Does your aloe vera plant seem mushy and soft? You may have been faithfully watering your aloe vera plant near the window, giving it the care it needs (or so you thought), but why does your aloe vera plant seem like it’s dying? Why does it seem so squishy?
Your aloe vera plant may be soft and mushy due to overwatering. Aloe vera plants are easy to overwater. Sometimes, this is due to not having drainage holes in your plant’s pot. To help get your aloe vera plant back to life, let it dry out a little. Also, make sure it is getting enough light.
Why Your Aloe Vera Plant Is Mushy and Dying
The aloe vera plant contains the gel that is used in sunburn relief ointments. When an aloe vera plant receives too much water, the leaves become saturated. Eventually, the entire plant can turn into mush.
If the plant continues to be overwatered, it may eventually die. This is because the roots will rot. If it seems as if your aloe vera plant is getting mushy, it is important to stop over watering it.
Aloe vera plants are succulents. All succulents run the risk of being overwatered. You may not have known that aloe vera plants absorb a lot of moisture from the humidity in the surrounding air. As such, giving your plant too much water can easily cause it to get mushy.
How to Treat Your Mushy Aloe Vera
Dry Out Your Mushy Plant
If your plant seems soft and mushy, you should take it out of the pot and allow it to dry out for a few days. When you do put it back in the pot, start watering it less often. You may be worried that your plant is not getting enough water, but there is a bigger risk of overwatering it.
In general, according to Joy Us Garden, you should be watering your aloe vera when it is ¾ of the way dry. In the summer, this will usually be every two to four weeks. It may be even longer in the winter.
Like all plants, it needs water to survive, but in between waterings, the plant will start looking for moisture, which can trigger root growth. Watering it before it is ¾ of the way dry can cause your plant to get soft and mushy. If in doubt, wait a little longer until the soil is completely dry before watering it again.
Use the Right Pot
Not all pots are created equal. Pots that are made of porous material, like terracotta, will help the soil drain out. On the other hand, plastic pots will cause the soil to retain more moisture. Another material that you should avoid using is glass, as it will not allow the water to drain out. It may look cool, but it won’t look so cool when your aloe vera plant is all soggy and mushy!
It is important to use a pot that has drainage holes, especially if you are using a plastic pot or a pot made of another non-porous material. This will allow excess water to escape the pot, leaving your aloe vera plant dry. Too much excess water will cause the plant to rot.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the pot should be as wide as it is deep. However, if your aloe vera plant has a stem, you need to make sure the pot you use is deep enough for the stem.
It is important to note that adding a layer of pebbles or rocks under the soil where your plant is growing is not enough. This is because the water will not actually drain out from the soil right away, according to Better Homes and Gardens.
Instead, the water will actually wait until the soil is saturated before seeping out. While the soil is saturated, your plant may start rotting. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the layer of pebbles will just take up space that could have been used for the soil.
When repotting your plant, it is important to first dry out the pot entirely. Then, make sure not to water your plant for the first week or so. However, you should not be repotting your aloe vera plant often, as it can be hard for your plant to adjust to its new surroundings.
Use the Right Soil
Using the right soil is important too. The right soil for aloe vera is one that will give the plant enough time to absorb the water it needs but will still dry it quickly, according to Succulents and Sunshine. Soil that has larger particles is better as it will help the water drain out so that the aloe vera plant does not end up sitting in wet soil.
You can use pine bark or crushed granite or mix them together. According to Succulents and Sunshine, particles should be around ¼” in size.
You can also buy a soil mix from Amazon that is designed specifically for succulents like the aloe vera plant. For example, this Wonder Soil mix is quick to drain but helps prevent drought at the same time. It expands up to four times when water is mixed in, and you can get it in a 3lb (1.36 kg) or 6lb (2.72 kg) bag.
Another option is this hand-blended Aloe Vera Soil Blend. It will help your aloe vera plant grow faster; aloe vera plants often take their time to grow, which can be frustrating.
It is important to make sure to use the right soil, depending on whether your aloe vera plant is indoors or outdoors. A lot depends on the climate you are in as well.
If you are having problems with your aloe vera plant, try using a different soil. The kind of soil you use plays a much larger role than most people think in the growth of your plant, so try switching up the soil. A potting mix is generally better than actual soil, as it will help the water drain out.
Give It Enough Light
Finally, your aloe vera plant needs light to thrive. A combination of a lack of light and too much watering can lead to mushy, soggy, and soft aloe vera leaves. If your plant is indoors, place it near a window where sunlight can get through a glass pane. If you do not have a window, you can also substitute natural light for artificial light, but natural light is generally better.
You can bring your plant outdoors when the weather is warm. However, if the nights get cold, bring your plant back indoors. Bringing it outdoors during the summer can help it absorb the water it needs from the humid air and allow it to get the light it needs.
So if your aloe vera plant is mushy, you probably have been giving it too much water. Start watering it less often by only soaking the soil with water and not watering the leaves, and letting the soil dry before watering it again.
Also, if you are using a plastic or glass pot with no drainage holes, switch to a new pot as soon as possible. Finally, you may want to consider using a soil mix that will drain water easily.