What Makes Aloe Vera Leaves Soft?

The reason that aloe vera leaves become soft is due to excessive moisture around the roots, caused by excessive watering soils that drain slowly or pots that do not have drainage holes at the base. If the leaves of aloe vera become soft and transparent, yellow or brown it could be a sign of root decay.

Read on to find out why find that aloe vera leaves are soft, and the best way to fix the issue…

Moisture Retaining Soil Causes Aloe Vera Leaves to Turn Soft

The Aloe Vera leaves may feel soft and smooth in texture. They can also change color to dark brown and yellow because of slow draining soil that holds excessive moisture around the roots.

Aloe vera plants will not thrive in normal pots because it remains wet for too long after watering , which results in the leaves becoming soft, which is a indication that they are stressed.

The soil that retains water has the same effect of overwatering because the soil doesn’t dry out fast enough to allow the roots to remain healthy.

If you can feel the soil in the base of your pot via the drainage hole and it appears to be damp or boggy, rather than just damp, it’s a good idea to move your aloe vera into a pot that has well drainage soil (read my article about the most suitable soil to plant aloe vera in).

Aloe vera thrives in soils that are sandy and grity that are porous and well draining in their native habitat.

To prevent the leaves of your aloe vera plant becoming soft, it is essential to recreate your soil conditions of their natural habitat by using a draining mix for potting that has been specially designed for succulents and Cacti (available on Amazon and at gardens centers).

The special mixture of succulents and cacti has more inorganic materials (such as perlite, sand or grit) to form an aqueous soil that is ideal for aloe vera.

After the aloe vera has been allowed to dry out and you’re drinking enough water, the aloe vera will recuperate from its soft leaves and return to its plump and full leaves.

If you notice the soft texture expanding as the aloe vera is changing color, becoming yellow or translucent, you might need to propagate the plant using healthy tissue in order to save this aloe plant.

(For more details, check out my article on on how you can revive dying Aloe Vera).

Overwatering Aloe Vera Turns the Leaves Soft

The most frequent reason of Aloe Vera leaves turning soft is due to overwatering.

Aloe veras is a succulent that has been adapted to the dry desert conditions of their natural habitat of Oman within the Arabian peninsula, where they thrive on sandy soils that receive little or no rainfall.

The leaves that are thick of aloe vera are able to store water and serve to provide a viable way to survive extreme drought with high temperatures and very little water.

aloe vera and other plants in small pots

As aloe vera has adapted to life in a climate with no regular rainfall, it is vulnerable to being overwatered when it is it is planted by gardeners.

If you water aloe vera more than once per week, then you are likely overwatering.

The signs of an aloe vera that has been overwatered is the leaves becoming soft to the feel with translucent, yellow or brown color.

The soft, mushy feel on the leaves can be an indication of stress. It could indicate rot if leaves are turning black or brown, as well the leaves become limp.

But aloe vera’s mushy leaves may be preserved by reducing the amount of watering to an suitable cycle.

Aloe vera is best kept moist (with an adequate soak) after it is clear that the root zone have dried completely. Typically, watering every two weeks is enough for aloe vera in order to avoid becoming soft in the leaves and to keep the plant healthy.

To determine how often you should keep your aloe vera in good condition, check the soil at the base of the pot by the drainage holes at the base.

If the soil remains wet, then wait to water it. However, when the soil is dry, then it’s the ideal moment to water aloe vera.

Once you know the time it takes for soil to dry after watering , you will know the best time to water aloe vera at your home based on your specific conditions to ensure the ideal balance of water.

(For more details, check out the article I wrote about the best way to care for aloe vera during Winter and Summer because their requirements for watering will vary all through all of the time).

If the soft parts of leaves is spreading, it is possible to attempt to reproduce any stems that are healthy to ensure that the aloe vera will survive and stop the entire plant from dying the roots.

Pots Without Good Drainage Causes Aloe Leaves to Turn Soft

Aloe vera is sensitive excessive water in the area around the roots, which is why it is essential to place it into pots that have drainage holes at the base of the pot, allowing the excess water to drain away to let the soil dry out between watering sessions.

When the plant plant is placed in pots with no drainage holes, the water collects around the roots, causing the leaves to soften and the aloe may begin to develop root decay.

Transfer your aloe into an aloe planter with drainage holes at the base. Allow the soil to dry.

There are a variety of different reasons that water may be accumulating around the root of your aloe, despite drainage holes at the base.

  • Use a saucer or tray under the pot. Trays and saucers are a great way to prevent excessive water from spilling into your home, but they must be cleaned regularly to ensure that the soil that is at the base of the dish doesn’t remain damp.
  • The compacted soil and roots can slow the drainage. If you notice that your soil is draining slowly , look for drainage holes to make sure that the water is able to flow easily.
  • The decorative outer pots are a way to stop the water from escaping. Sometimes, I’ve seen aloe vera being sold in a pot that has drainage holes, and then placed in a beautiful out pot with drainage holes, which causes water to collect within the root. Clean the outside of the pot of water frequently so that the soil can dry out.

After you’ve made sure that the aloe is placed in an aloe vera container that has good drainage and has allowed it to air dry out in a proper manner, the leaves will begin recovering from the softness. (Read my article about selecting the most suitable pots to grow aloe vera).

If the roots were in standing water for a long period of time, it may be difficult to revive the aloe , so it might be necessary to reproduce healthy leaves prior to that softer, soft feeling on the leaves becomes widespread as the plant is killed by root decay..

(Read the article I wrote if you notice that your aloe vera leaf is curving inwards because this is typically an indication that your aloe vera’s not getting enough water).

Key Takeaways

  • The leaves of aloe vera soften when there is excessive water around the roots as a result of excessive watering, slow draining soils or pots that do not have adequate drainage. Aloe vera leaves that are soft typically change color from yellow to brown to translucent, and could be an indication of root decay.
  • Aloe vera is only watered after the soil has dried to replicate those conditions that are dry in its relatively dry habitat, with frequent rainfall.
  • Plant aloe in soil designed specifically designed for succulents and cacti to improve drainage and to avoid the roots being in soil that is damp, that can cause root decay.
  • Aloe plants should be planted in pots that have drainage holes at the base so that excess water can be able to drain away. If the soil is allowed to dry , the aloe will regenerate, but if the leaves are becoming soft and becoming yellow, brown or translucent, it could be necessary to cut off healthy tissue to propagate to help save the plant.


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