The bending of Aloe vera plant leaves indicates it is under stress. You must act swiftly to fix the problem, or else the plant may die.
The reasons why aloe vera leaves bend may include overwatering, insufficient light exposure, fungal infestation, poor drainage or pest attack.
To fix it, you need to first identify the problem and find out a way to reverse the condition.
Usually, aloe leaves stay relatively upright if they are healthy.
Falling aloe leaves is a sign of stress that environmental or climatic factors might trigger.
As a new gardener, it might be heart-wrenching to see drooping leaves but believe me, this unhealthy condition of aloe allows you to learn more about the plant.
In this write-up, I’ll discuss about the quick fix to reverse the condition and answer common queries like cutting drooping aloe leaves.
Why Is My Aloe Vera Plant Leaves Bending – 7 Causes?
Overwatering is one of the most common causes of stress and drooping of leaves.
Excess water isn’t just caused due to frequent watering. Choosing the wrong potting soil that fails to drain the water can lead to this gardening issue.
Even the container or pot you select to grow aloe vera plants can lead to water stress or root bound.
Most of the causes are interlinked with each other. One wrong step, and you may end up with limp aloe leaves.
Apart from watering stress, not providing enough light, fungal infection, and inadequate temperature can cause algae leaves to bend.
1. Sunlight – Intent sunlight causes drooping of aloe leaves
The ideal temperature for aloe vera ranges from 55 to 85F.
When the plant is exposed to intense direct sunlight due to heat stress, the plant leaves start to bend.
Similarly, insufficient sunlight can result in the drooping of leaves and then chlorosis.
Plants, including aloe vera, need light to produce their food. However, excess heat and water loss due to rising temperature make the aloe plant leaf bend.
You can check more on heat stress here.
Relocate the plant to a better location that gets bright morning sunlight.
Aloe vera needs 6 hours of sunlight to thrive.
Choose a location that gets an ample amount of morning sunlight and save it from intense sun rays.
In summer, apply organic mulch around the plant regularly to reduce temperature and water and to avoid underwatering.
2. Temperature Stress – Extreme temperature fluctuation causes wilting
Though aloe plants can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, extremely high or low temperatures can make aloe leaves wilt or droop.
However, few species of aloe vera plants can tolerate temperatures below 50F.
Freezing temperatures reduce plant enzyme activity, thus resulting in wilting and yellowing of plant leaves.
The water inside the aloe leaves freezes and ruptures the cell walls.
Avoid colder or freezing temperatures. Move your aloe plant indoors to avoid extremely low temperatures.
Similarly, save your plant from being placed near extremely high temperatures.
The ideal temperature ranges between 50F to 85F.
3. Watering Stress can cause aloe vera leaves to bend
Overwatering and underwatering both cause the plant to droop and wilt. Turning aloe vera plant leaves is a sign of stress.
Most houseplants face this issue of overwatering, as mentioned above.
Out of curiosity, amateur gardeners water indoor plants frequently, irrespective of climate.
Excess water logging results in root rot, which eventually makes your leaves droop and wilt.
Similarly, underwatering aloe plants can cause drooping leaves.
First, know the cause of wilting.
If the potting soil is extremely moist with algae, then you’re probably overwatering your aloe vera plant.
Stop watering and relocate the plant under better light.
To overcome underwatering, you’ve got to start watering the aloe plant generously.
4. Potting Soil – the wrong choice can cause overwatering and underwatering
Aloe vera is a succulent, and it prefers well-drained soil.
No succulent would like to sit in water.
Choosing the wrong potting soil can cause excess water to clog under the pot, resulting in root rot.
Potting soil or growing medium of aloe plants should be well-drained and should be able to retain the required moisture.
Just using sand that fails to retain moisture can result in underwatering.
Use potting soil mix to grow aloe vera plants.
Report your aloe if needed.
Mix 2 parts of garden soil, 1 part of old compost, 1 part of perlite or peat moss.
The ingredients mentioned above will be able to retain moisture and drain excess water.
5. Wrong pot or container
The plant gets nutrients from the soil.
Choosing a small pot can make it difficult for aloe plants to absorb nutrients, thus resulting in wilting or bending of aloe leaves.
The best pot to grow the aloe vera plant is a terracotta ceramic pot that can absorb extra moisture from the potting soil.
An ideal pot helps the potting soil to dry between watering.
Repot your aloe vera plant to a ceramic pot that has a drainage hole.
6. Fungal Infestation
Fungal pathogens disrupt the easy flow of water in aloe leaves, resulting in wilting, drooping or bending of aloe leaves.
Aloe rust, anthracnose disease, and basal stem rot are fungal diseases that damage the plant growth of aloe vera.
Bacterial infections include bacterial soft rot and pests that can ruin aloe vera plant leaves.
Read more about aloe vera fungal diseases here.
Use organic fungicide to get rid of fungal infestation.
7. Relocating or Repotting stress can cause bending of aloe leaves
Repotting aloe vera at the wrong time can result in transplant shock.
When the plant doesn’t adjust to the new location or pot, aloe plant leaves start to wilt and then eventually turn yellow.
Sudden changes in temperature and light exposure can result in transplant stress. Though most plants recover from it with time, if your aloe vera isn’t showing a sign of healing, then you should consider checking the pot and growing medium.
First of all, don’t transplant or repot aloe vera plants during winter or fall.
Summer is the best time for repotting aloe vera plants.
Secondly, check the temperature levels and light exposure of the new location. If required, bring the aloe vera plant back to the old place where it was thriving previously.
Should I cut off drooping aloe vera leaves?
You can cut or trim off old drooping leaves, but you need to get rid of the root cause to fix the aloe vera plant.
Removing all bending leaves may end your plant with no or fewer leaves, which can make it difficult for plants to produce their food.
So, cut off the lower aloe vera that are wilting or drooping. Also, ensure you fix the issue that resulted in the drooping of aloe leaves.
What to Do With Bent Aloe Vera Leaves?
While inspecting your aloe vera plant, if you notice bending, drooping or wilting of leaves, then don’t rush to cut them off.
First, know the root cause of wilting and fix it.
Without proper diagnosis, you won’t be able to get rid of drooping leaves.
As mentioned above, I am listing out important fixes that can get your fleshy green aloe leaves back.
- Overwatering is the most common gardening issue that results in wilting or drooping of leaves. Avoid it by watering the plant only when the potting soil is 2 inches dry.
- Due to the lack of the required amount of moisture or water, plant leaves fail to produce necessary food, thus resulting in weak leaves. Start watering your aloe vera plant and use hay grass as mulch to lock moisture for a longer time.
- Intense sunlight and extreme temperatures aren’t good for aloe vera plants. Relocate the plant to a better location that gets enough 6 hours of sun exposure and an ideal temperature between 55 and 80F.
- Potting soil is the medium that not only supplies primary and secondary nutrients to the plant but also holds the plant firmly from wind. Choosing the wrong garden soil can result in overwatering or underwatering your aloe vera.
- Opt for potting mix soil that includes garden soil, compost and perlite or peat moss.
- Though aloe vera thrives in a wide range of temperatures, extreme cold or hot isn’t good for plants. Don’t place your aloe vera pot near cold drafts or heaters.
- Fertilize aloe vera and inspect the plant regularly to avoid fungal or bacterial infestation.
To fix bent leaves of the aloe vera plant, you should first diagnose the problem causing it.
Cutting off drooping leaves without knowing the root cause won’t solve the problem.
Even new leaves start to bend with time.
In most cases, it is watering stress that results in the drooping of aloe vera plant leaves. Check your watering frequency and regulate it according to climatic conditions in your region.
Aloe vera is a succulent, so it doesn’t need regular watering. In colder regions, due to slow growth and less sunlight, indoor plants don’t need much water.
Reduce watering in winter and increase accordingly in summer.
This simple guide will help you to get rid of drooping or wilting leaves on aloe vera plants.
Khaja Moinuddin, a computer science graduate, finds joy in gardening and homesteading. Join him on this blog as he shares his experiences in homesteading, gardening, and composting