Aloe vera is valued for its medicinal properties and is popular as an indoor plant. How annoying it must be when the leaves suddenly turn brown. What are the causes? What can be done to help? We talk about it below.
This page contains affiliate links, and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases which means we receive a small commission when you make a purchase, at zero cost to you.
Why is My Aloe Plant Turning Brown?
Aloe vera is considered a very robust plant. The evergreen houseplant with the thick-fleshed leaves arranged in rosettes belongs to the succulents family. More than 250 different species are mainly found in the tropics and subtropics. The popular plant, also known as real aloe, is not hardy. This means that it can only be cultivated as a container plant or houseplant. Brown discoloration on the leaves of the aloe vera often indicate care errors.
There are 8 possible reasons why aloe plants turn brown:
1. Pot is too small
Too small a flower pot can cause the leaves to turn brown. You should repot the aloe vera every two to three years. It forms offsets and grows quickly beyond the edge of the pot. In the course of repotting, you can multiply the houseplant right away.
2. Stress reaction after repotting
Repotting is a strain for many plants. It will need some time to get used to the new conditions. This stress can show up on brown leaves.
How to repot:
- Take aloe out of the old flower pot to repot
- Loosen the roots
- Carefully remove the old soil from the roots
- Remove dead leaves and plant parts
- Pour well-draining and special succulent soil into the pot
- Insert the plant as deep as before in the new pot
- Let stand for a few days
- Cut surfaces can dry and heal
- Water after a week
In most cases, the aloe plant will recover quickly after moving to a new flower pot.
Succulents like aloe vera can store moisture in the thick leaves and tolerate a lack of water well. In their tropical home they are exposed to heat and drought for weeks. They are sensitive to excessive amounts of water. If the aloe leaves become mushy and brown, this can be a sign of too much moisture.
What to do:
- Remove dead, rotten leaves with a clean, sharp knife
- Take the plant out of the pot
- Check the roots
- Remove rotting roots
- Let the cut surfaces dry well
- Plant again after five days
- Mix some sand under the soil
- Water sparingly after a week
With a little luck, the plant will recover. To learn more on how to save an aloe plant, read this article.
Do not water the aloe until the soil is really dry. During the growing season it only needs a moderate supply of moisture. In the winter dormancy it only needs to be protected from severe dehydration. Too much moisture or waterlogging must be avoided at all costs.
If the leaves of your aloe look green and healthy, and only the tips of the leaves are dry, a lack of moisture may be the reason. Water a little more, and the plant will recover quickly.
Always water the plant in the root area, never on the leaf surfaces or in the middle of the rosette!
5. Too cold
The African plant with the decorative green rosettes prefers a warm location. It can also move outdoors as a container plant in summer. It does not tolerate low temperatures or even frost. The aloe reacts with brown discoloration of the leaves.
What to do:
Move the aloe plant to a sheltered, warmer place.
6. Too dark
The aloe needs sunlight. Even in winter the evergreen plants need a bright location. If it is too dark, the leaves will turn brown.
7. Too much sun
Not only too much or too little water, too much sun can damage the evergreen houseplant. Aloe vera generally loves a bright, sunny location. They cannot tolerate direct sunlight, which is intensified by the window pane. The leaf surfaces then turn reddish brown and the leaf tips dry up. If you notice these changes, move the plant to a bright or partially shaded spot out of direct sunlight.
Young aloe plants are more sensitive than adults. They need to be gradually accustomed to a sunny spot.
8. Nutrition deficiency
Succulents like aloe vera are sensitive to nutritional deficiencies. Brown spots on the leaf surfaces are typical signs of the deficiency. Repotting every two to three years already contributes to a good supply of nutrients. Succulent fertilizer given exactly according to the package instructions support the development of the plant. If you notice brown spots, fertilize the plant.