Does your Aloe Vera Have Brown Tips?
I've got the solution!

Having brown tips on aloe vera plants means that the plant is under stress, which is easy to solve once the reason is identified.

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Jimena Bolívar

June 05, 2021


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Introduction

We often think about how easy it is to grow aloe vera, and it’s not unusual to don’t understand what’s wrong when they start becoming brown. The good news is that you can save your plant with ease once you figure out what’s causing the brown tips.

Aloe vera plants will have brown tips when they face stress. However, brown tips don’t mean that they’ll die, just that they need some extra care.

aloe vera plant broken

How does a healthy aloe vera look like?

Understanding how a healthy aloe vera looks like is the first step when recognizing when your plant is under stress and how you can help it.

The color of the leaves will indicate the health of the plant. Healthy aloe vera are gray-green or blue-green and have young green leaves.

Overwatering

Overwatering is one of the most common issues when it comes to succulents. It’s not easy to find the sweet spot regarding the right amount of water we should give to our plants. If you want to dive deeper into this topic, read this blog post.

Overwatered aloe vera will first have spots on the leaves that look wet and soggy. Eventually, the soggy spots will spread, and all the leaves will turn brown. The fastest – and most efficient solution– is to re-pot it right away.

Warning

To prevent your plant from getting overwatered again, water it less often and make sure the soil is completely dry between waterings.

Underwatering

We often think that our succulents (aloe vera included) need less water than they do. This happens mainly because we believe that since they are desert plants and used to drought, they don’t require much attention.

Not watering aloe vera enough causes brown tips that will become thicken and harden while the brown tips start to spread to the rest of the plant. The easiest way to solve it is by removing highly damaged areas and following a watering regimen.

Note

The tips are the first part of the plant that gets brown because they are the farthest part of the water source.

Many reasons can lead to aloe vera dehydration. The first one is the dry soil. In this case, the roots don’t have where to reach out for water, and the plant starts to dehydrate.

Note

The type of soil you choose to plant your aloe vera has a significant impact on its hydration since the soil stores water in its pores.

Avoid underwatering your aloe plant by taking these measures:

  • Avoid irregular watering: if you do this, your plant will get too much or too little water. In both cases, your plant won’t receive the moisture they need.
  • Pay attention to temperature increases, wind speed increases, and drop in humidity since all of them can play a role in fastening the water evaporation of your aloe vera.
  • Consider if the soil tends to hold water or to be draining. You’ll perceive this by the texture of the soil.

Note

The best soil to grow aloe vera is a well-draining potting mix

If your aloe got underwatered, there’s no need to despair. You still can do one of these techniques to save it:

  • Cut off affected parts: in some extreme cases, some parts are impossible to revive. If this happens to you, cut the leaf close to its base to minimize the damages.
  • Use proper soil mix: the ideal mix is a little porous. Having soil that doesn’t have adequate drainage may cause root rot in your aloe vera.
  • Choose the right size of container: aloe vera tends to crowd on the soil. When this happens, the watering needs are no longer met. If this happens to you, just re-pot to a container that’s not too small or not too big.
  • Follow the watering regimen: I have already mentioned why watering your aloe vera regularly will prevent it from getting drought. Just mind the season since the watering needs can change depending on it.

Excessive Heat

Even though aloe vera is a desert plant, there are some temperatures it doesn’t handle so well, causing it stress and leaf color changing.

The highest temperature for growing an aloe succulent is 55°C or 80°F. Anything beyond that will stress the plant. However, if a temperature change happens, the plant will need to be acclimated to it to thrive without having brown tips.

Cold Air

Just like excessive heat, aloe vera doesn’t like cold air. They’re desert plants, so you’ll imagine that they prefer warmer temperatures.

If suddenly your aloe vera has to face temperatures below 55°F, it will get stressed, and the leaves will start becoming yellow and soon will become brown and go down towards the base of the plant. The solution for this is to keep the plant away from such cold temperatures.

Note

You can also acclimate the plant every time the temperature gets colder, so it doesn’t get brown tips.

Sunburn

When sunburned, the aloe vera leaf turns red or brown and can develop brown spots, sunspots. When perceiving that aloe vera is getting sunburned, the first thing to do is to remove it from direct light.

Aloe vera is a plant from the desert, but summer heat can still damage it if it’s too intense. If the plant is growing inside, you may need to change it to the opposite window, as further the light as possible.

Too much Fertilizer

Maybe you think that your aloe vera needs fertilizing to grow healthily. The truth is the opposite. If you feel like it, you can fertilize it in spring with half-strength succulent fertilizer. Anything more than that would damage your plant.

Too much fertilizer may cause the roots to burn, which can be noticed when the leaves start turning brown. Re-potting the aloe vera to the soil without fertilizer will probably solve the brown tips.

Organic Succulents & Cactus Soil Mix, Professional Potting Soil

Planting it in regular succulent or cactus soil like this one may be what your aloe vera needs.

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Note

If your potting mix already has fertilizer, then don’t worry about fertilizing your aloe vera for at least a couple of years.

Pests and Diseases

We always think that succulents are not affected by pests and diseases, but they can, and even in this case, there are solutions.

Different pests and diseases can affect aloe vera. The most important thing to do in this case is to keep the plant separate from the other, healthy ones. Also, maintaining temperature and water controlled while avoiding shadow and cooler rooms will probably save the plant. Maybe cutting off the affected parts will also be necessary.

Conclusion

When plants start being exposed to conditions they don’t like, they get stressed and express it by changing their appearance. So, spend some time making sure your aloe vera is fine by checking it regularly. If you do this, you’ll be able to notice any unusual behavior.

Having aloe vera is a long-term commitment. They grow a lot and live a lot too. Just follow the tips on this blog post to keep yours safe and sound, and your aloe vera will thrive!

Keep Reading

I love succulents (as you probably noticed!), and I’m never done with them. If you’re anything like me, you’ll love to read this other blog post I wrote on how to take care of your aloe vera.

How to take care of Aloe Vera? Everything You Need to Know

The Aloe Vera plant requires has little needs but offers many benefits! From the soil to the leaves, learn how to care for this beautiful houseplant.

Jimena Bolívar Picture

By Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Jimena Bolívar Picture

Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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