Aloe plants are known for being some of the most resilient and easy-to-care-for houseplants—and this is typically true. However, these plants can develop issues such as curling leaves. Stay with us as we explain possible causes and solutions to curling aloe plants.
Why Are My Aloe Plant’s Leaves Curling?
Aloe plants typically sport rigid leaves that grow straight out from the base of the plant. If you look at the leaves from above, the edges should appear mostly straight and flat.
However, sometimes the edges of aloe leaves begin to curl upwards. If you notice this, check for the following causes.
The most common reason why your aloe plant is curling (or drooping) is underwatering. While aloe plants can handle periods of drought, they still need moisture to thrive (both indoors and when you’re growing aloe plants outside).
If aloe plants are not receiving the water they need, they may curl their leaves up to conserve moisture. Curled leaves lose less water which can help the plants survive drought.
The soil will dry out if you don’t water your aloe plants often enough. To prevent this from happening, water when the top two to three inches of soil is dry.
You can also use a moisture meter to determine whether or not you should water your aloe plant.
Sometimes, it can be hard to remember to water your plants—and we understand! If you’re an unintentionally neglectful plant parent, try setting a weekly reminder to encourage you to check on your plants.
Improper Soil Mix
It’s true that aloe plants like a well-draining soil mix. However, this potting mix should still be able to hold a bit of moisture.
If your aloe plant is growing in sand, perlite, or pebbles, the mixture will not be able to retain much moisture. So even if you water your aloe plant once a week, the soil may remain dry the majority of the time.
Too Much Direct Light
Aloe plants like lots of bright light. In fact, they need it to thrive!
However, too much direct, bright light can cause the plants to become stressed. If this happens, aloe leaves may begin curling (and turning yellow or brown).
If your plant receives direct light for most of the day, try moving it to an area (indoors or outside) that receives bright yet indirect sunlight. Ideally, aloe plants will receive 6–8 hours of bright yet indirect light each day.
As temperatures rise, plants need to cool themselves. Like how humans sweat to lower our body temperatures, plants lose water through transpiration to cool themselves.
Since increased temperatures lead to increased transpiration rates, plants are more likely to dehydrate in hot temperatures. If the internal moisture of a plant decreases too much, it may begin curling its leaves in an attempt to conserve moisture.
Remember that aloe plants prefer temperatures between 60–85ºF. If an aloe plant sits in an area above this range for an extended period, its leaves may begin to curl. This is especially true if the plant also receives lots of direct light. Overly hot or humid environments can also attract common aloe plant pests and fungal diseases, which may cause brown spots on your aloe plant leaves.
Try lowering the temperature of your home or office. Alternatively, you can move your aloe plant to a dimmer location where temperatures are lower (be mindful in winter if your plant is close to a radiator or heat source).
You should also remember that increased temperatures mean you will need to water your aloe plant more often.
Keep Your Aloe Plants Healthy
Regularly monitoring your aloe plant’s environment and providing the proper care will allow your plant to thrive. Remember to water when the top few inches of soil are dry and keep air temperatures between 60-85ºF. With due care and attention, your aloe plants will thrive for years to come.
For more, see our in-depth guide to aloe plant care at home.