Why Do Aloe Vera Plant Leaves Droop? (12 Causes & Solution)


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.

aloevera-turning-black
aloe vera plant leaves drooping

You have noticed that your Alove vera ( True Aloe) plant leaves are drooping or wilting leaves.

Why is my Aloe vera plant leaves drooping or wilting?

Aloe vera plant leaves drooping or wilting mainly due to overwatering, less or overexposure to sunlight, insufficient drainage, pests, pot bound, or sudden temperature changes to plant affects its leaves. Once the plants wilt or limp they won’t get healthy in the future, so you need to remove those leaves.

1. Over Watering

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

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

There are two possible causes that you can over water

  • 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 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 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 plant.

2. Give pot proper drainage holes and soil

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

You can make 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 holds 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 aloe vera plant while you are buying or the one you are DIY.

3. Improve Watering habits

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

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

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

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

2. Less Exposure to Sunlight

Being a succlent and mostly grown in desert it likes dry climate, It needs lot of bright light, natural sun light to thrive.

If keep Aloe vera plant in shady side of garden or where you less sun light, can observe the aloe vera leaves turning weak and becoming paler.

If your Alove vera plant turning white in the center of the plant and also consider the how your leaves are looking. are they stretched out ? then it is referred as etiolation.

Why my aloevera plant center is turning white? Because it is not getting enough bright light wither direct or indirect sunlight.

Aloe vera plants need at least 6hours of sunlight, either indirect or direct (for some hours), to make plants happy.

If you give more sunlight to aloe vera plant, leaves will be sunburnt be cautious.

How to fix if my aloe vera plant is less exposed to sunlight?

1. Change the location of plant

To overcome less exposure light problem simple and cost effective solution is to move your pot towards more sun or brighter place.

Most probable you need to move your plants to the North-East facing window to get more light, not directly to the west or south-facing window.

Basically select the area where you get partial shade for the whole day and keep your plant there.

2. Give artificial light

Aloe vera plants are ok with indirect artificial light. But they keep thriving for sunlight.

Aloe vera love direct sunlight, When you cannot provide the sunlight due to various reasons, you choose white light as alternative.

3. Over Exposure to Sunlight

Did you notice pale white patches on aloe vera plant leaves ? then it is sun burnt leaves because of over Exposure to sun light.

If your aloevera is in extreme hot conditions like in middle of 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.(White 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 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 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 south-west 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 a few days so that it won’t get sun shock!

4. Sudden Change in Temperature Or Not Recommended Temperature

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

your aloe vera plant is outside and it’s freezing 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 out side bring aloe vera plant inside or consider buying mini green house instead.

1. Monitor outside Temperature

If you live in a place where constantly weather changes then you need to keep an eye on weather and move the aloevera plant inside or outside gradullay (dont give any shock to plant).

Maintaining transition period is preferred than giving shock to 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 window pane about a foot of space.

5. Bad Overwinter

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

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

How to fix Bad Overwinter?

Expert says we need to leave 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.

6. Fertilizer or Salt Build up in Plant

Over time 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,pottasium are needed to life process of the plants. Minerals in soil are converted to checmical salts by chemical activity in soil. By microbial population of soil these can be added by fertilizer.

With Heavy fetilizer you can observe top layer of soil forms white thin crust residue.

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

Lack of nitrogen means low chlorofyll aloe plants show turning to white.

How to fix it?

1. Remove mineral crust – Removing minerals

First thing is you need to scrape the extra minerals from plant just using finger nails 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 plant/pot. you need to remove the excess fertilizer from pot.

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

Indoor plants don’t need to fertilize often, How much the light they gets 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 likes to have 1-2 fertilization yearly, most probably in 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, 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 like to fertilize 1-2 times a year. If you over fertilize this will cause thin crust on plant or top most soil.

7. Nutrients Deficiency

If the Aloe vera plants don’t have enough nutrients plants will turn to white. 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 chlorophyl 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 use cactus soil or one part of pot mix and builders sand for other part to aloe vera plant.

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

8. Too much Nutrients

This is exact opposite of previous thing. Too much nutrients is often from over fertilizing 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 white. 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 white layer thin crust is formed on top layer of soil or plant.

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

9. 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).

10. Bugs

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

1. Mealy Bugs

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

Mealy bugs colonies looks white at the base of the aloe plants, looking like small fuzz while females build their nests.

How to Control: Mealy bugs can be controlled by squirting of plant with water and rubbing of mealy bugs colonies with soft cloth.

2. Scales

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

3. Mites

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

11. Mold

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

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

2. Allow soil to dry between waterings.

Aloevera plants like dry climate, when you pour more water to 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 setup a fan to blow out gently on soil surface.

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

12. Aloe Vera Barbadensis Miller variety of aloe plant

Barbadensis Miller is one of the kinds of aloe vera plant. In general, we can see the differences between pups and mature plants by white patches on pups. When aloe vera plants mature these spots will be disappeared.

In this kind of variety, we can observe leaves thicker and more greener as the plant leaves grow. It flowers in summer (It can spike up to 35 inches tall), and have small white kind of teeth in leaves, The flowers have yellow petals without any dots.

(Reference: https://desertsucculents.com/aloe-vera-barbadensis-miller-beneficial-variety/)

Final Thoughts

With the help of following tips i am able to recover my aloe vera plant.

Harshavardhan

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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