Aloe vera has become a household name over the years thanks to its many health benefits. Its leaves contain nutrients such as vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. They also provide relief from sunburn, insect bites, and other skin conditions.
For this reason, many people choose to grow aloe in their own home and gardens. However, it’s not always as easy to grow as you might think.
If you notice brown or mushy stalks on your aloe plant, don’t worry. There are ways to get rid of them without harming your plants.
Below, you’ll find everything there is to know about why your aloe plants are turning brown and mushy. We’ll also explore different type of aloe, how to remove brown and mushy leaves, and what you can do to prevent this from happening.
Types Of Aloe
There are two common types of aloe: the leaf type (also called aloe barbadensis) and the stem type (aloe ferox). Both types of aloe contain sap that contains natural compounds that promote healing. When the sap dries out, it turns brown and becomes sticky. This is normal.
The leaf type of aloe grows large green leaves with a thick white-colored base. It can be found growing wild in tropical areas. The stem type of aloe grows small yellowish-green leaves with a thin white-colored base. You may see these growing in arid regions where water is scarce.
How To Remove Brown & Mushy Stalks From Aloe
To remove the brown stalks, cut off the stalk where it meets the base of the plant. Then, gently pull the stalk away from the plant. Repeat until the entire stalk is removed.
To remove the mushy stalks, first trim the ends of the stems, so they’re no longer than 1/2 inch long. Finally, carefully peel back the outer layer of the stalk to reveal the soft inner core.
Once you have done this, the final step is to use a sharp knife to slice through the center of the stalk. This will release the moisture inside the stalk and allow it to drain.
When Should I Cut Off Stalks?
If you wait too long, the stalk will continue to rot and eventually kill the plant. So, you should cut off brown and mushy leaves when you notice them for the first time. If you wait too long after cutting off the stalk, then the plant won’t recover from the damage.
It’s important to note that if you leave the stalk attached to the plant, it will still produce new leaves. But, those leaves will turn brown and mushy just like the ones you’ve already trimmed.
Causes Of Brown & Mushy Aloe Leaves
There are many reasons why an aloe plant may start developing brown, mushy leaves. Here are some of the most common:
The Plant Is Old
As your aloe plant gets older, the sap dries out more quickly. If you notice your plant is starting to turn brown and mushy, it could mean that the plant needs to be repotted.
Repotting helps new roots develop better and allows air to circulate around the root system.
The Plant Has Too Much Sap In It
Sap is produced by the plant when it’s young. As time goes on, the amount of sap increases. If you notice that your plant is producing too much sap, it means that the plant is getting old.
The Plant Hasn’t Been Cared For Properly
When you buy an aloe plant at the store, it might come pre-treated with chemicals. These chemicals help keep pests away and prevent the plant from drying out.
But if you’ve ever noticed that your aloe plant looks like isn’t looking its best, it could be due to these chemical treatments.
You May Have Overwatered Your Plant
When you water your plant, make sure to do so by watering it from the bottom. You can do this by placing it in a pot of water for around half an hour.
Watering from the top can leave too much moisture in the soil, resulting in overwatering.
Your Plant Needs More Light
Aloes need lots of light to grow well. They prefer bright sunlight but will tolerate some shade as well. If you live in a place with limited sun exposure, consider moving your plant to a spot that receives full sun. Of course, this is species dependent, and some aloes may need less sun than others.
As you can see, there are several reasons why your aloe plant may start developing brown, mushy leaves. Luckily, each of these reasons has an easy solution.
The main thing to remember is that if your aloe plant does have brown and mushy leaves, remove them as soon as possible. If you don’t, then the rest of the plant could start to suffer.