Reasons for having Root Rot on Aloe Plant (Ways to Fix Root Rot)

I tried to grow aloe plants but failed many times because it is really important to maintain the health of the plant, which I can’t do, due to which my plant started to suffer from root rot.

What don’t you know about root rot? Actually, it’s the most common and major disease that affects different varieties of houseplants, resulting in extensive damage to the plant. 

Yes, there are ways to save the plant and from this guide, you will get help to know the reason behind root rot on aloe plants and how to treat them quickly before causing any harm to the plant.

Why is Root Rot a Problem for Aloe Vera?

Yes, root rot threatens aloe plants due to their particular growth requirements and natural habitat. The aloe plant loves to thrive in arid climates because it’s native to South Africa where the soil drains quickly by getting plenty of sunlight. 

They do have a low tolerance for dampness all around the roots and providing them with excess water will lead to root rot. 

The plant does look like thick, fleshy leaves with green and healthy-looking plants even when the roots are being destroyed which does mislead the gardeners into believing that the plant is in good health now also. 

Change in Leaf ColorThe roots of the plant start to become mushy and will easily get detached when you touch them because of decay.
Soft, Mushy RootsThe plant suffering from root rot will make your hearty, flashy leaves wilt or droop.
Foul SmellThe plant will have a bad smell coming from the plant soil or the plant.
Stunted GrowthThe growth of the plant gets slow or stops.
Leaf WiltingThe plant suffering from root rot, will make your hearty, flashy leaves to wilt or droop.
Reasons for having Root Rot on Aloe Plant (Ways to Fix Root Rot)

Identifying Root Rot in Aloe plant:

The need to identify root rot in an aloe plant early only is crucial for the survival of the plant. When you detect any problem, there will be an increase in chances of successful treatment and recovery. To help you get key symptoms to watch out for increasing the ability to spot root rot until it’s too late continue reading below:

Symptoms of Root Rot in Aloe plant:

  • The first noticeable sign of root rot in aloe plants is having discolored leaves on aloe plants. 
  • The healthy plant does have leaves with vibrant green and if you find any shifting of leaves color to yellow or brown hue hence there is some problem going below the soil. The process of discoloration starts at the base of the plant.
  • With leaf discoloration, the plant will start to show signs of wilting or drooping.
  • If your aloe plant leaves are thick and fleshy they can start to lose their firmness when the roots become unhealthy which happens due to the plant’s inability to absorb water and nutrients from the soil.
  • When inspecting the plant roots you will notice brown or black color rather than looking healthy white or yellowish. 
  • The roots can also get soft or mushy when you touch them and sometimes it will break. They will also have a foul smell from the soil and this indicates rot. 


Smelly Soil:

The soil having a stagnant smell is the surety that signals that something wrong is going inside the plant’s root. While watering the aloe plant if your excess amount of water does not drain away it will sit in the soil. 

Due to this, fungi bacteria start to decay the organic matter all around the plant in which organic matter is part of the potting mix and plant roots due to which the level of oxygen is decreased, and because of decomposition, the soil begins to stink.  

Root Discoloration:

The aloe plant will start to have a rotten stem from which a rosette of thin, long, withered leaves with brown tips starts to form. Rotten roots will be brown-black in color and will feel slimy when you touch them. The perfect way to find whether the plant is root rot is to inspect the root system. The pot size of the plant is the reason for root rot and to check it, invert the pot over a trash can, or outdoors where keep the fingers around the aloe’s stem and wiggle off the pot. 

You need to loose the soil around the roots and check the root tissue. Their healthy roots will be firm, thick, and intertwining present in yellow/orange/ brown but rotting roots will be brown/black in color, slimy when you touch the stem.

Wilted Foliage:

The healthy plant will have thick, long, fleshy, bright green with white spots on the surface but there will be some wilted leaves having yellow-brown dry or shriveled tips. 

In case the aloe plant suffering from root rot will stop flowing water to the leaves due to which they dry out and get wilt. Wilting is a sign that the plant needs to have water.

The aloe plant when gets regular watering is good but when it’s overwater will build root rot. The plant having a stinky soil situation and excess water will promote decomposition and decay of all the plant structures to cause root rot. 

 When the roots get damaged, they will not transport water and nutrients out of the soil and into the stem, and no water movement up the stem will cause the leaves to dry out and show signs of wilting foliage. 

Leaf Discoloration:

The healthy plant leaves produce a rosette of thick and fleshy leaves with small spines on the edges of the leaf blade but the plant with root rot has discolored leaves do have gray-yellow-pinkish color with the tips having brown and dry texture.

 The aloe plant having root rot does have many leaves that start to turn from light green to yellow color. The leaf discoloration with or without symptoms of wilt will be available at the same time. The formation of discoloration occurs because the roots are not able to complete their job. 

Leaf Texture:

The healthy plant’s leaves are long, thick, and fleshy, with pointed ends and small spines along the edges and the plant with root rot has wilted, slightly curled with brown dry ends and brown rot spots. 

Yes, changing the structure of leaves to wilted or twisted is one of the signs of root rot. The leaves that show symptoms of root rot will change to yellow color, wilted or bent, becoming translucent and slimy when you peel the skin off the leaf. If you touch them, the leaves will fall in your hand with the slightest pressure.

Plant Falling Over:

An aloe plant has a rosette of flashy long green leaves that are covered in irregular white spots having small thorns on the edges, and the roots are short blackish brown in color and are covered with the soil meaning the plant is perfect.

When the roots completely rot, the plant cannot keep the heavy leaves upright for a long time. The roots have mainly two jobs, 1st to observe water and nutrients and anchor a plant in its soil when the root rot begins, the plant doesn’t have any support system that helps the plant to upright.

The ability to hold water in the leaf tissue for a long period of time allows them to survive for a long time without water but when the route begins to rot, the base of the plant cannot support above-the-ground weight due to which the plant will fall over.

Fungus Gnats:

The fungus gnats tiny black insects, having two transparent wings, thin legs, antennae, and dark brown bodies. 

These are the insects that live in too-wet soil and feed on the plant roots. They seem similar to the fruit flies in size. The adult fly does not damage the plant, but juvenile stages recite in the soil that feast on decaying organic matter. In case of having high larvae, they will begin eating the roots of the plant within the pot. More often they feast on the roots where fewer roots are available to support the plant growth.  

In the case of having fungus, the best way to control them is to eliminate over watering the soil because they cannot survive in dry soil. You can find out the larvae situation in the soil by taking a small slice of about a slice of French fry inserting it fully into the soil, and letting it stay there overnight the next morning when you take it off, look for a white little warm insects on the potato, which are the fungus gnat larvae.

In case of finding if the population has decreased or not, repeat the process again over a couple of days during which you maintain a healthy watering habit that will help to eliminate the problem without using chemicals.

Effects of Root Rot on Aloe plant:

  • In case you don’t treat the plant then root rot could severely affect an aloe plant. 
  • The aloe plant roots tend to lead to the ability to absorb water and essential nutrients from the soil due to which overall growth and vitality of plants decline.
  • The aloe plant loses its rich green color and firmness leading to yellowish, soft, and wilted. 
  • There are cases in which rot can spread upwards from the roots into the leaves and stem that will turn brown or black resulting in mushy growth. Here plant gets quite challenging to save them.
  • If the conditions get worse the entire plant gets wilted and at last dies due to a lack of necessary nutrients and water. Hence it’s important to catch and address root rot symptoms is crucial for preventing the plant from dying.

Prevention of Root Rot in Aloe plant:

It’s important to prevent root rot in aloe plants which is easier than treating them after it occurs. Providing the plant with the perfect environment will avoid the growth of harmful fungi and bacteria that significantly reduce the chances of the root rot developing. The following are tips that help to protect the aloe plant from damaging conditions.

Proper Watering Techniques:

  • The initial steps taken to prevent root rot in aloe plants involve better watering techniques. 
  • The aloe plant when watered deeply but infrequently.
  • Make sure to water the plant thoroughly to ensure water flows freely from the drainage holes which will help to mimic the natural rainfall pattern that is similar to the native environment.  
  • When you water the plant once ensure the soil gets dry completely before the next watering due to the dry period will help prevent the soil from remaining damp for too long which encourages the formation of harmful fungi and bacteria. 
  • Overwatering is a common mistake that most gardeners make mostly during the cooler months when they have lower water requirements. 
  • It’s better to remain on the underwater side than overwater when it’s about aloe plants.
  • Must monitor the soil’s moisture level when you water the plant to prevent accidental overwatering which will help in maintaining the health of the aloe plant.

Appropriate Soil and Container Choices:

  • You must choose the right soil and container for growing aloe plants which is the next way for preventing root rot in aloe plants. 
  • The Aloe plants prefer to grow in well-draining soil which is native to desert environments. 
  • Try to create a soil mix for growing aloe plants by adding coarse sand, perlite, or pumice to regular potting soil that helps in better drainage. 
  • You can find commercially available cactus or succulent mixes for growing aloe plants. 

Container choices:

  • For choosing a pot, select a pot with ample drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating at the bottom. 
  • Using material like terracotta or clay is the best choice for allowing excess moisture to evaporate through the pot’s walls. 
  • Must avoid choosing a container that is made from non-breathable materials like plastic or glazed ceramic. 
  • With the type of pot, the size of the pot also matters, and if the container size is too large for the plant it will hold excess moisture and create a soggy environment leading to root rot. 
  • Using a pot that’s too small will not allow room for growth and will cause the plant to become root-bound. 


The best way to choose a container is to have a container that is big enough to hold the current size of the plant’s root system. Making a perfect choice of soil and container will help to prevent root rot in aloe plants. 

Role of Light and Temperature:

  • The Aloe plants are sun-loving succulents that used to thrive in bright but indirect sunlight. 
  • Providing the plant with insufficient light will affect the plant’s growth and weakening to get diseases like root rot. 
  • Ensure to give the aloe plant about 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily but avoid exposing the plant to harsh, direct sunlight mainly during peak summer because it will cause sunburn to the leaves. 
  • In the same way, temperature plays a significant role in maintaining the health of aloe plants where warm temperatures between 55 and 80°F (13-27°C) are perfect. 
  • Keeping the plant at a cold temperature will stress the plant due to which there will be an increase in vulnerability. 
  • During winter you need to protect the aloe plant from freezing temperatures that will result in causing the water within its tissues to freeze, leading to cell damage and end to root rot. 
  • Providing the plant with perfect light and temperature conditions will keep your aloe plant healthy and resistant to root rot. 

Environmental Considerations:

  • Giving sunlight and airflow is perfect to balance the diet of aloe plants. 
  • Keep the aloe plant in a place where it gets sunlight and air moves freely. 
  • The plant dealing with cold and damp situations will create issues in the aloe plant. 
  • Make sure to avoid conditions of dampness because it’s about keeping the roots warm and cozy.

Time and Ways Repot an Aloe with Root Rot:

Having symptoms in plants such as wilting, yellowing, or browning leaves and a foul smell that comes from the pot with soft, mushy roots. Repotting the aloe plant will only help in eliminating the pathogen-infected soil and will give a fresh start to the plant. Don’t worry if you are not aware of repotting aloe plants, here’s step-by-step ways guiding you on how to repot an aloe plant with root rot.

Step 1: 

Need to remove the aloe plant from the current container but remember to do this carefully and if you see the plant is resistant make sure to squeeze or tap the sides of the pot which will lose the soil and facilitate removal.

Step 2: 

Need to inspect the roots when you remove them from the container thoroughly. The healthy roots of the plant will be white or light colored and firm to touch but the roots affected by root rot will look dark in color, soft, or mushy with a foul smell. 

Step 3: 

It’s time to prune the infected roots with the help of clean, sharp scissors and cut away all the infected rotten roots. Make sure to use sterilized equipment before and after cutting the pruned plant that will prevent the spread of the infection. 

Step 4:

Ensure to allow the plants to dry after pruning by keeping them in a shaded, well-ventilated area for some days. Drying plant roots will reduce the risk of infection to the plant.

Step 5:

Now it’s time to repot the aloe plant in fresh, well-draining soil in a clean pot that has sufficient drainage holes. Always keep the plant’s root ball level with the soil surface. 

Step 6: 

After repotting it’s time to water the aloe plant for a few days which will help the aloe plant to get settled in the new environment and tend to reduce the risk of root rot in the future. 

Recovery and Aftercare treatment for Aloe plant:

It’s important to follow the post-treatment care for the aloe plant which will give them success in recovering from root rot. Ensure that aloe plants receive proper sunlight but avoid hard direct light causing the plant to have additional stress.

Remember to water the plant when the soil has dried out completely that will avoid a situation of overwatering leading to the formation of root rot. Keeping a close eye on noticing the plant’s progress and finding healthy, white roots and new green leaves are some positive signs for recovery. Keeping the plant in a clean environment is key to an odd healthy plant. 

Make sure all tools for repotting the plant are sterilized and free from pathogens. When you follow all these steps the aloe plant will be back to health and prevent future occurrence of root rot. 

Causes of Root Rot in Aloe plant:

Several factors are related to care and environment that contribute to the cause of root rot in aloe plants. Let’s delve deeper into learning the causes of root rot to enable us to take better care of aloe plants and prevent root rot.

Overwatering and Poor Drainage:

The aloe plants are native to arid climates and are well equipped to survive where the water is scarce. Hence the plant has a low tolerance for excess water and overwatering the plant will cause root rot in the aloe plant. Not having proper drainage results in the formation of root rot. 

For example, a pot where the aloe plant grows does not have adequate drainage holes and water accumulates in the pot, creating a damp environment for the plant that encourages the growth of fungi and bacteria.  

If you use soil that retains too much water will also contribute to the issue, so it is very important to water the aloe plant sparingly and make sure the plant in the container contains a good amount of drainage and well-drain soil mix. You need to understand the giant watering needs of the plant and manage its schedule, which will help you to prevent root rot.

Final Thoughts:

Yes, it depends upon the stage of root rot to make the plant rescue and restore it back to life. You need to be aware of how to take care of and maintain the plants to protect them from having root rot. 

I will suggest you not to repeat the mistake again and again, when it comes to over watering because a single mistake will put you in the same situation again.

Becky Decker

Becky Decker, our esteemed Editor-in-Chief, is a passionate gardener with years of experience in the world of horticulture. With her guidance, aims to be your trusted companion on your gardening journey. Featured In   Becky Decker’s expertise and gardening wisdom have been recognized and featured in various prominent publications, including: Yahoonews  Experience & Background   Becky Decker’s love for gardening has been a lifelong journey. She has honed her skills through countless seasons of planting, nurturing, and harvesting a wide variety of plants, flowers, and vegetables. Her deep-rooted knowledge is complemented by her Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from the University of Green Valley.   Prior to leading, Becky worked as a garden consultant, helping countless individuals turn their outdoor spaces into vibrant, thriving gardens. Her experience spans over a decade, making her a trusted authority in the gardening community.   The Birth of   Inspired by her passion for gardening and her desire to share her expertise with a wider audience, Becky Decker launched in 2021. This platform serves as a hub for gardening enthusiasts of all levels, from beginners to seasoned pros.   At, we are committed to providing you with comprehensive guides, expert advice, and hands-on tips to help you achieve success in your gardening endeavors. Whether you have a small balcony garden or a sprawling backyard paradise, we have the information you need to make your garden flourish.   Our Mission is more than just a gardening website; it’s a community of gardeners who share a common love for nurturing the Earth. Our mission is to empower you with the knowledge and resources to create beautiful, sustainable gardens that bring joy and tranquility to your life.   Join Us on This Green Journey   We invite you to explore and embark on your gardening journey with us. Whether you’re seeking advice on planting techniques, pest control, landscaping ideas, or the latest gardening trends, you’ll find it all right here.   Connect with us, ask questions, and share your gardening stories. Together, we’ll cultivate a thriving community of gardeners and help each other make the world a greener, more beautiful place.   Let’s dig in and grow together at, where gardening dreams bloom!

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