Aloe vera is a beautiful looking plant with skin healing properties widely popular all over the world, most people grow this spiky leaf plant to get its gel which is having benefits while other use it to showcase indoors but if your aloe plant leaves starting to look purple this sudden change why it happen now and what are the causes we will discuss this as i know i have in my house and it does have effect from climate change and various other problems as no plant is immune to any disease. Let’s find out.
Why did my aloe plant turn purple?
Aloe plant turning purple is due to climate conditions or having stress over temperature change, nutrient deficiency and much more. Leaves of aloe plants change color to purple. This tells that plants are not happy and might be getting too much sunlight, change in location or overwatering, underwatering etc. To fix the purplish color you need to give them enough sunlight and a good location where you can place them.
The purplish color in aloe plants looks good but it can damage the plant growth and leaves. As you know, leaves are something that plants make food from, so its leaves should have a green color. Foliage that is already turned into purple cannot be reversed but by doing some care we can revive the aloe plant.
lets now find out reasons why my aloe plant turning purple:
1. Too much Sunlight
When aloe vera gets too much sunlight its leaves turn to purple color due to sunburn. Aloe vera is generally grown in indirect light but in winters there is too much cold but in day time it is hot outside when given exposure to some light it shows symptoms that it loses its original color which is green and turns to purplish greenish color.
In summers, it’s common for aloe vera to get sunburnt due to heat and it loses too much water that results in dried leaves and turns brown.
Aloe plant slows or stops growing in winters and keeps itself in dormant period so it stops the making of food through photosynthesis. This impacts the pigmentation/color of aloe plants to get changed for time being.
You may also notice colors in aloe plants looks like purple, red, brown, purple brown, purple grey due to loss in food making while this problem is connected to over exposure to direct sun. You should check your plant location and find the best location it can get.
Fixing the aloe plant purple leaves problem by moving the aloe pot to some other place which has partial shade or your plant should get a few hours of sunlight and not the whole day. Direct sunlight to aloe vera is harmful for its foliage and can damage it more each passing day until it shifts the plant itself to a better location. Direct sunlight reduces the plant’s natural color and it may turn it purple, brown, yellow.
Some people grow this plant under the cypress tree and other shrubs that provide the partial shade for the day to aloe plant while it gets light in morning which is perfect for foliage growth.
Once you change the location of your plant, water it and check every 3-4 days if water dries from the soil then pour water. Now wait for some days you may notice green leaves coming back again.
2. Cold Weather
Second most common reason for aloe vera leaves turning purple is due to stress over freezing cold temperature. In Winters this problem is very common and to fix purple leaves in aloe plants use a mini heater indoors if it is placed inside the house but turn it off once the room is warmer or it reaches an ideal temperature between 60-80 degree F. You can also use frost blanket to cover your plant and save its leaves.
Best solution to fix aloe plant purple leaves is to move the aloe pot back and forth means you will be providing it few hours of morning sunlight to aloe vera and then place it back in its location, using a mini heater at night could give it relief but that’s not necessary if you really change its location everyday.
Cold weather can impact not only aloe vera but most succulents and some might freeze because in higher zones I have heard that some younger succulents didn’t survive heavy frost even some palm trees get damaged by it so our little aloe plants have a choice to get revived with proper care.
3. Different temperature can lead to aloe vera purple leaves
Aloe vera turns purple might be due to change or fluctuation in temperature because you never know the climatic change that happens over night it kills some plants while others survive in the frost.
In the time of frost some plants might not see any sunlight, this makes them survive without making any food through photosynthesis. As you know chlorophyll provides green color to aloe vera but if this doesn’t get light then the plant can’t make anymore food as it needs both light and chlorophyll to prepare food.
When temperature goes minimum it stops the growth as no more food production can happen at that time which leads to loss of pigmentation and leaf droopy. Symptoms like green color start to fade and some other color takes its place. It could be brown, yellow, pink, or purple which we commonly see if it has stress due to a drop in temperature.
Succulents like aloe vera can grow beautifully in 60-80 degree F so you should not grow it below 50 degree F as it may result in leaf drops and other problems like pigmentation loss.
4. Transplant Shock
When Aloe vera grows for many years in the same pot it spreads and grows but there’s always a time when you need to change its pot to a bigger size and with that it also needs fresh soil that provides nutrients which old potting mix lacks. As with time soil nutrients leak out or are used by plants so it needs new soil every 1-2 years which will also reduce any future fungal diseases.
When you change the pot and transplant the aloe to a new pot it gets shock which might turn its leaves to purple as you know plants doesn’t used to this soil and its roots takes time to establish and stick to its base so in starting days you may notice the temporary shock over this transplant but it will recover with care and partial sunlight.
If leaves lose green color it loses ability to combine with light to prepare food so it might not absorb water but eventually will supply water back to the parts of aloe plant again.
To fix this purple aloe vera problem due to transplant by only doing care and giving water to the plant that’s it. This will not kill the plant but only gives the pause and it may resume the growth in a few days again.
Purple color may change back to green again so giving it water and sunlight will revive your aloe plant. You just need to do what you are doing normally if this is the case with your aloe vera.
5. Nutrients deficiency
We may see many examples in the past that many plants which lose color can be due to deficiency of a particular nutrient so using a fertilizer or nutrient rich mix could save the plant.
In case of aloe vera leaves get purple due to phosphorus deficiency and your soil is lacking it which results in the plant showing symptoms like purple leaves. Your soil may have all 3 nutrients but if one of them gets reduced it creates an imbalance in pH which impacts the plant growth in the long term.
This nutrient deficiency is caused due to overwatering, leaking of nutrients through water or might be due to poor soil or not changing in soil for years. Reduction of soil’s phosphorus in aloe vera can give purple color to leaves.
Some outdoor plants may seem to curl and lose color while others have shown leaf drop and slower growth.
To fix the aloe vera purple leaves you can use organic matter or there are fertilizer that are rich is phosphorus, also doing a soil pH test can tell if it is high in alkaline or Acidic pH because these aloe plants grow in ph 7.0 to 8.5 and if it is not growing with this pH the growth of aloe is being compromised here.
Best to give the Rock Phosphate for your purple aloe vera as it may provide phosphorus to your plant and can reduce the deficiency it’s getting because of low phosphorus. N-P-K value being 0-3-0 as it only has phosphorus and is easy to use.
6. Wet Soil
Overwatering makes the soil too wet for many days and it is the most common reason why plants don’t grow properly and most leaves turn yellow, brown and purple.
If your plant have damp soil it most probably get root rot that could develop fungal infection which led to the noticeable symptoms that aloe vera leaves turning purple and if it is not solved your aloe plant might die as root rot can be fatal to every plant not limited to succulents like aloe.
To fix this over watering problem try to schedule the watering or always check the soil before watering, Aloe plants when given a few hours of sunlight may require water more often than it is when grown in shade or minimum light.
Also check the drainage holes of aloe vera pots and see if the soil is not getting damp all the time. It should dry completely as they already have backup water stored inside the leaves so they don’t require much but you need to give water once the soil dries and it’s been 2 days.
Regular watering is not recommended and it is succulent so we don’t do water every other day.
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There are some questions by many that are related to its gel form so I would like to answer them as well for the educational purpose.
About Aloe Vera :
|Scientific Name||Aloe barbadensis miller|
|Other Names||Cape aloe,Aloe plant, Chinese aloe, Barbados Aloe|
|Plant Type||Perennial, Succulent|
|Hardiness zone||4a to 8b|
|Grown||Pots, Containers, Gardens,|
|Soil||Well draining, Fertile|
|Light Requirement||Partial Sunlight, Full Sun(Can Tolerate)|
|USDA hardiness||Zone 8 – 11|
|Flower Color||Orange, Red, Yellow|
|Leaf Color||Green, Spiky Shape|
|Growth Rate||Slow growing|
|Benefits||For Skin and Body|
|Uses||Cosmetics, skin creams|
Aloe vera varieties :
Aloe vera has more than 400+ species so I am naming the popular ones.
- Aloe Maculata
- Aloe Broomii
- Aloe Ferox
- Aloe Aculeata
- Aloe Perryi
- Aloe Nyeriensis
- Aloe Succotrina
- Aloe Capitata, etc
Why Is my aloe gel turning purple?
Aloe gel turns purple due to oxidation process when the leaf gel is exposed to the environment which starts the chemical reaction that might give aloe vera purple color. Oxidation can occur in many fruits as they get brown if left outside. To fix this issue you can store the aloe leaf in the refrigerator as cold can make it free from bacterial infection and might enhance the lifespan of that leaf so using a lemon juice in aloe gel can save it for a week or 2 as it contain vitamin C that is natural preservative in many products.
When it comes to leaves that turn purple when growing as you know green color indicates the chlorophyll but if it doesn’t do normal food making it will surely lighten up the color and may turn purple due to environmental factors or coldness, full sunlight are some of the reasons.
Can you use aloe vera when it turns purple?
I don’t recommend using an aloe vera gel when it turns purple or pinkish inside, as it may have already spoiled with chemical reaction just like food gets spoiled if not placed in cold storage containers it may see bacterial infection. I would not allow purple gel to be used as the gel is originally transparent in color and can be preserved with lemon juice if not then it is not advised to be used.
Can I eat purple aloe vera?
I would not recommend eating purple aloe vera as you won’t know what it is. It just changes color as the decomposing process starts and it will not be edible once it turns to purple, black or brown. All the fungus or bacterial infection may attach to it and spoil its natural form so you shouldn’t eat purple aloe vera.
Although it is edible and used in skin products and normally to skin for healing and sunburns. If you would like to read how I revive my sunburnt aloe vera plant.
Aloe vera gel turned purple in fridge?
No, aloe vera gel won’t turn purple if placed inside the fridge as in normal temperature you aloe vera leaf may do chemical reaction with the environment and it creates bacteria which can cause the change in color like brown, black or purple.
Fridge can save from aloe vera leaf or its juice for some days but it will eventually turn to purple or some other color if not preserved. It works same like other vegetables you can’t store them forever as they will start to decay or degrade its pure form and start to decompose if not put in cold freezer.
I hope you find the answer about why aloe vera turning purple and what you can do to solve it. please read more such articles.