How Do I Know if my Aloe Vera is Dying?

Feed your precious aloe plant the right way with this expert guide to aloe vera. Discover how to make your aloe plant thrive indoors by treating it with the right amount of lighting, water, and fertilizer. Your Aloe Vera will thank you for your knowledge!
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Limp leaves in your garden is never a good sign. But as much as the plant is struggling, it does not spell the end of your aloe vera plant. Aloe plants die because of slow drainage of soil which soaks the roots, leading to rot. The good news is you still have a chance to save the plant, only when you know if, and why it is dying.

Just like other succulents, Aloe vera is an easy plant to grow, only when you meet the few conditions required. Well-drained soil should be put in a pot that has enough drainage holes to prevent roots from sitting in water. Ole is a dry plant that requires watering to be done sparingly. Any sign of drooping and mushy leaves indicate a dying plant, probably because of overwatering.

So do you want to know if your aloe is on its death bed? First soft and mushy stems, yellow and drooping leaves, and leaves drying at the base are signs of a dying aloe plant. You can know that your plant is dying when the leaves turn rusty and have brown spots. While leaves speak volumes in telling you the state of your aloe plant, roots as well do, and when they are rotting, just know your plant is headed for extinction.

This post will teach you how to detect a dying aloe plant because it is the only sure way to revive it. Apart from the normal features observable on the outward plant, it is important to know the causes and the best way to fix them.

Why is your Aloe Dying?

Several reasons make a once healthy Aloe plant look like it’s dying. The plants start to die when wrong soil has been used, poor watering schedules, and unfavorable temperatures, very high or low humidity, pest, and bacterial and fungi infections. In some instances, when the plant gets the wrong amount of light and sun, it is likely to start dying, not forgetting to use the wrong pot size to plant the aloe.

When the Stem and Leaves Appear Soft or Mushy

If you always overwater your aloe, the stem of the plant appears soft and mushy. When you touch the stem, it feels soggy. The soggy feel is because the stem tissues are holding excess moisture. Aloe plants store water in either the roots or the leaves, and a soft stem is a sign that water is now in the stem because the leaves already have enough.

Aloe Vera plant
If your Aloe Vera has soft and mushy leaves, the plant may be dying.

Aloe is a succulent plant that is native to dry places. When you give your aloe vera too much water, the leaves start to become soft and develop water-soaked spots. Overwatering the plant is one of the easiest ways to kill a healthy aloe plant.

How to fix?

Aloe vera is a tolerant and delightful plant. If you realize that the stem of your plant and the leaves look soft kindly do the following:

  • Stop watering the plant and let it dry out. It will give you time to rectify your mess, but this time is limited.
  • Ensure that the pot is of the right size and has good drainage. The best type of pot you can use to be sure of good drainage is the terracotta pot.

Soft stems and leaves are evident enough that you will soon lose your plant. Don’t wait for any other sign to start rectifying the problem.

When Leaves are Turning Yellow and Drooping

No matter how drought-tolerant aloe is, they do require some water. If it lacks water for a long time, the leaves will start turning yellow and start dropping off. Use your finger, and squeeze it down the topsoil, and if you cannot feel some moisture, it is time to water your plant. Because your plant is actually dying.

Yellow and droopy leaves are common if an Aloe Vera is dying.

When watering the aloe plant, ensure that you water it thoroughly because succulent plants like it when they take in a lot of water at once. A dry aloe plant will start losing its shiny green color and start becoming yellow, and sometimes this may be followed by the curling of the leaves.

How to fix?

 Do not panic. Treat the yellow leaves by watering your plant. If you are in a place where it mostly rains, use the rainwater. Rainwater is the ideal water to use as it does not have the chemicals found in tap water.

What does it mean when the Whole Plant Droops and Leaves Dry at the Base?

If your aloe vera starts showing some signs of drooping leaves and a leggy appearance, it is a sign that soon, you may lose your plant. Aloe vera is a desert plant that requires proper sunlight. Lack of adequate sunlight will weaken the plant, which may persist to its death.

Aloe vera has adapted to growing in open areas with at least 4 hours of direct sunlight. Aloe prefers the morning sun, which should then be followed by bright indirect light in the afternoon. This weakening of leaves may also be accompanied by fading of the green color.

How to fix it?

  • If the plant is planted indoor, take it out to receive sunlight.
  • Place your aloe plant near a window for light to reach it.
  • If it is near a window, turn it from time to time to ensure that all the sides get the light.

Leaf spots turning your Aloe Brown

Aloe vera is not immune to diseases. Some diseases may affect it, and the effects are observed on the leaves when they brown. Fungal and bacterial infections could affect the plant and turn it brown.

Most of the leaf spots in aloe vera leaves are fungal. They often start as faded green, circular lesions that turn brown or dark with time. The leaves may also develop sunken water-soaked lesions, which dries out with time and turns brown. A fungus identified as Anthracnose is mostly responsible for this disease.

How to fix it?

The solution to a fungal or bacterial disease depends on the type of disease. If you are sure that it is a fungal disease, you can use antifungals. You can also use pesticides to remove the sooty mold that may form in the plant’s leaves.

Remove the plant from the pot and observe the root system. Heavy diseased roots or leaves could lead to the infection of healthy parts of the plant that may cause the whole plant to die. For the affected areas, cut them and leave the healthy ones to grow.

Spotting Rust Spots on Aloe Leaves

If you keep your aloe plant for too long in the water, it may start attracting some fungi that could lead to rust spots on the leaves of your aloe plant. This rusty plant could be an indicator that your aloe plant is dying.

Rust spots, mainly affect the plant when it’s warm or moist. These small red or brown rust-like spots are usually observed on the underside of the leaves. If they are left for long, the marks can coalesce and form larger, scruffy pustules. The rust spots could be a result of low lighting.

How to fix it?

Rust parts may not be that dangerous, but these spots are unsightly since aloe is also kept for beauty.  You can use recommended chemicals to kill these fungi and prevent their spread. It is also essential to ensure that your plant gets good lighting.

Identifying a Root Rot

Remove your plant from its pot, and examine if the roots rotting or are they smelly. When the roots start to rot they produce a pungent smell. Healthy roots should be tan and white, succulent, and numerous. If the root tips can be seen, they should have a white color.

Root rot is one of the common signs that your Aloe Vera is dying.

If the root of your plant looks brown or black and crumbly, it’s a sign that your plant is not healthy and is dying. Sometimes, if the roots are soft, it is an indication that your plant is also dying. 

Can you fix this?

Yes, you can fix the problem. The best you can do with root rot is to prepare the plant for replanting. Clean the roots well with running water to ensure that they are observable well. Cut all the brown or black roots from the plant and leave those that are white.

Prepare a new pot with good drainage and put sand soil with of mixture of gravels to increase the drainage property of the soil. Do not plant your aloe the same day. Instead, allow the plant to air out to prevent further infection and root rot.

Your Aloe is Sunburnt

Aloe vera thrives well in sunlight. It also brightens up when it is in good daylight. However, aloe vera does not appreciate too much sunlight because it will start appearing dry and its fresh green leaves yellow. This is an indication that you should act immediately, or you will lose the plant.

If your Aloe Vera had been exposed to excess sunlight, it may develop sunburns.

If your aloe vera lives in a sunspot, you will need to water the plant more often to prevent sunburn. Remove the plant from the direct sunlight to revive the dying aloe plant. Continuous, direct sunlight for aloe vera may drain the plant all its energy, leading to the death of the plant.


Aloe vera is sensitive to burning and should not be placed in direct sunlight. Keep your plant in bright, indirect light to prevent sunburn. It would help if you also were cautious with the seasons of the year. During summer, water the plant more often than during the winter seasons.

Bottom Line

If you notice that your plant is experiencing the above problems, take fast action. Some issues tend to last longer than others, but the end of it all is that your plant may finally die. With the steps, you take, ensure you follow up on your plant to ensure that it is reviving and getting back to its everyday life.

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