This article is about aloe vera plant care problems that almost every gardener comes across when growing this beautiful house plant. When it comes to caring for aloe vera, just like many other garden plants, expect some challenges with common problems such as yellowing of leaves, wobbly aloe plants, aloe plants turning grey among others.
Sometimes, some of these problems could be naturally caused, while others could be caused by how you care for your aloe plants. Whichever the case, there is always a solution to every problem and all you need is to understand the causes and come up with an appropriate solution.
So, let’s take a look at what could be happening with your aloe vera.
Common Aloe Vera Plant Care Problems and their Solutions
1. Aloe Vera plant turning grey
What makes aloe vera plant turn grey? Aloe vera plants turn grey when they are in shock. This occurs especially when there is a sudden change in its environment like a drastic increase in sunlight when moved outdoors for some sun.
Although aloe vera plants can survive in the sun, you need to harden them off before keeping them out in the sun. You should slowly acclimatize your aloe plants by providing them with some light shade adjustment before placing them in the hot sun. Otherwise, you will end up with a sunburnt aloe vera plant.
However, keep your sunburnt aloe plant in the shade for a few days to allow it to recover.
2. Mushy leaves and roots on aloe vera plant
Mushy leaves and roots on aloe vera plant are an indication of root rot due to overwatering. It is a bacterial infection that causes water-soaked spots in aloe leaves. As the decay escalates through the plants’ interior, the leaves turn mushy and collapse.
Therefore, water your aloe only when the growing medium is almost completely dry (during summer), do not allow your potted aloe to sit on a saucer full of water and, make sure to use a good-draining potting mix/ soil.
Although it’s rare to bring back the infected aloe plants to life, you can save yours by repotting during the early progression of the disease. Repot your aloe plant into barely moist, sterile potting soil to reduce moisture in the pot and prevent further fungal attacks on the roots.
In addition to this, use hydrogen peroxide to kill root rot on your aloe plants. Mix about 2 teaspoons of 35% hydrogen peroxide in 1 gallon of water and use it around the base and the roots of your aloe vera plant every time you water. Hydrogen peroxide not only kills bacteria around the plant roots but also helps aerate the soil/potting mix and prevents root rot cases in the future.
3. Aloe Vera turning brown and soft
There are many reasons why your aloe vera stalks are turning brown and soft. First and foremost, too much water for the aloe vera plant is not good. Always practice good watering habits so that you maintain proper moisture levels in the soil and avoid rots.
The other reason for brown stalks on aloe vera could be just natural. If there is new growth on your aloe and the older lower leaves start turning yellow, there is nothing to worry about.
Your plant needs to shed the older(brown) leaves to give room for new growth and energy build-up. Whichever the case you must cut the brown tips off your aloe plant using a sterilized knife or pruning shear. This helps keep your aloe vera green and healthy.
4. Yellow leaves on aloe vera
The causes of yellow leaves on aloe vera are many. The first and most common cause is improper watering. When you overwater your aloe plant the potting medium remains moist all the time and this creates favorable conditions for root rot disease.
With time as the disease progresses the roots get damaged and the plant, therefore, isn’t able to absorb the necessary nutrients. This leads to nutrient deficiency hence the yellowing of aloe leaves.
Secondly, even though aloe vera can survive long periods of drought, it doesn’t mean that you don’t water it completely. Failing to water your aloe plant leaves the growing medium dry and this affects the uptake of essential elements by the roots.
Other causes of yellow leaves on aloe vera plants include; wrong nutritional supplements, insufficient light, and temperature changes.
5. Aloe Vera leaves bending
When the leaves of your aloe vera plant bend either at the base or in the middle then the light isn’t enough for your plant. Aloe vera loves at least 6 hours of bright, natural light for healthy growth and lack of enough light leads to a weak aloe vera plant with bent/creased leaves.
There are several ways you can deal with aloe vera leaves bending including; moving your potted aloe plants to a brighter spot especially during dark and cold winters so that they get enough light, placing your aloe near a sunny window and, rotating your aloe plants every two weeks just to make sure that the plants receive light evenly on all sides.
If after all this the light is still not enough, use a white fluorescent light (source of artificial light for aloe vera) alongside natural light at about 6 to 12 inches above the aloe plants for best results.
6. Sticky aloe vera plant
When aloe vera is grown under a sappy plant or is exposed to chemical residues, it might become sticky but, this is not the only reason for sticky aloe vera leaves. Insect pests like mealybugs, scales, and aphids can invade your aloe plant leaving honeydew secretions on the leaves creating a viscous film.
So, if your aloe vera plant has sticky leaves, it's high time you check the underside of the leaves to rule out any insect-pest infestation.
After identifying the cause of stickiness in your aloe vera, take the right treatment measure. For example, if the cause is from chemical residues rinse off the residues with clean water. And if the cause is insect pests, treat your aloe plant consistently with neem oil or horticultural soap for an effective, non-toxic treatment.
7. Aloe Vera leaves getting flat, thin, and curly
Naturally, aloe vera leaves should grow upwards away from the plant’s base. So if yours have flat leaves it could be because of insufficient light. Even though aloe plants turn brown with too much light, you should ensure that your aloe plants get at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.
On the other hand, thin and curly leaves on aloe vera tell you that the moisture level in the soil is low and your plants are dry. This forces the plants to use their liquids for them to remain nourished. In this case, water your plants properly and always maintain constant moisture levels.
8. A floppy/drooping aloe vera plant
Aloe vera plant can be floppy due to many reasons and these include; fungal infections, cold temperatures, inadequate sunlight, poor watering practices and, a shallow aloe vera plant container/pot.
Dealing with aloe vera plant wilting is easy. First and foremost, consider the cause of your aloe plant not standing up then take the right measures to correct it.
For example, make sure that your aloe plant gets enough sunlight (at least six hours of strong, direct sunlight a day), exercise good watering practices (water when the soil is completely dry and wet it entirely), and repot your aloe plant in a deeper, sturdy and heavy container for full support.
Finally, if after taking all the corrective measures you still have a droopy aloe vera plant, it might be you have an oversize aloe plant therefore consider staking it or separate it into smaller plants.
9. A Leggy aloe vera plant
Just like bending and flat aloe vera leaves, a leggy/ wobbly/ spindly aloe vera plant is an indication of insufficient light. It could be that you have placed your plant in a dull spot where it isn't getting access to direct sunlight.
If this is the case, try moving your aloe plant to a sunny spot for it to improve. Also, consider repotting your aloe plant especially if it outgrows the container it’s grown in.
Those have been the nine common aloe vera plant care problems alongside their solutions. Caring for your aloe vera plant will be easy now that you know why your plant is behaving the way it is.
Moreover, you will not panic every time you see the leaves of your aloe changing color, feeling sticky, becoming leggy, not growing upright, drooping, or with mushy leaves and roots because the article has covered it all for you.
Let us know your experiences with taking care of your aloe vera plant in the comments.