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Why Is My Aloe Plant Turning Brown?

So you wonder why your aloe plant starts to turn brown and wilt although you water them so much already. It is not a pleasant scene to see, is it? Aloe plants are actually one of the easy-growing plants that you can have indoor and outdoor. Watching them change from bright green to brown is just agonizing, right? Worry no more my aloe lovers out there because we are going to discuss how to fix this today. Instead of asking yourself “why is aloe plant turning brown?”, get ready to bring them back to life with me now.

Aloe Colors & Their Meanings

As it happens, aloe plants can change to a few different colors instead of just brown depending on the causes. To avoid your concerns when your aloe plants start to change their color, I include just the most common ones. You will find the colors, their causes, and how to fix them in a short brief below.

1. Brown

Aloe plants turn brown from the phenolic compounds that the plants synthesize in order to protect themselves from ultraviolet radiation. There could be a few reasons that trigger your aloe plants to react this way, but there are solutions.

Why?

When an aloe plant is turning brown, the only cause of this is overwatering. Unlike other plants that turn brown when there is not enough water, aloe turns brown where there is too much water. Many aloe owners often confuse this and keep watering their aloe plants thinking that they need more water. And that is when the plants turn brown and wilt from day to day. You can tell that your aloe plants are healthy by the glossy green color on their leaves. The symptom is similar when there is too much sunlight or salt in the soil of the plants.

Solutions

  • One of the main solutions that you should use is repotting the plant in another pot. This is the fastest way to save and treat your aloe plants, and it does not take long to do so at all. If the soil is too moist, then you know that you overwater your aloe plants. So when you repot them, make sure to cut down some watering so that they can go back to green.
  • If overwatering is not the case, you should check for brown leaves on your aloe plants. These happen when the plants receive too much direct sunlight which causes them to turn brown in the blazing sun. It is harmless to the plants, this color-changing is to protect the plants from sunburn which is normal. You can move your aloe plants indoors so that they won’t be exposed to too much direct sunlight. Things will get better in no time.
  • However, if there are brown spots or tips on the leaves, it indicates care errors, fungal diseases, or lack of nutrients. The main solution to this is also to repot the plants to another container with new soil. Then make sure to frequently check the progress of your aloe plants in your new pot until they get better.

2. Orange

Aloe plants can turn orange and pale before fading when they get too much direct sun which causes sunburn. The solution to this is also to repot them and place them somewhere with less direct sunlight. So when you notice that the leaves of your aloe plants turn orange, it is time to relocate them.

3. Purple

Although not common, it is possible for some aloe plants to turn reddish-purple. This is probably the sign of sunburn when it is exposed to brighter light, and it is nothing serious. So what you should do is exposing them to less sunlight when it is the hottest. Similar to when the aloe plants turn red, let your aloe absorb early morning or late afternoon sunlight. This allows them to still receive sunlight with low chances of getting sunburns.

4. Red

Why?

When the leaves of your aloe plants turn red, they will follow with some wrinkles later. This is a sign that lets you know that your aloe plants do not receive enough sunlight or water. You have to spot the differences between insufficient and too much sunlight and water. When it wilts, it receives too much and it will wrinkle if there is not enough sunlight or water. Lack of moisture and too much heat can be a threat to the health of aloe plants. This is common during the dry season, and fixing this is also not too difficult.

Solution

Don’t overwater them immediately because it can make the soil too damp which can lead to rotting of the roots. Instead, frequently water your aloe plants once a day so that they receive more but not too much water. At the same time, expose them to some warm sunlight in the morning or late afternoon. That way, they will be able to recover and become healthy. This will take time, and you will find them go back to green after a week or two.

Other Reasons That Cause Aloe Plants To Change Colors

Aloe plants are adaptable and tough, but you still have to take good care of them. There are certain conditions that cause stress on the plants which affect their growing states. So I want to let you know some other reasons that may also lead to the changing of your aloe plants.

  • Reason 1 – Drought: This is one of the reasons that cause the aloe plants to turn brown. Dark brown leaf tips are a sign that implies that your plants receive too much heat which is bad. Color changing in the first step before the whole leaves may dry out completely and wither at the base.
  • Reason 2 – Seasonal Changes: Sometimes sudden cold nights can also hurt the conditions and life of the aloe plants. This can result in yellowing of the leaves when the cold affects them. You could solve this by putting them inside the house or expose them to some sunlight later. Most plants require warm conditions to grow, and cold temperature is not good for them.
  • Reason 3 – Sudden Changes: If you grow your aloe plants indoors then suddenly move them out, it is not good for them. Putting the plants outdoor can also mean putting them in direct sun which is a harsh condition for them. This can result in leaf tip burning and color-changing that you can immediately see. What you should do is take them in and out to let them get used to the outdoor environments first. Also, avoid placing them in direct sunlight because it can cause sunburns.

How To Prevent Aloe Plants From Changing Colors

Proper care for your aloe plants means healthy growth that results in green color. This is exactly what every aloe plant owner out there wants to achieve. There are some basic tips that you should know in order to maintain the well-being of your aloe plants. And if they already change their colors, the tips below will also help to bring them back to life.

1. Bugs

Scales are plant bugs that attach themselves to the plant and feed off its liquid. This type of bug can cause your aloe plant to turn white, indicating an infestation that you should take action. The worst thing about them is that these bugs don’t move around at all but they will multiply. Normally, this problem occurs with outdoor aloe plants and other plants with liquid that they can feed on. You should always check the color and the underparts of your aloe plants to ensure that there are no pests. In case they start to attack the plants, here is the video that you should check out.

2. Moisture

Moisture is like a double-edged sword, too little or too much can both affect the aloe plants. Maintaining moisture of the soil is to keep them from being to0 dry, and being soggy or wet is unacceptable. This is why you have to be precise when watering your aloe plants. The best way is to water them deeply but infrequently in order to prevent rot. At the same time, allow the soil to dry at least 1 to 2 inches deep between waterings. You might want to check the soil using your finger then schedule the time to water the plants right. In spring and summer, you should water them every 2 to 3 weeks, but less often in fall and winter.

3. Soil

The condition of the soil also reflects the growth and health of your aloe plants. This type of plant prefers loose well-draining soil because it aids their development and well-being. One of the best ways to mix the soil for your aloe plants is to use cactus potting soil mix. Regular potting soil with additional perlite or building sand will also do. With the right soil, your aloe plants will flourish healthily with beautiful green color just the way you want. It is also nice to till the soil monthly, but be careful not to damage the root system. Along with the soil, make sure that the pot that you choose has plenty of drainage holes. Aloe plants cannot tolerate standing water, so the soil shouldn’t be too damp for them.

4. Sunlight

As we discussed above, too much sunlight can turn the aloe plants brown or red. When there is not enough sunlight, the color will also change while the health of the plants will not be well. It is easier if you grow your aloe plants in a pot because you can easily rescue them on time. This is also why the placement of the pot can affects the growth of the aloe plants. You should move or rotate the pots so that all parts of the plants equally receive sunlight. In case you plant them in the garden or lawn, you can save them during hot days by using green nets. Simply cover the plants with nets so that they can shield your aloe plants from getting too much sunlight.

5. Temperature

Aloe plants do best in temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (13 and 27 degrees Celsius). Most temperatures at apartments and homes are actually ideal for them also which is why growing them indoors is possible. You can bring your aloe plants outdoor sometimes from May to September since the temperatures are still right. Make sure to bring them back inside in the evening if the nights are cold. Aloe plants will change their color fast if they stay in cold conditions for too long. The fluctuation of temperatures affects the health of the plants greatly which can lead to a purplish tinge.

Unhealthy Aloe Plants Symptoms

The changing of color is not the only symptom that implies that your aloe plants are unhealthy. There are a few other symptoms that you should look out for so that you can save them on time. Some of the common ones including:

  • Brown or mushy leaves mean that you overwater your plants, and it is time to cut down some.
  • Curling leaves is a sign that you don’t water your aloe plants enough. The curls can go either inwards or outwards while the leaves look so dry and begin to wither.
  • Droopy or extremely thin leaves are also unhealthy, and they can be the result of nutrient deficiency. This is when you need to add fertilizer and mulch or change the soil.
  • Gray or white discolorations along with bumps on the leaves are the results of insect infestation. The video below can be useful if you experience pests on your aloe plants and other plants at home.
  • Shade changing is very similar to color changing, and it is like the first stage of unhealthy plants. It could be nutrient insufficient or stressed, and you need to check for the cause.

Final Thoughts

I understand that aloe plants need less water than most plants out there, but they still require proper care and maintenance. It is okay if it is your first aloe because there are so many things to learn about them. The good thing is that the reasons that cause aloe plants to change colors are easy to pinpoint. This allows you to save them on time so that you won’t lose them. If you have any more concerns regarding your aloe plants, feel free to ask.

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