Aloe vera turning brown

Brown leaves of the aloe vera plant mean your plant is in serious problem. There are many causes of aloe vera turning brown.

Excessive use of water is the most common reason but it is not the only cause that triggers brown leaves in aloe vera plants.

In this post, I will explain every single cause behind the brown leaves of aloe vera plants.

Why my aloe vera is turning brown?

There are almost 11 common causes that are responsible for brown aloe vera leaves. All are listed below, continue reading to find out the solution to your aloe vera turning brown.

Excessive use of water

Lack of nutrients

Incorrect light

High dosages of nutrients

The salt build-up in potting soil

Sudden temperature changes

Direct sunlight

Plant shock

Pest infestation

Common diseases

Structural damage

Now let’s focus on each of the common causes in detail and try to find out a permanent solution.

Excess Water in plant soil

This is the most common cause responsible for aloe vera turning brown.

Aloe vera is a succulent plant therefore, it needs less water as compared to other houseplants. It is not necessary when you water other plants you should also water aloe vera.

This habit will result in overwatering which leads your aloe vera to brown leaves.

Its watering needs to keep changing according to the season of the year and surrounding temperature.

In the summer season, it needs more water roughly once or twice a week. If the temperature of the grow room is high then it needs 2 times.

Because the high temperature increases the temperature of the plant. The plant starts losing water from its leaves at a faster rate.

This makes it thirsty and hence it needs more water.

To protect your plant from extra water, check the soil before watering.

It has to be dry between watering sessions. Insert your finger in the potting soil and feel the moisture.

If there is enough moisture do not water the plants and wait for 2 days.

    You May Also Like: How to save overwatered aloe vera plants?

Lack of nutrients

Every small or large plant on earth needs some amount of nutrients to grow and maintain its health.

To stay fresh and happy your aloe vera also needs a few nutrients. In the absence of sufficient nutrients, it shows signs of weakness.

Yellow and brown aloe vera leaves are the signs of plant weakness due to insufficient nutrients.

The type of soil impacts the nutrient availability of aloe plants. Too acidic or too alkaline soil interrupts the supply chain of nutrients.

If you know the possible reason for aloe vera turning brown is loss of nutrients. Then change the watering technique. Instead of top watering use the below watering method.

Incorrect lighting

Aloe vera plants need light to make their food. They absorb water and nutrients from the soil and use light energy to produce chlorophyll. Then they convert it to the glucose that the plants need to grow and to maintain their physical structure

When there is not sufficient light in the room the plant becomes unable to produce the right amount of chlorophyll.

Then to full fill their light needs they stretch their growth toward the light source. This type of growth is also called leggy growth.

If you see leggy or stretched growth with brown aloe vera leaves. This means the light in your indoor space is low for the plant.

Move the plant pot to a bright light location and the browning of aloe vera leaves will stop in a few days.

High dosages of nutrients

Nutrients are good for plants as long they are within the limit.

Excessive use of fertilizer supplements results in brown leaves. In some cases, the extra dosage of nutrients burns the leaves that appear brown and crisp to the touch. Such damage is irreversible.

Another thing is a type of nutrient. Chemical-based synthetic nutrients are more harmful to plants than organic nutrients.

The plant can handle a little higher dosage of organic nutrients. Because they take time to break down. They are also slow-releasing nutrients.

Therefore, the overdosage will not flood the plants with nutrients.

But in the case of chemical-based nutrients plants cannot manage overdosage.

Because these nutrients are fast-acting fertilizers. They are already in easy-to-ingest form and little extra can flood the plant with nutrients.

In case you overdo the nutrients, immediately irrigate the plant with clean water. This will drain out the excess nutrients and save your aloe from turning brown.

The salt build-up in potting soil

Salt built in the soil is another common reason for aloe vera turning brown in color.

Many cheap quality fertilizers contain unnecessary salts to increase the weight of the substance.

When you give such nutrients to your plants the salt presents in them sticks to the nutrients available in the soil and creates nutrient deficient-like problems.

The plant becomes unable to absorb water and nutrients from the soil.

This pushes the plant to use the water stored in its leaves for survival. With every 5% drop in leaf moisture, the aloe turns brown.

Secondly, the water that contains heavy minerals also causes brown leaves in aloe vera plants.

All the minerals start collecting in the base of the plant and block the root ball. This cut the water supply to the plant and due to the lack of water, you see brown aloe vera leaves.

To fix this issue immediately buy new potting soil and change the old soil.

Also, change your fertilizer brand and do not use tap water. Instead, use filtered water that you use for your drinking purpose.

Sudden temperature changes

The ideal indoor temperature range for growing aloe vera plants is between 10 to 30 degrees C.

Below or above this range will cause many problems for the plants.

You have our indoor temperature in the same range 365 days a year.

The high or warm temperature will not be a problem for aloe vera.

The cold air and cold temperature cause problems. We all know aloe vera plants contain a high amount of aloe vera water. Which we called aloe vera gel.

This gel starts freezing when the temperature drops below 10 degrees C. The gel that you buy from the market does not get freeze at low temperatures.

Because it is not pure and contains stabilizers and preservatives that prevent it from freezing.

But the aloe plant does not have any alteration in it that can save it from cold weather.

Therefore, in the winter season bring the aloe vera plant pot inside your house. Keep it in a warm place.

Do not put the plant pot on the window sill if the outside air is cool. Because it will lower the root zone temperature.

To save your aloe vera from the cold, grow it inside your house or bring the pot in the garage in the winter season. You can use an LED grow light to full fill its light needs.

Do not put it close or next to the heating vents to keep it warm. This is the biggest mistake that new growers made with houseplants.

The artificial hot air dries the plant leaves quickly and you have to water them often. Watering more in winter is not good for plants.

This will result in roots and your plant will die.

So, keep the plant away from the heating vents.

Direct sunlight

Direct light is not suitable for aloe vera plants. They need bright light but it has to be filtered light. Direct sun rays are highly intense rays that can damage plant tissues.

When we put the aloe vera plants outside in direct sun rays. The high intense sun rays increase the temperature of the plant leaves and burn the plants.

To reverse the leaf burn due to the direct sunlight.

Change the location of the plant pot. Move it to a less bright location where it cannot get the direct sun rays.


Use a sheer curtain to protect it from the hot sun rays of the afternoon. The sun emits strong light from 11 am to 4 pm.

Protect your aloe in this time frame and it will not turn brown.

Plant shock

When you unnecessarily repot the plant at any time of the year. This put negative stress on it that we called transplant shock.

In this condition, the plant pot in a less bright place and give water on time.

To prevent the browning of aloe vera leaves due to transplant shock. Do the repotting in spring and summer.

Also do not change the pot until the roots acquire the entire space in the old pot.

Pest infestation

Some pests are also responsible for aloe vera turning brown. They are hard to see with the naked eye. You can see them with a magnifying glass.

They suck the juice of the plant and turn the leaves into yellow and brown color.

When they bite the plant, they inject a decomposing chemical into the leaves. This chemical turns the leaf color from green to brown. And you see brown spots on the leaves of the aloe plants.

To treat this condition first of all you need to get rid of these mites. For that, you have to use insecticidal soap or pesticidal spray.

In my opinion, insecticidal soap or spray is better than commercial pesticide spray. Because pesticide options are strong and are not good for humans.

We use these options where we need to kill the mites in a large area let’s say in your entire lawn.

For indoor plants, insecticidal soaps are best.

Wash your aloe vera plant with it and then apply neem oil + water spray on the entire plant.

Common diseases

Many diseases also cause brown leaves on aloe vera plants. You need to know about them to treat them at the first stage.

Fungal disease like root rot or leaf rot affects most aloe vera plants. Therefore, I am not going to include other very rare diseases in this post.

When fungi attack aloe vera roots, the root of the plant starts decomposing. Immediately stop watering the plant and take it out of the pot.

Then cut the infected parts of the roots and apply sulfur to the treated part.

Then take new soil and repot it in the same pot.

To prevent rotting, you have to learn the right watering technique. In 98% of the cases, the wrong watering schedule is the main cause behind aloe vera root rot.

Also, the soil that you use must be well-draining soil.

Because such soil does not absorb extra water. It allows the extra water to drain from the pot.

Structural damage

This means physical damage to the stem, roots, or to leaves. let’s say you accidentally damage the leaves of the plants.

Then the damaged leaf becomes unable to get water and nutrients from the central transport system of aloe vera.

This makes the aloe vera leaves brown.

There are many other factors responsible for aloe vera turning brown. But all common reasons are listed here. Identify your cause and save your aloe vera from dying.

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