It was doing fine, but then you repotted it into a larger pot. Even if your aloe plant is struggling, that doesn't mean it's done for.

By Jenny Krane

Aloe vera plants are unique and fascinating houseplants—their succulent-like leaves are actually filled with the gel-like substance you see in sunburn lotion. Like most succulents, they need very well-drained soil and should be planted in pots with drainage holes or pebbles in the bottom. If your aloe plant's long leaves start to droop and get mushy, you may be having a watering issue.


When an aloe plant is being overwatered, the leaves develop what are called water-soaked spots. They look like what you describe: soggy and soft. It is almost as though the entire leaf becomes saturated and gel-like, then it turns to mush. Eventually, the entire plant dies. This is just one way that aloe plants can become waterlogged.


Your plant can also experience a waterlogged condition because the pot you put it in lacks a drainage hole. Avoid planting in a pot without a drainage hole. Adding a layer of pebbles in the bottom of a pot, although often offered as a simple solution, actually compounds the problem. As moisture moves down through the soil, it forms what is called a perched water table over the pebbles. Not until the soil above is saturated will the water move down into the pebbles. That means your aloe's roots are constantly saturated. The soil is waterlogged, and the plant's roots are dying from lack of oxygen.

Solving Watering Problems

Dry It Out

You might be able to save your plant if you dig it up and let it dry out for a day or two. Remove any leaves or tissue that appear to be dead. Then dust the dry base of the plant with rooting powder and replant it in a pot with a drainage hole. Give aloe bright light, and keep it on the dry side.

Add Drainage Holes

If you want to use a beautiful pot that has no drainage hole, drill a hole for drainage, or use it as a cachepot.  Tuck your plant into a plain plastic pot that can fit inside the eye-catching container. Elevate the inner pot on 1/2 inch of pea gravel.

Comments (2)

February 7, 2019
Now i know what i'm doing wrong I've been so mad at the plant and me because it gets so soggy and now i know what i'm doing wrong. HALA
May 22, 2018
My Aloe Vera is very large, I've had it for many years. Lately I have noticed the branches, if you will, are loosing their fullness, it has babies quite often and they seem to be healthy, I can remove them with no problem. I don't know what to do I don't want to loose it?