Reasons Why Your Aloe Plant is Dying

Last Updated on August 22, 2022 by Stephanie

The reason behind dying aloe plants is usually over-watering and slow drainage of soil that causes the leaves to turn brown or yellow , giving them an appearance of dying. Insufficient sunlight and temperatures that are colder than 50degF could also be the cause of dying aloe plants.

The most frequent causes of aloe plants dying in the past are:

  1. Overwatering (brown or yellow-colored drooping leaves that have an emollient texture).
  2. The soil is draining in a slow manner (brown or yellow leaflets that drop).
  3. Do not empty the trays and saucers of water (which could cause the root to rot).
  4. Insufficient sunlight (aloe plants need at least four hours in direct sun).
  5. Damage from cold (aloe plants may die at temperatures that are lower than 50degF)

In this article , I have listed the top 5 reasons why aloe plants die and appear dead, and the solutions to each one.

Continue reading to discover the reason your aloe plant is dying and the best way to fix the problem…

1. Overwatering (Leaves changing from Brown to Yellow and drooping)

The most frequent reason why aloe plants die is over-watering.

Aloes are drought-resistant plants that thrive in the sun-filled, dry and hot conditions in Oman within the Arabian peninsula which is where they thrive in a sandy or gritty well-draining soils that have low humidity (read my article about the most suitable potting soil to grow aloe vera).

If aloe plants are irrigated frequently, they will show signs such as the leaves turning brown or yellow and those aloe leaves falling.

Aloe plants that are regularly overwatered may develop root rot however you are able to keep aloe alive with yellow and brown leaf before root rot begins to develop.

Aloe plants are well-adapted to drought conditions, the over-watering of plants is usually the issue, rather than the insufficient watering.

If you water aloe more than once a week, youre overwatering the plants of aloe.

aloe vera in golden pot on wooden table


It is essential to cut down the amount of watering your aloe as soon as you notice it is drying out. the soil dry.

For aloe plants to thrive, it is essential to replicate the conditions for watering of the native environment. This is by that you water your plants with a an ample amount of water and then a time of drought during which the soil completely dries.

To determine how often you should keep aloe plants hydrated give your soil an adequate soak, then observe how long it takes the plant to dry out in its bottom.

The most effective method to accomplish this is to be able to feel the soil near the bottom of the pot through the drainage holes in the bottom of the container.

If the soil is still damp or wet, put off watering for a couple of days. If the soil is dry, it is the right moment to water.

Generally, watering every 3-4 weeks is an ideal time to water aloe plants, but make sure you read my guide to watering plants with aloe vera that covers all the best methods for watering aloe plants.

  • It is essential to take away the brown or yellow leaves of the dying aloe when it is stressed by excessive watering in order to avoid issues of rot spreading throughout the plant.
  • In general, they should be simple to get rid of, but should they show any resistance, then take them apart and cut them back to a healthy green tissue using the help of pruners.

Sometimes, reducing the amount of irrigation and leaving the soil to dry (and changing the soil if it is retaining excessive water) and then removing those affected plants is enough to help save your dying aloe plant.

If the aloe seems to be becoming more and more swollen, with yellow leaves, soft texture and an appearance of drooping, then you should examine your aloe for root decay.

Aloe that is healthy should appear lighter in color. If your roots appear like this, your aloe is not suffering from root decay…

The white, large root that is visible in the picture is used to conserve water as a survival strategy in the event of drought. The other roots of the aloe are healthy and free of root rot, but they have a slight discoloration to light brown as a result of the potting soil , rather than the disease.

If your aloe root are dark brown , as in some of the roots in this image, the plant may be suffering from root decay.

Plants with root rot is difficult to save, but for aloe plants, I would suggest taking cuttings of healthy leaves to propagate.

Aloe plants are easy to propagate using leaf cuttings and is often the only method to save an over-watered dead aloe plant. Check out this YouTube video on how to grow aloe plants:

2. Trays and Saucers Prevents Soil Drying Out

The most common reason for dying aloe plants is because due to the usage of saucers and trays (or ornamental pots) beneath the pot of your aloe plant. This creates water pools around the plants base and can cause signs of stress , such as leaves turning yellow or brown similar to excessive watering or slow draining soils.

Trays and saucers are helpful to stop water from spilling into the house after a session of watering.

But they must be cleaned frequently otherwise the ground around the roots could be flooded, and this is not in line with the ideal conditions for the drought-tolerant plant.

Make sure that your aloe plant is placed in an aloe planter with drainage holes. Also, make sure that the soil is able to dry properly by removing excess moisture out of their trays or saucers to ensure that the plant is healthy.

(Read my article about selecting the most suitable pots to grow aloe vera plant).

3. The Soil Drains Too Slowly

Aloe plants thrive in soil which are very grittier porous and well-drained in their natural environment.

The conventional potting soil holds water around the roots of your aloe plant for too long to allow it to withstand and it can show the same signs of excessive irrigation, such as leaves turning brown or yellow with a mushy texture , and an appearance of drooping.

If the aloe is situated in poor drainage or in soil that is damp over a long period, it could be affected by root rot, and then begin to die back.


Aloe plants must be planted in specially designed succulent soil (available at garden centers and Amazon) because it replicates the soil that drains well pattern of the native habitat.

If your aloe is planted in traditional potting soil and doesnt completely dry out within two weeks of watering, then you must change the soil in order to protect your aloe.

Remove your aloe plant from the pot, and gently take off the soil from the pot, taking care to avoid any damage to the roots.

It is recommended to use a brand new pot or clean the old one thoroughly with disinfectant that eliminates fungal pathogens.

Plant your aloe in the soil that has been created in the pot that is clean.

Take away any yellow or brown leaves to stop rot spreading. Implement a proper routine of watering to ensure that the soil is dry between watering sessions to replicate the cycle of moisture of the aloes native habitat.

The aloe will fully recover when you take away the soil that is damp to replace with specially-formulated succulent soil prior to the development from root rot.

(Read my article on on how you can determine whether your aloe plant is drowned or overwatered).

4. Not Enough Sunlight

Aloe plants are often found in areas that are relatively open in dry and hot climates that have plenty of sunlight.

If theyre too shaded, the leaves of aloe tend to droop down, become pale and become swollen in search of sunlight.

A plant of aloe that is lacking sunlight is able to redirect its energy towards developing the younger leaves toward the direction of the strongest sunlight or towards the sun.

The older leaves on the outside to brown and dry out while dying back and falling off.


Aloe is best placed in a direct sunlight for at least 4 hours in order to keep an elongated shape, rather than an unflattering appearance.

How simple you can save the aloe is contingent on the length of time it has been in shade for.

After the leaves have fallen down considerably due to their own weight, they dont rise and rise up again to greet the suns rays.

To enhance the look of your aloe plant cut the individual leaves back to their base, so that only the upright leaves remain.

Find the aloe in more sunlight gradually, opening the aloe to sun every day.

Aloe plants are subjected suddenly to more sunlight results in the leaves turning brown because of sunburn therefore, moving the aloe plant for a longer period in direct sunlight each day will allow the plant to adjust without burning.

If all the leaves are falling and the leaves that are on top are dying back, then the best choice is to cut off the most healthy looking leaves to propagate as they dont stand up when they have been severely damaged.

5. Cold Damage at Temperatures Cooler than 50 degF (10degC)

Aloe plants are not cold hardy and can die if they are exposed to temperatures lower then 50degF (10degC) for long periods of time.

Aloe plants are able to develop the best in temperatures ranging from 55degF to 80degF (13degC-27degC).

Temperatures that are higher or lower than this range , and certain aloe plants enter an inactive state as a way to deal with the lack of temperatures and light in winter, or excessive drought and heat in summer.

If the aloe gets too cold, the leaves may become mushy and the leaves may change color from black to brown in response to the degree of the cold, with a their appearance becoming drab.

Most of the time, only a few parts of the leaves of the aloe plant that turn soft and soft and.


The aloe plant should be moved to an area that is between 55degF and 80degF (13degC-27degC) regularly and make sure that none of the leaves are touching the cold of a window or an air flow that is cold.

If the leaves are mushy, wait for a few days, if not weeks, for the cold, mushy damaged area that is the plants to dry out slightly and develop into the appearance of a callus.

After the mushy portion of the leaf is dried, cut the leaf back the level below the damaged area because most of the time, areas that are damaged by cold do not heal.

It is recommended to begin watering the aloe after you notice that the cut of the cut leaf has healed to avoid any other problems that could arise.

It takes a while to see the results however, the plant will develop new leaves and begin to get back to normal after the cold-related damage.

Key Takeaways:

  • The dying of an aloe plant is usually due to root rot caused by over irrigation and slow drainage of soils. Insufficient sunlight can cause aloe plants to become limp and die. The aloe plant is often killed when temperatures drop below 50 degrees F.
  • Aloe plants have adapted to dry conditions and require soil to dry out between watering sessions. When the soil becomes not dry enough it can lead to root decay.
  • Aloe plants thrive in full sunlight, with at minimum 4 hours of sunlight needed to maintain a healthy plant. Insufficient shade causes leaves of the aloe plant to weaken and lose their elasticity, and eventually be killed.
  • Aloe plants thrive in temperatures ranging from 55degF to 80degF (13degC-27degC) and may suffer severe cold-related damage when temperatures are always cooler than 50degF since they arent cold-hardy.


Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)