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Why Is My Aloe Plant Turning Yellow? (9 Causes With Fixes)

Hello everyone! Today, I’d like to chat about something many aloe owners face – leaves turning yellow.

This yellowing can happen if your aloe gets too much or too little water, or if it’s basking in too much sun. Also, watch out for over-fertilizing, as that can turn your aloe leaves yellow too.

Overwatering

Aloe turning yellow

Aloe turning yellow because of overwatering.

Aloe plants often turn yellow when they’re overwatered. Their roots, stuck in constant moisture, start to rot. This leads to the leaves yellowing from the base up along the blade, and they’ll also feel soft.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Gently remove your aloe from its pot and shake off all the soil from the roots.
  2. Check for any rotten roots. If you find them, snip them off.
  3. Clean the roots with a fungicide and let them air dry for a few hours.
  4. Replant your aloe in a mix made for succulents.
  5. Make sure your pot has drainage holes.
  6. Water your aloe carefully. Let the soil dry out completely between waterings.

Underwatering

Underwatering

Aloe turning yellow because of underwatering.

Not giving enough water can also cause your aloe to turn yellow. If it goes without water for too long, the yellowing starts at the tips and spreads to the whole leaf. The leaves get soft and might curl a bit.

It’s true, aloe is a succulent and can survive without much water, but it won’t be at its best.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Water your aloe once the soil has dried out.
  2. Use a soil moisture meter to help you know when it’s time to water.
  3. In the winter, cut back on how often you water.

Incorrect Sun Exposure

Aloe Turning Yellow beacuse of too much sun

Aloe turning yellow because of too much sun

If your aloe’s leaves are turning yellow, it might be due to the light. Aloes need about 12 hours of direct sunlight, but too much sun can be a problem.

Usually, aloes are happy in a south-facing window or on a balcony. Many people even move them outside in the summer. In these spots, they get plenty of light, which seems great. But be careful on really sunny, hot days, as the leaves can get sunburnt.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Slowly get your plant used to more sunlight.
  2. If the sun’s too strong, make sure your aloe gets some shade.

Abrupt Temperature Change

Temperature stress

Aloe turning yellow because of cold.

Aloes prefer temperatures around 75-78 °F (24-26 °C). If it gets cooler, like around 50-53 °F, your aloe might stop growing and its leaves can turn pale. A sudden drop in temperature can even make the leaves turn yellow.

This happens a lot with aloes kept outside. The day might be warm, but then the temperature can fall sharply at night.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Only move your aloe outside if you’re sure the nights will stay warm.
  2. Keep the room where your aloe is at least 64.4°F.
  3. Avoid placing your aloe right by heaters or air conditioners.

Nutrient Deficiency

aloe turning yellow beacuse of fertilizer burn

Yellowing and dying aloe leaves can often be traced back to too much or too little fertilizer. Initially, the plant might grow unusually fast, then become weak and soft. The roots can get damaged from direct contact with the fertilizer, leading to some leaves dying.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Repot the aloe in fresh soil.
  2. Skip fertilizing for the first year after transplanting.
  3. From then on, fertilize just once a year.
  4. Use a fertilizer made especially for succulents.
  5. Don’t fertilize in autumn and winter, as the aloe is dormant then.

Aging Leaves

aloe turning yellow of age

Like all plants, aloe leaves go through a life cycle. They start by growing and using sunlight, but eventually, they turn yellow and fall off at the end of their life.

Evergreens work a bit differently. Their leaves last more than a year, but the older leaves, usually those over three years old, will yellow and drop off.

Aloes are similar. Their leaves can last several years, but eventually, especially the lower ones, they’ll die off.

Here’s what you can do:

Gently remove the yellow leaf by tearing or cutting it, but be careful not to harm the stem.
There’s no need to do anything else. Leaf aging is a natural process that doesn’t require intervention.

Diseases

Aloe turning yellow because of the disease

Aloe turning yellow because of the disease

This problem is known as dry rot. It’s a serious issue where aloe leaves start turning yellow, drying out, and curling. This disease spreads quickly, and sadly, it’s not possible to save an affected aloe. The best you can do is to take a few healthy leaves and try to root them.

Aloes can also fall victim to other diseases, which show up as spots on the leaves, followed by yellowing.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Make sure the room where your aloe is has good air circulation and stick to a proper watering routine.
  2. Spray the aloe with a fungicide as a precaution.
  3. Try to avoid any actions that could stress out the aloe.

Inappropriate Pot Size

aloe turning yellow because of pot

Yellow leaves on your aloe might be due to the size of its pot. A pot that’s too large means too much soil around the roots, which stay wet for too long after watering. This can cause root rot and yellow leaves.

On the other hand, a pot that’s too small can lead to the roots becoming cramped, or ‘root bound’. This stops the plant from getting the minerals it needs, causing the leaves to turn yellow.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Repot your aloe into a container that’s just a bit bigger than its root system.
  2. Ensure the new pot has drainage holes.
  3. Plan to repot your aloe into a slightly larger pot every year.

Pests

Pest damage

Aloe turning yellow because of pest damage.

There are two main types of pests that can bother your aloe. The first group includes insects like aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects. These critters feed on the sap from aloe leaves, causing the plant to turn yellow and the leaves to die.

The second type is spider mites. These tiny pests also feed on the sap, but they’re really hard to see. If you notice fine cobwebs on the leaves, that’s a sign they might be around.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. For insects, try spraying your plant with horticultural oil. Usually, one or two applications are enough.
  2. If the pests don’t respond to horticultural oil, you might need to use insecticidal soap or other pesticides.

Should I cut off yellow aloe leaves?

Yes, it’s generally a good idea to cut off yellow aloe leaves. Yellow or dying leaves aren’t beneficial to the plant and removing them helps the aloe focus its energy on healthy growth.

When cutting them off, use a clean, sharp knife or scissors and cut as close to the base as possible without damaging the other leaves or the stem. This not only keeps your plant looking tidy but also prevents potential disease spread. Remember to be gentle to avoid stressing the plant.