Why does my aloe turn yellow and what to do with it? 6 tips

Why does aloe vera turn yellow
Home » Succulents » Aloe » Why does my aloe turn yellow and what to do with it? 6 tips

Aloe is a very nice succulent that I like to have on my windowsill. Long, protruding leaves create a unique effect, and the plant itself is not very demanding. Unfortunately, sometimes the aloe leaves turn yellow. Do you know why aloe leaves turn yellow?

Aloe turns yellow due to poor watering, wrong fertilizer, or too much sunlight. You can fix this by applying adequate soil, a drainage pot, and regular watering.

It is good to know how to recognize what the problem is. In this article, I will describe the individual problems with growing aloe vera and show you how to deal with them.

Aloe Turns Yellow – 10 Reasons Why Aloe Leaves Are Yellow

Improper watering

Watering succulents is perhaps one of the most common problems. If you water the aloe vera incorrectly, its leaves will turn yellow. Aloe belongs to the group of succulents. This plant species came from Africa, a region where it doesn’t rain very often.

This is why aloe vera has developed the ability to store water in its leaves. If you water it too much, it will turn yellow and its roots will rot.

Let’s see how to identify watering problems.

Too much water

Overwatering aloe vera is a common problem. This is due not only to the sheer amount of water but also to inadequate soil or no drainage. When growing aloe vera, remember to plant it in soil that has good drainage.

If the soil is too compact it will retain too much moisture. The aloe vera roots will be enveloped in this moisture and will begin to rot and the leaves will turn yellow.

How do you know if aloe is overwatered?

The leaves of the overwatered aloe turn yellow from the base along with the leaf. It looks a bit rotten from the inside.

How to save overwatered aloe vera?

Aloe vera can often be saved if it had too much water. However, you need to take care of the right conditions for aloe vera. First, prepare a new soil for the aloe vera. Do not be under the illusion that you can dry the old one in which it grew up until now. A fungus may have developed in it and it is better not to risk it.

Then check if you have drainage holes in the pot. If they are all right. If there are none, then you need to replace the pot or make them yourself. You can easily make them in a plastic pot. Unfortunately, you have to replace the ceramic one with a different one.

Drainage holes should be quite large. The water must flow out of them freely.

Now we move on to saving overwatered aloe:

  1. Remove the aloe vera from the pot
  2. Shake off the ground (preferably on some newspaper to make it easier to clean up)
  3. Clean the roots of the soil
  4. Check the roots for rotting. You will recognize rotten roots by the fact that they will be covered with black, sticky goo and smell bad.
  5. Cut off the rotten roots
  6. Rinse the roots with a fungicide
  7. Set aside the aloe vera for a few hours to let the roots dry
  8. Plant the aloe vera in well-drained soil in a new pot

It is also worth remembering that the soil must be checked before each watering. Just stick your finger into the ground and see if it’s damp. Aloe should not be watered until the ground is completely dry (or even later).

Too little water

Watering too rarely does not happen to me too often, but it is worth mentioning. Sometimes I get aloe “for resuscitation” and then I need to know how to recognize the problem. Lack of water also leads to the fact that aloe turns yellow.

In a situation where the aloe vera does not have enough water, it will begin drawing water from its leaves. Such leaves become thinner and slack. They then curl slightly and begin to turn yellow before they dry.

In some cases, aloe vera may turn yellow due to a lack of nutrients from the water. Photosynthesis slows down then and the leaves turn yellow.

Aloe can go on without water for a long time, but it cannot last forever. Over time, the aloe leaves dry up and the plant can only be saved with proper watering.

Bad lighting

As I wrote earlier, succulents come mainly from Africa and other warm regions of the world. In their natural conditions, they grow close to stones and other landscape features that provide them with a bit of shade.

The harsh sun can be deadly for many plants. Aloe turns yellow when exposed to the harsh sun. If the sun is very strong, the aloe will turn brown over time and may even die.

Too much sun

Aloe vera yellow leaves in the sun
Aloe vera yellow leaves in the sun

In some climatic zones, it is quite difficult to find such strong sun. However, it is worth knowing that aloe vera exposed to the sun can turn yellow, which is the plant’s natural defense mechanism.

Aloe can withstand up to 12 hours of direct sunlight, but too much sun can damage the plant. In most cases, aloe grows on the windowsill, on the south window.

It is worth paying attention to whether the glass does not act like a lens on aloe vera. Sunlight can be focused through the glass and cause local burns to the plant.

In winter, aloe needs much less light. It goes into a state of vegetation, i.e. rest, and slows down all the processes that take place in the leaves.

Not enough sun

Sometimes the leaves of aloe vera turn bright yellow if the plant has too little light. The photosynthesis process does not work properly then, so it is worth taking care of it somehow.

It is enough to move the plant to a place that is better lit. If you don’t have one, consider using artificial lighting.

Yellow leaves of aloe without sun
Yellow leaves of aloe without sun

Inadequate fertilization

Excess fertilizer is another reason why aloe leaves are turning yellow. Too much nutrient causes the plant to grow rapidly at first. This growth is very unnatural and the leaves of the aloe vera then become unnaturally soft.

Root damage may also occur from excessive contact with the fertilizer. As a result, the aloe leaves will turn yellow and die over time.

The solution here is to transplant the plants to new soil. Here, too, it is worth ensuring that the soil mixture is properly prepared for aloe vera.

You can use ready-made soil for cacti, but be sure to read my guide to the soil for aloe vera. There you will find useful tips on how to properly prepare the soil.

It is very important not to fertilize aloe vera for about one year. During this time, the plant should get used to the new conditions.

After this period, aloe should be fertilized no more than once or twice a year. It is worth using ready-made concentrates for fertilizing cacti and succulents.

Aloe and other succulents should be fertilized in spring and summer. Fertilizing in the fall and winter is prohibited, as when the plant is in the growing season. Then it should not be stimulated to grow.


Diseases of various kinds are another cause of yellow aloe leaves. I have written about rotting roots before, but these are not all diseases.

Occasionally, aloe vera can attack various types of pathogens. Small dots then appear on the leaves. Then the number of dots increases and the leaves begin to turn yellow.

In such a situation, it is best to use a fungicide. Unfortunately, I don’t know of an effective way to distinguish diseases caused by fungi or other pathogens.

This is why I use a fungicide first and then thoroughly check the plant afterward.

If the dots start to disappear, the remedy has worked and the disease is resolving.


Unfortunately, pests like aloe too? Pest activity often causes aloe vera leaves to turn yellow and wither.

The most common pests are aphids and mealybugs. They slowly suck the juice from the aloe vera and damage the leaves in the process, causing the leaves to turn yellow quickly.

Sometimes pests appear on aloe leaves, and they feed under small, brown “shells”. Such pests should be regularly removed with a damp cloth. This way you prevent the pest from spreading all over the plant.

It’s also worth weaning aloe vera from other succulents. Pests are very fond of their juicy leaves, so they can quickly move to neighboring plants.

It is best to start removing pests with their proper identification. The garden shop service will help you with this. You can also spray the aloe vera with garden soap or pesticides.

There is another pest that especially likes aloe leaves. They are spider mites. Unfortunately, they are very difficult to see with the naked eye because they are very small. Fortunately, they leave traces in the form of small spider webs.

If you spot them on your aloe vera and their leaves turn yellow, you almost certainly have a spider mite problem. You can get rid of them by using special chemical preparations. You can buy them easily at the garden store.


Inappropriate environmental conditions can also cause the leaves of aloe vera to turn yellow. The ambient temperature is especially important.

Aloe needs a temperature of between 24 and 26 degrees Celsius to be able to develop optimally. It will grow slower at lower temperatures.

Aloe leaves turn yellow if exposed to drastically lower temperatures. Yellowing begins at the edge of the leaves that are most exposed to the cold.

If your aloe vera leaves are turning yellow on the window side, you most likely have leaks. Cold air enters through them, which causes a slight draft.

Try moving the aloe vera elsewhere and see if the situation improves. If not then look for the causes of yellow aloe leaves elsewhere.

Why is aloe turning yellow? Summary

As you can see, aloe turns yellow for a variety of reasons. They can be:

  • improper watering
  • inadequate fertilization
  • too much or too little light
  • diseases
  • pests

Hope my few tips will help you find the cause of yellow aloe vera leaves.

Let’s see what to do to deal with them.

What to do when aloe turns yellow?

Above are some important tips on what to do when Aloe Vera turns yellow. If the reason is too much water, you need to dry its roots and replant them in a new pot.

You can solve the fertilization problem by replanting potted plants and reducing the amount of fertilizer. In turn, you can solve the yellowing of aloe due to the sun by moving the plant to another place.

There are many solutions. However, it’s worth focusing on what’s really causing the problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do the tips of the aloe vera leaves turn yellow?

Aloe tips turn yellow due to cold air, most often from the window. They can also turn yellow due to pests or too little water (they are then thin and slender).

Why is aloe vera turning yellow?

Aloe turns yellow if:

  • is not watered properly
  • has too much sun or too little light
  • is not fertilized properly
  • pests
  • poor fertilization
Categorized as Aloe

By Marzena R.

I love all my baby plants. I'm a mother of two and a happy wife. I enjoy my free time by taking good care of my beloved family, plants and my bichon "Indiana" :)