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Aloe Plant Turning Brown? [10 Reasons & Fixes]

Aloe plants thrive well in USDA zone 8-11, requiring desert environment. They will produce yellow leaves to turn brown with leaf tips darken and dry if any care requirements miss.

As a drought-tolerant plant, Aloe prefers to thrive in dry conditions. So, the most common reason behind the plant turning brown is overwatering. Besides, there are many other reasons, such as underwatering, excessive sunlight, poor drainage, inadequate nutrition, etc.

The barely perceptible browning of the Aloe stems continues as it approaches the leaf margin. It won’t be long until you notice the younger stems fading.

So, continue reading this article to recognize and deal with the actual culprits behind your Aloe plant turning brown.

Why is my Aloe Plant Turning Brown? [Causes & Solutions]

While shifting the hardy Aloe plant from outdoors to indoors, many environmental fluctuations may occur. So, the plant goes through many unusual changes, including browning.

Always remember that the parts of Aloe Vera that have turned brown won’t recover into green again. All you can do is remove the already browned parts to prevent spreading.

Following are the culprits behind your Aloe plant turning brown and mushy.

1. Improper Watering 

Aloe Vera is a xerophytic plant and thus favors dry conditions.

However, if you neglect to water them for a long time, the major portion consumes all the water leaving the tips dry and brown.

Your Aloe leaves may become hard, and the browning will eventually spread to the whole plant. 

Remember that Aloe plants store water in their leaves to survive harsh situations.

So, if you water the plant too frequently, the leaves will turn soft, mushy, and brown due to their high water content.

Overwatering is the primary issue that damages the whole plant if you don’t take action in time.

When you overwater the Aloe plant, it becomes soft and mushy because of being wholly saturated.

Preventive Measures for Overwatering 

  • Only water the plant at an interval of 2-3 weeks in the growing seasons, i.e., spring and summer.
  • Don’t water your Aloe if the soil is wet. Wait until the soil completely dries off.
  • Never water the plant during dormancy and winter.

Preventive Measures for Overwatering 

  • Water the plant as soon as possible and continue it until the pot floods. Shower the plant if necessary, or the Aloe is dying with dry leaves. 
  • Get rid of excess standing water or water pool from the pot.
  • Soak the plant well and check the moisture content every 10-15 days.
  • Remember to water them when the soil dries up 2-3 inches.

2. Pathogenic Diseases

Many bacterial or fungal pathogens are the reason for your diseased Aloe plant and hence turn it brown.

Those pathogens form molds, rusts, and spots on the fresh plants and infect them.

If you leave the plant in its condition for a long time, there may be a chance of your Aloe’s death. 

Those pathogens develop on your plant due to injuries or excessive moisture.

Preventive Measures

  • Whenever you have a diseased plant near your Aloe, isolate that plant to prevent your Aloe from pathogens.
  • You can use fungicides and plant antibiotics to prevent your plants from fungal and bacterial pathogens.
  • Always apply the fungicides in the morning or evening times in the interval of 7-14 days.
  • It’s best to use homemade fungicides by mixing baking soda and tea tree oil for rust.
  • Make the plant thrive best in 40% humidity.

3. Thermal Stress 

Even though Aloe Vera prefers a hot climate, the excessive temperature is also the reason for the browning of its leaves.

Temperature above 80°F will burn and injure the tissues of your Aloe plant. That’s the reason behind your baby Aloe turning brown too.

However, cold temperatures below 50°F are also the enemy for your Aloe, resulting in brown.

Moreover, thermal stress will eventually tan and soften your plant’s leaves as well as dry the soil.

Preventive Measures

  • Always keep your Aloe plant indoors in a well-ventilated place during winter.
  • Avoid exposing your plant to a too-hot environment such as direct sun, heater, etc.
  • Protect your plant from fans, air conditioners, and other cold sources, or use a frost blanket for extra protection.
  • 55-75°F temperature range will be best to maintain for the plant. 

4. High Salt Concentration

Sometimes, the high salt concentrations in the soil where the plant thrives, can damage the plant structure.

High salt concentrations may arise from overfertilization, using tap water or chemicals from the surrounding.

Generally, the excessive salts in soil reduce nutrients, leaving your plant with inadequate nutrition.

The major causes of your Aloe plant turning brown are harmful minerals like chlorine, fluorine, and bicarbonates from tap water and other environmental pollutants that enter by wind, water, etc.

Moreover, reverse osmosis can occur if the salt concentration in the soil is higher than in the plant.

Salt stress in Aloe Vera
Salt stress in Aloe Vera also causes the increase of phenolic compounds.

Preventive Measures

  • Use sandy potting mix for your Aloe as it has a low salinity level. Also, maintain the soil pH between 7 and 8.5.
  • Always fertilize your Aloe in the spring season to avoid this problem.
  • If your plant faces this problem, flush the soil 4-5 times with distilled water. If the problem continues, transplant your Aloe into the new soil.
  •  Remember to water your plant with distilled or rain water only, but if tap water is the only option, letting it stay overnight will be best.

5. Disrupted Drainage 

Browning usually arises when your Aloe plant is potted with no drainage hole.

In such conditions, excessive moisture will gather in the roots, and the plant may face root rot.

Moreover, the soil won’t dry due to poor air circulation inside the soil, which may cause your plant to turn brown.

However, you can’t blame just a pot. Clogged soil will also disturb drainage, even if your plant pot has a draining hole.

Preventive Measures

6. Transplant Trauma

Did your Aloe turn brown after you changed its old soil from the potting mix? This condition is known as transplant shock. 

Usually, this happens because of the wrong transplantation timing, a new environment, or no root establishment.

Furthermore, your plant may also face wilting and drooping too.

Preventive Measures

  • Never water the transplanted plants too frequently. Only water the plants after the soil dries up.
  • Repot the plant once or twice a year in the growing seasons.
  • Remember not to fertilize the plant you have recently transplanted.
  • You can keep the plant in partial sun for natural growth.

7. Under-fertilization Issues

Sometimes, you may have the misconception about the Aloe plant being low feeder and not requiring any nutrition.

You must know that nutrition deficiency occurs due to unbalanced macro and micronutrients.

Soil alone is not always enough to provide the plant with adequate nutrition, and thus, the plant turns brown due to nutrition deficiency.

This usually happens because the plant cannot produce chlorophyll to make itself green due to a lack of nutrition.

Preventive Measures

  • Use fertilizer of NPK value 10-40-10. Fertilize only during spring for better growth.
  • Never fertilize the plants during winter, resulting in high salt accumulation.
  • If your Aloe is exposed to excess light, fertilize it 3-4 times a year, twice in medium and only once in low light.
  • Use suitable compost to provide your Aloe with balanced nutrients. 

8. Pest Infestation 

Some insects and mites feed upon plants, making the surface brown and patchy.

The common bugs might be aphids, scales, spiders, mites, and many more, which you identify with white cottony substances on leaves.

Perhaps, the brown marks you observe in your Aloe are due to insect feeding, which may sometimes damage the whole leaf.

Moreover, those bugs suck the sap of thick leaves, leaving the plants with brown spots, patches, or bumps.

Preventive Measures

  • When you identify the infestation, shower or throw the water jet on the Aloe plant. 
  • Rub the affected area with ethanol using a cotton ball to protect the plant from infections.
  • If your Aloe contains molds, you can remove the bugs and apply Neem oil for further protection.
  • Furthermore, get rid of pests by applying pesticides and insecticides every 10-15 days.

9. Improper Lighting

Aloe Vera demands bright light, but prolonged exposure to intense sunlight can burn the tissue of its leaves.

Eventually, the leaves soon become brown due to the scorching of the tissues.

However, exposing the plant to shallow light will hamper its photosynthetic activities and cause stunted growth.

Additionally, the soil won’t dry out in time, and there may be a risk of root rot.

Therefore, too bright or too low light cause the Aloe Vera leaves to turn brown.

Preventive Measures

  • Provide 6-8 hours of bright sunlight
  • Always keep the Aloe plant in partial sunlight to avoid browning. 
  • South or west-facing windows are the best positions to keep your Aloe indoors. Also, putting sheer curtains during summer is the best protection.
  • To keep the plant indoors, fulfill its light demands using artificial light such as Fluorescent tubes 6-12 inches above for 14 to 16 hours per day. 

10. Physical Damage

Physical damage on the Aloe plants happens when you accidentally crash on it or your pets or children damage its outer part.

Those small damages don’t kill your plants, but the injury in tissue doesn’t let the transfer of food and minerals.

As a result, the part where the food couldn’t be transferred will turn brown.

physical-damaged aloevera
There is a high risk of pathogenic infection from physical injuries.

Preventive Measures

  • Keep your Aloe out of reach from children and pets or in the hanging basket to avoid an accidental strike.
  • Cut the damaged parts and allow the rest of the Aloe to grow again.

The Bottom Line

Help your Aloe Plant Overwinter!

Besides browning, the Aloe plant also suffers from bad overwinter when it enters dormancy.

So, never try to increase growth using too much water or fertilizer in winter, or it will result in overwatering and salt accumulation.

Additionally, your plant may suffer from root rot if the condition worsens.

Therefore, develop less watering habits and avoid fertilizing your Aloe plant during winter.