Why is my aloe vera plant turning red, and how to prevent it

Why is my aloe vera plant turning red, and how to prevent it

The aloe vera plant is a low-maintenance plant and one of the most well-liked plants. Although aloe vera are easy to grow, sometimes they turn red following improper treatment, indicating that they need our attention to become healthy again. Don’t worry if your aloe plant has also started to turn red – you can save it with the help of the following article.
As a general rule, what causes aloe vera to turn red is often linked to specific care issues or environmental factors affecting plant health. One common reason for reddening leaves is excessive sun exposure. Aloe vera plants enjoy bright light, but prolonged direct sunlight, especially during the hottest parts of the day, can lead to sunburn, causing the leaves to develop a reddish tint. Additionally, stressors such as abrupt temperature changes, improper watering practices, or inadequate drainage can induce reddening as a response.

Nutrient deficiencies, particularly magnesium or iron, can change leaf coloration. These deficiencies can impact the plant’s ability to produce chlorophyll, leading to reddish or brownish hues. Furthermore, pest infestations by insects like spider mites or aphids, or infections caused by fungal or bacterial pathogens, can stress the plant and cause discoloration of the leaves.

To address the reddening of Aloe vera leaves and prevent further issues, it’s crucial to adjust care practices accordingly. Ensure the plant receives appropriate sunlight, gradually introducing it to brighter conditions if needed. Establish a consistent watering routine, allowing the soil to dry between waterings and ensuring proper drainage. Fertilize the plant with a balanced, diluted fertilizer to prevent nutrient deficiencies. Regularly inspect the plant for pests and promptly treat any infestations. Providing a healthy growing environment and attending to the plant’s specific needs can help alleviate reddening and maintain the vibrant green appearance of your Aloe vera.

 Stay with me if you are concerned that your aloe vera is suffering from one of the factors I mentioned above, and together we will determine the solution.

Aloe vera plants: what are they?

Aloe vera plants
Aloe vera plants

Aloe vera plants, scientifically known as Aloe barbadensis miller, are native to arid regions and have gained widespread popularity as versatile indoor plants and popular houseplants. These succulent plants are cherished for their soothing gel-filled leaves, which are aesthetically pleasing and offer various potential health benefits. Aloe vera’s leaves are typically characterized by their thick and fleshy appearance, designed by nature to store water in their tissues as an adaptation to survive in dry climates.

Aloe vera comes in various varieties, each with its unique features. While the most recognized type is Aloe barbadensis miller, other aloe varieties showcase a range of leaf shapes and sizes. The plant’s natural color is a vibrant green, indicating its health and vitality. However, certain factors, such as sun exposure, stress, or environmental conditions, can sometimes lead to variations in color. Sometimes, aloe leaves may take on a reddish-brown color, often a sign of stress or sunburn. Despite the different colors that aloe leaves may exhibit, the plant’s natural color remains a vibrant green, and maintaining this hue indicates the plant’s overall well-being.

Aloe vera plants have become beloved indoor companions due to their easy care requirements and potential decorative and medicinal benefits. Their ability to thrive in indoor settings and charming appearance make them a popular plant choice for those seeking to add a touch of nature to their living spaces while enjoying the potential skin-soothing properties of the aloe gel found within the leaves.

Why is my aloe turning red, and how can it be fixed?

Sun Exposure

Excessive sun exposure is one of the most common reasons an aloe vera plant turns red. While aloe plants thrive in bright light, too much direct sunlight can lead to sunburn and cause the leaves to develop a reddish hue. Aloe vera plants are native to arid regions and have adapted to receive moderate sunlight. Prolonged exposure to intense light or full sun, especially during the hottest hours of the day, can result in sun damage, causing the leaves to turn red as a protective response.

How It Can Be Fixed

To address the issue of red leaves due to excessive sunlight, it’s essential to regulate the amount of sun exposure your aloe vera plant receives. Gradually acclimate your plant to direct sunlight by placing it in a location with indirect sunlight. Over time, you can increase the duration of direct sunlight but avoid exposing the plant to intense light for long periods. If your aloe plant is outdoors, consider providing it with partial shade during the hottest day. If your plant is indoors, ensure it’s placed near a window with bright, indirect light. Monitoring the plant’s response and adjusting its sun exposure can help prevent further reddening and maintain the natural green color of the leaves, promoting the plant’s overall health and vitality.

improper watering

A primary reason for the reddening of your aloe vera plant could be watering problems. Aloe plants are adapted to thrive in arid conditions and have low water requirements. Too much water, often due to excessive or frequent watering, can lead to stress and root rot. As a response to improper watering, the leaves may exhibit a reddish hue, indicating that the plant is experiencing water-related stress.

How It Can Be Fixed

Addressing the reddening caused by watering problems requires adjusting your watering habits. Allow the top inch or two of the soil to dry out between waterings. Stick to a consistent watering schedule, ensuring you’re not providing too much water simultaneously. Ensure the pot has proper drainage to prevent waterlogging, and avoid letting the plant sit in standing water. If you suspect your plant is suffering from root rot due to excess water, carefully remove it from the soil, trim away any affected roots, and repot it into fresh, well-draining soil. Conversely, if your plant shows signs of dehydration with reddening leaves, provide enough water to thoroughly moisten the soil without overdoing it. Adopting a balanced and appropriate watering routine can help your aloe vera plant recover from reddening and maintain its vibrant green color, ensuring overall well-being and longevity.


Aloe vera plants can exhibit a reddish hue on their leaves as a response to environmental stress. Stressors such as sudden changes in light, temperature, or humidity levels can trigger a color change in the leaves. Physical disturbances, such as being bumped or moved frequently, can also induce stress and lead to reddish coloration. Aloe vera plants are susceptible to shifts in their surroundings, and the development of red coloration can indicate that the plant is experiencing distress.

How It Can Be Fixed

To alleviate the reddening caused by stress, providing a stable and consistent environment for your aloe vera plant is essential. Avoid sudden changes in light, temperature, or humidity levels, as these can disrupt the plant’s equilibrium. If you need to move the plant gently, avoid excessive handling. Ensure that your plant is placed in an area with suitable lighting conditions – bright, indirect light is generally ideal for aloe vera. Maintain consistent temperature and humidity levels to prevent stress-induced color changes. Adequate spacing between plants can also help prevent physical stress. By creating a stable and comfortable environment for your aloe vera plant and minimizing sources of stress, you can help maintain its natural green color and promote its overall health and resilience.

Nutrient Deficiency

Aloe vera plants may develop a reddish coloration on their leaves due to nutrient deficiency. A lack of essential nutrients, such as nitrogen, iron, or magnesium, can impact the plant’s ability to produce chlorophyll – the pigment responsible for its green color. When nutrient levels are imbalanced, the leaves may exhibit a reddish hue or other color changes, indicating that the plant’s physiological processes are compromised.

How It Can Be Fixed

Consider enriching the soil with organic fertilizers to address the red coloration resulting from nutrient deficiency. Organic fertilizers provide a holistic approach to replenishing essential nutrients and enhancing soil health. These fertilizers release nutrients gradually, mitigating the risk of over-fertilization or “fertilizer shock.” Choose a balanced organic fertilizer that contains various nutrients, including micronutrients, to support your aloe vera plant’s overall growth and well-being. Follow the recommended application rates provided on the fertilizer package. Applying organic fertilizers can contribute to a more sustained and balanced nutrient supply, helping to reverse the red coloration and restoring your aloe vera plant’s vibrant green appearance.

Pests or Diseases

Aloe vera plants may develop a reddish tint on their leaves due to pest infestations or fungal infections. Insects like aphids, spider mites, or mealybugs can stress the plant by feeding on its sap, leading to reddening as a response to the assault. Moreover, fungal infections, often encouraged by excessive moisture or poor air circulation, can weaken the plant’s immune system and trigger color changes in the leaves. A sudden change in the plant’s health, including reddening, could indicate these underlying issues.

How It Can Be Fixed

Addressing reddening caused by pests or diseases involves early detection and prompt intervention. Inspect your aloe vera plant for signs of pests, such as webs, tiny insects, or distorted growth. If pests are present, isolate the affected plant to prevent spreading and use appropriate methods, like insecticidal soap or neem oil, to eliminate the infestation. For fungal infections, improve air circulation around the plant, ensure proper drainage, and avoid overwatering. Applying a fungicide can help control the spread of fungal diseases. By promptly addressing pest infestations or fungal issues and implementing appropriate preventive measures, you can help your aloe vera plant recover its healthy green color and thrive again.


Natural Aging

One of the common causes of an aloe vera plant turning red is natural aging. As aloe plants mature over time, especially the lower leaves, it’s not uncommon for them to develop red tips, red edges, or even a reddish hue across the entire leaf. This color change is a natural part of the aging process and can be attributed to the accumulation of pigments or other compounds within the leaves. While this red foliage may be a visual indicator of the plant’s advancing age, it’s important to note that it doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem.

How It Can Be Fixed

When it comes to the red coloration associated with natural aging, there’s usually no need to “fix” it, as it’s a regular occurrence in the life cycle of an aloe plant. Instead of trying to reverse the red color, focus on providing proper care to ensure the plant’s overall health and vitality. Maintaining consistent watering, providing adequate sunlight, and avoiding overfertilization can support the aloe plant’s natural aging process while encouraging new growth. Regularly pruning away older leaves with red tips or edges can help the plant allocate resources to newer, healthier foliage. Embracing the changing colors as a sign of your aloe plant’s longevity can be the best thing to do while ensuring it receives the proper care to thrive throughout its long life.

poor drainage

One of the common causes of an aloe vera plant turning red is poor drainage. Aloe plants require well-draining soil to prevent waterlogged conditions, which can lead to root damage and stress. When excess water accumulates in the soil due to inadequate drainage, the roots may become compromised, and the plant responds by exhibiting a reddish coloration on its leaves. Poor drainage inhibits oxygen uptake by the roots and disrupts the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients, ultimately leading to signs of distress.

How It Can Be Fixed

To address the red coloration linked to poor drainage, the best solution is to ensure your aloe vera plant is potted in well-draining soil and an appropriate container. Choose a pot with drainage holes and use a mix formulated for succulents or cacti to promote proper water movement. Allow excess water to drain freely after each watering, and never let the plant sit in standing water. If you suspect your plant is suffering from poor drainage, repotting it into a container with better drainage and fresh, well-draining soil can be good. This simple step, combined with proper care – including mindful watering practices – can prevent future water-related stress and help restore your aloe plant’s natural green color, ensuring its overall health and vibrancy.


Hey, My name is Liat and I am addicted to house plants! I have at home more than 50 different types of plants of all kinds - succulents, cactus, tropical plants, orchids and more! Feel free to share the blog with friends on social networks.

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