Aloe vera is the perfect plant for beginning gardeners because it is easy to care for and can be grown in various climates. Aloe vera plants are also known for their therapeutic properties and can be used to treat various medical conditions.
Aloe vera is succulent, meaning it stores water in its leaves. This makes it a drought-tolerant plant, and it can go for long periods without water. Aloe vera is also a frost-tolerant plant, which can tolerate cold temperatures.
The leaves of the aloe vera plant change color due to a variety of reasons. The leaves may sometimes turn yellow or brown due to a lack of sunlight or water. In other cases, the leaves may change color due to an infection or pest infestation. In this article, we will see why aloe vera leaves turn red and what you should do in this case.
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Why Do Aloe Vera Leaves Turn Red?
Aloe vera leaves turn red when they are exposed to too much sunlight. This is because the plant produces too much chlorophyll in response to the increased sunlight. Chlorophyll is the pigment that gives plants their green color and is necessary for photosynthesis. When there is too much sunlight, the plant produces more chlorophyll to try and absorb as much sunlight as possible. This can cause the leaves to turn red or purple.
Aloe vera leaves turn red also to protect themselves from intense light. In fact, when a plant is exposed to too much light, it starts producing a pigment called anthocyanin, which absorbs light and protects the plant’s cells. When the plant begins producing anthocyanin, the leaves will change color and turn red, purple, or black to shield themselves from the intense light.
In the case of aloe vera, sometimes the red color is a sign of good health, especially when it shows up in a small area of a healthy plant. In fact, aloe plants love intense sunlight in general. As a result, the plant is getting all the light it needs when the red color starts showing up.
Wondering if aloe vera leaves grow back after cutting? Here is the answer.
Other Factors that May Contribute to Turning the Leaves of Aloe Vera from Green to Red
Most of the time, red leaves occur on aloe vera leaves as a direct consequence of extreme sunlight exposure. But in some rare cases, this phenomenon may occur due to other factors such as watering, soil quality, and fertilization. For example, the leaves will turn red if an aloe vera plant is overwatered. The plant tries to eliminate the excess water by sending it to the leaves.
The heavy soil may also cause the aloe vera leaves to turn red, making it difficult for the plant to get the nutrients it needs. The red color signifies that the plant struggles to get nutrients and survive.
Aloe vera leaves may also turn red if they are over-fertilized. This is because the plant will produce too much chlorophyll in response to the fertilizer, and this will cause the leaves to change color.
The aloe vera plant leaves may also turn red when there is excess salt in the soil. Aloe vera plants need a moderate amount of salt to grow well, but too much salt will cause the plant to lose water and the leaves to turn red.
Finally, an aloe vera plant may turn red as a reaction to incorrect re-potting. Generally, when this plant is not re-potted correctly, the leaves will turn red because the new pot does not allow the plant to absorb enough water or provide enough space for the roots.
Click here to check our article about why aloe vera leaves curl.
What Will Happen to My Aloe Vera Plant Turns Red?
If the red color shows up during summer, this is normal, and the plant will green up during the fall season. In fact, red aloe vera leaves are typical to see during summer because the plant grows best in warm weather, and the red leaves are a sign that the plant is healthy.
When the red color is provoked by sun damage, the plant will have dry brown scars, shriveled foliage, thin leaves, and burned tips.
When the red leaves are accompanied by brown scars, this is a sign that you are giving your plant too much water. In this case, you should reduce your watering frequency and use a moister meter to check the soil before watering.
Sometimes the red leaves of aloe vera may be accompanied by shriveled foliage. In this case, the causes can vary. It can be overwatering, underwatering, poor drainage, or too much direct sunlight.
If your aloe vera plant shows shriveled foliage, check the soil moisture levels and adjust them accordingly. You may also need to move the plant to a location with more indirect sunlight.
The plant will be susceptible to damage if the red leaves are thin and delicate. In this case, you should immediately protect the leaves by providing the plant with some shelter from strong winds or direct sunlight.
Finally, when the red leaves come with burned tips, you can try to remedy the situation by watering the plant more often, moving it to a warmer location, or using a heating pad.
Did your aloe vera leaves turn yellow? Here is the cause.
What Should I Do When The Leaves of My Aloe Vera Turn Red?
When your aloe vera leaves turn red, you should immediately reduce the amount of light the plant gets. If you grow your aloe indoors, you can move the plant a few feet away from the windowsill.
If you grow your aloe outdoors, alternate between full sun and shade by letting the plant receive full sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon. In fact, aloe vera plants like plenty of sun and can be grown outdoors in areas with total sun exposure. But in hotter climates, they may need some afternoon shade.
If the redness is caused by the soil, then we recommend transplanting your aloe vera to a succulent soil mix. One of the advantages of growing aloe vera in a succulent soil mix is that the plant can absorb more water and nutrients.
Generally, succulent soil mix is porous, which allows for better drainage. As a result, aloe plants will be less likely to experience root rot or other health problems. Additionally, the succulent soil mix will help to keep the soil around the plant’s roots cool, which is ideal for aloe vera plants.
If your aloe vera leaves turn red because of overwatering, then take the extra water from the plant and let it dry.
Any overwatered plant can be saved by gradually reducing the water it receives. But when it comes to aloe vera and succulents, you can’t mess up with overwatering because it can eradicate the plant. Therefore, you should take action quickly by drying the plant or moving it to a new pot with better drainage.
Can aloe vera withstand cold weather? Check out this article to get the answer.
How to Prevent the Leaves of My Aloe Vera Plant from Becoming Red?
To prevent aloe vera leaves from turning red, you should control the light you provide and opt for acclimatization when transferring the plant from indoor to indoor.
To control the amount of light you provide to an aloe plant, you should expose it to sunlight between 6 and 10 hours daily and let the plant rest in the shade for the rest of the day.
When transferring an aloe plant from indoor to outdoor, you should avoid shocking your plant during this operation. Instead, do it gradually.
To ensure that your plant is acclimated to the outdoor environment, you should expose it gradually to outdoor conditions over several days or weeks.
If you plan to transplant your plant when transferring it from indoor to outdoor, then make sure to water it well before and after transplanting it. Also, ensure the outdoor pot’s soil is well-drained to prevent the plant from becoming waterlogged.
Wondering if the aloe vera plant can grow fast? here is the answer.