Succulent Plant Site | Aloes

Aloe Diseases & Pests

Aloe species are susceptible to some of the worst plant disease in the succulent plant world, in this article we will take a look at the diseases that afflict Aloes and examine ways in which we can prevent Aloe ailments and methods on how to cure them.

Follow the links for chemical & environmentally friendly treatments, please consult your local nurseryman for treatments as well as new treatments are consantly being developed.

Aloe Cancer

Aloe Cancer is also known as Witches Broom, is a viral infection that is highly contagious. Aloe Cancer is spread via mites and causes unsightly growths. Unfortunately the best treatment for this disease is the destruction of the plant. In case of rare Aloes you can cut out infected areas but the plant must be isolated as it is highly probable that neighbouring Aloes will be infected.

Aloe Scale or White Scale

Aloe Scale or White Scale is are sap suckers approximately 1mm-2mm in length and they are white in colour. White Scale starts of as a small infestation on aloe leaves but it can turn into a serious infestation in a short period of time that will in allprobability result in the death of the Aloe.

Ants and Aloes

Ants on their own do not cause any damage to Aloes but due to their propensity for all thing sweat they can cause severe damage when they partner up with another common garden pest namely mealy bugs and aphids. See the relevant sections for treatments.

Ants and aphids have a symbiotic relationship, the ants afford protection to the mealy bugs in exchange for a sticky sweet substance, honeydew, that they excrete. Ants can actually be seen carrying aphids from plant to plant.

Because aphids are sap feeders they may transmit serious diseases between the Aloes and due to the fact that these pests puncture the plant they may cause the plant to rot if they are left unchecked, which is often the case as they hide in between the leaves where one cannot see them. It is wise to inspect your Aloes closely every now and then for these pests as they are often only noticed when the rosette collapses from rot.


Rot in Aloes is usually caused by humans as inexperienced growers tend to overwater them. Rot can also be caused by other pests, such as Mealy Bugs, Aloe Beetle etc.

To treat Aloe rot one will have to cut away the affected areas with a clean sharp knife and then treat with a systemic fungicide.

Good advice to follow when watering your Aloes is to allow the soil to dry between waterings, this will help prevent your Aloes from rotting.

Snout Beetle aka Aloe Beetle

Adult Snout Beetles feed off of Aloe leaves, their presence can usually be detected by the presence of circular lesions that have a transverse slit in the center.

Snout Beetles lay their eggs at the base of Aloe leaves, the larvae, after they have hatched, bore into the stem just below the crown which usually results in the death of the plant.



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