Why Do Aloe Vera Leaves Turn Red?

Aloe vera plants came from Africa and they like dry climates. Alove vera plants known as aloe are succulents that have very little maintenance, but if you don’t do minimum care for plants they may die.

Aloe vera leaves turning red or brown due to overexposure to sunlight, excessive watering, low watering, and improper drainage systems are common causes. In addition to these sudden changes in temperature (sunburn), deficiency in salts, too many minerals (over fertilizer), improper soil mix, bugs, mold cause color change.

My aloe vera plant turned red / brown because I moved my plant from indoor to outdoor that caused more moisture, more heat, and overwatered the plant. Causing the plant to turn red.

These are the steps I followed to recover my plant from redcolor.

1. Over Exposure to Sunlight

Did you notice pale red / brown patches on aloe vera plant leaves? then it is sunburnt leaves because of Exposure to sunlight.

If your aloe vera is in extremely hot conditions like in the middle of the desert, most probably it cannot handle the direct sunlight all day long.

It is probably if you move your aloe vera plant from indoor to outdoor, from partial shade to full direct sunlight for the whole day. you can observe sunburn on aloe vera leaves. (Red patches on aloe vera plant leaves)

If you move your aloe vera plant from cold climate conditions to hotter climate conditions without an adjustment period, plants will get sunburnt easily from sun and heat.

How to fix sunburnt Aloe vera plants?

1. Limit the sun exposure to plant

When the aloe vera plant is sunburnt you need to limit the sun exposure time for the plant.

you can even move the plant to partial shade to help the plant revive. move it to an indoor area where you can give partial shade and bright indirect sunlight.

try to keep your pot near the window and make sure it is not keeping in the southwest facing windows. make sure you give them indirect sunlight so that they won’t get too hot.

2. Keep transition period (adjustment period)

When you want to transfer the aloe plant from a cooler place to a hotter place. you need to move it gradually for a few days so that it won’t get sun shock!

2. Over Watering

One of the most common reasons for aloe vera plants turning red is overwatering or very bad drainage.

As aloe vera belongs to the Succulents group they don’t like much water and it should have proper drainage, Aloe vera doesn’t like standing water.

You shouldn’t water aloe vera frequently as other plants, and don’t assume if you water daily it will make awesome growth for the Aloe vera plant.

There are two possible causes that you can overwater

  • Water very frequently (maybe daily)
  • Overwatering in one go maybe because you didn’t water for so many days or other reasons.

above two cases you water it and you don’t have proper soil to drain well in this leads to a problem for aloe vera plants

you see your plant has large or small colored spots that are squishy to touch then most likely your plant is suffering from an overwatering problem.

Before watering you need the check moisture level by keeping your fingers in the soil. If you feel sticky you should skip watering for that cycle.

How to fix the overwatering problems for the aloe vera plant?

1. Give some time to dry existing water. If it’s standing water, unload it.

If this is the problem it can be solved easily. if you overwatered your aloe vera plant you need to take extra water out of it (from the pot) and let it dry.

While you are doing this activity don’t keep your plant in direct sunlight, if so you will make roots exposed to sunlight.

Meanwhile (while it is drying) you can remove the dead leaves from the plant.

2. Give pot proper drainage holes and soil

Make sure your aloe vera plant soil pot drains the water successfully. your pot doesn’t have a drainage hole at the bottom pot.

You can make a drainage hole or shift the plan to another which have proper drainage and soil.

You should use a cactus soil mix or one part of builders sand, and the other parts use potting mix (you can also add use marble stones for aesthetics).

Pots that are too deep that hold the water longer time than that narrow or wider one.

You should basically search for a wider pot and less height pot, which is most suited for the aloe vera plants while you are buying or the one you are DIY.

3. Improve Watering habits

Aloe vera plants don’t need to water daily or alter days as other plants. if you are doing this your plant is being overwatered.

You need to wait till the top 2 inches of soil should be completely dry before you water it again.

Most people choose to water aloe vera plants every week or every 10 days. (depends on season).

Experts say you need to test the aloe vera plant soil by keeping your hand in the soil to check the moisture level before you water. If it is sticky you need to skip watering for that cycle.

3. Sudden Change in Temperature Or Not Recommended Temperature

Just like a sudden change in sun exposure to the aloe vera plants, a sudden change in temperature affects aloe leaves turns into yellow or red.

your aloe vera plant is outside and it’s cold outside? This will certainly damage aloe vera leaves if you don’t care properly.

How to fix it?

If the damage is done then you need to prune those leaves and take your aloe vera plant inside to care further.

Next time if you know it will be cold outside bring an aloe vera plant inside or consider buying a mini greenhouse instead.

1. Monitor outside Temperature

If you live in a place where constantly weather changes then you need to keep an eye on the weather and move the aloe vera plant inside or outside gradually (don’t give any shock to the plant).

Maintaining a transition period is preferred to giving shock to the plant.

2. Don’t keep your plants near windows in summer (Hot windows)

Keeping Aloe vera plants pots directly in north-west windows, it will hot in summer this impacts too much on aloe vera plants.

Move your Aloe vera plants to north or west-facing windows if they want to face south or west backup with windowpane about a foot of space.

4. Bad Overwinter

This is caused because when we try to grow the aloe vera plant in winter, where its needs to be dormant for time being.

You are watering more, trying to fertilize in winter which is not suggested by experts.

How to fix Bad Overwinter?

Expert says we need to leave the aloe vera plant alone when it is in dormancy and cut down on watering while it is actively not growing.

you won’t even get good growth when you are growing at this season while in this season it should be best to save for the active growing season.

5. Fertilizer or Salt Build up in Plant

Overtime or with the heavy use of fertilizer and salt can build up around the top layer of soil and aloe plant.

Certain minerals like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium are needed for the life process of the plants. Minerals in soil are converted to chemical salts by chemical activity in the soil. By the microbial population of soil, these can be added by fertilizer.

With Heavy fertilizer, you can observe a top layer of soil forms red thin-crust residue.

With salt build-up (in red color) you can also see some root damage as a result of more use of fertilizer.

Lack of nitrogen means low chlorophyll aloe plants show turning to red .

How to fix it?

1. Remove mineral crust – Removing minerals

The first thing is you need to scrape the extra minerals from the plant just using fingernails or any other material.

Later you need to leach soil which means you need to run the quantity of water 5x the pot volume, through the soil to wash out extra minerals.

2. Remove excess fertilizer – Removing excess minerals

Once you scrape off the excess minerals or crust from the plant/pot. you need to remove the excess fertilizer from the pot.

You need to water the pot 5 times the volume of the pot which will wash out the extra minerals or fertilizer.

Indoor plants don’t need to fertilize often, How much light they get depends on that how much we need to fertilize.

Plants with high light need 3-4 times of fertilization. plants with medium-light need only twice a year. Low light plants need only once a year(with yearly once repotting)

Plants like aloe vera like to have 1-2 fertilization yearly, most probably in the spring season.

3. Use pure water – Reducing minerals in water

use mineral water to water plants because tap water contains many minerals like chlorine and additives.

You can also external water filter to filter the minerals from water.

If you don’t have mineral water, there is one more economical solution, which can collect the rainwater from pouring into the aloe vera plant.

4. Don’t over fertilize – Only once in spring

As we discussed earlier Aloe vera plant likes to fertilize 1-2 times a year. If you over-fertilize this will cause thin crust on plant or topmost soil.

6. Nutrients Deficiency

If the Aloe vera plants don’t have enough nutrients plants will turn to red . Aloe vera plant is known for its low maintenance plant and can grow in poor soil conditions.

Still, plants can suffer from low nutrients. Due to the lack of nutrients, aloe cannot produce chlorophyll for which nitrogen and magnesium are required to process.

How to fix Nutrient Deficiency in the Aloe vera plant?

select proper fertilizer and soil, use the soil which is made for succulents. you need to use cactus soil or one part of the pot mix and builders sand for another part of the aloe vera plant.

Experts suggest a liquid 10-40-10 mix of fertilizer or a special fertilizer that is made for succulents.

7. Too much Nutrients

This is the exact opposite of the previous thing. Too many nutrients are often from over-fertilizing the Aloe vera plant.

How to fix too many nutrients problem for the Aloe vera plant?

Remove excessive nutrients

If you already fertilized too much, then you may observe aloe vera is turning red. So to remove excess nutrients, we need to flush 5xpot size of water.

Don’t over Fertilize

To overcome excess fertilization, fertilize only in spring and once a year. To know if the plant is over-fertilized, the red layer thin crust is formed on the top layer of the plant.

to make overcome this need to scrape the red layer and water the pot to remove the excess fertilizer.

8. Wrong mix of Dirt (Soil)

Did you try all the things above and still you did not find the remedy for your plant then the culprit is the soil mix.

Aloe is succulents they don’t do well in potting mix soil.

How to fix it?

For better results, Before you repot you need to water for 2 days, don’t create a shock for the plant, and before you start to loosen up the soil and do the following.

you need to select cactus soil for potting aloe. If you are building your own soil mix then you need to add one part of the soil mix and the other part builder soil.

you can add marble stones on top of the soil to look nice (aesthetics).

9. Bugs

Small bugs enjoy feeding on Aloe vera plants. maybe one of the reasons for red patches on the Aloe plant.

1. Mealy Bugs

mealybugs are young female bug pierce the plant tissue and suck out the sapling causing less growth, color change, or distorted plant tissue.

Mealybugs colonies look red at the base of the aloe plants, looking like small fuzz while females build their nests.

How to Control: Mealybugs can be controlled by squirting plants with water and rubbing mealy bugs colonies with a soft cloth.

2. Scales

Scales are small insects that pierce plants that feed on fluids. To overcome this kind we need a tablespoon of insecticidal soap and 1 cup isopropyl alcohol into 1 quart of water and spray to plant.

3. Mites

Aloe plants attract mites some kinds of mites can only be visible through a microscope. For this kind of bug, there is no solution you need to remove all affected leaves and throw them to stop spreading to other plants.

10. Mold

If the white stuff is soft/ moist probably it can be mold. which is generally grow in wet soil.

The real culprit is not leaving the soil to dry between waterings or watering too often.

How to care for mold on the Aloe vera plant?

1. Remove the mold.

scrape the mold in the top layer of soil with a spoon. This will help to remove the existing mold on the soil.

2. Allow soil to dry between waterings.

Aloe vera plants like dry climate, when you pour more water into aloe vera plant or more often you water mold can develop in soil. Here is how to solve it.

Increase light: move your plant from a shady place to a more bright light side. This will help the plant to absorb the water.

Increase the air movement: If possible set up a fan to blow out gently on the soil surface.

Test soil moisture before watering: We need to test the soil moisture before we water, the test is simply you can put your hands on the soil, if the soil doesn’t stick to your hand then you can pour the water otherwise you need to skip.


Can you use aloe vera when it turns red?

Even though the gel from aloe has mild antibiotic properties, it too gives in to decay eventually. Now if the pinkish color is just on the skin and you’ve been growing it outside in the full sun, the leaves tend to take on a pinkish to red color naturally. Once we take it out from the plant and it turning red then it’s not good.

Why Does Aloe Vera Plant Turns Brown?

Aloe vera plant is turning brown due to excessive watering, low watering, overexposure to sunlight, and improper drainage systems are common causes. In addition to these sudden changes in temperature (sunburn), deficiency in salts, too many minerals (over fertilizer), improper soil mix, bugs, mold cause color change.

Why Does An Aloe Vera Plant Turn Brown?

Aloe vera plant is turning brown due to excessive watering, low watering, overexposure to sunlight, and improper drainage systems are common causes. In addition to these sudden changes in temperature (sunburn), deficiency in salts, too many minerals (over fertilizer), improper soil mix, bugs, mold cause color change.

Final Thoughts:

I have moved my aloe vera plant inside and took good care of it. Now it’s doing good. I hope it helped you take good care of your aloe vera plant, Let me know in the comments how did you cure your aloe plant of turning red. Happy Reading!

Aloe vera leaves turning red or brown due to overexposure to sunlight, excessive watering, low watering, and improper drainage systems are common causes. In addition to these sudden changes in temperature (sunburn), deficiency in salts, too many minerals (over fertilizer), improper soil mix, bugs, mold cause color change.


I love and passionate about gardening. All these started a few years back, planting, watering plants, and helping the plants grow without any diseases. I enjoy spending time with plants, greenery which gives me peace of mind.

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