What To Do If Your Aloe Vera Leaves Turn Brown?

Aloe Vera is a part of a succulent plant family, their natural habitat is a desert-like place. Their healthy appearance should be glossy and vibrant green, but sadly something goes wrong during the growing process causing the aloe vera leaves to turn brown.

Aloe vera plant needs high sun exposure, since it belongs to the succulent family member, it can handle really well the boiling hot weather conditions and are drought-tolerant.

Aloe vera plant tends to survive without water for a month because the thick leaves keep the moisture inside and protects it from heat.

There are many reasons behind the curtain of aloe vera leaves turning brown which we will state down below and explain the solutions in detail.

Fun Fact: Aloe vera is a real survivor, before it’s completely gone, it can last over 100 years. It is so strong that even has self-healing properties. Inside the plant is all about water because the leaves have 95% of water and 5% other beneficial solids.

Why Is my Aloe Vera Leaves Turning Brown?

The top reason why your aloe vera leaves may be turning brown is watering, to be more exact overwatering. As I said before, aloe vera as a succulent family member can survive a month or maybe 2 months without water. Discoloration in the leaves gives a visual signal of either dryness or excessive watering.

Another reason why your aloe vera plant leaves turn brown is too much sunlight exposure. The sunlight may be the least of your concerns since you think this is a desert plant, but that affects the plant negatively.

The excessive salt in the soil can be another troublesome issue that makes the leaves turn more yellow rather than brown.

Excessive Watering

Excessive watering is the number one reason why your aloe vera leaves turn, yellow. It softens the stems and makes the appearance of the foliage look mushy.

In case overwatering happens and lasts for a long time, you can end up with molded soil or decay roots. 

Sunlight Exposure

Aloe veras’ biggest enemy can be direct sunlight exposure, just because this plant can withstand high temperatures doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t get damaged. 

The ideal sunlight exposure per day should be no more than 6 hours (not direct). 

Aloe vera seems extremely protective against UV lights and in case it gets too much light, check the soil dryness and increase watering frequency (if needed). The ideal temperature is between 55-85°F and every degree above that will cause sun damage. 

Phenolic Compound in Aloe Vera

First of all, let’s find out what is a phenolic compound in aloe vera. It is a substance that is naturally contained in the leaves. The aim is to extract the anthraquinone heterosesAnthraquinones are a potent aromatic compound used in the gel which is why we use aloe vera in the first place.

The brown color in the leaves is the result of phenolic compounds and can absorb a maximum of 280-320 nm. Beyond that, every compound is dangerous and radiates damage.

Salty Soil & Chemicals

The amount of salt in the soil causes direct hostility or opposition to other chemicals. In saline soil, calcium and magnesium put the sodium back and the soil allows liquids or gases to pass through it because the sodium seals the soil. 

The fertilization has extra salt which can burn the roots and if you have planted the aloe vera outdoors, chemicals together with dirt and dust may turn the leaves brown. 

Aloe vera is easy to maintain and don’t require any additional chemicals or nutrient. 

How To Prevent Aloe Vera Plant Leaves From Turning Brown

Repot the Aloe Vera to Prevent Overwatering

As I said before, aloe vera is very drought-tolerant and can handle very well hot temperatures. It can live 1 month maybe more without water as the leaves keep moister and store the needed water inside.

If you spot leaves turning yellow/brown due to overwatering, then replace the pot and stop watering. If it’s planted outdoors, take it indoors. Get a new container and pick an acidic soil that is around 6.0 on the pH scale.

Protect Aloe Vera from Heat and Frost 

As the summer knocks on the door, aloe vera starts to get excessive UV radiation. Don’t let the plant go beyond the ideal temperature (55-85°F), repot somewhere where it doesn’t catch direct sunlight but still gets light, you get it. 

During winter times, the cold weather will make leaves turn brown as well, so keep indoors and locate it near the window, it will get enough light and won’t frost at room temperature. A 40°F is too much for aloe vera to stay alive.

Saving a Brown-leaved Aloe Vera from Chemical Burn

The starting point is leaching the soil with water or changing the container. If the aloe vera is located outdoors, the chances of picking up herbicides are high. Indoor aloe plants may be the victim of cleaning chemicals. 

If the brown leaves seem extreme, then cut the dead brown leaves, repot or get a new container, water it and wait more than a week for the next watering.

Stop Overfeeding Aloe Vera Plant

Overfeeding can cause leaves to turn brown, as I said before, they are low-maintenance which is their nature and how they survive in desert-like places. 

Use liquid 10-40-10 fertilizer during spring only because only one drenching in Springtime will last you a whole year. 

A Brief Summary 

Aloe vera is my favorite plant because of its beauty and benefits in every area. I would highly recommend it to skincare addicts. Well, since this isn’t the topic, let’s get back into it. 

Remember, the number one reason your aloe vera suffer is overwatering, overfeeding, and extreme direct sunlight exposure. 

Chemical burn from herbicides (outdoor) and detergents (indoor) can make the leaves turn brown, so be extra careful while cleaning or fertilizing.

Further Reading

 I feel like an annoying teacher by giving you assignments, but actually, you need them and we aren’t kids anymore. Go ahead and check out how to put an end to the life of gnats

To find out the location issues in other plants, read whether can a monstera live outside or can dracaena live outdoors.

Natalia Michalska

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