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by Sarah

Browning Aloe Vera

I am very concerned about my Aloe plant… My Aloe Vera plant has brown specks that look similar to an aging banana.

Only the outside pieces have the specks on them the inner stems are a light fresh looking green.

I do not believe they are rotten since they are not mushy but if I lightly squeeze the brown it it softer than a healthy stem but not by a lot.

One stem was brown and shriveled when I felt that one it was crunchy and just broke off of the meatier bottom. It also appears that Some of the brown spots are in a line pattern.

When I bought the plant:
It did have some brown spots on it but it was at a Wal-Mart during winter right in front of a door that opens to the outdoor garden center.

So I bought it since it needed some love.

I replanted it immediately into a porcelain pot since the dirt it was in looked disgusting.

I have an Aloe Vera plant that is planted in a terra cotta pot. The dirt is a mixture of coir, pearlites and tiny pebbles.

In the base there is a layer of bigger rocks (pebble size) and in the middle there is a very thin layer of pebbles.

It is on a table that is under a shelf that has a lamp on it but the lamp is only on in the evenings from 6pm until 12am.

I did have in front of our snake tank that has light on from 7am till 12pm.

I’m not sure if the spots got worse but they were not getting better so I thought the light might be too much.

So I moved it to the table it’s on now. But I’m not seeing any progress.

When I first planted it the roots were very dry and some were shriveled up and just fell off with the old dirt. I put it in a very small porcelain is not a great option since it holds water but it was all I had.

When I replanted it into a bigger pot, the roots looked better the smaller roots were still dried up but it had two very big white roots.

The plant does have a heavy side so it sits tilted; I just tied it up with some yarn. I’m wondering if the lean is preventing it from rooting right. I’m not sure what’s wrong with it but I need help!! Thanks!

Drought Smart Plants reply:

I’m thinking that the damage you’re seeing could be from it getting cold – you don’t say how long ago you rescued it, but if it was in a cold draft from the outside, this would give this type of effect. It also shows damage that looks as though it was handled roughly, or fell.

Fortunately, these plants are so tough that it will most likely be able to shrug it off and re-grow from the center.

Here’s a few things you can try: first of all, take a deep breath!

Patience is the key, and letting things run their course. If it’s going to keel over from whatever is wrong with it, so be it, sorry to say that.

However, I have great faith in plants ability to survive and come back from great adversity.

Here’s what could also be happening; the roots quite possibly were seriously damaged, and can’t support the top growth because of this.

You can help by carefully removing any damaged leaves, so they don’t rot and kill the plant completely.

Do this by pulling them off at the base, rather than cutting them.

They have a thin curved part that wraps around the stem, and this is specifically formed to seal itself off when a leaf is pulled away.

If you pull the leaf and it tears higher up, don’t worry, it most likely won’t be an issue, but it could leak sap for a day or two.

Additionally, I don’t think there is any problem with too much light – Aloe are native to really hot desert, with searing brilliant sunshine, so once adapted to it, they love it.

Good luck with your Aloe, they really are great plants.


See also these pages:

Aloe Plants

Aloe Succulent Plants

Succulent Care