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Rotting Leaves On Aloe Plant

In the post about Aloe Vera Houseplant Care a visitor by the name of Bridget posed the following question:

"I have been having trouble with my aloe lately, usually it loves me, it even bloomed for me over the summer and gave me about 15 little ones I've been having to give to people because I don't know where I can put them. Unfortunately  I accidentally let it freeze, it summers outside, and a sudden freeze came up before I could move it inside. When I did get it inside, it was frozen, and after it thawed it became very wilted, and now it is giving off a smell of rotting, and oozing a dark brown liquid from the tips of it's leaves. There are still viable leaves in the very middle of the plant, but I'm concerned with trimming off the bad leaves and shocking it too much. Should I just give it up and let it go? I would like to try to get it healthy because I've had this one aloe for over 7 years."

Bridget, congrats on getting your Aloe to flower for you. I had the same problem this year I left out a few potted plants out too late and they got frozen but they seem to have handled it well. Even though your Aloe may experience some shock I'd go ahead and cut off the dead and rotting leaves on your Aloe. Unless you have a porch or unused room in your house where you won't have to smell it I'd say cut them off and deal with the bit of stress it will undergo.

The other reason I suggest going through with the trimming of the dead leaves is because I've come across threads on forums and have talked to Aloe growers who have left rotting leaves on plants. Some of them have reported finding the fermented innards of the leaves splattered on their walls.

While you can easily replace your Aloe with a new plant or a pup off one of the plants you've given away, you've had this one for 7 years and have invested a lot of time into the plant so don't give up on it.

Hope this helps.


  1. I lost a beautiful 13-year-old aloe during our hard freeze last winter. I cut off all the dead stuff, hoping it would send up new growth, but it was dead as a doornail.
    BTW--I've added your site as a link on my blog.

  2. Anonymous4:10 PM

    Hi. My name's Esther, and I'm living in Canada. I've just repotted my aloe that was suffering from root rot into some sandy sandy mix with a bit of compost and perlite. I'm going to wait for it to dry out again before it gets watered (it's a bit moist, but not too bad. In the summer I hope to put it into terra-cotta. I'm wondering though, is tea an okay firtilizer? or is it too acidic? Have you heard of this before?

    Also, I'm trying to keep it in a window during the day. Do you recommend moving it at night (to prevent cold drafts?)

    Canada is cold for cacti.

    Thanks for all the tips though, really helpful!


  3. Phyllis Monette12:34 PM

    My aloe plant seems to come out of the ground after afew months like there is no roots hanging on by one fine root .What am I doing wrong?

  4. Anonymous5:32 PM

    My aloe vera plant froze and I brought it into the house from the garden. The botton looks dead but the top looks alive but very thin and light color. Should I chop off the top and plant it into another pot? Will the bottom grow again? The plant is about 2 feet tall altogether.

    1. Anonymous9:24 AM

      It might
      Mine suffered a mealybug infestation but I couldn't bear to throw it away.I just left it there to cling to the pot, on top of the soil for months, or years.. I lost track

      I thought the roots were all gone, the rhizome part was also all black and brown at the bottom although the top was green..
      This year,I checked it my surprise, it is now sending up new shoots AND roots!
      On impulse I peeled off the 'black' parts and lo! underneath was a healthy green brown colour. I repotted it and bought white oil to deal with the pests. I'm now checking it every week so wish me luck with dealing with the persistent insects!

    2. Good luck with your aloe.

  5. annu mallik12:29 AM

    I had planted few baby aloe vera plants in 3 pots. everything was going well. plants were healthy, green, n few inches taller. suddenly the colour is changing into brown colour. It has enough sunlight in the balcony. watering is done once in 6-7 days. just sprinkle.. I am worried. where have I gone wrong ??? please help..

    1. Is it in direct sunlight? Mine did that as well when I had it outside in direct sunlight but as soon as I moved it away from the sun, with indirect sunlight, it has perked up and is so much happier now. Also, with watering, I give mine a good watering and let the soil dry up and then water again. I recently read the easiest way to tell if the soil has dried out enough to water again is if you have a large aloe plant, the soil should be dry in the top 2-3 inches of soil, if it's a small or mini one, then it's 1-2 inches of dry soil. If you like, try out what i suggested but keep an eye on it as well to keep track of it's progress. Also, since you did pot them, did you leave them out of the sun for the first 3 weeks after potting them? It helps them to aclimate to the new pot and to overcome the shock of being separated and potted. Give it a try. I hope this helps! I've had my "big baby" as I call it because it went from a tiny Walmart special to this ginormous, heavy thing, for about 2 years and I'm so proud because I don't have a green thumb! So I can only give you advice that has worked for me the last two years and what I've learned. Good luck!

  6. Brandi2:50 PM

    Man, don't you just hate it when you ask a question and then you get a million replies from people who are only interested in asking their own questions and not answering yours. How rude.



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