We independently select everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.


Why Does My Aloe Plant Have Brown Tips?

Brown spots or tips on the aloe vera leaves often mean that the plant is either getting too much water or not enough water. In addition to improper watering, there are other common causes of brown leaves.

What Causes Brown Tips On An Aloe Plant


Perhaps the most common reason for an aloe vera plant turning brown is over-watering. In the beginning stages, the leaves of your aloe will turn brown. The aloe plant’s leaves may also develop mushy spots and yellow leaves.

  • Remove the plant from the pot and look at the roots.

  • Healthy roots are white and firm. If the roots are discolored, smell musty, or are mushy, that is a sign of root rot.

  • Use a sharp knife or gardening shears to remove the unhealthy portions of the roots.

  • You should also remove any unhealthy or discolored leaves to prepare to repot the plant.

  • Choose a terracotta pot with drainage holes in the bottom of the pot.

  • Fill the pot with well-draining soil good for succulents.

  • Water only when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch.


An under-watered aloe can also have brown at the tips of the leaves, though in the case of under-watering, the tips are more likely to be dry and crispy. Signs your aloe is not getting enough water include drooping leaves, yellow leaves, and brown, dried-out leaves.

The roots in an under-watered plant are dry and brittle. If you wait too long, the plant may get to the point of no return.

  • Cut off any brown, dry, damaged leaves.

  • Check to see if you need to repot the aloe. Often, aloe plants fail to thrive because they are not in the proper pot or potting soil.

  • The pot for an aloe vera plant should leave no more than 1-2 inches bigger than the root ball. Although there are multiple types of pots appropriate for an aloe plant, a terra-cotta pot is the most popular. Be certain the pot you choose has good drainage holes.

  • Since aloe vera plants are succulents, they require a well-draining potting mix, such as those that are made for cacti and succulents. A good mix for your aloe plant should contain perlite, pumice rock, chunks of bark, or all of these.

Over- or under-watering are common causes of brown aloe tips.

Too Much Sunlight

Getting too much direct sunlight can also cause brown leaf tips. One of the basic rules of aloe plant care is that they want bright but indirect light. Giving your plant too much sunshine can result in sunburn, which is as bad for a plant as it is for a person.

Low-light conditions can also cause aloe to wilt and fail to thrive.

Too Hot of Temperature

Although aloe plants do like hot climates, it is possible for them to get too warm. Aloe vera indoor plants do best in temperatures between 55-80. If it is a lot hotter than that, the plant likely needs extra water and to be moved to a cooler spot in the house.

Nutritional Issues

While it can be hard to determine exactly what is causing your aloe to have brown tips on the leaves, sometimes ruling things out leads to nutritional deficiency as the culprit. If the issue is not water or sun, your plant may be getting over-fertilized.

The easiest remedy for this is to plant the aloe in fresh soil and scale back on fertilizer. When you do fertilize in the growing season, choose food made for aloe vera plants.

Fungal Disease and Pests

Unfortunately, there are other things that can bother your aloe plant and lead to discolored leaves. If your plant has any type of insect, identify what it is and use the appropriate insecticide to get rid of them before the infestation spreads. After treating the pests, cut back any leaves damaged by them.

Aloe that is getting excess water can also develop fungal diseases that cause brown spots on the leaves.

Can An Aloe Plant Survive With Brown Tips?

Although an aloe vera plant can survive with brown tips, the plant can continue to deteriorate if the problem goes unchecked. Use the list above to diagnose and troubleshoot your plant.

Depending on the cause of the brown tips, you may need to repot your aloe vera.

Should You Cut The Brown Tips Off Your Aloe?

Anytime you have brown parts of your plant it is a good idea to trim those off to keep the plant happy and healthy.

Normal pruning is best done in the spring for an aloe plant. If you are growing aloe to harvest the leaves for the medicinal aloe inside, you likely won’t need to prune since you are continually removing leaves for the aloe.

Ideally, you cut the aloe leaves very close to the base of the plant to allow for clean regrowth.

How Often Should You Water An Aloe Plant?

Aloe vera plants are drought-tolerant and should be watered every three weeks or so. Of course, the air temperature and indoor humidity matter when deciding how often to water. When you put your finger into the soil of the plant, it should be dry about 1-2 inches down prior to watering again.

Browse all guides