Aloe plant turning brown is a serious problem for several reasons: overwatering, drought stress, improper lighting conditions, environmental stresses, transplant shock, and fungal infections. But don’t worry; following specific measures can easily fix these causes.

Aloe Plant Turning Brown

Continue reading to find out how to stop an aloe plant’s discoloration without any hassle.

What Are the Causes of an Aloe Plant Turning Brown?

The causes and an aloe plant turning brown are when you don’t add water appropriately or there is environmental stress. If you grow in areas where they get more or less light than required, then discoloration will happen. Fungal infections can also cause the browning of aloe vera.

– Adding More Water Than Needed

Aloe vera plants are succulents, which means they don’t need much water to stay healthy. Still, some gardeners end up overwatering them, which causes many complications, including discoloration.

When you add water frequently, the soil will stay extra moist, which is never desirable when growing a succulent. In addition, the excess water around the roots can restrict air passage. As a result, oxygen stress will occur. It can impact root performance, so understandably, the plant will become weak with yellow patches.

In addition, fungi and some pathogens love the wet environment. So, adding more water will allow them to get stronger, which will ultimately harm the plants. That is why you should never overwater succulents like aloe plants.

– Drought Stress

Some people intentionally don’t add water for weeks to prevent overwatering conditions. That could be a better approach. An Aloe plant can also turn brown if you let the potting soil stay dry for a long period.

Indeed, an aloe vera plant does not need much water to keep its colors. Still, water is crucial as this plant’s important functions depend on it. It uses water to do photosynthesis, transpiration, evaporation, and almost every internal process. So, when you don’t add it, these processes will not occur.

First, you will see brown marks or spots on the plant. With time, these Aloe vera brown spots can spread with time, and the whole plant will look weak. The gel in such affected plants can also dry up if you don’t add water.

– Light Stress

Aloe plants love light. They like to receive six hours of bright and indirect sunlight daily to maintain their natural colors. This light is used for photosynthesis, with which a plant generates food and energy. So, leaves turn yellow when the intensity is low or falls for less than six hours.

The reason is that light stress means less food/energy in plants. First, the base of the plants will change its color to yellow. With time, the discoloration will spread. This yellowing will become brown, making the plants look fragile and sick.

Sometimes, we are growing plants in the right spot where they can get optimal light. But we need to place pots closer to each other. When you do this, the taller plants will shade the shorter ones. As a result, light stress occurs, which can lead to browning.

– Sun Shock

There is no denying that Aloe vera plants like to be grown in a well-lighted area. But they can still withstand excessive and high-intensity light. Aloe plants can only tolerate light for eight hours maximum.

Sunburn will occur if you grow this plant in an area where bright light falls for more than eight hours. The cells and even tissues get damaged, and such an area loses its green color.

Furthermore, moisture will evaporate from the Aloe leaves when the light intensity is high. This will cause water stress in the plant, causing discoloration. Generally, the sunburn effect is visible on the leaf tips. It is because they are more exposed to the sun than the base. So, if it is a sunny day and tips have started to become brown, chances are the aloe plant is facing sun shock.

– Temperature Damages

Aloe vera plants can withstand sudden temperature fluctuations to some extent. But if the weather stays unsuitable for them for more than a few days, problems will arise, and one of them is big brown patches.

An aloe plant likes the temperature to be between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If the aloe vera turns brown and the temperature is above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, it is facing heat stress. In this situation, excessive heat forces the plants to speed up evaporation.

Causes of Aloe Plant Turning Brown

When this happens, more moisture leaves the surface area than roots can absorb. As a result, a shortage of water happens, which stops all the physiological functions. The problem gets worse as the soil dries up quickly in heat stress.

Like high temperatures, you can also see a brown leaf on Aloe due to cold stress. Aloe vera is native to hot climates, so it naturally hates winter. When the temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, the internal processes will start to slow down, causing discoloration.

If the internal temperature goes lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the moisture in the plants will freeze up, which can even lead to plant death.

– Poor Soil

When you see brown and yellow leaves, then chances are the main culprit is inferior soil. For healthier plants with true colors, it is super important the soil stays suitable throughout the year.

The problem that causes the most trouble is high salts. These salts usually pile up around the root hairs, which are absorbed in large quantities. This causes salt toxicity within plants, which impacts photosynthesis.

Similarly, poor drainage also makes the soil bad. It is because such soil does not let the extra water seep through. Therefore, waterlogging will happen, which promotes fungal growth and depletes oxygen near the roots.

In addition, an imbalance of pH, pathogens, toxic elements, and clumps also make soil poor.

– Repotting Aftershocks

When you see aloe vera turning brown after repotting, the plant faces the aftermath of transplanting. This condition is commonly known as transplant shock among plant experts and gardeners.

When you transplant aloe plants, the roots find a strange new environment. So, they usually take some time to get acclimatized. In doing so, the absorption of water and minerals slows down temporarily. This causes brown spots to appear, and plants can also look weak.

– Inaccurate Fertilization

An Aloe plant does not need lots of fertilization doses to grow smoothly. Once-a-month nutrient application is enough for this plant to thrive. But if you skip this, then nutrient deficiency will occur.

Just like water, nutrients or minerals are critical for internal processes. So, when a plant lacks them, you will see brown tips. If you still don’t apply fertilizers, the whole leaf will change its color to brown.

Moreover, aloe vera plants are also sensitive to nutrient toxicity. It happens when you add lots of nutrient doses. When you enrich the soil with fertilizers, it changes its pH. Aloe plants like a pH between 7.0-8.5.

Over-applying fertilizers can decrease this pH, causing more trouble. An imbalance of pH locks the nutrients in the soil, which roots cannot uptake. As a result, plants will still face nutrient deficiency even if you apply more fertilizers.

– Insect Damage

Insect infestation can also lead to brown leaves. The common ones on aloe vera are mealybugs, scale insects, and aphids. These insects suck all the juice within the leaves, causing brown marks.

However, insect infestation is rare as most don’t like feeding on aloe vera.

– Physical Trauma

Succulents can also turn brown if they get physically damaged. Generally, it happens during the relocation and repotting processes. In addition, they can also get damaged due to strong winds and heavy rains.

Furthermore, careless pruning can cause discoloration as well. When the reason for brown patches is physical damage, you can’t do anything except wait for plants to recover naturally on their own.

– Fungal Attacks

Why is my aloe plant turning brown and soft? If you have this question, the answer is fungal diseases. The two common ones that harm Aloe vera the most are root rot and powdery mildew. Both of them attack when you overwater plants frequently.

As the name suggests, roots start to rot when plants are infected with Root rot disease. You can also smell a bad odor (like something is rotting) when you go near the soil. In this disease, roots take the most damage, downgrading their performance. As a result, the lower stem and leaves start to have brown patches.

In powdery mildew, you can spot spore growth on aloe vera. This disrupts photosynthesis as plants cannot get proper light when covered in spores. So, they become weaker with time and discolor too. Furthermore, the gel in the affected plant also becomes smelly.

Wondering- is brown Aloe vera gel safe? You can use the gel if the leaf is firm yet brown. But if the leaf is soggy, then never use it. But experts suggest not using such gel as it can cause problems (but in rare cases). So, can brown Aloe turn green again? Yes, and now it’s time to find out how you can do this.

How Do You Fix Brown Aloe Plants?

To fix brown aloe plants, you should improve soil status by enhancing drainage and balancing the pH. It is also important to add water and minerals adequately to avoid discoloration. Furthermore, plant care measures can also stop the browning of leaves and help them recover quickly.

– Enhance Soil Health

When Aloe leaves turn brown, one of the first things to do is to improve the condition of the soil. Start by checking the pH. You can use pH strips easily available at nearby gardening or online stores.

Generally, people record lower pH than the range that aloe plants like (which is 7.0-8.5). To increase it, you can add baking soda or lime. Mix any of these substances with water and then carefully add them in small amounts until the pH gets into the desired range.

Furthermore, if the salt level is high, you should remove the top layer of potting soil and replace it with a nutrient-rich, well-drained one. But the best way to reduce salts in the soil is to add lots of water and let it leach. The draining water will take away most of the salt with it.

– Add Water Sufficiently

For healthy aloe plants, it is crucial to add water the right way. You should only apply water when the soil gets dry. This will help plants avoid complications of both overwatering and drought stress.

– Add Nutrients Sensibly

You should apply fertilizers at the right time for smoother Aloe vera growth. Experts usually suggest giving one application of liquid fertilization every month. You can also give this dose after two months (but don’t delay any more).

We recommend you go for such fertilizers that are specifically manufactured for succulents. You must also follow the dosage instructions printed on their labels to avoid any problems. Furthermore, you can also add compost once in a while. This organic fertilizer can cover nutrient deficiency to a large extent and can also improve drainage properties.

– Try Insecticides To Keep Insects in Check

If you see insects feeding on your plants, you should use insecticides as soon as possible. We suggest you try organic insect repellents first. The top ones are:

  • Neem oil spray
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Wood Ash
  • Diatomaceous Earth

You can either sprinkle them on the soil and add water or apply their mixture. Gardeners also get the help of beneficial insects like ladybird beetles and green lacewings to control insect infestation.

Remedies for Aloe Plant Turning Brown

Use chemical insecticides if you still see insects roaming in your garden after applying organic repellents. Experts suggest using organophosphates, pyrethroids, and carbamates. They can free your garden from any unwanted pest in no time.

– Provide Protection From Environmental Stresses

You should protect aloe plants from light, heat, and cold stress if you want them to stay green forever. Grow them in those spots where they can easily get bright indirect light for six to eight hours.

If there is heat stress and plants face the sun, you should change their location and bring them under shade. Also, try sprinkling cold water on the leaves to cool them off.

When there is cold stress, you should bring the pots inside as the home’s temperature is warmer than outside. You can also use heaters to raise the temperature, which will help plants maintain their vigor and color.

– Add Some Mulching

Experts also suggest mulching to maintain soil temperature to optimal levels. However, you should know how to do it right, or problems will arise.

  1. Apply some water to the soil and uproot any weeds.
  2. Apply a thick layer of mulch (grass clippings, straws, or bark).
  3. Add water to ensure the mulch settles down.

The mulching can trap the moisture inside needed for growth and repel any temperature stress. Ensure not to over-add water, as fungus can also attack mulched plants. With time, this mulch will break down and release more nutrients into the soil.

– Deal With Fungal Diseases

In case of a fungal attack; you should apply appropriate fungicides quickly. We suggest you add copper sulfate and hydrated lime. If the attack is severe, you can choose synthetic fungicides too. But before applying them, let the soil become dry.

People also ask: should I cut off brown Aloe vera leaves? Yes, you should. To stop fungal diseases from spreading to other plants, cutting the affected parts and disposing of them far from the garden is critical.

Furthermore, you should keep the garden free from dirt and debris to avoid pathogen buildup. Also, always apply water in controlled quantities if you deal with fungal diseases.

You should remove as much soil as possible using your hands or shovels and add a well-drained one. Follow these measures, and the plants will become disease free in just a few days.

Conclusion of Aloe Plant Turning Brown


All in all, you know every cause behind the aloe vera plant turning brown and how to fix this problem easily. Here is the list of the main points to revise every important detail discussed in this article:

  • Add water in controlled quantities when the soil gets dry completely.
  • Let the plants enjoy bright light for six hours at least.
  • To protect from environmental stresses, you can try mulching.
  • You should follow every plant care measure to ensure plants stay healthy.

If you stick to these points; the aloe plant will keep its natural colors.

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