Aloe plants are known for their triangular leaves that point outward and upward. While these succulent leaves are usually rigid, sometimes they begin to droop. If you’ve noticed your aloe leaves are drooping, check out some of these possible causes and solutions.
Reasons Why Aloe Leaves May Be Drooping
Healthy aloe leaves are typically relatively stiff and point upward. However, sometimes these leaves become limp and begin to droop downwards.
If you notice your aloe plant’s leaves are drooping, consider the following potential causes.
Overwatering is one of the most common reasons why your aloe plant’s leaves may be drooping.
Aloe plants like soil that is on the drier side. If you are overwatering, the plants may end up sitting in soil that is constantly moist.
Over time, this may lead the plant’s roots to develop fungal infections that lead to rotting roots. These rotting roots can inhibit the plant from taking up water, which can then lead to drooping leaves.
Overwatering can also lead to soft rot in the leaves of the plant. This typically begins at the base of the plant and spreads outwards. Symptoms include discolored, soft, and drooping leaves.
If you suspect your plant has developed root rot, immediately decrease the amount you water. Remember to only water your aloe plants when the top two to three inches of soil is dry.
If the plant is severely infected with root rot, it may not recover. However, cutting back on watering can help slightly affected plants bounce back.
This may sound confusing, but underwatering can also lead to drooping leaves.
While aloe plants have succulent leaves that can hold a good bit of moisture, they still will wilt with a lack of water. If plant cells do not have the water they need, their turgor pressure will decrease. This can lead to wilting and/or drooping leaves.
While aloe plants like their soil on the drier side, they still need water to thrive. The frequency that you should water depends on factors including temperature, sun exposure, and humidity.
However, a good rule of thumb is to water your aloe plant when the top two to three inches of soil is dry. Depending on the environmental conditions, you can expect to water once every one to three weeks.
Lack of Light
Aloe plants need lots of light to thrive. They will grow best when they receive at least six hours of bright light each day.
If you keep your aloe plant in a dim area, the plant will not receive the energy it needs to thrive. This can eventually lead to drooping leaves. It’s prudent to pay particular attention to light sources and the positioning of your aloe plants during the winter months.
Overwatering isn’t the only thing that can cause soil to remain moist. Poor drainage can also lead to wet soils and, therefore, drooping leaves (whether you’re growing aloe plants indoors or outdoors).
When you look at drainage, you want to consider two elements: the container and the soil mix.
The container should have drainage holes that allow excess water to escape. Additionally, the pot should not be much bigger than the size of the plant’s root ball. Excess soil will remain wet for a longer period of time, which may cause issues.
A proper aloe plant potting soil will provide excellent drainage. Generally, a mix that is labeled for cacti and succulents is a good choice.
To increase drainage, well-draining soil mixes contain elements like sand, perlite, or pumice.
Aloe plants are mild feeders and only need fertilizing once a year in spring typically. Over-feeding an aloe plant can actually have a negative effect on plant health, leading to wilting, burnt, or droopy leaves.
Stress Due to Changes in the Environment
If you repot your aloe plant or move it from one area to the next, your plant is likely to experience stress. This may lead to drooping leaves.
Typically, aloe plants will recover from this stress within a few weeks. Continue to provide your plant with the proper environment and care in order to aid recovery.
Aloe plants can also droop if the temperatures are too low or too high. Ideally, keep your aloe plants somewhere warm throughout the year, where temperatures range from 60F to 80F. Bright direct sunlight or too hot temperatures can cause aloe plant leaves to curl.
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.
Keep Your Aloe Plants Healthy
If your aloe plant has developed drooping leaves, do your best to diagnose the cause and act appropriately. Your plant should recover with the proper care and should thrive for years to come.
For more, see our in-depth guide on where to position aloe plants for optimal care and feng shui benefits in the home or office.
Briana holds a B.S. in Plant Sciences from Penn State University. She manages a small market garden where she grows vegetables and herbs. She also enjoys growing flowers and houseplants at home.
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