Does My Aloe Vera Plant Need Water?

Last Updated on November 10, 2022 by Stephanie

The most common cause of death for aloe plants is due to overwatering. However, do you think that this plant can be submerged? Maybe thats what you are experiencing right now, so lets discuss this specific issue within this piece.

A damaged aloe vera that has been underwatered will exhibit signs like leaf leaves turning yellow and drooping. yellowing and browning at the tips of the leaves and drying of the leaf edges. Additionally, you will notice brown spots, dryness of soil and the turning of the roots into brittle structures because of the underwatering.

Sounds familiar? Lets look a bit deeper to see how likely it is for aloe plant to become dehydrated.

Why Does an Aloe Vera Plant Get Dehydrated?

With their fleshy stems and lots of water, you can anticipate aloe plants to endure the dry spell for a long period. Yes, they will however, only for a short period of period of time.

Their tolerance to such an issue is not without limitations. The time will come when their water reserves will begin to deplete to a point of no return.

Aloe plants are tolerant of drought , but only to a certain extent. If you leave the soil dry for a long period of time, harm to the plant is inevitable.

Dehydration occurs when plants cells are depleted of nearly all the water within and no replenishment is provided.

The cells of an aloe plant that is dehydrated will shrink as a result of the loss of moisture. Without water, the biological functions are disrupted, particularly metabolism processes. In the end, the plant becomes weak, and eventually die.

Signs of an Underwatered Aloe

Stressed plants will always exhibit symptoms that can be seen in their shape. The changes in the structure of the plant are the result of internal issues.

Aloe Vera on left hand side of photo with white wall behind

Here are some of the most common indicators youre likely to notice when your aloe plant is becoming dehydrated:

Aloe Drooping

Aloe that is dehydrated will begin becoming limp. The absence of water within the plant cells can make the cells flaccid or loose. The cells will shrink and change their shape.

This is why youll see the water-depleted plants gradually turning into an un-living structure. The water keeps the plant upright and, without it the plant will lose its form.

Leaves Turning Yellow

Water is the means to move vital minerals from soils to the various parts in the plants. If theres not enough moisture in soils, roots are likely to be unable to absorb the required nutrients.

Therefore, its not a surprise that plants with low water levels are also afflicted by nutrient deficiencies.

A deficiency in nutrient is usually manifested in the color of the leaves. The extent of the yellowing and the appearance of it is dependent on the type of nutrient is deficient. It is important to be familiar with the process of identify nutrient deficiencies in plants. (Source: University of Delaware)

If the yellowing is seen on older leaves, the nutrients that are not mobile ones (N P, N, K, as well as Mg).

The yellowing of the leaves that are younger is caused due to a deficiency of the immobile nutrients (Ca Cu, B Mn, Fe, as well as Zn).

Aloe Have Brown Tips

The aloes brown tips look like a burned leaf tip. It usually occurs when the plant is being overfertilized. It could also suggest that the plant is suffering from water shortage.

The tips of the leaves are most susceptible to wilting since they are the furthest from the water source.

This area will be the last one to get the water channeled to the plants. This means that it will be the first one to be affected by dehydration.

Brown and Dry Leaf Edges

Another indication of underwatering is the dry and darker edges of the leaves from your Aloe.

It is evident that the middle area is still stuffed with water. But the edges have lost their water and the cells that line those areas have gone out of existence.

Edges of aloe plant are usually thin and have a lower water content than other parts of the leaf. This is why it is prone to drying and turn crisp in severe drought conditions.

Aloe Leaves Curling

Curling of leaves in an inward direction is a method used by plants to stop the loss of moisture.

This occurs when there is a rapid transpiration rate and the plant is trying to conserve the water it uses. The smaller size of the leaf is advantageous during periods of deficiency in water.

Curling decreases the surface area that leaves. It also reduces the size of the pores in the stomatal area.

In this way the leaves of aloe will be able to reduce the amount of water being released.

Dry, Brown Spots on the Leaves

The brown spots on the leaves of an aloe could be a sign of a variety of things. However the most common causes is watering issues, whether its the water is not enough or if its underwatering.

Although brown spots may appear in both conditions There are some significant variations in how the spots appear.

If aloe is submerged the brown spots will dry to the touch in contrast to the spots that are soaked by water in the case of overwatering.

These spots are the dead cells that been afflicted by the absence of moisture.

Potting Soil Is Very Dry

One of the most obvious indicators of submerged water is dry soil for potting. What we refer to as dry isnt only dry at the top.

When the soil is dry to the base of the pot, your aloe is at risk of becoming dehydrated.

The soil stores water in its pores. Therefore, the amount of water it is able to hold during irrigation is contingent on the structure and texture that the soil is used for the potting. The soils that are sandy dry more fast and are more prone to drying than clay ones.

If the soil in the potting pot becomes extremely dry it will cease to longer be able to pull water out of it.

The plant will be dehydrated. If it is not dealt with promptly it can reach an unending wilting point.

Brittle Roots

Roots are primarily involved in the uptake of water and transportation from the soil to other plant parts.

In times of drought it is the roots that are the first to are the first to suffer. Theyll have to put in more effort to find an water source.

If the underwatering continues the roots will shrink due to the lack of water.

A few of the roots could even be dry. This is why they could be brittle when they are touched.

Signs of Underwatered Aloe Vs Signs of Overwatered Aloe

The symptoms of water overflow and underwatering may be similar. Sometimes, its difficult to determine over which is the root of the issue.

Below, to help you understand the process, is a summary of the different characteristics and differences between an overwatered and underwatered aloe.

Finding the Root of the Problem Aloe vera Plant

Irregular Watering

The inconsistency of water supply can affect the health of your aloe plant. They may be watered too early or become very thirsty before they get the water they require. The water should be poured over plants at the exact time they require it.

Remember that plants constantly lose water from their systems. In reality, theyre only able to use only a small amount of the water they consume.

This means they require an ongoing supply of water to compensate the amount theyve lost.

Fast Water Evaporation

The process of evaporating water from plants tissues is referred to as transpiration. The pores of stomatal on the surface of leaves are the places where water evaporates as the form of vapor. They also serve as exit points.

Aloe is a succulent that normally grows in a slow manner. This is due to the fleshy stems of their plants are designed for holding in water for longer durations.

There are certain circumstances that could affect the process of transpiration, causing it to speed up.

A rise in temperature, a faster winds, and the decrease in humidity will result in a faster the process of evaporation.

Soil Water Holding Capacity

The most important thing to take into consideration when mixing the soil mix for your aloe is its capacity of the soil to hold water.

This property defines how much water the soil is able to hold within its pores following the irrigation and drainage. The capacity of water holding is affected by the soils texture.

Aloe planters require a well-drained potting mix is the best choice to prevent root rot. The combination with perlite, rock and bark can create an impermeable structure.

The rough consistency of the mixture reduces its capacity to hold water, which is why the aloe potting mix does not hold the same amount of water.

This is a problem if you dont water regularly. There is a chance that the water being retained by the soil may not be sufficient to meet the minimum water requirements for Aloe Vera. If that happens, the plant will drown. can be a problem.

Nitrogen Toxicity

If youve been putting fertilizer to your aloe plant but arent providing enough water, you have the possibility that nitrogen poisoning could be a possibility.

It is easy to leach away nitrogen using water. Regular watering can reduce the accumulation of nitrogen in the soil.

Aloes that are not watered will have difficulty eliminating nitrogen excess since water isnt often available.

It is best to avoid fertilizing your plant. Aloe plants dont require any fertilizer at all.

How to Revive Underwatered Aloe?

Reviving an aloe vera underwater plant requires a variety of methods. There isnt a 100% guarantee the plants ability to grow back. Its contingent on the severity of the damage on the facility.

Aloes that are damaged in part are more likely to bounce back. They might take longer to heal. In extreme cases they might not be able to recover in any way.

To preserve whats remaining of the aloe, here are some suggestions that you can take care of:

Cut off Severely Affected Parts

A few parts of your aloe might have been severely damaged by the water logging.

If thats the situation, youll have to remove them as its impossible to resurrect them. Youre now ready to take the shear clean.

Prune the dying leaves down to the base. The older leaves must be removed first. The leaves with dark brown marks, edge, and tips may be left in the event that the damage is minimal.

Using Proper Potting Mix

It is possible to alter the potting mix used to grow your aloe. If the medium you use has a lot of weight, the plant will hold more water.

But, it wont be a good idea to mix this kind of mixture as it increases the chance of developing root rot.

You can to increase the porosity of your mix by including organic matter like bark.

The new texture will permit an efficient drainage. However, at the same time it will allow it to store more water over longer durations.

Choose Right Size of Container

Aloe vera is prone to become pot bound. If the plants are already crowded and the soil is not long be able to support the aloe veras requirements for water.

It is necessary to move the aloe plant into an aloe planter that is of a proportional size. Be aware that it shouldnt be too large nor too small.

The proper size pot will to hold the proper amount of water required for the plants.

Place the Pot in Suitable Environment

The right place to put it is essential to ensure that aloe plants thrive. Be sure to place it in areas that receive direct but bright sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight exposure as it is likely to get scorched.

In addition the soil is likely to dry up, making your aloe more vulnerable to drowning.

Are you someone who is away from your home for weeks, you should keep your aloe in your home.

Follow the Watering Regimen

For proper watering of the aloe plant adhere to this specific regimen:

  1. Make sure to check the soils moisture frequently.

Each time you plan to water the plants make sure you check your soil before you water it. Its as easy as placing a finger or stick in the potting mix. The first 3 inches of the soil should be dry prior to watering.

  1. Soak the soil thoroughly.

Be sure that the potting mix is completely well-soaked. Soil that is saturated will ensure that more water is held between the pores. This will encourage even the growth of the roots.

  1. Make sure you drain any the excess water.

This is only possible when the pots have drainage holes. Give enough time for the excess water to drain out of the pot. Be sure to get rid of any water that has sat within the coaster of the pot, if you have any.

  1. Give enough time to lead before you water again.

Like other plants, succulents such as the aloe need less irrigation. While there isnt a precise moment to decide the best time to water, it is important to give enough time for the soil in the pot to dry.

But, it shouldnt get to the point that the soil becomes dry. It is typical to have approximately two to three weeks of lead time before watering the plant with aloe again.

  1. Change the watering schedule based on the time of year.

In the summer and spring seasons Aloe plants will require more frequent watering. As the winter and fall seasons arrive, watering needs to be less frequent.

How Often Do You Need to Water Your Aloe?

The process of watering plants, particularly succulents can be difficult. While its drought-resistant it is not a simple matter to let the plants to dry for long time.

The moisture level of the water will be at its lowest and youll need to supply the water precisely when its required.

There are a variety of elements that can affect how often you water. The following are some of them:

Prevailing Season

The first step is to take into consideration the time of year. Are you experiencing too much sunshine and the temperature is too high? Then, the evaporation of water occurs faster in these conditions, so more water is required.

If the weather is too wet and cold, then you should not drink water as your aloe will not require it. Also, make sure you check the level of moisture in the soil below the surface prior to doing it.

Size of Plant

Then, think about how big your plant is. Aloes that are young will require less amounts of water compared to mature ones. Change the amount of water as the plant expands in size.

Type of Pots Used

Terra clay pots are prone to retain moisture since they have tiny pores. This prevents the plant from being excessively watered. However, youll need to water more frequently.

In plastic pots the soil will hold more water since it isnt absorption by the surface. This can help prevent drowning, especially if you plan leaving your aloe for a period of time.

Location of the Plant

If you have your aloe vera plant outside, it will require more water than those that are inside. This is due to the fact that the environmental circumstances outside can be more severe than inside.

If you are in an indoor space Aloe vera plants are secured and the conditions are more managed.

It could take a while to master the routine of watering your aloes. There are times when you make errors along the way. The plant could even be damaged due to the mistakes.

It takes perseverance to master the details of the proper watering. Keep doing it until you are an expert at taking care of your aloe plants.



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 :)