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It is an ornamental plant and a medicinal plant at the same time, the aloe. The thick fleshy leaves of an adult plant can grow up to 100 cm long. But what if aloe vera leaves or leaf tips turn yellow?

In a nutshell

  • Aloe vera stores water and nutrients in its fleshy leaves
  • Diseases and poor cultivation conditions are usually reflected in the brownish or yellow discoloration of the leaves
  • one or the other yellow leaf on older plants, a completely natural process
  • in younger specimens usually an indication of serious errors in care

Causes of yellowing

The yellow leaves on your aloe vera can have various causes.

lack of light

Leaf discoloration of the real aloe (Aloe vera) can have different causes such as B. Lack of light. In its natural habitat it can enjoy up to 12 hours of sun per day. Since this plant is cultivated as a houseplant in this country, the conditions should be adapted to those in nature.

  • Location in the living room warm and sunny
  • yellow leaves and/or yellow tips in places that are too dark
  • yellow tips mostly first sign
  • Leaves are dropped
  • Immediate change of location recommended
  • a sunny spot in front of a south-facing window is ideal
  • about a meter from the window pane

Of course, you can't fight a lack of light, but you can fix it. To ensure that the plant is well supplied with light all around, you should rotate it occasionally. In the summer she also likes to be outside in a spot with lots of sunlight. If the plant was bought new, you should first get it used to the sun slowly in order to avoid such leaf damage.

Tip: The leaves of aloe vera can also suffer sunburn and turn yellow if the sun is too intense. This usually manifests itself in orange to reddish discoloration, which usually disappears when you change location.

Unsuitable substrate

If yellow leaves appear on the aloe, this can also be due to an unsuitable substrate. Usually the soil is not permeable enough, there is a risk of waterlogging. The roots cannot spread or develop optimally. It is best to repot affected plants into better substrate.

  • Substrate should be mineral, low in humus and rich in nutrients
  • commercial cactus and succulent soils are ideally suited
  • sandy, dry and calcareous substrate also proven
  • make your own mix if you like
  • made of high-quality potting soil, some sand and coarse-grained parts such as gravel or expanded clay

Pure potting soil is less suitable, it stores a lot of water, which in turn can cause waterlogging and root rot. Expanded clay granules and sand are also unsuitable, neither of which contain any nutrients and offer the plant little support.

Too much wet

Yellow tips and yellow leaves on your aloe vera are in most cases the result of too much moisture. Plants like aloe vera cope well with drought for long periods of time, so watering down can quickly occur. If you mean too well when watering, the aloe can be permanently damaged. If damage is found, the plant should be repotted immediately in fresh and, above all, dry substrate.

  • Take the plant out of the pot
  • remove wet substrate
  • Cut out any rotten parts of the root
  • ideally rinse the pad
  • Clean pot thoroughly or use new one
  • Place drainage material on the bottom of the pot
  • then fresh, dry substrate
  • Insert the plant, press down the soil lightly
  • water again after two to three weeks at the earliest

The consequences of too much moisture cannot actually be combated, but they can definitely be avoided. You can prevent it by doing a finger test before each watering and thus testing the need for watering. Residual water that collects in coasters after watering should be removed after about ten minutes.

lack of water

As a rule, aloe vera only needs a little water because it can store it in its thick-fleshed leaves for weeks. Despite everything, it can be damaged if the drought lasts for a long time. The first signs are limp, yellow leaves. To remedy this, you should first make sure that it is in a suitable location. Then you should slowly start watering again. It is best to carefully remove them from the pot and place them in a container filled with water for a few minutes. The water should not be too cold. Drain the water well after diving. If the aloe is outside in the sun, it usually needs a little more water.

calcareous chlorosis

Yellow tips and leaves can also be an indication of what is known as calcareous chlorosis, which is promoted by watering with calcareous water. This causes the lime content in the soil to rise sharply, which in turn means that the plant can no longer absorb nutrients and transport them to the leaves. In order to combat calcareous chlorosis, the complete replacement of the substrate is necessary, because that is the most effective. By using only lime-free water for watering, you can prevent a recurrence of the disease. In addition, it is advisable to only water with lime-free rainwater. If this is not possible, you can also water it with tap water that has been left to stand for at least three days.


Another cause of yellow or brownish tips and borders can be overfeeding. Aloe vera is a plant that needs very little fertilizer. It also thrives in the wild on non-fertile soil. If you mean it too well with the fertilizer, it can quickly lead to over-fertilization. If this is the case, it is best to repot into fresh substrate. In the future it will be sufficient to administer some fertilizer once in the spring, at best a commercially available cactus fertilizer.

Tip: If you use a universal fertilizer for fertilizing, you should dilute it accordingly. A quarter of the recommended dose is usually sufficient.

frequently asked Questions

Can moisture meters prevent too much moisture?

A moisture meter or hydrometer can determine the current moisture content of the substrate quickly and precisely and thus reliably prevent watering and soil that is too dry.

Can you simply cut off yellow and dry leaf tips?

If only the tips of some leaves are affected by discoloration and wilting, it is possible to cut off these areas without any problems. However, the cut should still be within the discoloration and not cut into the green or healthy tissue. Otherwise you would inflict a new wound on the aloe, which requires a lot of energy to heal the wound.

Can yellow tips or yellow leaves also be the result of drafts?

The possibility is there, because the aloe does not like cold air or drafts. In addition, they should not be exposed to strong temperature fluctuations. The room temperature should ideally be between 22 and 25 degrees and should not fall below five degrees in winter.

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