Aloe vera is one of the most unique and stylish plants that you can grow in your garden. It does equally well in potted containers as it does outdoors, but you do need to make sure that you care for the plant.
The aloe plant is likely to die due to a number of reasons, primarily related to poor care and upkeep.
The aloe vera plant is a prized addition to any garden, as known for its medicinal properties and its unique appearance. Its stylish foliage will look unique in any setting, and it grows year-round in many parts of the country.
However, like all plants, aloe vera also requires appropriate attention.
You need to make sure that you provide adequate amounts of water to the plant and ensure that it gets appropriate lighting. Water, lighting, and good-quality soil are all important requirements for the aloe vera plant.
Don’t just think that you can plant aloe vera and let it grow. If you do, it won’t be long before the plant starts to die.
Aloe vera is a very popular succulent, and like all other succulents, it requires water as well. But, if your aloe plant is dying, there may be any number of reasons why.
You need to evaluate each cause individually and then fix the problems to ensure that the plant is able to survive and grow accordingly.
Here are just a few of the many reasons why your aloe vera plant might begin to die.
1 – Poor Lighting
You should know that the aloe vera plant requires direct access to sunlight to grow properly. However, many people mistake this for a need for excessive sunlight, and they keep the plant directly in the sun.
This is a terrible idea, and will cause the plant to suffer from sunburns. The plant needs sunlight, but you need to avoid keeping it directly in the sun.
If the plant continues to suffer from sunburns, it will eventually wither away and die. If you want to protect your aloe vera plant and prevent it from suffering from such burns, you might want to move it to a shady area and let it diffuse a bit of light.
If you have an indoor aloe vera plant that you moved outdoors right away, it’s going to suffer from burns.
Instead, you should slowly move the plant outdoors. First, keep it in a slightly better-lit area and let it rest. Then, after a few days, once the plant has adjusted, you can then move it outdoors. Again, it’s best to avoid keeping it in direct sunlight.
2 – Changes in Temperature
You should know that the aloe vera plant is quite sensitive to changes in temperature. When the temperature falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, your aloe vera plant will likely start turning brown, and will eventually die.
On the other hand, excessively hot temperatures will have the same effect on the plant.
As a result, you need to be quite careful regarding temperature changes. When the temperature starts to drop, you need to bring your plant indoors.
Similarly, if the temperature inside gets too hot, you need to move the plant outdoors. If you have planted aloe vera outside in the ground, you might want to cover it with a frost blanket.
3 – Poor Watering
Insufficient watering can also affect your aloe plant. While it may not take much to revive an aloe plant, you need to first figure out why the plant is dying.
One of the reasons why your aloe vera plant might be dying is because you don’t give it appropriate amounts of water. If so, the plant might begin to wither, and will begin to turn dry and brown when it doesn’t get enough water.
During the warm weather of the summer months, you need to be particularly careful about watering. However, you need to understand that aloe vera is quite sensitive to watering changes. Before you add water to the plant, you need to check the soil and see if the soil is moist.
If you continue to add more water while the soil is still moist, you will end up clogging the roots. The plant will ultimately succumb to root rot and will begin to die.
Therefore, you should check the soil before adding water. The best way to do that is by inserting your finger in the soil.
If the soil is dry, you should add more water to the plant. If the soil is moist, wait a day or two before adding water. Also, you need to make sure that you add water at the root of the plant, instead of on the leaves.
The water will simply evaporate off the leaves, especially when the plant is exposed to the sun, and it will actually have an adverse impact on the leaves.
If you end up adding too much water, spots will begin to appear on the leaves. These are known as water-soaked spots, and they usually develop a soft and soggy texture.
You will notice that the saturation on the leaves will also increase, and eventually, the plant will begin to turn to mush and slowly die.
If you notice these spots appearing on your aloe plant, you need to immediately leave off on the watering. You only need to add water to the plant when the soil becomes completely dry, otherwise it won’t be long before the plant dies due to overwatering.
4 – Drainage Issues
If you have a potted aloe vera plant, you need to understand that drainage can be a serious problem.
If there are no drainage holes at the bottom of the pot, the plant will get waterlogged very quickly. The water will not be able to escape properly from the plant, and as a result of that, the plant will die a quick death.
In such a situation, you will need to remove the aloe vera plant and repot it in another container with appropriate drainage holes. You will also need to remove the roots that have turned mushy to promote new growth.
It’s not going to be easy for you to save your plant in such conditions, but taking quick action might be just what you need to do.
5 – Soil Problems
Another thing that you need to consider is the soil in which your aloe vera is planted. You need to understand that the plant requires a bit of extra sand and does really well when the soil contains perlite. This is suitable for both potted as well as non-potted aloe vera plants.
Also, if you are going to fertilize the plant, you need to make sure that you fertilize it at least once a month, but only fertilize the plant during the spring and summer months.
A conventional houseplant fertilizer will work well, but you should dilute it by half before adding it to the plant.
6 – Nutrition
As mentioned above, these plants are generally easy to care for. You don’t have to worry about feeding the plant on and off. However, you need to feed the plant at least once a month with diluted food.
This is good enough for the aloe vera plant. But the reason why this topic deserves a separate heading is because many people end up feeding their plant more than they should.
This is a big problem, because the plant does not do well with so much nutrition. It’s a slow-grower, as you already know, so feeding it more than you should is a terrible idea.
7 – Pests
One of the major causes of aloe vera death is pest infestation. Pests can cause extensive damage to your aloe vera, and can easily eat the plant from the inside out.
There are a number of pests that can have a negative impact on the plant, such as mealybugs and mites. Even scales can have a negative impact on the plant. You need to make sure that you keep the plant safe from pests.
In most cases, the plant will become susceptible to a pest infestation when you add too much water to it. It is important that the roots are kept clean to ensure that the plant does not fall prey to these pests.
Also, you need to make sure that you use a standard insecticide to keep the plant in prime condition.
The best way to identify a pest infestation is to closely observe the plant. If you notice many white spots and a cotton-like texture developing on the leaves, it’s a pretty clear sign that the plant has been exposed to mealybugs.
These mealybugs can eat the leaves and cause extensive damage to your plant.
If you do not treat a pest infestation quickly, it won’t be long before the plant withers and dies. If the soil is of poor quality, it’s going to attract lots of pests. Y
ou need to take action quickly to prevent your plant from sustaining damage and dying.
8 – Exposure to Chemicals
There is also a risk that the plant will begin to turn brown and eventually die if it is exposed to chemicals. For instance, herbicide drift can cause serious problems, and if your plant falls prey to it, it won’t be long before it begins to turn brown.
In many cases, cleaning chemicals that might be caught by the plant and seep into the soil can cause damage to the plant.
You need to treat this problem quickly, otherwise things will get really bad, really quickly. You will have to remove the few affected leaves and you might have to transplant the aloe vera plant into a vascular system.
Taking care of the plant isn’t impossible, it just requires a bit of dedication and care on your part.
Now, if your aloe vera plant is dying or in need of assistance, you will want to take certain steps to help the plant recover. There are several things that can be done, so here are a few important tips to help you revive a dying aloe vera plant.
Monitor the Water
The first step is to monitor the water content of the soil and make sure that the aloe vera plant is getting just enough water—not less, not more.
You can use a hygrometer to determine the exact level of moisture in the plant’s soil. You can also check the water content with your finger.
If you keep the plant outdoors, you will need to water it every couple of weeks. On the other hand, if you keep the plant indoors, you might only want to water it every three to four weeks.
Remember, too much water is more harmful for the plant than not enough water.
More importantly, you will have to modify your watering routine depending on the season. For instance, during the winter season, aloe vera doesn’t require a lot of water, so you might want to consider watering your plant even less.
If the plant is kept in a cool space, you might want to consider watering it just once a month, or whenever you notice the soil is excessively dry.
Also, make sure that you do not water excessively. Most people make the mistake of filling up the pot to the brim, and that’s a terrible mistake. The water will remain in the soil, and will continue to cause damage to the plant.
Instead, you should always water the plant just to the point that the soil becomes moist, and then stop.
If the plant succumbs to root rot, you should take it out of its current plant and repot it. Don’t waste time during the repotting, as the time you waste could end up causing irreversible damage to your plant. You will also need to remove all the damaged roots from the plant before you put it in another pot.
These are just a few things that you should know about caring for an aloe vera plant.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.