The aloe vera plant has been around for a long time. A desert grower, this plant has long, spiky leaves of a light green color.
They have water storage properties that come in assistance in the arid desert. It is an evergreen perennial and has seen abundant growth in deserts and tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
Most commonly used for its medicinal benefits in treating the skin and hair, aloe vera gel/juice is a rich source of vitamins and antioxidants. These are beneficial for guarding the skin against sun damage, aging, and fine lines.
This article talks about the emergence of white spots on an aloe vera plant and what one can do to combat the issue.
Why does the aloe vera plant have white spots?
Aloe vera plants are actually infamously easy to maintain. They are low-maintenance, flourish in most weather conditions, and adjust well to most soil types. However, this is not an invitation for neglect.
You will sometimes notice that there are white spots on your aloe plant. The discoloration could be subject to a few different reasons mentioned below:
1. Too much sun
Too much sun exposure can be a bad thing for an aloe plant. If you have placed your plant in an area where it is the recipient of the full sun all day, then the chances that the leaves will develop pale patches in a few days are very high.
This is more commonly observed in potted plants as a result of the shallow root system. Additionally, an excess of sun exposure dries out the soil and can make the traversal of nutrients to the leaves difficult.
2. Not enough sun
Just as too much sun is far from ideal, so is not enough sun.
All plants need a certain amount of sun to photosynthesize adequately. Sun exposure also boosts chlorophyll content, which lends to leaves and stems, their trademark green color.
If your plant is not receiving enough sun, it is liable to turn pale.
This will develop in the form of white spots and patches that spread out over a period of time. The plant may also experience stunted growth and an inability to expand to its fullest potential.
As natives of the drier parts of the world, aloe plants do not require too much water.
Overwatering is a serious issue they often face; as a result, the leaves develop flaccid, white regions all over their surfaces.
The trick is to check for a certain spongy quality. If the patches do turn out to be spongy, they are almost certainly a result of overwatering.
The two most common ways in which overwatering transpires are- watering too frequently and poor drainage. Ascertain if the soil is dry( the top inches) before you water again.
4. A sudden change in temperature
A sudden temperature change and, thereby, atmospheric heat can cause discoloration and wilt. This happens because an abrupt shift in temperature conditions can wreak havoc in the delicate ecosystem of the plant.
5. Fertilizer buildup
If you garden or take an interest in it, you must not be a stranger to the horrors that follow a case of overfertilization.
The purpose of fertilization is to enrich the quality of soil, boost nutrient production, and simultaneously ensure that there is enough nitrogen to ensure chlorophyll.
A fertilizer/salt buildup clogs up the soil. It affects the quality of soil, chokes out necessary airflow, and impacts the natural pH of the soil. This causes white spots.
Aloes turn red or white during an overfertilization shock, a condition where the soil has absorbed too many nutrients that is good for it.
6. Not enough nutrients
Even though the aloe is built to withstand extenuating conditions, it is possible that a poor soil mix stunts growth in the plant.
Certain nutrients like nitrogen and magnesium are essential for growth. This is another possible reason for the emergence of white spots.
How to fix white spots on aloe plants?
Luckily for all growers of the aloe plant, the methods to fix an aloe plant are very simple.
The fix for not enough/too much sun is making sure you have positioned your plant in the right area in your garden/house.
You want to strike a balance between the amount of sun it receives and the shade it is subjected to.
For example, it is wise to avoid placing your plant in the sun during the peak hours of 12 pm- 3 pm when the sun is at its hottest. This has often led to the leaves getting burnt on accident.
Devise a rota schedule and alternate between placing your plant in the sun and the shade. A smart way to bring this to fruition is to invest in an easily movable trolley.
Next, we deal with the issue of overwatering. Like our previous problem, this too is an easy difficulty to untangle.
Chart out a watering schedule with exact measurements to avoid any accidental overwatering. Purchase soil that drains easily and is not liable to flooding. Finally, always remember to buy containers with drainage holes.
These are crucial in emptying the pot of water. In the eventuality that you have overwatered your plant on a certain occasion, let the soil dry out completely.
In case of fertilizer buildup, the first thing to be done is to remove the mineral crust.
A sharp object( such as a fingernail) will do the trick. Second, flush out the excess salts absorbed by the soil. This is done by adding twice the amount of water to the potting soil and emptying the water completely from the pot. Let the soil dry.
It is always advisable to use pure, mineral-free water when watering aloe vera.
This reduces the chances of a salt buildup. Tap water contains chlorine and other minerals additives and may well get lodged in the soil if not drained properly.
Finally, we come to the issue of a plant that has not been allowed the opportunity of good-quality soil. Selecting the right potting mix and fertilizer is very important.
Fertilizer should be applied once a month during the growing seasons. Using a liquid 10-40-10 mix is optimal- it gives the plant a boost without overwhelming it.
Aloe vera plants, I will have you know, are easy growers.
Patience and the right attitude go a long way in ensuring good plant health, as does keeping a watchful eye on all developments, regardless of how insignificant they might seem on first look.
In the case of an aloe vera plant, the right surroundings make or break the deal. The right amount of sun, water, and nutrients- that is about all you need to ensure, and the rest shall be all good.