Aloe Vera Plant Leaves Turning Red & Brown – What to Do

Are the leaves of your aloe vera plant randomly turning a shade of red and brown? The change in foliage appearance can be caused by a number of factors, some of which needs to be addressed as soon as possible to save your houseplant. Aside from saving your plant, it’s also important that you get to this as soon as possible as decaying aloe plants may attract nuisance pests like gnats and fruit flies.

Your Aloe Plant is Getting Too Much Sunlight

One of the most common reasons for the development of red and brown aloe leaves is too much sunlight. The leaves of the aloe vera plant can start to wilt and turn red if it is placed in an area with full sun exposure (at least six hours of direct sunlight).

Aloe plants may tolerate full sun conditions but not necessarily for an extended period of time. If grown indoors, we suggest moving the aloe plant a few feet away from the windowsill so that it is placed under part sun conditions. For example, you can let the aloe plant receive full sun in the morning, and shade in the afternoon.

The Aloe is in Water-Logged Soil

The reddish brown color on the leaves may become even more prominent if the aloe plant is also grown in water-logged soil. Succulents like aloe plants must be grown in soil that drains well. If the existing soil is too compact or clay-like then we suggest transplanting to a succulent soil mix, which contains materials like perlite to improve drainage.

When you make a change (e.g. giving the aloe plant less water), we suggest to give it about two weeks to determine what’s working on and what isn’t. If the red leaves are forming on an aloe plant that you bought recently then be sure to mimic its previous environmental condition as much as possible at first.

For example, aloe plant sold from greenhouses may initially benefit from being grown in shaded conditions at first. Taking such precautions will prevent the aloe plant leaves from turning a shade of red, brown, or even yellow.


  • Kaci:

    Thank you! I took all my houseplants outside for some summer rain and sunshine but clearly my aloe was not a fan. Thank you for the clear info and simple steps.

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