White spots on aloe plant are something you’ll easily notice when it begins happening. That’s because the once beautiful green leaves are now blemished with patches or dots.
It is also worth noting that sometimes, you may see your aloe plant turning white.
The latter is a different effect as you’ll see the leaves turn pale in color and become less green. Over time, they will get lighter in color turning cream and then whitish in hue.
Both issues are bothersome to aloe plant owners.
And they require treatment or will get worse.
White spots on aloe plant or aloe plants turning white are commonly caused by powdery mildew or pest infestations like scale.
Another reason is improper lighting. Too much sun intensity and exposure will cause white spots on the plant’s leaves. And lack of light will cause the plant to become paler and turn white.
Similarly, temperature changes, nutrient deficiencies, excess fertilizer can make aloe appear white or pale as well.
White Spots on Aloe Plant Causes & Solutions
Too Much Sunlight
While it may seem unlikely, white spots on aloe plant can mean that your beloved succulent has sunburn.
Aloe plants enjoy lots of sunshine.
But there are times when they cannot tolerant excessive intensity or long periods of exposure.
In general, aloe plants thrive in 6 to 8 hours of sunlight. And they enjoy direct sunlight.
However, if the plant you get is used to living indoors where it receives bright, indirect light, then it may have grown accustomed to that.
This is sometimes the case with plants purchased from nurseries or plant stores that are kept in partial shade along with other houseplants.
If this is the case, placing it under direct sunlight immediately where it is exposed to the sun’s rays for several hours a day may cause white spots on its leaves.
When this happens, you know that your plant has gotten sunburn.
Similarly, this can happen with aloe varieties that have shallower root systems. This is likewise the case for potted plants as the depth of the container limits how deep their roots can burrow.
Outdoor aloe plants grown in the yard will have been tolerance to more sun exposure due to their deeper roots.
Another reason for white spots on aloe plant is very hot environments.
If you live in desert environments like Arizona or Nevada where the conditions are dry and can get very hot during the peak of summer, you may see white patches develop on your aloe plant’s leaves.
This is another sign of sunburn due to excess full sun or direct sun exposure for many hours a day on a daily basis.
How to Fix It
While aloe plants are known for their preference to receive full sun or direct sunlight, there are still situations where too much light can occur.
As such, if you see white spots on your aloe plant, try moving it to somewhere with less sun exposure.
Also, limit the number of hours of sun that plant gets.
This is especially true is very hot climates or if your plant is accustomed to living indoors with slightly less light exposure.
If you want to be safe, move your aloe plant to a spot with bright, indirect light indoors or partial shade outdoors.
It will still want 6 to 8 hours of sunshine on a daily basis to stay healthy. But try to keep things within this range.
For sunburned aloe plants with white patches, try to avoid positioning it beside a south facing window or west facing window.
Both directions receive sunshine during the middle of the day.
This is when the sun is most intense. So, try to avoid placing your aloe right beside the window in these directions.
On the other hand, if you’re moving your aloe plant from a cooler location with indirect light to a spot that is hotter with brighter sunlight, do so gradually.
Don’t just reposition it and be done with that.
Instead, let it slowly get accustomed to the brighter light by gradually exposing it to that intensity.
Slow transition will allow the plant to adjust within the span of a few days to a week as you go back and forth between the two environments.
In doing so, the plant will be able to withstand the higher exposure to bright light by the end of the transition period.
Not Enough Light
Another reason why you may see white spots on your aloe plant is lack of sunlight.
Aloe plants are native to dry, desert environments.
As such, they are used to receiving a good amount of sunlight.
While too much excess sunshine can cause sunburn, the plant enjoys plenty of light. The key is to avoid over exposure to too much intensity for very long hours on a daily basis.
On the other hand, the plant will downright struggle if it does not get enough light.
Like other plants, it relies on light for photosynthesis.
This is where your aloe is able to create its own food which it uses to as a source of energy for growth.
Thus, leaving it somewhere that’s dark or with little light is a no-no.
It not only slows down the plant’s overall growth but will also affect its leaves as well.
In addition to fewer leaves that are smaller, they may also look pale with some being whitish in color. this is a sign that the plant is not getting enough light.
Unfortunately, this can easily happen indoors when the plant is kept in a spot with low light or a dim location.
It can also occur during winter when there’s little sunshine that’s coming into the home.
Note that this can likewise happen outdoors if you position the plant in a spot that’s getting full shade. Any location where the sunlight is blocked by trees or some kind of object is never a good spot for aloe plants.
How to Fix It
The simplest solution to lack of light is move your aloe plant to a brighter location.
Remember these succulents not only light plenty of light they enjoy direct sunlight or full sun. So, you do not need to worry about leaving them in the direct path of the sun’s rays.
Aloe plants thrive when they receive 6 to 8 hours of sunshine on a daily basis as well.
If you want to play it safe and avoid overexposure to sunlight, the best locations to position your aloe plants indoors in near an east or north facing window.
Avoid the south or west as they get the brunt of the sun’s heat during mid-day.
Of these locations, an eastern exposure is best since it receives the gentler direct sunlight of the morning sun.
With a northern exposure, make sure that there’s enough sunlight coming into your home. This can vary depending on where you live.
You also want to monitor whether there is sufficient light coming from that direction during winter. If there isn’t move the plant to a brighter spot during this time of year.
Outdoors, your aloe plant will thrive in partial shade. Again, this is ideal if you want to play it safe and stay away from excessive heat and light exposure.
If you notice your aloe plant turning white or white spots on your aloe plant, it may be caused by temperature problems.
Aloe plants thrive in warm climate conditions.
They do not like the cold.
And if you leave them outdoors or in a spot that’s a bit too cold for their liking, you may see white spots begin to develop.
Similarly, some aloe plants will turn white gradually.
This happens from the center of the plant and works its way up to the tips of the leaves.
As a result, you won’t have a green looking plant after a while. Instead, it will look pale cream or even completely white in color.
This is likewise the case if your aloe experiences sudden changes in temperature.
It does not like sudden fluctuations especially to the downside.
How to Fix It
Aloe plants enjoy warm weather. Ideally, they thrive when temperature is kept between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
While they can tolerate hotter conditions as well, you do not want to keep them in above 100 degrees Fahrenheit environments for long periods of time.
That said, the plant will experience problems when temperature drops under 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you keep the plant indoors, you likely won’t have any issues since most home temperatures stay between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
That said, if it gets really hot indoors during the summer or cold in winters, the plant experience some issues.
Similarly, do not place the plant near or in rooms with air conditioning, vents or heaters.
These appliances will cause sudden changes in temperature that the aloe does not like.
Another sneaky location are spots near windows.
If you happen to keep your aloe near a south facing window where the sun’s heat can sudden hit hard especially during mid-day in the summertime, this can be a problem.
Open windows and doors where cold drafts are likewise areas to avoid.
Outdoor temperature is much harder to control.
This may not be an issue if you live somewhere with tropical, subtropical or Mediterranean conditions. But if you experience four seasons, make sure to bring your aloe plant indoors during mid fall and winter.
The cold weather during these months is too much for aloe plants.
You can still bring the plant outdoors once the warm weather comes back around in spring and summer.
Aloe vera don’t require much attention. This is why they’re low maintenance.
It is one of the reasons that many homeowners like keeping this plant around.
One of the things that makes it stand out is that it does not need the best soil to thrive. Nor does it require lots of nutrients.
However, if your notice your aloe plant turning white, one thing to consider is nutrient deficiency.
In some cases, the plant will need extra nutrients from fertilizer.
Without it, you’ll eventually see its leaves start turning pale then whiter as the condition persists.
Plants need nutrients to make chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll is the compound that keeps leaves green. But it also plays an important role in collecting light from the sun.
So, without the proper nutrients, your plant’s chlorophyll production will slow down or significantly decrease over time. This causes whitening or pale colored leaves on your aloe plant.
How to Fix It
For plants, nutrients come from two sources.
One is the soil.
Second is fertilizer.
If you use soil with high organic content, this may be enough to keep aloe plants healthy. As such, you won’t need to apply fertilizer.
In fact, many gardeners prefer to amend the soil to add nutrients instead of using chemical fertilizers.
On the other hand, many home growers will just opt for fertilizer.
Fertilizer makes things easier in most cases. All you need to do is pick the right product, know when to apply and follow the label for application instructions.
For aloe plants, choose a succulent fertilizer.
You’ll easily recognize these by reading the label. Or look for liquid fertilizers with 10-40-10 blends. The figures stand for the concentrations of NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium).
I prefer not to use granular fertilizers for potted aloe plants.
Keep in mind that you do not need to regularly apply fertilizer.
Instead, once a month application during spring and summer is best. Do not feed the plant during the colder months. The just restart again when next spring arrives.
Just as feeding is beneficial for your aloe vera, make sure never to over fertilize the plant.
This will cause more problems in the long run.
The reason why it is never a good idea to feed your aloe plant more than it needs is doing so can damage the plant.
Excess plant food can cause leaf discoloration, wilting and fertilizer burn.
Commercial fertilizer products contain salt in addition to nutrients. Salt allows the nutrients to be easily transported in liquid form.
This makes it easily to get the nutrients into the soil so the roots can absorb and use them.
Unfortunately, plants hate salt. They are sensitive to it.
While they can tolerate some salt in the soil, the more you feed your plant, the more salt residue builds up in the soil.
The problem here is that salt draws moisture. This makes it harder for the roots to absorb water.
While this is not a big deal for aloe plants because they’re designed to tolerate periods of dryness, it does make it more difficult for its roots to take in nutrients.
Nutrients are absorbed by roots through water.
So, with less moisture absorption, the plant also receives fewer nutrients.
This is one possible reason for aloe plants turning white.
Lack of nutrients includes nitrogen deficiency. More importantly, nitrogen is needed for chlorophyll production.
Thus, less chlorophyll means a decrease in the green color of your aloe’s leaves.
This makes them look pale and later on turn more whitish in color.
What’s worse is that excess salt can eventually damage the roots. This is a bigger problem as when roots get damaged, it reduces their ability to absorb moisture and nutrients.
This causes a more permanent issue when it comes to lack of sustenance.
How to Fix It
Bottom line is, avoid over fertilizing your aloe plant.
Use the right kind of fertilizer. Only apply during its growing season. And avoid the temptation of giving it more food than needed.
Once a month feeding using a liquid succulent fertilizer during the spring and summer is all it needs.
On the other hand, if your aloe plant is turning white due to excess fertilizer, you have a few options to fix this.
Sometimes, you’ll see a white crust develop on the surface of the soil.
This is the salt.
And you want to remove this white layer of crust.
It will need some scraping or light scratching. You can use your fingertips to gently take this crusty white layer out.
Another thing you need to do is flush the soil.
To do so, run water through the soil for several minutes. You can change the position of the hose on the soil to distribute the water.
Do not water over the plant. This will wet the leaves.
Instead, just place the hose on the rim of the pot so the water flows directly onto the soil.
You should see the liquid drip from the bottom of the pot’s drainage holes.
Doing this will allow the water to carry out excess minerals, salts and tiny debris in the soil. As such, you get rid of the excess salt residue that has built up.
After a few minutes, let the plant completely drain.
Don’t skip the last step. It will take a while for this to completely drain depending on how big your aloe plant is.
Just leave it be and go do something else.
Recheck every 10 or so minutes.