It can be heartbreaking to notice your aloe turning yellow. But no worries, it can happen to any indoor aloe vera plant.
There are several causes of aloe leaves turning yellow. This article will walk you through the causes and every possible way to fix your yellowing aloe vera.
Aloe vera leaves turn yellow due to improper watering. Both overwatering and underwatering can cause this problem. In addition, nutrient deficiency, pest infestation can also cause aloe vera to turn yellow.
In addition, there are a number of factors responsible for yellow aloe vera. Let’s dive into the details.
Causes of Aloe Turning Yellow
You need to investigate carefully to find out the cause and then take action to fix it.
Aloe leaves can hold water, so the plant does not need frequent watering. Overwatering and lack of water both can be fatal for your aloe vera plant. If you want your aloe not to turn yellow or dry out then you should stick to the rules of watering.
If you overwater aloe vera then the potting soil will remain moist most of the time. Consequently, this moist condition leads to favorable conditions for root rot Disease.
The problem with root rot is you can not detect the problem initially. But with time when the root starts to rot the aloe will show symptoms like yellowing aloe vera.
Root rot damages the root system. So, it can not absorb the necessary nutrients for the plant. Then nutrient deficiency leads to aloe leaves turning yellow.
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Lack of Water
Aloe vera plants can survive for quite a long time (2-3 months). That does not mean you do not have to water for that long.
To ensure healthy and rich green aloe vera you have to provide enough water.
Now, what happens if you do not water for a long period of time?! Of course, the soil dries and the roots can not uptake the food for itself.
The essential elements for plants remain in soluble form in the water within the soil.
So, if there is no water then the nutrient elements become unavailable for the plant. Therefore, your aloe vera shows symptoms like yellowing aloe vera.
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How to Water Aloe Vera
This is a common procedure you can use to determine the water requirement of houseplants. In the case of aloe vera,
First, you need to loosen the upper part of the earth, check that it has dried out by 4-5 cm.
Only then you can water it, avoiding flooding. It is important that excess water drains out from the pot.
Generally, you should water once every ten days. In the winter, reduce the watering frequency.
You should water only when the soil dries to the bottom of the pot. And keep in mind that young plants require more frequent watering than mature plants.
A constant lack of moisture also negatively affects the plant. You must keep in mind that the frequency of irrigation is associated with the intensity of lighting, humidity, size of the plant, and root density. In a small pot, the soil dries faster.
Lack of light
Aloe vera plants do not demand any specific location to live. But they suffer from both excess and lack of sunlight. In the hot summer, burns from the sun often appear on the leaves. Aloe leaves tuning purple is the common consequence.
But often the aloe plant begins to turn yellow in the fall and winter. At this time, aloe is resting and therefore does not require frequent watering and excessively high temperatures.
The plant will feel best in a cool, semi-dark room. In most cases, this mistake that becomes fatal to the aloe plant.
I will explain why this is a mistake to think like that. So that you can save your aloe from turning yellow.
Therefore, you to understand the basic requirements of the plant for light:
- Aloe needs year-round lighting.
- You have to ensure light at any time of the year. Because both in winter and in summer, direct rays burn your aloe. On the other hand, shade does not allow photosynthesis normally. It is light that triggers the reaction of photosynthesis.
- In summer, aloe grows well even on the balcony. The plant normally tolerates temperature changes and shading. But in winter you should place the plant in southern windows.
The daylight requirement of this succulent is at least 15 hours. In winter, you need to provide artificial lighting to your aloe healthy. And Yes! The plant can do photosynthesis in artificial light.
It is not necessary to install an additional light source for a plant. Even if your apartment is not too sunny.
You should move the pots periodically for a better light angle. And this will be enough to keep your plant healthy.
Here is a video which will tell you the lack of light effects on your aloe vera. Besides, how to recover your aloe vera from too much light:
The Temperature Problem
The best temperature for aloe in spring and summer is around 25°C/77°F on average. However, your aloe can normally survive a drop to 18-20°C/64.4-68°F even during intensive growth.
So, it is therefore quite comfortable on your balcony or in the garden in summer.
Here are some cases when your aloe plant will be negatively affected:
- Fall season cooling with a sharp drop in temperature to 10°C/50°F;
- Prolonged (more than 3 hours) stay in the sun in hot weather – above 29°C/84.2°F;
- Sudden temperature changes, this may cause with artificial heating
- A sudden change in temperature: the plant is exposed to the sun in summer in hot weather, which will definitely cause burns.
Special feature! Aloe can survive even at 12°C/53.6°F heat. But you should remember that the temperature should fall gradually. Otherwise, stress will have a bad effect on the succulent.
Your aloe vera plant does not require much effort, but the basic requirements of care are still necessary.
Like any living organism, aloe will respond to the favorable conditions with an abundance of new leaves and branches.
Wrong Nutritional Supplements
If there is any shortage of nutrition supply, you can see the visible effects. You may notice the yellowing of the sharp leaf tips and thining of the leaf plates.
You have to ensure fertile soil that is well-drained and moist for succulents. Also, It is rich in both minerals and organics.
Special feature! You should not fertilize aloe for six months after transplanting. It has enough nutrients from renewed soil. Young plants also do not need extra fertilizer applications.
Aloe yellow leaves signal that:
- Fertilizers are applied too often, which is not good for the root system;
- The plant has not been watered abundantly before the fertilization. As a result, the root system gets burn;
- Aloe was not watered under the root with a liquid solution. But the leaves and stem were sprayed, which is not acceptable;
- The soil was fertilized in winter when the succulent is resting or immediately after purchase. Or you did it more often than once in 3-4 weeks.
All is good in proper proportion; you should be careful when feeding your aloe. If aloe leaves turn yellow, thin, and shallow then it needs extra nutrition.
However, minimal application of fertilizer does much less harm to the plant.
If the substrate is abundant in nutrition, then you should not fertilize the soil again. Even if your aloe is not looking good. Because this will cause more damage to your plant.
Aloe Turning Yellow Due to Diseases
The indoor aloe may wither and fade due to diseases. In natural conditions, succulents are less vulnerable to diseases.
But your artificial indoor environment can harm them, creating favorable conditions for diseases.
This is a very dangerous disease for your indoor aloe. This can kill your plants before you get enough time to save it. But there are ways to save aloe from root rot.
Here are the reasons that can accelerate the occurrence of root rot disease.
- Ignoring the requirements for aloe transplantation,
- insufficiently drained soil,
- Solid soil causes moisture stagnation which provokes the appearance of root rot.
When the disease occurs, you will find the following symptoms:
- Leaves become thinner, look watery, and withered.
- The color gradually changes from juicy green to yellow.
- Aloe stem looks thin and very fragile, easily breaks off at the base.
- The plant growth slows down.
- The soil in the pot starts to smell unpleasant.
These signs suggest that your aloe has been affected by root rot. Dying roots are not able to give aloe normal nutrition. This contributes to the appearance of all these signs and force aloe vera yellowing.
You will observe a slightly different picture if aloe is affected by dry rot. The disease progresses very quickly. Almost always the result is the death of the plant.
Initially, you will see that only the tips of the medium-sized leaves dry out rather well developed. Then the whole leaf dies after drying and curling.
From one leaf, the disease passes to another. There’s almost nothing you can do. The culprit of the situation is a fungus that destroys aloe from the inside, drying it out.
If you understand what happens at the very beginning of the disease, then you can try to separate several healthy layers and root them.
How To Prevent Aloe Diseases
Diseases such as root rot and dry rot are caused by improper care for aloe. Wrong selection of soil or irregular watering conditions.
Root rot threatens succulents planted in heavy soil. Because it retains moisture. If you water your aloe irregularly, then a crust will form on the soil surface that does not allow oxygen to pass through.
This causes acidification of the soil and creates favorable conditions for the reproduction of pathogens that destroy the roots.
Dry rot appears if your pot soil is very light and does not retain enough moisture. The root of the plants does not receive enough water to feed the stem and leaves.
As a result, constant stress weakens the aloe. So, it can not resist the fungus, which began to develop in the stem and leaves. The fungus destroys every cell of the plant.
The natural environment of aloe is warm countries, where it reaches a huge amount of light, well-aerated moist soils. You should keep in mind these things when deciding to purchase an aloe plant for your indoor garden.
If on top of everything else you force aloe to survive in a small pot, where the roots are cramped and the layering has nowhere to root. Yet you did not transplant for years, the diseases are inevitable.
Insect Infestation Causing Aloe Turning Yellow
A real disaster for your indoor aloe is pests. Now and then pests attack your plants. Since they can not only damage but also destroy green leafy areas. As a result, aloe leaves turn yellow.
If you find yellowing aloe plant and dead leaf spots, it is proof that the plant is attacked by spider mites.
The dead spots will unite and make the leaves turn yellow. Slowly all the leaves will be affected. With such a tiny size – about 1 mm, the insect causes a lot of damage.
They settle in a colony on the underside of young leaves. Then the insect sucks out its gentle juice and exhausts your plant.
If yellowness turns into brown, and then the leaf dies. You should act immediately:
- move the plant away from others, isolating and preventing infection;
- treat the plant leaves with Insecticidal Soap or neem oil which is designed to control pests;
- repeat the treatment of all leaves twice with an interval of 5 days.
It’s important to do it on the balcony or in an open space. The insecticidal soap is not as dangerous as chemical insecticides. But still, it can irritate your eyes and skin. So, wearing gloves and protective eyeglasses can protect you from the possible effects of the insecticide.
In addition to the long-lasting effective pesticides, you can also use homemade recipes. You can make a very easy and simple pesticide using laundry soap and onion peel.
Mix them together and carefully wipe each leaf of the plant. Easy, cost-effective, and safe method to fight against plant-insect.
The influence of scale insects
The scale insect looks like a small bump on the stem or leaf of a plant. They settle in a colony and sucks out the juice. Thus, it deprives the aloe leaves of growth and development.
The leaves in the damaged areas dry out. In severe lesions, the leaves turn yellow and then dark reddish, later brown spots appear on them. Then the leaf dies off.
Immediately isolate the plant from the rest. Thoroughly treat the place where it stood, and the plant itself with garlic tincture.
You can use alcoholic solutions to wipe the leaves and as well as the whole plant. This will help save your plants from pests.
You may also notice that the aloe plant yellow tips. And the plant is suddenly covered with pieces of wax.
Then you can be sure about the attack of mealybug. The areas covered by this pest begin to rot as there will be a lack of oxygen.
Mealybug does not like moisture. So sometimes it is enough to treat the plant with special formulations of alcohol or a little apple vinegar to control it. Use it carefully so as not to burn the aloe.
After thoroughly wiping every centimeter of the succulent, you will need to put it in the shade for a few days.
This will increase the chances of getting rid of the mealybug. Within 10 days you should repeat the treatment 3 more times using normal wet wipes.
How To Prevent Insects
Now, the prevention of diseases and pests is much simpler than fighting them and their consequences. To protect the plants, you just need to carefully monitor them, observing all the changes.
And also take precautions when transplanting or introducing a new indoor plant near it. Transplant, fertilize and treat at the right time. Supply filtered water on time and do not violate the temperature preference of the plant.
It is important to adhere to these requirements when caring an aloe vera plant:
- If you are using old pots for transplant, you must treat them with disinfectants.
- When you aloe pulling out new branches, make sure to choose a larger container. So that the roots have enough room for growth.
- If you want to use garden soil, you should warm it up in the oven or pour it with boiling water to destroy pests.
- Wipe aloe leaves weekly and inspect the stem. Not only will you be able to recognize the warning signs in good time, but also you can prevent the occurrence of diseases and pests.
A strong, healthy aloe plant can easily withstand both stress factors and various diseases. You can keep your aloe plant healthy only by naturally taking care of them.
With proper care, monitoring the condition of the soil, providing favorable conditions, your aloe vera will delight all year round. (Source: Cooperative Extension; The University of Arizona)
How to Keep Your Aloe Healthy And Happy
If you do not want your aloe turning yellow, you need to follow the recommendations. Here are some common best practices to keep your aloe vera healthy and happy:
- Aloe needs good lighting, so you should keep it on the south or east windowsill with shading from direct sunlight.
- You can use both clay and plastic pot for aloe vera plant, make sure the pot is large enough to support the vertical and horizontal root growth.
- Water your aloe vera when the potting soil dries along the edge of the pot. You can use your finger to check the soil moisture. And always use settled water at room temperature.
- The potting mix must be loose, full of plant nutrients, and have good air permeability.
- If your aloe plant is under five years of age then consider transplanting it annually in spring.
- You should apply fertilizer when it is in an active growth period. Winter is the rest period for aloe, so do not use fertilizer at this time.
- Do not let the dust settle on the leaves. It will interrupt the photosynthesis process. Regularly clean the leaves with a soft cloth.
- You can spray the leaves in summer to help your aloe maintain its temperature.
- Inspect your aloe vera each week to detect any disease or insect attack. If you find any take the necessary actions as I described above.
Aloe vera does not mind minor care mistakes. But if you continue to ignore its requirements then the aloe will lose immunity to disease and pests.
And that’s why it will turn yellow or brown. If you follow the care tips stated above you can enjoy the beauty and use its medicinal properties.
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