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Why Is My Aloe Turning Red – 6 Secret Reasons!

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If you have seen your aloe vera plant changing colors from natural, luscious green to red, you may have been asking yourself, why is my aloe turning red?

Aloe vera is a low-maintenance plant that can thrive in strict conditions such as drought and harsh temperatures. Not only that, aloe vera has a plethora of benefits in health and beauty, and these houseplants look stunning as well.

Despite so many uses and their easygoing nature, aloe plants can still come under stress if you neglect them.

A few stress factors could cause the aloe vera plant to turn red.

If you have been facing this issue, keep reading as we explore the reasons behind aloe vera turning red.

Let’s begin!

Red aloe vera—why is my aloe turning red
Why is my aloe turning red? – Image via Flore W.

Why Is My Aloe Turning Red?

The first thing you should know is that the color change could simply be due to a natural process in the plant during summer or bright sunlight—there is nothing to worry about in this case.

However, there could be several other reasons for the aloe plant turning red, possibly due to the owner’s negligence.

Let’s discover all the reasons in detail and try to find some solutions so you can finally put your worries at rest!

1. Exposure to Bright Sunlight | The Natural Process!

Most aloe vera varieties love to bask in bright sunlight for long hours of the day, but some aloes like to be kept in a subtle shade with not too much direct sunlight.

You won’t run into issues when your aloe vera is exposed to direct, bright sunlight. In fact, aloe vera thrives in warm, sunny temperatures since they are native to arid and hot environments.

When aloe vera receives enough sunlight, it turns red due to a pigment known as anthocyanin.

The red color on the aloe vera leaves acts as a barrier to protect the plant from being damaged by too much sun, all the while indicating that aloe vera is receiving the sunlight it needs.

If the temperature is turning hot and there is too much sunlight falling over aloe vera, the red color of the plant could be due to the natural production of the pigment.

Think of this red tint as a sun tan for the plant.

2. Overexposure to Sunlight

While the aloe plant is usually happy to bathe in bright sunlight, you should also know that sometimes too much sunlight for long hours can also burn the leaves.

  • Ideally, the aloe vera plant needs about 5–6 hours of bright sunlight.
  • If days are longer in your area or if it is too warm, the extended hours of sunlight can cause aloe leaves to turn red and get damaged. That is especially true if you haven’t watered the plant in a long time.
  • So, the important thing to remember here is the necessity of balance.
  • If you see the red hue appearing on the aloe plant, try putting it in a slightly shaded area for a few days and see how it reacts.
  • If the sunlight were too much to bear for the aloe vera plant, some shade and a bit of water would soon turn the leaves back to their bright green color.

One thing to remember is that if the red color is due to natural causes, it is not necessarily harmful and won’t cause any damage to the plant, but if you still want to get the green color of the leaves back, you can put it in a bit of shade for some time.

The survival characteristic of aloe vera against overexposure to sunlight is pretty high.

Related article: Why Are My Aloe Vera Plant Leaves Bending? (3 best solutions!)

3. Giving Too Much Water to the Plant

Aloe vera plants do not enjoy too much water.

They are native to dry and warm conditions, so that they can hold water in their leaves for a sufficient duration.

If you overwater the aloe plant, the soil will become waterlogged, and the roots will not be able to get oxygen. Root rot and excess water will cause the aloe leaves to turn red.

Overwatering of aloe vera occurs when you add water too frequently or if there is cold outside, and now the plant needs less water than before.

Water can also accumulate in the soil due to poor drainage and change the color of the aloe leaves.

If you suspect overwatering or see the soil being clogged with water, you can take a few simple steps to remedy it.

  • First, take the plant out of the current potting mix and inspect the condition of the roots.
  • If the roots have started rotting, they will be turning black. Cut these off carefully with a sterilized scissor.
  • Lay the plant out to dry in the sun, or wrap it up in a towel for some time.
  • After that, put it in a new planting mix and ensure the drainage system works well so the water won’t accumulate.
  • You also need to set a regular watering schedule.

In summer, giving water once a week is enough. You might need to give a bit more if there is too much sunlight.

The rule of thumb is to check the soil.

If the top two inches are moist, don’t add more water.

4. Cold Temperature

Aloe vera requires warmth for proper growth, and it will turn red when it feels the slightest hint of chilly weather.

If your aloe plant is growing outside during the winter, bring it in when the temperature drops below 50°F.

Keep in mind that aloe vera won’t be able to survive frost or snow.

  • If you are starting to grow your aloe veras before autumn, it is better to plant them in a pot so you can bring them indoors when it’s cold.
  • It will help if you remember that winter and cold weather are not the time to try to grow aloe vera. These houseplants are dormant at this time. So, if you give it too much water, fertilizer, and other prerequisites, it will be all in vain.
  • If the aloe vera plant is already fully grown and exposed to cold weather, the leaves will turn red to protect themselves from the harsh temperature.
  • You must prepare to secure the plant from being exposed to the chilly weather.
  • Bring it inside and keep it in a warm room.
  • Make sure not to keep it near an open window or under a fan.
  • Reduce watering; check the soil; only add water if the top two to three inches are dry.

Why is my aloe turning red, you say? Let’s see another common reason.

5. Transplantation Shock

You may have planted the aloe vera in a small pot when growing it.

Now that it is growing bigger, you need to transplant it into a bigger pot.

The growth will become stunted if you don’t put the plant into a bigger space. The plant will not grow any bigger as it will not be able to get enough resources from the current environment to expand further.

Changing the plant pot when growing can turn the leaves red due to transplantation shock, as it takes some time for the plant to adjust to the new environment.

You can take some steps to reduce the toll of adjusting to the new environment.

  • Make sure the new pot is at least 2–3 inches bigger in diameter than the old pot.
  • You don’t need to provide water for a few days so it can adjust to the new soil.
  • Also, keep the plant away from the sun for a week or two.
  • Don’t add fertilizer; let the plant sit in the new mix for a while.

This will help keep the plant in proper shape and color.

Related article: How to Plant Aloe Vera Without Roots? — 2 Best Ways

6. Improper Fertilization

The aloe plant needs fertilizer to maintain its luscious green color and growth.

You must be careful with adding fertilizer, or it can burn the soil.

Add fertilizer during the growing months, i.e., in the summer and spring seasons. Always add water and make sure the soil is moist before adding fertilizer.

Putting fertilizer in dry soil can burn the roots. Try to get organic compost or fertilizer for your plant, as it is milder and won’t harm the aloe plant.

So, please keep the balance in check.

Watch this video to learn more:

Why is my aloe turning red? | Common Aloe Vera Problems – YouTube

That’s all!


I hope this answers your question—why is my aloe turning red?

Aloe vera turning red could be a natural process that may require no changes.

If the red color is due to excessive sunlight and is bothering you, keep it in the shade for a while. Other causes may include environmental stressors and a lack of prerequisites.

However, these conditions can easily be recovered with proper care and diligence.

Make sure you understand the requirements and conditions necessary for the perfect growth of aloe vera, and you will be able to get a plant with bright green color.