How to Save Your Drooping Aloe Vera

The reason for a drooping aloe plant is usually because of a lack of sunlight. Aloe plants require direct sunlight. Aloe vera plants need direct sunlight. If they are in too much shade, their leaves will become weaker and grow longer towards the sun. Aloe leaves will then begin to droop under their own weight.

Aloe leaves turn brown and droopy due to overwatering. The soil must dry between waterings. Root rot can occur when the aloe plant’s potting soil remains damp. This causes the leaves to turn brown and mushy, with a drooping appearance.

Usually, aloe leaves droop after repotting because the pot is too big which causes the soil to dry out at a slower rate and causes root rot. Larger pots contain more soil, which retains more moisture. The roots will droop if they are left in moist soil for too long.

To fix a drooping aloe, locate the aloe in some direct sunlight, re-pot the aloe in well-draining potting, reduce watering frequency so that the aloe’s soil dries out between each watering, and cut away any drooping leaves that do not recover with a sharp pair of pruners.

Lack of Sunlight Can Cause Aloe Leaves to Droop

The most common reason that aloe plants droop is a lack sunlight. Aloe plants can only grow in bright sunlight with some direct sun. Aloe vera is sensitive to shade. The leaves become droopy and long as they search for more light. This can cause the leaves to lose their weight and grow weaker.

Aloe plants can be found in hot and dry areas in Africa, and Arabian Peninsula . They are adapted to grow in bright sunlight ideally for six hours . High temperatures are possible with little rainfall and well-draining soils.

Aloe plants should be grown in bright sunlight and some direct sunlight indoors or outside. This will replicate the natural environment of aloe plants.

Aloe plants are smaller and more compact, with stronger, thicker leaves, if they get more sunlight.

If your aloe plant does not grow on a sunny window sill, but is instead in shade, the aloe plants will focus their energy towards growing leaves in the strongest light sources. This results in a leggy appearance and weakly drooping foliage that eventually falls below their own weight .

Aloe Plants can also droop if not turned frequently. Aloe plants tend to grow in the direction that the strongest light source is, which can lead to them becoming lopsided or toppled.

Repotting Can Affect Aloe Plants  

Aloe plants that droop after repotting are often due to too much moisture around their roots. Aloe plants require well-draining soil that mimics their natural soil conditions. Regular potting soil retains too many moisture, which causes aloe to droop from stress.

Aloe plants can withstand drought and thrive in well-drained, porous soil. The soil is porous and grity, and retains little moisture. It allows for oxygen to reach the roots, allowing them to breathe.

If the potting soil is too tight around the roots of the aloe vera plant when it is repotted it can be too hard for them to take in. This reduces oxygen and slows down drainage after watering.

Aloe plants should only be repotted in pots one-half the size of their previous pot.

Larger pots can hold more soil, and thus are better at holding moisture around the roots of the aloe plant. The potting soil in larger pots drys out more slowly than the previous aloe pot, which can lead to root rot. This can lead to the aloe becoming browner and droopy.

Water pooling at the bottom of the pot, due to a lack drainage holes or saucers. Trays and decorative outer pots can also cause root rot. This causes the aloe leaves to turn brown and droop.

Aloe Vera plant in pot

How to Save Your Drooping Aloe Vera Plant

  • Move the drooping aloe plant to an area of bright light, with some direct sunlight, if the aloe had been in the shade. Aloe plants that are exposed to brighter light have more energy and resources for growth and support. Brighter light encourages the aloe plants to remain compact and grow thicker, more robust leaves.
  • Be careful about moving drooping aloe plants to full sun if they have been shaded. Moving from shade to full sunlight all day can cause browning of the aloe plants, especially if the move is made during summer. Allow the aloe plant to adjust to the higher light levels by exposing it to direct sunlight for longer periods of time every day over the course two weeks.
  • Turn the aloe plant around 1/4 each time you water the plant. Every watering, turn the aloe plant around 1/4. This ensures that the plant gets enough light to keep it from drooping to one side. This will ensure a uniform appearance and even growth of the aloe.

Related: How Can I Save My Aloe Plant That is Turning Brown?

Usually, if an aloe plant is looking droopy because it has been slightly shaded, then finding the aloe in a bright place can help to revive it and can greatly restore its appearance.

If the leaves of an aloe vera plant have been left in the shade for too much time and are starting to droop, they will not be able to stand up properly again, regardless of how much sun they get.

If the leaves have been drooping for more than a few weeks in active growth (Spring/Summer), trim the individual leaves with a pair of sharp pruners.

If all of the leaves are drooping, take cuttings to propagate. Drooping leaves can be easily propagated, which will give you a healthy plant that is not drooping.

How to Save Your Aloe Vera (After Repotting)

  • Always pot aloe plants in pots that are 2 inches wider either side of the aloe plant to prevent drooping. Aloe plants can be repotted into pots that are proportional to their size. This reduces the risk of the soil becoming too damp after watering.
  • Ideally repot your aloe plant in an unglazed clay or terracotta pot. Clay and terracotta containers are porous so they dry evenly after watering. This creates better conditions for aloe plant growth.
  • Repot aloe plants in pots with drainage holes in the base and empty any saucers, trays and decorative outer pots after watering. Your aloe plants need to be able to drain excess water from their pots after each watering. This will allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
  • Repot the aloe in ‘succulent and cacti soil’ rather then regular potting soil. Cacti and succulent soil mimic the conditions in the native aloe environment. The soil structure is porous, well-draining, and reduces the possibility of overwatering. Regular potting soil retains far too much moisture to be tolerated by the aloe plants.
  • Allow the aloe’s soil to dry out between each bout of watering. The aloe plant should be repotted in a new container and potting soil. This will affect the rate at which it dries out. You need to adjust the frequency of watering to prevent root rot. To detect moisture, feel the potting soil in the pot’s top and bottom. If the potting soil feels still moist, wait until it has dried before you water again.

Once you have moved the aloe plants to the correct pot with well-draining soil and established the ideal watering frequency, the plant should begin to show signs of recovery within the next few days.

If the aloe leaf’s continue to droop or develop brown, mushy spots, you might consider propagating them from cuttings, or any other setts. Brown mushy areas are a sign of root rot.

Related: How Do I Revive My Dying Aloe Vera Plant?

What Makes Your Aloe Vera Turn Brown and Droopy?

Aloe vera plants can become droopy and brown due to overwatering or slow draining soils. Aloe plants thrive in dry, well-drained soils that drain quickly and receive little rainfall. The aloe leaf will turn brown if the potting soil becomes too moist from either overwatering or poor drainage.

Aloe plants are adapted to drought conditions growing naturally in gritty soils that do not retain much moisture and drain relatively quickly, with a -deluge of rainfall followed by a period of drought- cycle of watering.

Aloe plants are more susceptible to damp soil and overwatering than other plants.

To keep aloe plants healthy, it is important that you recreate the natural aloe habitat using well-draining potting soil. Watering should be done only when the soil has dried.

It is a common error to plant aloe plants with ordinary potting soil that retains too much moisture. Also, to not water the aloe often enough.

Aloe vera leaves can become brownish and mushy if they are in damp conditions.

Related: How to Tell if Aloe Plant is Watered Properly (How to Save it)

Consider that damp soil could also be caused when pots have no drainage holes or if saucers, trays, and decorative outer pots are not removed of excess water.

Cold temperatures are unfavorable for aloe plants can also increase the risk of root rot and contribute to aloe leaves turning mushy and drooping.

How to Save Your Aloe Vera (When It’s Brown and Droopy)

  • Reduce how often you water your drooping aloe plant. It is best to wait until the soil has dried before watering aloe plants. To ensure the soil is dry, feel the soil around the pot’s top and base, as well as the drainage hole to check for moisture. If the soil is still damp, let it dry for a few days before watering.
  • Change the potting soil to succulent and cacti soil. Aloe plants won’t droop if they have the correct potting soil and watering schedule. Cacti and succulent soils mimic the soil of aloe plants’ native environment. It has a well-draining, porous structure which significantly reduces risk of root rot and drooping.
  • Ideally pot your aloe plant in a terracotta or clay pot with drainage holes in the base. You can grow aloe plants in any pot, as long as there are drainage holes. However, terracotta or unglazed clay pots are better than ceramic or plastic pots because they allow the soil to dry evenly and reduce the chance of overwatering.
  • Choose a pot that is only 2 inches or so wider than the aloe plant. The soil will take longer to dry if the pot is too large or out of proportion to its aloe plant. If the soil takes too long to dry out, then this increases the risk of the aloe drooping and turning brown due to root rot.
  • Cut away any soft, brown mushy parts of the aloe. To prevent the rot from spreading, trim the damaged area of the aloe from the plant. In a few days, the callus should heal.

The frequency at which you water your aloe plant can depend on the climate, year, and whether it is indoors or out.

Related: How to Water Aloe Plants Properly

Aloe plants are a lot more hardy than most people think and can tolerate a big leaf being cut back without a problem, particularly if the aloe leaf is drooping, brown, soft, and rotten. The leaf can be cut all the way to the base or to healthy, firm growth.

Related: Why Your Aloe Vera Leaves Are Soft

New leaves should appear during active growth ie Spring and Summer months.

If significant portions of the aloe plant have turned brown or droopy, propagate it from a cutting to save the plant.

Related: Reasons Why Your Aloe Plant is Dying

Stephanie

Stephanie

Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)