Aloe vera is a popular indoor plant. They are beautiful to look at and they contain antioxidant and antibacterial properties that help to treat wounds. They are simple to care for, however, browning leaves on an aloe plant is a pretty common issue to run into. Plant owners are frequently confused about why they cannot keep their aloe vera looking green. Thankfully, the reasons for this can be easily fixed.
An aloe vera plant is turning brown because it is receiving incorrect moisture levels and amounts of sunlight. Extreme watering and sunlight can result in brown foliage. Aloe plants require adequate watering and indirect sunlight. To restore the plant, remove the dead leaves and repot the aloe vera.
Keeping an aloe plant at the correct levels of moisture and amount of sunlight is extremely important. However, sometimes mistakes are made and your plant gets damaged despite your best efforts. If you want to discover why your aloe vera plant is turning brown and how you can fix it, then keep reading below!
- Why is Your Aloe Vera Brown?
- How to Fix Browning
- How to Prevent Browning
Why is Your Aloe Vera Brown?
An aloe vera plant turning brown is a common issue. The most common reason why there is browning is because the moisture levels and the amount of sunlight it is receiving are incorrect. Aloe plants need appropriate watering and indirect sunlight. Too much or too little moisture and sunlight can cause grave harm to the plant.
Incorrect moisture levels
The first reason your aloe vera plant is brown is probably because of incorrect moisture levels. This can be a result of incorrect watering or potting. Although aloe plants are very easy to water, many owners confuse this with being able to water them whenever they want. This can result in over or underwatering, which are equally as dangerous. Watering aloe vera too much or too little can be harmful, and these issues should be avoided at all costs.
Aloe vera plants prefer to be in dry soil, however, this does not mean it never needs to be watered. In general, aloe plants should be watered once every two weeks. These plants can handle not being watered for a few weeks occasionally, but this should not be a regular practice. When aloe plants are in need of water, they will begin to wither, pucker, and turn brown.
Depending on the weather, an aloe plant can handle being watered more or less frequently than every two weeks. If the plant is kept outside during the winter, then there is a possibility you will never have to water it, or you may just need to sparingly. During the summer, your aloe vera may dry out more quickly and you will need to water it more often.
Drowning an aloe vera plant is unfortunately common. This can be due to improper drainage or overwatering. Both of these issues are common and can be avoided very easily.
When purchasing a pot for your aloe vera, ensure it has a hole for drainage. This will eliminate the possibility of having too much water sitting at the bottom of the pot.
Do not water the plant unless you notice the soil is dried out. If there is still moisture in the soil, then no more water is needed. Browning is extremely common when owners overwater their aloe vera, and it can even result in the plant dying. When there is too much moisture in the plant, drooping, darkening, and browning are common.
The second reason your aloe vera may be brown is because it is receiving incorrect levels of sunlight. Too much direct sunlight or shade can result in the aloe plant turning brown. Many owners are surprised to discover that aloe vera leaves can actually sunburn. The liquid in their leaves makes them susceptible to burns, and this can be deathly for the plant.
A sunburned aloe plant can occur even if it is being kept indoors. Keeping an aloe plant near a window where the sun is directly shining on it can result in burned foliage. Becoming burned is very common if an aloe plant suddenly goes from shade to light. You will want to slowly increase your plant’s sun exposure, rather than subjecting it to ample light all at once.
Providing your aloe plant with insufficient light can also result in browning. You should never place your healthy aloe vera in complete shade, as it needs light to survive. You will quickly notice the difference in your plant if it is in the shade, and you will want to fix this immediately. While some shade is not going to permanently damage your plant, you will want to be careful to ensure it is receiving sunlight.
Some locations cannot provide enough light for aloe vera. If this is the case, then consider purchasing artificial grow lights. This will be a great supplement for sunlight and it will protect your plant from browning.
How to Fix Browning
An aloe vera plant is very strong and can live even after sustaining damage. Even if it is turning brown and appears to be beyond repair, the chances are it can still survive. By eliminating the issues that are causing the browning, your aloe plant will return to its natural state. By following the instructions below, your plant will thrive and survive.
Fixing incorrect moisture levels
When the cause of brown foliage is overwatering, you will need to re-pot the aloe vera. When removing the aloe from the pot, you will want to check for rot. It is extremely common for aloe vera plants to begin rotting at the roots. If there is rot, trim away the sections that are rotting.
Do not water it for at least one week after repotting. After repotting the plant, ensure you do not once again overwater it. When you begin watering it again, do not allow the water to touch the leaves. Check daily on your plant and make sure it is regaining its natural green color.
When the damage is caused by underwatering, the only way to restore the plant is by watering it more often. Do not drown the plant just because it is underwatered, as this will result in even more harm. Simply start to water the plant regularly, and stick to a schedule.
Fixing incorrect sunlight
Your aloe vera may be turning brown due to too much sunlight. If this is the case, then you will want to remove it from its current location. Move it to a place with no direct sunlight. After it has been placed in a new location, water the plant sufficiently.
To help your sunburned aloe vera, you will want to remove the dead leaves. These leaves are taking away valuable nutrients that the surviving foliage needs. To do this, use a knife or a pair of shears to cut near the root.
In extreme cases, you may need to re-pot the plant. If repotting still does not restore the aloe vera, then you may need to purchase a new plant.
If the aloe vera is turning brown due to a lack of sunlight, then you will want to place it in an area with more sun. However, be careful that it does not receive too much light too suddenly. This can result in severe sunburns which can cause even more damage. When placing your aloe plant in sunlight, ensure it is done gradually.
How to Prevent Browning
If you previously had an aloe plant that turned brown and it was incapable of restoration, then you may be worried about the same thing happening to your next one. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent an aloe plant from ever turning brown.
To prevent an aloe plant from turning brown, do your research to find out how to care for an aloe plant. Without the proper knowledge, you will make mistakes that could have otherwise been avoided. By knowing what should and should not be done, you can be sure that your plant is happy and healthy.
Caring for an aloe vera plant is very simple. Plant owners enjoy aloe vera because it is so easy to take care of, and it can be kept indoors. If you do not want to risk the possibility of your aloe vera turning brown, then it is necessary to know how to care for it. By following the steps below, you will discover exactly how to care for an aloe plant.
Choose the right container for the aloe vera
The first step in properly caring for an aloe vera plant is to choose the right container. Choosing the right container is a pivotal aspect of the planting process. The pot lays the groundwork for the rest of the plant’s life. Plant aloe vera in a terracotta pot. Terracotta pots are made of baked clay and are perfect for succulents, as they enjoy drier soils. The walls of these pots allow the soil to dry more quickly, making it a great option for aloe vera plants.
There is a common misconception that terracotta pots are bad for plants. This is due to many people purchasing this pot for all their plants, as they are easy to find and inexpensive. However, these pots cannot be used for every plant, as plants that need moist soil will not be able to survive. Thankfully, aloe vera plants thrive in dry soil, which is promoted by the terracotta pot.
When picking your terracotta pot, find one with at least one hole for drainage. Aloe vera plants are susceptible to wilting and rotting, which is caused by too much moisture. If you wish to maximize your plant’s lifespan, ensure that the pot has a hole dedicated to drainage.
After you have picked your pot, wash it thoroughly. Once it is clean, you are ready to begin the next steps for caring for your aloe plant.
Soil for the aloe vera
The second step is to choose the correct soil. Aloe vera plants need a particular soil in order to survive. To be safe, it is suggested to use soil that is specifically made for cacti and succulents. In addition, sandy soils with a neutral pH can also be used. Gardening soil should not be used for these plants.
Planting the aloe vera
The third step is to plant the aloe vera. To do so, place some potting mix into the pot, and then place the aloe vera into the pot. Put more soil into the pot, leaving less than an inch of space between the top of the soil and the top of the pot.
Watering the aloe vera
The fourth step is watering the aloe vera. Aloe vera plants are not finicky when it comes to watering, and can survive even in drought. They are easy maintenance and do not require much of their owners. Aloe plants do not need frequent watering and prefer it if they do not receive it. Although they should not be subject to constant drought, they can handle it once in a while.
During warmer months, an aloe vera plant should be watered once every two weeks. In colder, rainier seasons, the plant needs to be watered far less. You can determine when your plant needs to be watered by testing the soil. If the soil is completely dry, then the aloe can handle to be watered again.
When you first pot your aloe vera plant, do not water it right away. Wait a least one week to begin watering it. Watering it right away reduces the likelihood of it producing new roots, and makes it more susceptible to rotting.
Type of sunlight for the aloe vera
The fifth step to care for your aloe vera plant is to provide the proper amount of sunlight for it. Aloe plants need bright, indirect sunlight. Too much or too little light should be avoided.
Direct sunlight can burn its foliage, which can result in permanent damage. Too much shade can also be harmful to the plant. Aloe vera naturally seeks light, and it will grow towards the nearest source of light, which will cause it to warp a bit and damage its leaves and overall appearance.