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Underwatered Aloe Plant – 5 Warning Signs & How to Fix It

Underwatered Aloe Plant – 5 Warning Signs & How to Fix It

How do you know if you have an underwatered aloe plant?

Aloe Vera plants have plentiful water in their leaves as they can store an abundant amount. 

While outdoor Aloe Vera plants require more water, their indoor counterparts, however, do not. 

Climate, planting location, and the current season can all collectively cause the Aloe Vera plant – whether inside or outside – to become dehydrated. 

Let’s find out!

 

How to Tell If My Aloe Plant Is Underwatered?

If your Aloe plant is underwatered, it will have drooping and curled leaves. The potting soil will be warm to touch and dry. There will be a distinct yellowing and browning at the tip of the leaves. In case your plant exhibits these signs, you must immediately remove it from its pot. 

Underwatered Aloe Plant – Warning Signs & How to Fix It
Underwatered Aloe Plant – Warning Signs & How to Fix It

 

Symptoms of Underwatered Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera plants cannot tolerate dehydration for that long.

You can tell if your plant is dehydrated by identifying the following signs:

 

1. Yellow Leaves

The Aloe Vera‘s leaves lose their ability to absorb both essential nutrients and moisture from the soil when they turn yellow.

This is because the yellowing indicates that the leaves are losing their chlorophyll content.

Yellowing of the aloe vera leaves is one of the signs that it is underwatered
Yellowing of the aloe vera leaves is one of the signs that it is underwatered

It also indicates that the roots have used all of their remaining energy in pulling water up to the plant and that it is now, as a whole, underwatered.

The yellow will not always be a distinct shade. Sometimes, certain nutrient deficiencies in plants also cause yellowing leaves.

No matter the cause, the color’s appearance should be considered a warning. Not, however, in the case of younger leaves that are yellow due to lack of calcium, zinc, or copper. 

 

2. Wilting Leaves

If the leaves of the aloe vera start to wilt, it is another sign that the plant's underwatered
If the leaves of the aloe vera start to wilt, it is another sign that the plant’s underwatered

When an Aloe Vera plant is underwatered, it may begin to wilt. This droopiness occurs when the plants’ cells lose their turgidity.

This causes them to shrink and lose their shape. Be warned that this droopiness may convert to long-term wilting should you not nip the issue in the bud.

Excess dehydration will lead to severe wilting. At a certain point, your Aloe Vera leaves will become easily breakable. 

 

3. Browning of Leaf Tips

Browning of leaves does not only mean fertilizer burn. Aloe leaves turn brown also because of lacking chlorophyll and dehydration.

The tips of leaves are the last of the entire plant to receive water, which is why they are the first that will begin to yellow, later brown.

Browning of the tips of the aloe vera plant is another surefire sign that it is underwatered
Browning of the tips of the aloe vera plant is another surefire sign that it is underwatered

In short, they suffer collateral damage.

 

4. Dried Up Soil

Another sign of Aloe Vera dehydration is dried-up soil. You will need to confirm this, though, for sometimes there still may be water in the pores at the bottom, yet none above.

If you touch the aloe vera plant's soil and it is dry, it is another indication of underwatering
If you touch the aloe vera plant’s soil and it is dry, it is another indication of underwatering

You will know dried soil when you touch some. 

It also leans on the fact that some plants need more water for them to thrive than others. But dried up soil, nonetheless, will affect the ability of roots to take in and transport water. 

 

5. Brittle Roots

Obviously, roots suffer the most when a plant is dehydrated. They turn brittle when they cannot draw water from the soil anymore.

Brittle roots in an aloe vera plant is a sure sign that is is suffering from major dehydration
Brittle roots in an aloe vera plant is a sure sign that is is suffering from major dehydration

In the absence of water, their texture changes, and they harden.

Roots turning brittle is the last call – your Aloe plant has suffered major dehydration. 

 

Saving an Underwatered Aloe Plant

An Aloe plant needs sufficient watering for it to flourish. To promote healthy growth, one must not deviate from a well-maintained growing schedule.

Since we can take only preventative measures, you will need to act fast if you start to notice any of the symptoms we have listed above. 

Follow the steps below. 

 

1. Take the Plant Out from the Pot

The first and foremost thing that needs doing is taking the underwatered Aloe Vera plant from the soil.

The first thing that you should do to save your underwatered aloe plant is to take it out of its pot
The first thing that you should do to save your underwatered aloe plant is to take it out of its pot

How can you do this?

Turn the pot upside down and ever-so-gently pat the bottom so that the plant comes outside. 

 

2. Immerse the Roots In Water

Fill a bowl with water, then immerse the roots of your Aloe plant in it for at least 2 days.

Immerse the roots of the underwatered aloe vera plant in water for 2 days to allow it to recover
Immerse the roots of the underwatered aloe vera plant in water for 2 days to allow it to recover

Severe dehydration is hard to recover from. Immersing the roots in water – purified, cold water – is the only way to aim at minimizing the damage.

This will also help your plant to go back to square one, a clean slate if you will. 

 

3. Cut Off All Discolored Parts

The discoloration will only grow. You need to cut off any discolored part from the leaves to nip the discoloration in the bud.

Trimming off the discolored tips helps the aloe vera plant recover from underwatering as the discoloration feeds off the nutrients
Trimming off the discolored tips helps the aloe vera plant recover from underwatering as the discoloration feeds off the nutrients

This discoloration feeds off nutrients – same as the healthy leaves. Pruning them means you are preventing their growth. 

 

4. Choosing a Well-Drained Soil

It is now time to do some repotting on your Aloe Vera plant. Moving on, pick the right Aloe Vera watering frequency.

Why?

Because you’re not totally out of trouble yet. Your Aloe plan can still turn yellow, or worse, brown.

You will have to emulate Aloe’s natural growth environment.

Try getting cacti soil instead of the regular potting soil. This will prevent any stress from engulfing the plant. 

Use cactus soil instead of regular potting soil to avoid stressing the underwatered aloe vera plant further
Use cactus soil instead of regular potting soil to avoid stressing the underwatered aloe vera plant further

 

5. Repot In a Better Pot

Because we are talking changes, let’s change the Aloe Vera’s pot, too. Aloe Vera roots need room.

If your previous planter was too small, it prevented the roots from spreading. Well spread-out roots ensure that they receive enough water from all ends of the plant. 

Transfer your underwatered aloe vera plant to a bigger pot that allows the plant to house water and spread its roots
Transfer your underwatered aloe vera plant to a bigger pot that allows the plant to house water and spread its roots

You need to pick a pot that has just enough room for housing water and also enough for the roots to take it in and transport. 

Potting also depends on what kind of area you are living in.

People living in warm areas can go for plastic containers, too, poking a hole or two at the bottom for easy drainage.

But if you live in a colder climate, clay pots are what you should aim for – not plastic. 

Use plastic pots for your aloe vera plants if you're living in warm areas, and clay pots if you're in a colder region
Use plastic pots for your aloe vera plants if you’re living in warm areas, and clay pots if you’re in a colder region

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Underwatered Aloe

 

Can I underwater my Aloe plant?

A low-maintenance plant is more likely than most to suffer the consequences of underwatering. You need to, on average, water an Aloe plant every 2-3 weeks. What worsens this underwatering are your Aloe’s age, the climate that you live in, the size of the pot, and soil type, too. 

 

What signs will my Aloe plant show me if it needs watering?

The yellowing and browning of the aloe vera leaves will be the first visible indicators that it is underwatered. Then, check the soil for moisture levels. If dry, it means that the plant has suffered a major drought. Check the roots for brittle texture as they’re a final indicator of underwatering.

 

How can I make my Aloe plant recover from underwatering?

Stick to a consistent watering schedule. But, make sure you do not overwater the Aloe plant as waterlogging can also cause problems. Opt to water your Aloe plant every two to three weeks. Furthermore, to avoid the spread of discoloration, make sure to cut away any discolored parts from the leaves.


 

Conclusion On Aloe Plant Is Underwatered

Discoloration of the leaves, browning of the tips, wilting or droopy leaves, dry soil, and brittle roots are the signs that tell you your aloe vera plant is underwatered.

Act fast, or you’ll lose your beloved aloe.