Aloe vera is a plant that has been used for centuries to heal wounds and treat burns. It’s also an amazing natural remedy for skin conditions. But you won’t be able to benefit from it if it dies.
An overwatered aloe plant is one of the most common reasons that an aloe vera plant becomes sick and potentially die.
This article will cover what signs to look out for to know if the aloe plant is unhealthy, as well as how to save, revive, and keep your aloe vera growing healthy and strong.
- Related Article: How to Water Aloe Vera Plants
Signs of an Overwatered Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe vera plants are easy to take care of, but it’s also easy to overwater them. Look out for these common signs of an overwatered aloe plant:
1. Soft and Droopy Leaves
Leggy and drooping leaves are one of the most common signs of an overwatered aloe vera. If you see aloe vera leaves drooping and they have a soft feel to them, it’s a good indication of overwatering. The leaves may also become wrinkly and start wilting.
Learn more about Leggy Aloe Vera Fixes.
2. Leaves Turning Brown and Yellow
If you notice brown or yellow spots on the leaf tips, this could mean that there is too much water in the soil around the roots. This can lead to root rot which causes the aloe vera to wilt and eventually die.
3. Stems Becoming Soft and Turning Brown
Stems turning mushy and brown means that the stem is holding excess water. When stems turn brown, it usually indicates that the plant needs more water than usual. These blisters are also called edemas or oedema.
4. Leaves Blistering
Leaves blister when they contain excess moisture. The blisters appear like small bumps that start small and will grow larger with more water.
5. Soil Not Draining
If you notice that excess water isn’t draining out of the pot after waterings, it could be the soil is too compacted or not well-draining. That will lead to overwatering. It could also be the pot’s drainage holes being blocked by something.
6. Roots Becoming Soft and Waterlogged
Rotting roots are another common sign of overwatering. When the excess water doesn’t drain out, the roots sit in soggy soil, which can lead to fungal diseases and other pathogens.
You’ll know the roots have rotted if they’re brown or black, and they’re soft and mushy to the touch. There will also be a rotten smell to it.
7. No New Growth After Pruning
When pruned, new growth should come back within two weeks. However, if no new growth comes back, then it might indicate that the plant was overwatered.
8. Mold on the Soil
Mold is caused by excessive moisture and humidity. You might see white and gray mold spores thrive in humid environments. If left to continue grow, it could lead to fungal diseases.
Can You Save an Overwatered Aloe Vera Plant?
Yes, you can definitely save an overwatered aloe vera plant. You need to look out for the signs and symptoms of overwatering and take action quickly.
But some of the problems with overwatering cannot be cured if they are to become severe. You can still save the aloe vera if the root rot hasn’t spread across all the roots. If it’s not widespread yet, you may still be able to prune off the rotted areas and replant the healthy roots.
Aloe vera are great plants to grow and you should try to save them. They are very resilient, so if you can catch the problem in time, they’ll be able to be saved.
Recognizing the signs will help you look for possible ways to save and revive the overwatered aloe plants.
How to Revive an Overwatered Aloe Vera Plant
When it comes to treating waterlogged soil, you’ll want to dry it out and fix the soil. There are different ways to dry out the soil and fix it. What I like to do is spread the soil out on newspaper and allow it to dry in the sun.
I’ll then fix the soil and increase its drainage ability by adding sand or perlite. Read more about how to mix your own potting soil.
Replacing the potting mix should take care of most issues from overwatering. But with root rot, more work is needed. Root rot is one of the more common issues with overwatering, so I’ll cover the steps to reviving an aloe vera plant with root rot.
- Remove the aloe plant from the pot – Be careful not to harm the healthy parts of the roots.
- Check the roots for root decay and rot – Look for the black and brown, mushy roots.
- Prune the decayed roots – Leave the healthy parts of the roots alone. Make sure your pruning shears have been sterilized and to sterilize afterwards, so you don’t spread any bacteria to other plants. Remove the old soil that’s on the roots.
- Treat the remaining roots – Use a fungicide to rinse the leftover roots to kill off potential fungal infections. A 3% hydropgen perioxide solution will work.
- Choose the right pot – Using a good pot will help with healthy growth and overwatering problems Make sure the pot’s drainage holes are good. You may also look at selecting a wider container, rather than a narrow one. Aloe roots grow horizontally, so the right pot will help with healthy growth.
- Prepare the fresh potting mix – Make sure that your new potting mix is well-draining. Succulent mixes are good. Ingredients to look for are perlite, coarse sand, and even gravel. You can create your own potting soil mix or buy a succulent-ready mix.
- Repot the aloe vera plant – Plant the aloe vera into the pot with the fresh potting soil mix. Wait a few days before watering. That gives the aloe vera some time to adjust to the new home.
- Water after a few days – When watering, look for the excess water to successfully drain out. If not, look for reasons that it’s not draining, or you’ll end up with waterlogged soil. Use distilled or filtered water, or rainwater as they won’t contain chemicals like chlorine from tap water.
As with much of houseplant care, the main weapon to prevent plant problems is close and frequent attention to your plants.
Tips to Prevent Overwatering the Aloe Vera Plant
Preventing and avoiding overwatering of aloe plants will go a long way to keeping your plant healthy. These tips will help prevent overwatering issues.
1. Monitor and Maintain Soil Moisture Levels
Monitoring soil moisture levels helps keep your plants safe from over-watering. The best method is using a soil moisture meter. This device allows you to measure the amount of water present in the layer of soil where the plant roots are.
A free testing method is to use your finger and sticking it into the soil. Feel how wet or dry the soil is and water your aloe plant, if needed.
XLUX T10 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter - Soil Water Monitor, Hydrometer for Gardening, Farming, No Batteries Required
- Reliable and accurate: Sensing probe ensures accurate and instant testing results, matching for both indoor or outdoor use.
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- How to use: Simply insert the moisture meter into soil and you'll get the test result instantly.
2. Use Well-Draining Soil
The right soil mix for plants is essential to plant health. It needs to be able to retain enough water for plants to use, but also needs to drain the excess water, so the soil doesn’t become soggy.
3. Water from the Bottom
Watering from the bottom will help ensure the aloe plant roots will get water. If you water from the top, the large leaves may stop the water to get to the soil and to the roots.
4. Frequency of Watering
How often you water will affect whether your aloe plant gets too much water or not enough. Watering when the soil isn’t dry yet will lead to overwatering. Use the finger test or a moisture meter to check if water is needed.
After time, you’ll learn how often you need to water for different seasons. Younger plants will also need more water, so be aware that less frequent watering will be needed as the aloe vera plants mature.
5. Choose the Right Pot – Material and Drainage
Ensure pots have good, working drainage holes. If your pots retain moisture, you won’t need to water as often either. As the aloe plant grows, you will also need to choose pots the next size up.
If the pot is too small, the roots may block drainage holes and compact the potting mix, so the water won’t be able to drain through.
Overwatered Aloe Vera Plant Final Thoughts
There are many ways to avoid overwatering an aloe vera plant. You can take advantage of these methods by monitoring your plants’ soil moisture level regularly.
Once you know what works well for your particular situation, you’ll find yourself doing this automatically and not worrying about overwatering again.
Here are other articles on aloe vera plants: