Can You Still Use Aloe Vera When It’s Red, Pink, or Brown?

Have you ever cut an apple and noticed it turns from white to brown after it comes in contact with oxygen? The same process happens when you cut off an Aloe stalk and don’t use it immediately.

You can still use Aloe Vera when it’s red, pink or brown! More often than not, the Aloe gel is completely normal. If your plant is otherwise healthy, the Aloe gel is typically a result of oxidation.

Aloe Vera is a succulent, which means it stores excess water in its leaves. Water is clear and odorless, and the inside of your Aloe is too.

Even though pink Aloe Vera gel is typically nothing to worry about, pink Aloe leaves can indicate that your plant is sick and in need of attention. Too much sun, too much heat, and improper watering can all cause blushing and influence the quality of its gel.

What color should an Aloe Vera plant be?

A healthy Aloe plant is typically some shade of green. Mature leaves often have a blue-green or gray-green hue while new growth will be a vibrant green.

Some varieties of Aloe have variegated (multi-colored) leaves. If your plant is pink from the get-go, you likely have a red cultivar, like the Aloe ‘Pink Blush’ or Aloe Cameronii.

What color should the inside of the plant be?

The magic of an Aloe plant is in its medicinal gel. If you’re accustomed to store-bought Aloe, you may expect it to be green but raw Aloe differs quite a bit from what you’ll find stocked on shelves.

Without the green dyes that manufacturers often add, the gel of an Aloe plant will be clear. In some cases, the inside of an Aloe plant will also have a golden hue.

Aloe Vera Gel

Why does Aloe Vera turn pink?

There are many reasons that an Aloe plant may turn pink. Prolonged exposure to sun or heat is one of the most common reasons for a color change.

Tropical succulents, like Aloe, need at minimum, 6 hours of sun daily. Even though Aloe plants love the sun, they can get too much of it. This is especially true if you reside in a very hot climate.

Aloe plants ‘sunburn’ in a process that’s very similar to humans. First, the plant will blush pink, but if left unchecked, the burn will progress until the plant turns red.

What if the inside of the Aloe Vera is pink?

Pink Aloe gel is completely normal. Most Aloe Vera plants will turn pink when exposed to air. There are even specific varieties that naturally have pink flesh. As long as your plant has strong, healthy stalks and no strange odor, pink gel is nothing to worry about.

What happens when Aloe Vera turns red?

Red discoloration is common in Aloe plants. Blushing can even be a sign of a happy Aloe plant! Like a suntan, a red tinge can signify that your plant is getting enough sun. Unfortunately, it is not completely clear-cut.

Red leaves can also indicate too much sun, which is dangerous for your plant. Aloe Veras are hardy plants, but they’re not indestructible. If you notice your Aloe turning a deep red, you’ll need to limit how many hours of sunlight it’s getting.

How do you fix red Aloe?

Red Aloe doesn’t always need to be fixed! But if the discoloration is very pronounced, you’ll need to look for a solution. The first step is to troubleshoot the problem.

If your Aloe is reddish-brown, you may need to cut back on how much water it’s getting. If your plant is a deep red and in direct light for most of the day, it may be getting sunburned. Observe your plant and try to adjust its care wherever you see a possible problem.

Other areas to consider are temperature fluctuations and soil quality. Aloe Vera is sensitive to both extreme heat and dramatic dips in temperature.

It likes well-draining, loamy soil and may become discolored if the soil conditions aren’t optimal. Too much salt and too much moisture are a good place to begin when troubleshooting.

What happens when Aloe Vera turns brown?

If your Aloe Vera is brown, you should take a look at your watering habits. Aloe Veras commonly turn brown if they’re overwatered.

Waterlogged soil constricts the plant’s roots and can deprive them of oxygen. Roots need air to function properly, and if they don’t get enough, they run the risk of developing root rot. This is a potentially fatal condition for your Aloe plant, so if you notice brown leaves, let the soil dry out more between waterings.

How do I know if my Aloe Vera has gone bad?

Aloe Vera in a pot

Store-bought Aloe contains preservatives that prolong its shelf life. Raw Aloe will go bad much faster. If your fresh Aloe has been unrefrigerated for more than a day, it’s safe to assume that it’s on its way out.

But if you don’t smell or observe any signs of decay, then it’s probably still fine to use. The best way to tell if your Aloe has gone bad is to look for mold, a sludge-like consistency, or an unpleasant odor.

Does Aloe expire?

Like any organic substance, Aloe does break down over time. It’s best to harvest Aloe on an as-needed basis to ensure optimal quality.

If you accidentally cut more than you need, you can refrigerate Aloe for about a week, or freeze it for up to a month. Freezing Aloe in an ice cube tray is an easy, mess-free way to keep it ready for future use.

What happens if you use expired Aloe Vera?

Expired Aloe Vera is less potent but not dangerous. Aloe will lose moisture and some of its medicinal properties as it ages. This means you may feel less relief when applying it topically.

We don’t recommend ingesting expired Aloe, as it could lead to unpleasant symptoms like nausea or stomach pain. If your Aloe tastes and smells fine then it’s good to drink, even if it’s not clear.


Aloe Vera plants may turn pink or red due to prolonged exposure to the sun and may in fact be getting sunburned, but pink Aloe gel is completely normal and can be used as long as it comes from a healthy stalk and doesn’t have an odor.

Aloe gel turns pink when exposed to the air much like a freshly cut apple that turns brown in the same conditions. Aloe Vera plants turn brown due to overwatering so the soil needs to dry out in order for the plant to regain its health.

Aloe Vera gel is typically clear in color, but if it doesn’t have an odor, it’s ok to use. The Aloe Vera plant is enjoyed by many around the world because of its wonderful medicinal gel.