Why Are My Aloe Vera Plant Leaves Bending – (Causes & Preventive Actions)

You cannot undo the damage but can definitely avoid it..

Aloe Vera Plant Leaves Bending

WLADIMIR BULGAR/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Daniela White Images/Simon McGill/gettyimages


Bending leaves is a common sight for indoor plants. It usually happens when there is a dearth of sunlight because that makes the leaves leggy or angled towards the source where they can get whatever little light.


But low sunlight is not the only cause for Aloe vera plant leaves bending.


Fungal diseases, under or overwatering schedule, not selecting the correct sized pot can also make the leaves bent. Fortunately, it is a problem that is not difficult to resolve, but the real challenge is identifying the cause of the droopy leaves. This guide will address all the reasons why the leaves of aloe vera start to bend and how to prevent it from happening.


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Aloe Plant Leaves Bending – What Does It Mean?

It is not difficult to differentiate between a healthy vs. unhealthy aloe vera plant variety, and the bending leaves are a giveaway sign that you are not meeting the aloe plant’s care requirements.


However, there may be specific reasons for the poor health of your aloe resulting in bent leaves. You may see aloe leaves getting bent and swollen with excessive water or wilting or it could be due to inadequate sunlight. Hence, the employed solution for the same will also vary.


Let us look at some of the reasons for the bending leaves and ways to prevent it.


1. Too little or too much light

Aloe plants love the sunlight, but excessive sunlight can cause heat shock and damage their leaves. But, if the plant does not receive adequate sunlight, it results in aloe vera plant leaves bending. It results in the bending of leaves toward the direction from which it gets ample sunlight.


On the other hand, if there is excessive sunlight, it burns the leaves, you may see the aloe vera leaves turning brown or red in such cases.


How to avoid this situation?

The ideal solution is to move the plant to a spot where it receives indirect sunlight for at least four to five hours per day.


2. Improper watering frequency

Many amateur home growers fail to understand the aloe plant’s watering schedule. Consequently, they end up overwatering or underwatering the plant, which might cause the bending.


In an overwatered aloe plant, you will see swollen leaves or water-infused spots, which might cause the leaves to droop because of gravity. Over time, the leaves become mush, losing their gel potency.


How do you identify overwatered droopy leaves?

You can touch the leaves if they feel water-soaked and softer than usual, then you are watering more than required. Also, when you lift the pot wherein your aloe is planted, it will feel heavier because of the waterlogging in the container. That’s not all. In an overwatered aloe plant, the leaves may have stunted growth, turn yellow, and become ill because of root rotting.


Aloes have a low watering requirement. Despite that, it is possible to find aloe vera leaves bending because of the infrequent watering schedule as well. The leaves tend to droop or wilt if you do not water the plant enough. So, even though it is uncommon in aloes, it is still a problem.


How to avoid this situation?

Water your aloes when the soil dries out completely.


3. Temperature drop or sudden changes in temperature

If you planted your aloes outdoors and the outside temperature goes below zero degrees Celsius, it can be a reason for aloe vera plant leaves bending. Whenever the temperature drops, the water stored inside the plant begins to function abnormally, resulting in root bending.


How to avoid this situation?

Aloes are not very cold and hardy. They despise cold weather. So, when it is cold outside, you should move the plant indoors or to a spot where it is somewhat warmer. Once that happens, your plant will start recovering in two to three days.


Alternatively, when you move your indoor aloe plant outdoors or vice versa, the sudden temperature change can also result in droopy aloe leaves. Because of this change, the plant goes under a state of stress, and it rebels by leaf curls. Hence, whenever you change the plant’s location, bear in mind the temperature it will be exposed to.


How to avoid this situation?

We do not recommend bringing in sudden changes from a location where the plant receives filtered light to a spot with direct, harsh sunlight. If you want to move the indoor aloe plant outdoors, you must bring in a gradual change.


So, put your aloe outdoors for a few hours in the morning, where it can get light morning sunlight. Once the plant adapts to this change, you can gradually move it to a spot with direct sunlight.


If not, the sudden temperature change can cause aloe vera leaves bending.


4. Poor drainage issues

Drainage is vital for maintaining a plant’s health when you grow a plant in the pot or the ground. If the plant cannot drain the excess water, it may suffer from root rotting, and it is impossible to save it.


How to avoid this situation?

To keep a check on this, make sure the pot you select has holes at the base for good drainage. Check out this to know what should an ideal aloe pot be like. The soil you use should also drain well to prevent pooling of water. Without proper drainage clubbed with overwatering, the plant will go bad in no time.


5. Size of the potting container

Opting for a small-sized container can make your aloes pot-bound. The plant’s root system grows in a horizontal direction. So, it needs space to expand, but if you cramp the plant, it might result in droopy aloe leaves.


How to avoid this situation?

Always pick a wider yet shallow pot for the aloe plant because if the pot’s depth is more, the plant will have more watering requirements and need a higher potting mix. It can amplify the risk of root rotting. Over time, it may also result in the bending of roots.


Hence, pick a pot with a two cm space between the sides, base, and roots. Another metric is to opt for a container wherein the size is 1/3rd bigger than the root system.


6. Fungal diseases

Overwatering in aloes can cause fungal infection, resulting in root rotting. When a plant experiences a fungal infection, it can stimulate aloe plant leaves bending because the disease travels from the roots to the plant, causing the plant to appear brown, yellow, or dry.


How to avoid this situation?

The simplest way to fix this problem is to understand your plant’s watering schedule and not overwater your plant.


7. Bacterial soft rot

An aloe plant may also experience a bacterial infection caused by Pectobacterium carotovorum, but it is prevalent in young plants. Such infection also results in drooping or bending leaves. You can assess it with the swelling in the leaves from the water-filled development inside the leaves.


How to avoid this situation?

Bacterial infection fastens due to overwatering. So, adjust your watering schedule, and water it only when the soil turns dry.


8. Transplant shock

Growing an aloe in a container too small to accommodate the plant prevents the roots from growing or supporting the plant. Repotting the aloes can be the desired solution. However, repotting can cause transplant stress if the plant fails to adapt to the new environment.


To ensure that the plant does not go through it and prevent aloe vera leaves bending, pick an aptly sized container for aloe transplantation. Also, please exercise caution when removing and replanting the aloe. It is recommended to replant the aloes in a similar environment to avoid any extra stress.


How to avoid this situation?

You should only pick a pot a size above the current one for the plant to flourish. Also, make sure the location does not have extreme temperature changes.


9. Pests

An aloe plant is susceptible to a pest attack because of sugar and vitamins. Since the pests feed on aloe-infused leaves, it can cause the leaves to bend or drop. The two most prevalent pests that attack the aloes are mites and aphids.


How to avoid this situation?

Whenever you notice a pest attack, you must instantly spray an insecticide on the leaves after thoroughly washing them with running water.


Aloe Plant Leaves Bending – Can You Fix It?

Now, the question is – can you fix a bent aloe leaf? The answer is no. You cannot reverse the bending signs. But, if you can identify the precise reason for the bending leaves very early on, you might be able to save the plant from further damage.
Identify the reason and do the needful as listed below.

  1. Cut the leaves because there is no chance it is going to recover
  2. Re-pot your limp or droopy plant in a large pot with holes for easy drainage.
  3. Expose your aloe plant to at least six to twelve hours of direct sunlight.
  4. Remove the rotten parts immediately to avoid spreading fungal or bacterial diseases.
  5. Water the plant only when the soil dries out.
  6. Aloe thrives in temperatures between 55–80-degree Fahrenheit. So, you can keep your plant indoors for most of the year, and they will grow fine. During the summer and spring months, you can keep the plants outside as the temperature outside is warmer, but bring in the plant at night if it gets too cold.
  7. Pot the aloes in soil dedicated to succulents.
  8. Aloes are hardy, but a little extra care in the form of fertilizer can go a long way in keeping the plant strong and healthy. But, remember, less is more.


Frequently Asked Questions

Ques 1. Should I cut off drooping aloe leaves? If yes, how?

Ans. If the aloe leaves completely turn yellow and droop, they will not unbend or grow in size. Hence, we recommend cutting them off. If it smells okay, you can use the gel inside them. Use a sharp knife to cut the bent ends slightly above the leaf point diagonally. While cutting, do not leave tiny snags as they may die back.


Here’s a detailed guide on cutting aloe without killing it.


Ques 2. Where and how to cut healthy aloe vera leaves for use?

Ans. You must pick the healthy leaves and cut them as close to the plant’s bottom as possible. Always use a sharp knife or blade to make neat cuts. Also, while cutting, sterilize the pruners or shears with alcohol, and cut from the base and not halfway down because the plant finds it challenging to recover from that wound.


Place the knife on the leaf you wish to cut and run it in one go slightly in a diagonal direction. Wash it first then peel the green part and scrape the gel from the inside. Store it in a glass jar and refrigerate. It will be good for a week.


To Sum Up…

Picking the right pot and meeting its soil, water, and light requirements are essentials for a healthy aloe plant. If everything is done right, there is no to minimum chances for aloe vera plant leaves bending to begin in the first place. It is not a high-maintenance plant. So, with little aloe care and some preventative measures, you can prevent the droopy, bent leaves and see your plant thriving.