Every time you plant anything, you hope to see it flourish and mature. Aloe vera plants are easy to care for and work well both indoors and outdoors; however, sometimes you may begin noticing creasing, drooping, or wobbly leaves. What could be the reason behind this?
An aloe vera plant is wobbly because of insufficient light. Lack of enough light causes the leaves to bend and the plant to weaken. You may also notice a pale or leggy growth habit on the leaves. Other reasons could also make the aloe vera plant wobbly.
In this detailed article, we delve into why insufficient light could weaken your aloe vera plant and explore other reasons why your plant could be wobbly.
How Does Lack of Sunlight Affect Aloe Vera Plant?
Aloe vera is a desert climate plant, which means it’s used to getting enough sunlight. If your plant starts to show limp, elongated, or flattened leaves, you begin to notice the stem lacking strength to grow in an upright form, which is an indication that the plant is not receiving adequate sunlight.
Sunlight plays an essential role in the long-term health and well-being of your aloe vera. Nonetheless, plant needs may vary based on age, soil, and positioning. Apart from offering light, the sun also provides warmth to the plant.
Underexposure to light leaves you with a wobbly plant with discolored growth. In some cases, the plant bends as it tries looking for a close light source. Lack of light could also lead to root rot.
Overexposure to sunlight could also lead to wilting and blanched leaves, which means you may need to get a lightly shaded area to place the aloe vera.
What Could Be the Other Causes of a Wobbly Aloe Vera?
Some of the other reasons why your aloe vera plant may be wobbly include:
Poor Watering Practices
Aloe Vera contains plump and fat leaves full of gel. Their thick roots store water; that’s why the plant easily rots when grown indoors. Overwatering could make the leaves soft and the whole plant wobbly.
The wrong temperature exposure could also have the same effect on your aloe vera plant. Having dry air could make the plant wither too high temperatures may make your plant wobbly. Aloe Vera flourishes in temperatures between 13-27°C (55.4-80.6°F). Temperatures in most homes are ideal to grow the plant without any issues. You’ll realize that some varieties have a cold tolerance with some form of protection.
Planting in the Wrong Soil Mix
If your soil mixture is too heavy and doesn’t drain well, that could make your aloe vera plant weak. With time, the plant will rot. Ensure that you mix equal parts of sand and standard potting soil.The mixture should work fine as Aloes are not choosy with the type of soil. You can add granular fertilizer or well-rotted manure to your potting mixture.
Bought a Weak Plant
You could have bought the aloe vera plant when it was already stressed out. Some of these plants are put under low light, and some are over watered to make them appear fresh and flourishing. What’s more, some swellers will keep the plant on shelves in pots without any drainage.
Storing the plant when it’s too wet, too dry, or lacking sufficient sunlight weakens and stresses the plant. If you bought the plant when it was stressed for too long, it might appear wobbly at some point.
Another reason why your aloe vera may appear wobbly is that it could be infected with bacterial or fungal diseases like aloe rust, bacterial soft rot, and basal stem rot.
My Aloe Vera Is Wobbly, Now What?
If you’ve noticed that inadequate sunlight, cold temperature, a fungal infection, poor watering habits, or having a too shallow container could be the reasons behind your wobbly aloe vera plant, you’ll need to resolve these issues:
Place the Plant in Adequate Sunlight
Aloe vera flourishes in cool climates where there are overcast or foggy skies. While filter sun or light shade at midday will be fine, it’s best to leave the plant exposed to direct sun for 6-8 hours. Choose a west or south-facing outdoor area when positioning your plant.
If your plant was indoors, start by exposing the plant to sunlight for a few hours before gradually increasing the time and eventually leaving it outside. That reduces the stress on the plant.
If you prefer to have your aloe vera plant indoors, you need a high light level. That means positioning the plant within three feet of a west-facing or an unshaded south-facing window. Note that if you live in a cool and cloudy climate, you may need to supplement the light by getting an artificial grow light.
You can opt for a fluorescent lamp and place it two feet above the plant during daytime or close to 15 hours a day. That will offer enough light to promote healthy growth in dim interiors.
Avoid Over Watering the Plant
Too much watering could damage the plant. You need to water your aloe vera plant when it’s close to dry. That means a time frame of three weeks in summer. Remember that this depends on the conditions that you grow the aloe vera. Avoid watering the plant in the winter months and always have drain holes on the pot that contains the plant.
You can also solve the watering problem by adding drain holes on your pot. Dry the plant out and remove any leaves that appear dead. You can save the plant by allowing it to dry for two days.
Finding the Right Temperatures
When it comes to aloe vera plant care, it’s essential to get the right temperatures. The plant can survive in temperatures of 29ºC (84.2ºF) when outdoors. If you’re growing your aloe vera plant indoors, a temperature of 24ºC (75.2ºF) is recommended for plant growth.
Repot Your Plant
The wrong soil mixture only does more harm, and that’s why you need to replant your aloe vera plant. You’ll need to repot your plant during spring and summer. Ensure that when you are repotting, you get a pot with drainage holes and choose the right soil mix.
Be cautious when getting the plant out of a pot. You can use a knife to loosen the root ball from the pot. Sometimes you need to squeeze the pot to push down on the grow pot to pull the plant out.
Trim the roots to remove the small plants, but ensure that you leave some roots to each transplant. Remove any unnecessary dead leaves from the main plant. The next step is to prepare your pot for transplanting and fill it with soil and sand to provide nourishment and provide better drainage.
Center the aloe vera on the pot and put some pressing over the soil to get rid of pockets. Place the plant in a well-lit place away from direct sunlight after transplanting. Also, avoid watering the plant for three days.
You may also opt to put some organic fertilizer on your plant. Make sure that you do it sparingly in the summer and spring.
Choose a Healthy Plant
It’s crucial to find a healthy aloe vera plant when shopping. Avoid buying a plant that is bending, has brown spots, or one with yellow leaves. The only way to identify a healthy plant is to look at the Aloe leaves. The leaves should be facing upwards and appear succulent and bright green. Check the base of the plant for any signs of a different color, as this could indicate a problem.
Treat With Neem Oil
If you suspect that your plant may be infected with a disease, treat it with new or horticultural oil. Neem oil is organic and helps to treat infestations quickly. Spraying Neem oil insecticide causes the insects to stop feeding and coats any holes to kill the insects. You can also add neem oil to the soil with a small portion of water to allow it to soak into the soil.
Aloe vera is an attractive plant that is easy to care for, whether indoors or outdoors. However, lack of enough sunlight, wrong temperatures, incorrect soil mixture, and over/under watering could make the plant wobbly and weak. Fortunately, with the above tips, you can save the plant.