crunchy leaves. When the dirt at the bottom of the pot seems dry, water liberally. When the soil feels dry, check it through the drainage hole in the pot’s base. Then, thoroughly water the plant.

Aloe Turning Brown After Repotting

  • Symptoms. Brown and softening aloe leaves.
  • Causes. Root rot brought on by repotting aloe in too-wet potting soil, using pots without drainage holes, or by standing water at the pot’s base.

Aloe plants that have been replanted frequently do so because the soil absorbs too much moisture, which causes the plants to turn brown. Aloe plants need the soil to dry out between waterings because they are drought-tolerant. Too much moisture in the soil while planting causes root rot, which results in browned and pliable aloe leaves.

Aloe plants normally thrive in gravelly, well-draining soils that are very porous and do not retain much moisture during sparse rainfall.

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

Using regular potting soil (rather than soil made specifically for succulents and cacti) while repotting aloe plants is a common problem since it remains damp for too long for the aloe plant to endure.

As a result, the aloe plant becomes discolored and floppy and fosters the conditions for root rot.

Another frequent reason why repotting causes aloe plants to become brown is that the new container lacks drainage holes, which allows water to collect around the roots and lead to root rot.

Aloe plants do not tolerate constantly wet soil because they are suited to thrive in well-draining soil conditions.

Aloe pots with trays or saucers underneath them may collect extra water, which may make the aloe wilt and become brown.

How to Revive an Aloe Plant Turning Brown After Repotting

  • Restrict the irrigation. Any additional water will make the issue worse because aloe plants need the soil to dry out between watering sessions. Let the soil entirely dry after switching the potting soil for “succulent and cacti” dirt, then water the plants once more.
  • With “succulent and cacti” planting soil, repotte the aloe. Aloe plants and other succulents require soil that has been specially designed for them. The specifically prepared soil retains less moisture than regular potting soil and replicates the soil characteristics of the aloe plant’s original environment, including good drainage.
  • The aloe should be repotted in a pot with drainage holes in the base. Aloe plants should be kept in containers that are appropriate for their size (very large pots contain more soil and can hold too much moisture for aloe plants). Terracotta and unglazed ceramic pots are porous, allowing the soil to dry out more evenly. To prevent root rot, the pot’s base must include drainage holes that allow water to flow freely.
  • Regularly empty water trays and saucers. So that water can adequately drain from the pot and the soil can dry up between watering sessions, as soon as you see any water collecting around the plant’s base in a saucer or tray, empty it.

Depending on how long the aloe has been under stress from too much water, it may take some time for it to recover, but you should start to notice changes in the coming weeks.

The brown, mushy area should get smaller and the aloe can recover once the dirt has had a chance to dry up and the plant is in the proper soil.

In order to stop the rot from spreading further, prune the rotten portion of the aloe back to healthy growth or to the plant’s base if the brown, mushy area of the aloe grows larger.

In a few days, the wound ought to callus over, at which point the aloe can begin to heal.

If an aloe plant has been severely harmed by water stress and does not appear to be recovering, think about taking cuttings of stems or leaves for propagation from any healthy tissue.

Aloe Plant with Leaf Tips Turning Brown

  • Symptoms. The tops of aloe plants’ leaves turn crusty and brown. The leaf tips can occasionally become brown.
  • Causes. Underwatering, a rise in temperature, a fall in humidity, and an increase in light intensity.

Aloe plant leaf tips typically become brown due to rapid temperature increases, sunshine, a drop in humidity, and underwatering. Aloe plants can withstand high temperatures, direct sunlight, and low humidity; it is only when conditions abruptly change that the leaf tips turn brown.

Aloe plants typically thrive in our houses, which frequently have low humidity and high temperatures due to central heating. Aloe plants are adapted to living in dry, hot, and sunny regions.

Aloe plants, however, may adapt to their environment to some extent, even if the conditions are not ideal with less light, some humidity, and average temperatures that are beyond the aloe plant’s typical preferred range.

A sudden shift in weather might cause an aloe plant’s leaves to lose more moisture through transpiration than usual, resulting in brown tips.

The brown leaf tips are typically caused by a combination of an abrupt rise in temperature, intense sunlight, and low humidity, which can be made worse by underwatering.

This often occurs if the aloe plant has been moved indoors or outdoors for the summer or to a location with direct sunlight or close to an indoor heating source, both of which can quickly dry the soil and zap moisture from the air.

Browning leaf tips can also be brought on by an abrupt heat wave.

Aloe plants can withstand hot and dry weather, however they usually require some time to acclimate to new climatic circumstances rather than a quick transition.

The aloe leaves can also become thin and brown if they are not watered frequently enough or softly enough.

The aloe drains moisture reserves from its succulent leaves, causing the leaves to become pliable. Brown leaf tips signify drought stress. (Read my post on how to determine whether your aloe is waterlogged or overwatered.)

The good news is that once they have had a chance to adapt, aloe plants frequently recover from brown leaf tips, but there are a few recommended practices and treatments to be aware of.

How to Revive an Aloe Plant with Brown Leaf Tips

  • Soak the aloe thoroughly. Higher temperatures, greater sunlight, and lower humidity all increase a plant’s need for water, so you might need to water the aloe more frequently if the plant’s leaf tips are brown. Give the aloe plants a thorough bath until the surplus water trickles out of the pot’s bottom. By doing this, you can be confident that the moisture has gotten to the roots where it is needed. Feel the soil through the drainage holes at the base to determine when it has dried. Delay watering if the soil is still wet (to avoid root rot). Give the aloe a good soaking when the soil is dry.
  • Increase the aloe’s exposure to sunshine gradually. Give the aloe time to become used to the more intense light by moving it to a sunnier spot for 20 minutes longer each day for around two weeks. By doing this, you can stop the aloe from blistering and lessen the stress that causes the leaf tips to turn brown.
  • Aloe plants should be placed in areas with six hours of morning sun followed by afternoon shade in regions with a lot of sunshine. So, instead of having to endure higher temperatures throughout the midday and afternoon hours, the aloe may benefit from the sun’s rays while the weather is cooler.
  • To prevent brown tips, move the aloe away from any indoor heat sources. The aloe leaf tips can turn brown because indoor heat reduces humidity and can dry out the soil too rapidly.

Should I Cut the Brown Leaf Tips off my Aloe Plant?

Aloe plants shouldn’t often have their brown leaf tips cut off. The rapid contrast in circumstances, such as light and temperature, causes the brown leaf tips. The brown leaf tips of aloe plants frequently turn green again when the plant has adjusted to the new surroundings.

The leaf tips frequently turn green once more on their own without having to be removed if any issues or harmful elements of the aloe’s surroundings have been handled.

The restoration of the leaf tips to their original appearance should take many weeks, assuming suitable conditions. Also worth noticing is that dark leaf tips usually recover more quickly during active growth and considerably more slowly during dormancy (due to low light levels in Winter).

If the temperatures are exceptionally hot, aloe plants may go into dormancy as well. Aloe frequently stops growing in order to save moisture.

Sharp, sterile pruners can be used to immediately improve the aloe plant’s appearance while not necessarily harming the plant by pruning back its brown tips.

If the leaf tips are brown and mushy, overwatering is likely to be the cause. In this situation, use a clean, sharp pair of pruners to remove the leaf and encourage healthy growth.

(Read the article Why is my aloe plant dying to learn more about ways to save aloe plants.)

Key Takeaways:

  • Due to overwatering and inadequate drainage, aloe plants become discolored and floppy. Aloe plants require the soil to completely dry out in between waterings. Consistently moist soil encourages root rot and fungal disease, which causes the aloe leaves to turn brown and become mushy.
  • The bright sunshine can cause aloe plants to turn brown. Aloe plants may frequently grow in full sun, but they take some time to acclimate to the increased intensity of light. Aloe leaves can become a reddish brown if a plant is abruptly relocated from dim light to full sun without enough time to acclimate.
  • As the plant ages, the base of aloe leaves gradually turns brown and crunchy. This is a typical occurrence and does not mean the plant is passing away. Sometimes, underwatering or a lack of light might cause the base leaves to become brown.
  • Aloe plants that have been replanted frequently do so because the new soil has too much moisture for the plants to tolerate, which causes the plants to turn brown. The soil must be completely dry between waterings for aloe plants. The aloe plant’s leaves decay from the roots up if the potting soil is left wet.
  • A abrupt change in light, temperature, humidity, or submersion can all cause aloe plant leaves to become brown at the tips. Aloe leaf tips turn brown in response to a sudden shift in weather, such as when an aloe plant is moved into full sun, the temperature suddenly rises, or the humidity suddenly drops. The browning of aloe leaf tips can also result from underwatering.
  • Using a sterile set of pruners, clip the damaged leaf back to healthy growth on an aloe with brown, squishy leaves to stop the brown rot from spreading. Reduce watering and let the soil dry out in between applications to improve the likelihood of the aloe reviving.


How do you fix an aloe plant that turns brown?

Overwatering is indicated by a brown aloe that is withering. A plant that has discolored, puckering leaves is also too dry. The aloe vera plant’s leaves, which reveal how hydrated it is, must always be glossy green. Repotting the plant in a substrate that is well-drained and inspecting the roots for rot before replanting is the solution.

How do you fix an overwatered aloe plant?

Replace the potting soil with a gritty, well-draining mix, remove any leaves that are going brown or yellow, and trim back any roots that are too long. Then, wait until the soil is totally dry before watering the aloe plant again.

Should I cut off Brown aloe vera leaves?

You can remove the browning tips of your aloe vera plant without causing any damage to the plant. It won’t hurt your plant to leave the brown tips on if dryness is the problem. If they have a fungal infection, you should get rid of them.

Can brown aloe vera turn green again?

Take the plant out of the direct sun’s path. Set up the plant indoors. It will eventually regain its typical green color. To prevent overwatering and the aloe plant turning brown once more, water the aloe vera plant once every twenty days.

What does an overwatered aloe plant look like?

Overwatering of an aloe plant causes the leaves to become yellow or brown, become soft and mushy, and appear to be drooping. The roots decay and die back, appearing brown and emitting a foul odor. Native to the Arabian Peninsula, aloe plants thrive in poorly drained, rocky soils with infrequent rainfall.