How to Keep Your Aloe Vera From Breaking

Aloe in Terracotta Pot

It’s frustrating to see your aloe vera plant break or droop. Fortunately, however, you can prevent this from happening by giving your aloe vera plant the proper care. 

To keep your aloe vera plant from breaking, make sure not to overwater it. Additionally, make sure that it gets enough sunlight and is not left out in the cold. Put it in a new pot if its current pot is shallow or does not have a drainage hole. You can replant broken leaves after letting them dry. 

In this article, we will discuss why aloe vera plants break and how you can care for it so that this doesn’t happen to your plant.

Don’t Overwater It

Perhaps the most common reason why aloe vera plants end up breaking is overwatering it. Too much water will make your aloe vera soft and vulnerable. Aloe vera plants suck in water from the air’s humidity, so watering it often can lead to overwatering.

When an aloe vera plant is overwatered, its branches and leaves will get saturated with moisture. They will start getting soft, mushy, and droopy. Eventually, they will break off and fall. 

How much is too much? A good rule of thumb is to wait until the soil dries out before watering it again. By waiting until this happens, you will ensure that your aloe vera plant only gets the water it needs. You should only water the soil and not on the leaves and branches because they suck in humidity. 

Another thing you can do to prevent overwatering is getting a pot with a drainage hole. This will ensure that excess water drains out instead of soaking in the soil, which leads to aloe vera root rot and causes the branches to break off. You can also consider using a pot that is made from porous material instead of plastic or glass. 

If you overwatered your plant, here’s a great video that shows how you can save it: 

Keep Your Aloe Vera at the Right Temperature

Another reason why your aloe vera plant leaves are falling and maybe dying is because of the cold. The ideal temperature range for an aloe vera plant is between 55°F (12.78°C) to 80°F (26.67°C). 

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Most homes have the right temperature for an aloe vera plant. However, problems may arise when you bring your aloe vera plant outside. Leaving it out for too long when it is less than 55°F (12.78 °C) can ruin it. Therefore, you have to bring it in during the evening if it gets cold. 

Aloe in Terracotta Pot 3

Give Your Aloe Vera Enough Sunlight

Another way to prevent your aloe vera plant from breaking is by giving it the sunlight it needs. Your plant should have around six hours of direct sunlight daily. 

When an aloe vera plant does not get enough sunlight, the leaves can become weak and brittle, causing them to break and fall off. To prevent this from happening, bring your aloe vera plant outside if you cannot place it directly in front of a window where sunlight comes in. Remember to bring your aloe vera plant back inside at night if it is too cold. 

Change the Pot of Your Aloe Vera

Your aloe vera should be in a container that is equally deep and wide. Otherwise, the roots will not grow. If your aloe vera plant is in a shallow container, its roots cannot spread, causing it to droop and make its leaves fall off. Changing and putting it in a new container can help. 

Treat Your Aloe Vera With Fungicide

If you end up overwatering your plant, the roots may develop fungus. This can cause the plant to weaken and eventually make the branches break off. Treat the plant with a fungicide once there is any presence of fungi. Also, check out our article on controlling fungus with essential oils.

Aloe in Terracotta Pot 4

Stop Repotting Your Aloe Vera So Often

Lastly, another reason an aloe vera plant might break is due to shock to its system. This occurs when it is repotted. When the plant is transferred to a new living environment with new soil and conditions, it may experience shock while trying to adapt. This can lead to the plant dying and the leaves breaking off. 

Only repot your plant when necessary. For example, if the pot is too shallow or the pot does not have a drainage hole, it causes the plant to get overwatered. 

What to Do if Your Aloe Vera Is Breaking

So, what do you do if your aloe vera plant starts breaking? Should you cut off the leaves that are broken? Should you throw those leaves away? 

Cut Off the Broken Parts

If a leaf is breaking off, you can cut it off to make way for potential new growth. Do not throw away the leaves, because you can use them to grow a new plant. However, do not immediately put them in soil. When you put aloe vera leaves that broke off in soil, they will end up rotting. 

Instead, let them sit for a few days after breaking off or cutting them. This will allow the leaves to harden on the outside. The broken area will develop a callus. Once it reaches this point, you can plant them in new soil. 

How long should you wait? A few days is best, but if you are unable to wait that long, at least wait a few hours.

It is best to plant an entire branch of at least a full-grown leaf, as these have better chances of growing into a new plant. 

Plant the Leaf

Next, plant the leaf with the bottom side down. You should use cactus soil or soil that is made for succulents. The soil needs to drain easily so that the baby aloe vera plant does not get overwatered. The leaf should be placed around one-third of the way into the soil. 

It is also important to choose the right pot to plant the leaf in. The pot should be around four inches in diameter so that there is enough room for the baby plant to grow. 

Water and Fertilize the Plant

When first placing the aloe leaf in soil, it’s best to wait a few days before you begin watering it. We already mentioned that aloe vera plants do not need a lot of water and a single leaf that you are trying to grow into a new plant needs less water. As such, keep the soil moist but do not overwater it. Additionally, make sure that the new plant gets enough sunlight. 

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Also, make sure to fertilize the baby aloe plant so that it gets the nutrients it needs. However, make sure to use a water-based fertilizer and dilute it to half-strength, as aloe plants can not handle too much fertilizer. 

Have Patience

It takes a long time for an aloe vera plant to grow roots, branches, and leaves, so you have to be patient after planting the leaf. It can take a few months, especially during winter, wherein the weather is cold, and the plant cannot get a lot of sunlight. 

Final Thoughts

An aloe vera that is given the proper care will not break. However, many people who own aloe vera plants are not aware that it can easily be overwatered. In addition to this, not everyone knows that the plant needs sufficient sunlight, and leaving it out in the cold can cause it to die.

By being aware of this and properly caring for your plant, you can prevent it from breaking. If your plant does break, you can use the broken branches or leaves to grow a new one.

18 thoughts on “How to Keep Your Aloe Vera From Breaking”

  1. First u say to water & fertilize a newly planted aloe leaf cutting. Then u change & say wait to water fertilize a newly planted aloe leaf cutting. Which is it?

    1. Thanks for your question! I see how I worded that section so it made it confusing. I think I have made it more clear now. Basically, wait a few days before you water the aloe leaf after you place it in soil. When you do start to water make sure you don’t over water. The cutting requires even less water than a whole plant does. Hope this helps!

    2. Hi Bill
      I reported my aloevera plant and now root has died and some of leaves died. I want to replant leaves. Will it grow? I appreciate your help.

      1. I would take your healthiest looking leaves, trim the ends, let the ends callus over for a few days then plant in soil, callus side down. It will take some time for the leaves to root and some will probably not survive but if you are lucky, you will have a few that will root. Hope this helps!

  2. Christy D. Livingston

    My mother aloe plant itself is breaking. What do I do? Do I cut it, let the end form a callous then replant? Please help.

    1. You could try cutting the broken leaves off and yes, let them callous as I describe above. Then plant them and they should root.

      You said the “plant itself is breaking” That makes me think that it’s a little more than just a damaged leaf.

      If it’s the whole plant breaking from the roots, you can cut it clean, let it callous over, place it in a nice, well draining soil and hopefully it will take root. As for the remaining root from the broken plant, keep watering it about every 10 days or so and it should grow back also.

    1. If your aloe has already broke, you might be able to take the broken leaves and propagate them. You can trim the ends of the leaves, let callus over for a few days, place them in the soil, water and hopefully, soon you will have some of the leaves to root. Good luck!

  3. Hello. My aloe leaves just seem top heavy only a couple have broken. I took your info and I’m going to try replanting. But what can I do for the top heaviness? I have a beautiful plant. It’s tall but some are leaning a lot and look like they too soon will bend to the breakage point soon. Thanks

    1. Hi Krista,

      I think if you repot you might also need to brace up the dropping leaves. Use 4 wooden rods and some string to do this. Pull up your leaves as best you can and stick the rods in the soil, around your plant. Wrap string around each rod and on to the next rod until you get all the way around. Repeat this step a little bit up the rods. Continue this step until you have created a support structure that will help keep your leaves from breaking while it stabilizes in its new pot.

    1. Hi Eileen, yes you can freeze the broken aloe leaves to use later. Place them in a freezer bag then store in freezer and they should be good for about 7 to 8 months.

  4. Hi, thanks for all the good advice! My question: If the leaf that has broken off leaves a two or three inch piece of the leaf still attached to the “mother” plant, do I cut that off? Or just leave it?
    Thank you for your help.

    1. Hi Janet, It’s perfectly fine to leave the broken leaf on the plant. It will heal up in short time. You could clean up the broken part with a sharp, clean knife to make it look a bit tidier but its not necessary.

    2. Ive had an aloe for well over 10 years.. I just found a dropped leaf this morning.. Do they do this randomly maybe out of age?? It was a bottom stem & looks healthy as could be but its callused at the very tip. Is this a sign needs help??

  5. Michelle Richee

    Shalom. I’ve tried propogating broken leaves a dozen times. They never root. I end up throwing them away. I can’t believe I read “it is so easy to grow aloe.” It is not. I will continue trying. I am also learning to propogate Dracena cuttings. So far I’ve only had to throw out one stick that turned to mush. Blessings — Michelle

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