Aloe vera, also commonly referred to as Barbados Aloe or Medicinal Aloe, has become increasingly popular over the last century, and for a good reason.
In the past, the plant was known for its topical benefits, which included wound healing and its use in keeping our skins protected and moisturized.
Today, aloe vera is still used in a wide array of beautifying products as one of the additives, thanks to its acemannan and vitamin content. It’s even used as a living superfood across different cultures due to its unique nutritional properties.
And that’s not all. Planting and growing the aloe vera plant is just as fun. Like all other succulent plants, aloe vera is best known for its ability to thrive under virtually the worst conditions.
We can attribute this to the fact this plant is native to the Canary Islands, Southern Europe, and North Africa, where they evolved to handle virtually anything.
With that in mind, if you’ve noticed that your aloe plant has developed issues that have left you wondering, “Why are my aloe leaves squishy?”, your worry is warranted.
Why Are My Aloe Leaves Squishy?
Sudden Changes in Its Growing Conditions
I know we just pointed out that aloe vera plants tend to be extremely adaptable and tough, but any plant will show signs of stress if its growing conditions are changed out of the blue. Let’s look at several examples of sudden changes in your aloe vera plant’s growing conditions that might have caused its leaves to get squishy.
The first is abrupt seasonal changes. If your aloe vera was adapted to a warm-weather, but the climate suddenly shifts to an extremely cold one, or you move it to a different location where the weather is entirely different from what it was used to, then expect this to stress your plant acutely.
What’s more? In addition to squishy leaves, affected plants will usually showcase additional symptoms, such as yellowing of the plant’s leaves and burning on the aloe vera plant’s tips.
The second sudden change you should be wary of is unexpected drought conditions. If you had planted your aloe vera plant in a location where it had to rely on rainfall alone for moisture, then any extended heatwave can cause drought-like conditions on the plant.
The good news, though, is that these conditions should be easy to recognize because, in addition to squishy aloe leaves, you will find that the plant’s leaf tips have also started to appear burnt.
Other symptoms to watch out for include whole leaves that might be withered or dried out at the plant’s base or those that have started turning dark brown.
The third sudden change you have to protect your aloe vera from is an indoor to outdoors (or vice-versa) transition. If the aloe vera in question was grown indoors throughout its entire life and was then put out into the outdoors in the harsh direct sunlight without warning, expect the leaves to get squishy and eventually start burning up.
As with all house plants that you eventually put outside, you must give your aloe vera a grace period to harden off. You do this by gradually exposing it to more sunlight, starting with a shade, then exposure to dappled sun. Only after several weeks are you recommended to put it out in the full sun.
If you’ve accidentally been overwatering your aloe vera plant, additional symptoms your should watch out for (besides the squishy leaves) include leaves that are fading in color to a brown or yellow shade or even leaves that have been rotting away.
Testing the aloe vera plant for overwatering shouldn’t be a hassle either. If you’re growing the aloe plant in a pot, simply lift the container and inspect its overall weight. If it seems excessively heavier than it usually is, then chances are it’s saturated with water that has added to the weight.
If you’ve planted your aloe vera in the ground outside, take a garden hand trowel and push it into the soil next to the aloe plant. If it comes out with mud, the soil is waterlogged.
Remember, Aloe Veras are native to areas with minimal rainfall, so they do not need a lot of water to thrive. Actually, like all other tropical and subtropical plants, they dislike a lot of water as it tends to rot their roots.
But what about intense rainfalls? Can they still cause my aloe leaves to get squishy? That’s a great question.
If you’re growing your aloe vera plant in the ground, then it should be fine when subjected to heavy rainfall, provided the soil you’ve planted it on drains well. In fact, before planting an aloe vera plant, you need to ensure that planting areas with clay soils have been sufficiently amended prior to planting.
If you had already planted your aloe plant and have just noticed that you had planted it in clay soil, you have no choice but to uproot it and replant it in a different area with well-draining soil. As a general rule of thumb, the soil you’re using should be mixed with compost (approx 25 percent by volume) for improved drainage.
If you’re growing your aloe plant in a container or pot outdoors, do not leave it in the open during rainy seasons. Please place them in shades to protect them from the rain, especially over winter. Most experts recommend finding a spot near sunny house walls where the building’s roof overhangs.
I’ll use my case as an example. I’ve placed my aloe vera containers against a west-facing wall, where the afternoon sun warms the walls.
Like all other plants (including its fellow succulents), the aloe vera plant will usually start showing signs that it’s unhealthy the moment you expose it to things and conditions it doesn’t like or cause it stress.
So, if yours was starting to develop squishy leaves, employ the tips and tricks I’ve shared above to get it back on track.