How do I know if my aloe is Underwatered?

Answered by Edward Huber

Determining if your aloe plant is underwatered can be done by observing its physical appearance and behavior. Here are some signs that indicate your aloe may be in need of more water:

1. Wrinkled or deflated leaves: When an aloe plant doesn’t receive enough water, it will start to tap into its own moisture reserves stored in its leaves. As a result, the leaves may appear deflated, wrinkled, or even droopy. This is the plant’s way of conserving water and adapting to survive during periods of drought.

2. Dry and brittle leaves: Another indicator of underwatering is when the leaves become dry and brittle to the touch. In extreme cases, the edges of the leaves may turn brown and crispy. This is a clear sign that the aloe is not receiving enough moisture to remain healthy.

3. Yellowing leaves: As the plant struggles to survive with insufficient water, the leaves may start to turn yellow. This is a stress response, and the yellowing is often more prominent towards the base of the leaves. If the yellowing progresses and spreads to other parts of the plant, it may be an indication of severe underwatering.

4. Stunted growth: Underwatered aloes may also exhibit slow or stunted growth. If your aloe is not receiving enough water, it may not have the necessary resources to support healthy growth, resulting in smaller or less vibrant leaves.

5. Infrequent flowering: While aloes are known for their stunning flower spikes, underwatered plants may not produce flowers as frequently or at all. The lack of water can inhibit the plant’s ability to develop and sustain blooms.

To confirm if your aloe is indeed underwatered, you can also check the soil moisture. Insert your finger about an inch or two into the soil near the base of the plant. If the soil feels dry, it’s a clear indication that your aloe needs watering.

Remember that it’s essential to strike a balance when watering your aloe. Too little water can cause stress and damage, but overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues. Aim to water your aloe when the top inch of soil feels dry, allowing excess water to drain away to prevent waterlogged conditions.

Personal experience: I have encountered underwatered aloes before, and the signs mentioned above were evident. The leaves appeared wrinkled and deflated, and some had turned yellow. By adjusting the watering schedule and providing adequate moisture, the plants were able to recover and regain their healthy appearance.