Is Your Aloe Thirsty? How to Tell Your Plant is Underwatered

how to tell if aloe needs more water

Yes, the Aloe Plant can, in fact, be underwatered! This may come as a surprise to some, as this succulent plant is known for its ability to retain water for extended periods of time. 

It’s important to act immediately if you notice any signs of an underwatered aloe plant, including changes to the leaves, soil, and roots. By understanding the symptoms and taking appropriate action, you can prevent bad things from happening to all your indoor plants. 

Aloe plants don’t need frequent watering. As a general rule of thumb, you can water your aloe plant once every two to three weeks during the growing season (spring and summer) and reduce the watering frequency in the winter months when the plant is dormant. When watering your aloe plant, make sure to water it thoroughly until the excess water drains out of the bottom of the pot. Allow the potting soil to dry out between waterings. 

How much water they need depends on several factors, such as the size of the plant, the size of the pot, the type of soil, and the environmental conditions. It’s important not to overwater your aloe plant, as this can lead to root rot. Let’s go over the best way to water your aloe plant. 

How to Tell If Aloe Needs Water

There are a few ways to tell if your aloe plant needs more water:

  1. Check the soil: Stick your finger into the soil about an inch deep. If it feels like dry soil, it’s time to water your aloe.
  2. Look at the leaves: If the leaves look wilted or shriveled, it’s a sign that your aloe needs water. Underwatered aloe plants may have leaves that are thin and curled rather than plump and fleshy. When an aloe plant is underwatered, the leaves will become dry and brittle and may curl or shrink.
  3. Check the color: If the leaves are turning brown or yellow, it could be a sign of both overwatering or underwatering. You might see brown tips and/or yellow leaves. 
  4. Look for drooping: If the leaves are drooping, it’s a sign that your aloe needs water. An underwatered aloe plant may wilt, and the leaves may droop or bend. Droopy leaves are a sure sign of not enough water. 
  5. Lift the pot: If the pot feels light, it’s a sign that your aloe plant needs water.
  6. The soil is pulling away from the sides of the pot: When an aloe plant is underwatered, the soil may pull away from the sides of the pot, indicating that it’s very dry.
  7. Check the weather: If it’s been hot and dry, your aloe plant will likely need more water than usual.
  8. Use a moisture meter: If you’re having trouble determining when to water your aloe plant, you can use a moisture meter to check the soil moisture level.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to water your aloe plant deeply and thoroughly. Make sure the soil is completely saturated and that excess water drains out of the bottom of the pot. It’s also a good idea to adjust your watering schedule to ensure that your aloe plant is getting enough water.

Remember, it’s better to underwater your aloe plant than to overwater it. Aloe plants are succulents and can store water in their leaves so that they can go for long periods without water. When in doubt, wait a few days before watering your aloe plant again.

aloe plant that needs to be watered

Signs of an Overwatered Aloe Plant

To avoid overwatering your aloe vera plant, it’s important to water it thoroughly but not too frequently. Excess moisture is not good. A good rule of thumb is to water it deeply once a week. Make sure the soil has good pore space and is well-draining to avoid waterlogged roots. Also, make sure to keep your aloe vera plant in indirect light and avoid direct sunlight.

Here are some signs that your aloe plant is being overwatered:

  1. The aloe leaves are turning brown or black: Overwatering can cause the leaves of an aloe plant to turn brown or black and become mushy. You may see brown spots on the leaves. 
  2. The leaves are soft and mushy: When an aloe plant is overwatered, the leaves may become soft and mushy, and the plant may start to rot.
  3. The plant is wilting: Overwatering can also cause an aloe plant to wilt, as the roots become waterlogged and can’t absorb oxygen.
  4. The soil is constantly wet: If the soil around your aloe plant is constantly wet, it’s a sign that you may be overwatering it. Just say no to soggy soil.
  5. The plant is not growing: Overwatering can stunt the growth of an aloe plant, as the roots may become damaged and unable to absorb nutrients.

If you notice any of these signs or just feel like you’re giving your plant a lot of water, it’s important to reduce the amount of water you’re giving your aloe plant. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings, and make sure the pot has good drainage. You may also need to repot your aloe plant into fresh soil to help it recover.

How to Water Your Aloe Vera Plant

When it comes to watering my aloe vera plant, I find that less is more. Aloe plants are succulents, which means they store water in their leaves and stems. Overwatering can lead to root rot, which is a common cause of aloe plant death. Here are some tips on how to water your aloe vera plant:

  • Water thoroughly: When it’s time to water your aloe plant, give it a good soaking. Water until the soil is moist all the way through and water starts to drain out of the bottom drainage hole of the container. This ensures that the roots get enough water without sitting in standing water, which can cause root rot.
  • Water sparingly: Aloe plants are drought-tolerant and don’t need to be watered frequently. In fact, it’s better to underwater than overwater. Wait until the soil is completely dry before watering again. In the summer months, I water my aloe plant once a week. In the winter, when the plant is dormant, I water it even less often.
  • Use well-draining soil: Aloe plants need soil that drains well to prevent water from sitting around the roots. Use a potting mix that is specifically designed for cacti and succulents, or make your own by mixing sand, perlite, and potting soil.
  • Avoid tap water: Chlorine and other chemicals in tap water can be harmful to aloe plants. Use filtered water or collect rainwater to water your plant.

Does Bottom Watering Work for Aloe Plants?

Bottom watering can work for aloe plants, but it’s not the recommended method for watering them. Aloe plants prefer well-draining soil and can be susceptible to root rot if the soil is constantly wet.

When you water aloe plants from the bottom, the soil can become saturated and stay wet for longer periods of time, which can increase the risk of root rot. Additionally, bottom watering may not provide enough water to the roots, especially if the soil is dry or the plant is in a large pot.

The best method for watering aloe plants is to water them deeply but infrequently from the top, allowing the excess water to drain out of the bottom of the pot. This ensures that the roots are getting enough water while also allowing the soil to dry out completely between waterings.

How Often to Water Your Aloe Vera Plant

When it comes to watering your aloe vera plant, it’s important to strike a balance between too much and too little water. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause the leaves to become dry and brittle.

As a general rule, I water my aloe vera plant once every two to three weeks during the growing season (spring and summer) and once every four to six weeks during the dormant season (fall and winter). However, the frequency of watering can vary depending on factors such as the size of the pot, the type of soil, and the amount of sunlight the plant receives.

How to Check the Soil Moisture

As an avid aloe plant owner, I’ve learned the importance of checking soil moisture regularly. It’s crucial to ensure that your plant is not underwatered or overwatered, as it can affect its health and growth. Here are some easy ways to check the soil moisture of your aloe plant:

Method 1: Using Your Finger

One of the simplest methods to check soil moisture is by using your finger. Stick your finger about an inch deep into the soil near the plant’s base. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water your aloe. If it feels moist, wait a few more days before checking again.

Method 2: Using a Moisture Meter

A moisture meter is a handy tool that can help you determine the soil moisture level accurately. Insert the probe into the soil and wait for the reading to appear on the meter. If the reading is low, it means the soil is dry, and you need to water your aloe plant.

SaleBestseller No. 2
Hathdia Soil Moisture Meter,Plant Hygrometer Moisture Sensor Plant Water Monitor for Potted Plants,Garden,Farm, Lawn(No Battery Needed)
  • Soil Moisture Meter: This single probe soil moisture meter is specially designed for testing the moisture level in the soil, helps you decide whether the plants need water or not, helps to keep plants alive.
Bestseller No. 3
SZHLUX Moisture Meter Water Monitor Soil Hygrometer Sensor Care, Lawn, Farm, Indoor & Outdoor. (Plant Gifts for Gardeners), 10.23inch, Green
  • ACCURATE & RELIABLE: The soil moisture meter can get the results accurately and quickly, You can determine the exact amount of water your plants need, and avoid over or under-watering.

Method 3: Checking the Weight of the Pot

Another way to check the soil moisture is by lifting the pot. If it feels light, it’s a sign that the soil is dry and your plant needs watering. If it feels heavy, it means the soil is still moist, and you can wait a few more days before checking again.

healthy aloe plant

Aloe Plant Care Tips

  1. Provide adequate sunlight: Aloe plants need plenty of sunlight to thrive. Place your aloe plant near a sunny spot or in a location with bright, indirect sunlight.
  2. Use the right soil type: Aloe plants prefer well-drained soil that is not too dense. You can use a cactus or succulent potting mix or make your own by mixing sand, perlite, and peat moss. Regular potting soil may not have the drainage your plant needs. A sandy soil will not be good for an aloe plant. 
  3. Water aloe vera plants sparingly: As mentioned earlier, aloe plants don’t need frequent watering. Water your aloe plant deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out completely between waterings.
  4. Avoid over-fertilizing: Aloe plants don’t need a lot of fertilizer. You can fertilize your aloe plant once a month during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer to give your plant the essential nutrients it needs. 
  5. Repot as needed: Aloe plants can outgrow their pots, so it’s important to repot them as needed. Repot your aloe plant into a slightly larger pot with fresh potting mix when you notice the roots are starting to fill the pot.

Pests like mealybugs, scale, fungus gnats, and spider mites can damage the plant’s leaves and stems. Too much direct sunlight can cause sunburn, which appears as brown or yellow spots on the leaves. Fungal infection and bacterial diseases can also harm the plant, causing brown or black spots, soft and mushy leaves, and a foul odor. Regular inspections can help identify pests or signs of disease, so you can take appropriate action to protect your aloe vera plant.

Why Watering Your Aloe Plant Correctly is So Important

Watering your aloe plant correctly is important for several reasons:

  1. Prevents overwatering: Overwatering can lead to root rot, which can be fatal to your aloe plant. By watering your aloe plant correctly, you can prevent it from getting too much water and ensure that the soil has a chance to dry out between waterings.
  2. Prevents underwatering: Underwatering can cause your aloe plant to become dehydrated and wilt, leading to stunted growth or even death. By watering your aloe plant correctly, you can ensure that it’s getting enough water to thrive and have those fleshy leaves that this plant is known for. 
  3. Promotes healthy growth: Aloe plants need water to grow, but they also need well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight. By watering your aloe plant correctly, you can create optimal growing conditions for your plant and promote healthy growth.
  4. Prevents disease: Overwatering can create the perfect conditions for fungal and bacterial diseases to thrive, which can harm your aloe plant. By watering your aloe plant correctly, you can prevent these diseases from taking hold and keep your plant healthy. You’ll also prevent damage to the plant’s roots from root rot. 

Watering your aloe plant correctly is essential for its health and vitality. By understanding how much water your plant needs and when to water it, you can create optimal growing conditions and ensure that your aloe plant thrives.

Bestseller No. 1
Aloe Vera Plant Live Succulent Plants, Live Aloe Vera Plant Succulents, Live Aloe Plant in Aloe Plant Pot, Aloe Plants Live Indoor Plants, Live Aloe Vera Plant Indoor House Plants by Plants for Pets
  • LIVE INDOOR HOUSE PLANTS: Indulge in Aloe vera plants and fresh Aloe vera gel. Showcase your own live Aloe vera plant on a plant stand with an Aloe planter, pot decorations, or create a plant pot set.
  • REAL ALOE VERA PLANT SET: These succulent plants live happily with plant supplies like succulent pots, a pot for Aloe vera plant indoor displays, and succulent soil potting mix. Aloes and cactus plants live splendidly together, too.
  • PLANT GIFTS: Create a plant pot set with gardening gifts and plant accessories like soil for Aloe vera plant varieties, Aloe plant food, an Aloe vera plant pot or decorative plant pots for home garden decor.
  • POTTED PLANTS LIVE DÉCOR: Design an Aloe vera pot set or a live plants indoor display with companion plants like a ZZ plant, barbadensis Miller Aloe, snake plant, peace lily, parlor palm, and pothos plants live house plants.
  • LIVE PLANTS FOR DELIVERY PRIME: Your order includes 1 fully-rooted, healthy plant in a 3.5 inch nursery pot.
Bestseller No. 2
Costa Farms Aloe Vera, Live Succulent Plant, Easy Care Indoor Houseplant in Modern Décor Planter, Room Air Purifier, Tabletop, Office, Desk or Home Décor, Birthday, Gardening Gift, 10-12 Inches Tall
  • LIVE INDOOR PLANT: Bring home a beautiful Aloe Vera to add a relaxing, calm feel to any space. Aloe houseplants are natural air purifiers that help keep your indoor air fresh and clean. Perfect size tabletop, shelf, living room, office, or bedroom decor
  • GREAT DECOR FOR ANY SPACE: Whether you’re looking to spruce up your home office or add a touch of greenery to your living room, indoor Aloe Vera plants have a timeless appeal. Unique statement piece that instantly infuses decor aesthetic with personality
  • FRESH FROM FARM: Every plant is packed with care and arrives direct from our farm to your home. Aloe height is approximately 10-12 inches tall, measured from the bottom of the pot to the top of the plant. Potted in a plant pot
  • ELEVATE MOOD & WELLBEING: Plants make us happy. They give us life, fresh air and a sense of calm – all of which have the ability to lift your mood and improve your wellbeing. NASA studies show having plants improves mood, creativity and reduces stress
  • PLANTS MAKE GREAT GIFTS: Plants can be delivered to your loved ones for any occasion, including birthdays, anniversary, and housewarming. Enjoy peace of mind that every plant is well packaged, farm fresh, and ready to impress with your gift message
Bestseller No. 3
Live Aloe Vera Plant 5″-6″+ Air Purifying Easy Care Succulent Houseplant 2″ Pot
  • Live Aloe Vera Succulent in 2″ Pot
  • Super easy care and low maintenance houseplant.
  • Keep in bright filtered light and water when soil is mostly dry
  • Safe for people and pets
  • These air purifying and easy care plants make excellent gifts.
Bestseller No. 4
Live Aloe Vera Succulent Aloe Barbadensis Aloe 8″-12″ Tall, 4″ Pot
  • Live Aloe Vera Aloe Barbadensis 8″-12″+ Aloe in 4″ Pot. Perfect for planting indoors or out. Great for gifting!
  • Aloe Vera Succulents do well in your garden, on a patio, or in a sunny window. Comes in a 4″ pot with our own premium succulent soil blend.
  • Very easy care. Aloe are adaptable to most environments and very easy to keep alive.
  • Indoor aloe can be excellent air purifiers
Bestseller No. 5
Succulents Plants Live Indoor Plants, Aloe Nobilis Plants Live Houseplants, Live Succulents Live Plants Indoor Succulent Plants, Indoor Plant Real Succulents Plants House Plants by Plants for Pets
  • LIVE ALOE PLANT: Commonly known as the ‘Golden Toothed Aloe’, this plant is one of the most popular varieties of rosette succulents. Featuring triangular leaves lined with tiny, flexible spikes, these Aloe plants live happily as perennial potted plants and garden succulents.
  • HOUSE PLANT HOME DECOR: Design a display with cacti & succulent plants in cute succulent planters. Showcase as a desktop succulent live plant or arrange it on a succulent stand beside a succulent Aloe vera plant or Aeonium succulents.
  • GARDENING GIFTS FOR WOMEN: These easy plants make fantastic gifts or succulent favors. Personalize a gift of natural succulents by planting them in a unique succulent pot, or create a succulent planter with potting soil and succulent rocks.
  • OUTDOOR OR INDOOR SUCCULENTS: Flaunt these versatile, drought tolerant succulents in succulent planters, a succulent terrarium, succulent bowl, or on a 3-tier succulent holder with succulent soil and succulent fertilizer or succulent food for growth.
  • LIVE PLANT DELIVERY: Your succulent is packaged with care and arrives fully rooted in a 1 gallon plastic planter.