How to Revitalize Your Aloe Plant

how to save an aloe plant
Photo by Jude Smart on Unsplash

Are you a plant enthusiast who loves growing low-maintenance plants like aloe vera? Aloe vera, also known as Babosa, is a stunning plant with green fleshy leaves adorned with jagged edges that add character to any space. While aloes are generally easy to propagate and care for, they can become fragile when not kept under ideal conditions. If you’re concerned about your aloe plant dying, don’t despair! There are numerous ways to save your aloe plant.

Caring for Your Aloe Vera

To ensure the health of your aloe plant, it’s crucial to prevent any damage from occurring in the first place. Familiarize yourself with the preferred environmental conditions for the plant and learn how to provide proper care.

Aloe vera plants, like other houseplants such as ZZ plants and prayer plants, are low-maintenance. As succulents, they store water in their leaves, so avoid overwatering them. Watering every 2-3 weeks is sufficient, but check the soil’s dryness before watering. Allow any excess water to drain to prevent root rot. Additionally, place your aloe plant in a location with bright indirect sunlight, as they appreciate some light but can be scorched by intense sun.

To keep your aloe plant clean, wipe the leaves occasionally to prevent dirt buildup. Repotting every few years is also recommended, especially when the plant outgrows its current pot. Overall, caring for aloe vera is incredibly easy!

Reviving an Aloe Plant with Root Rot

Root rot is a common issue that affects aloe vera plants. When the roots rot, they become unable to absorb nutrients from the soil, leading to the eventual death of the plant. However, if you catch root rot early, you can revive your aloe plant.

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Root rot often goes unnoticed in its initial stages since there are no visible signs. The first noticeable symptom is the leaves turning yellow, followed by browning and mushiness. If you observe such changes in your aloe plant, it’s likely suffering from root rot. Take action while there is still a chance to save it.

Overwatered aloe or fungal disease
Photo by Teona Swift

Easily Reviving an Aloe Plant

Root rot in aloe plants can stem from either overwatering or fungal infection. Here are the steps you can take to revive your plant:

  1. Gently remove the plant from its pot. Twist the pot to detach it from the soil and carefully pull it away from the plant to avoid further damage.
  2. Loosen the soil around the roots. This allows you to assess the extent of the damage.
  3. Identify the rotting roots. Look for black roots with a mushy texture. Remove all damaged parts, retaining only the healthy roots.
  4. Trim off the damaged roots. If the entire root ball is infected, remove it completely. Always use a sharp, sterilized knife or scissors.
  5. Inspect the rest of the plant. Cut off any dying leaves.
  6. Replant your aloe in a clean pot filled with well-draining soil. If your plant still has healthy roots, simply repot it. If you had to remove the entire root ball, allow the cut area to harden before repotting. Leave the aloe vera in a warm place for a few days to facilitate this process.
  7. Slightly mist the soil before planting the aloe. Avoid watering for a few days up to a week after repotting.

Once your aloe plant has acclimated to its new pot, resume regular care for it.

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Saving an Aloe Plant with Cold Damage

aloe vera frost damage
Photo by unknown

Indoor aloe plants are not susceptible to frost damage, but if you keep your aloes outdoors during the summer, ensure to bring them inside as temperatures drop. Aloes are sensitive to cold since they naturally grow in tropical climates and are accustomed to warmer temperatures. Exposing your plant to temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) can severely damage it. However, it is possible to nurse a frost-damaged aloe vera back to health.

What to Do When Your Aloe Plant Freezes

  1. Move the plant to a warm and brightly lit area. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight.
  2. Withhold watering for about a week. This allows any damaged parts to dry out.
  3. Remove any damaged portions of the plant once they have dried.
  4. If your plant appears severely damaged, take it out of its pot and inspect the roots. Cut out any infected roots before repotting the plant with fresh potting mix.

The appearance of new green growth indicates that your aloe plant has rebounded from the cold damage.

Salvaging Brown Aloe Leaves

Firstly, identify the cause of your aloe plant’s decline to determine the appropriate solution. Let’s explore the most common issues.

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Why Are Aloe Leaves Turning Brown?

Aloe plants often develop brown leaves due to excessive moisture. If you have an overwatered aloe plant, follow these steps to save it:

  1. Wait until approximately 3/4 of the soil feels dry before watering your aloe plant. This will prevent further waterlogging.
  2. If the problem persists, carefully remove the plant from its pot and discard the wet soil. Inspect the roots and trim away any soggy or blackened roots. Repot the plant using dry soil.

aloe vera with burn damage

Another common cause of brown aloe leaves is sunburn. Aloe plants, although they can thrive in full sun, require acclimatization when transitioning from shade to direct sunlight. Exposure to intense sunlight without acclimatization will result in sunburned leaves.

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Signs of sunburn include brown spots, reddening of the leaves, and leaf softening. If your aloe plant shows these symptoms, follow these steps to revive it:

  1. Immediately move the aloe vera away from intense sunlight. Place it in a partially shaded area, receiving morning sun followed by afternoon shade.
  2. Give your plant a good shower. While aloes do not require frequent watering, a burnt plant will appreciate the hydration. Ensure your pot has proper drainage.
  3. Trim any badly damaged leaves. These leaves are beyond saving as they can no longer photosynthesize.

There is no need to remove an entire leaf if only a small part is sunburned. You can wait for new growth and then remove the damaged portion.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Will my aloe plant recover from root rot?
  • A: With prompt action and appropriate care, there is a good chance of saving an aloe plant affected by root rot.
  • Q: Can overwatering harm my aloe plant?
  • A: Yes, overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues. It’s important to water your aloe plant in moderation, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.
  • Q: Can I save my aloe plant if it has turned completely brown?
  • A: If your aloe plant has turned completely brown, it may be difficult to revive it. However, you can still try by following the steps mentioned above and providing optimal care.
  • Q: How often should I water my aloe plant?
  • A: Water your aloe plant every 2-3 weeks, but only when the top part of the soil has dried out. Overwatering can be detrimental to the plant’s health.