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How to Troubleshoot an Aloe Vera Plant

By Joshua Duvauchelle ; Updated September 21, 2017
Aloe's thick leaves add texture to a garden.
aloe image by Magdalena Mirowicz from Fotolia.com

The aloe vera plant is easy to grow and can add both color and texture to any backyard landscape or houseplant collection. Gardeners value the plant for more than just aesthetics, since the plant's sap is often used to treat skin disorders and injuries, according to the University of Hawaii. Aloe is relatively low maintenance, but several problems may occasionally arise. Troubleshoot the plant to resolve any potential issues and restore your plant's health and appearance.

Water the aloe vera in moderation. An aloe vera plant that's overwatered may rot, and a plant that's underwatered will shrivel and die. Water the plant only when the soil around the aloe vera plant is dry, according to the University of Hawaii.

Provide the aloe vera plant with sufficient sun if the plant appears pale. Aloe vera plants require full sunlight with a minimum of six to seven hours of sun per day. If you cannot modify the plant's environment enough to provide this amount of sun, you'll need to transplant the aloe vera to a new location.

Fertilize the aloe vera plant if it's potted or in very sandy soil, according to the University of California. Otherwise, don't fertilize the plant. If fertilizing, the University of Arizona recommends a standard 10-40-10 fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer according to its labeled guidelines since potency varies by product; spread the fertilizer once in the late spring and again in the middle of summer.

Bring the aloe vera plant indoors before winter if your area is susceptible to frost. The extremely high water content of the aloe's foliage makes it very sensitive to cold temperatures, which may result in burn marks on the plant's leaves.


Things You Will Need

  • 10-40-10 fertilizer

About the Author


Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.