How To Take Care Of Dying Succulents

  • Symptoms. Succulents’ leaves can become soft and mushy and become brown or black, but the intensity of the cold damage will determine the exact symptoms.
  • Causes. Although some succulent plants may endure a light frost, this is uncommon because most succulents are native to hot climes and normally suffer in temperatures lower than 50F (10C).

The majority of succulent types are not cold tolerant and will perish if left in temps below 50F (10C) for an extended period of time.

The majority of succulent species thrive in a standard room temperature environment, with a range of 55F-80F (13C-27C) being ideal for aloe vera.

Succulents’ leaves and stems may become mushy in texture and appear dark or black if they are subjected to chilly weather or even frost.

How to Revive Cold Damaged Succulents

Place your succulent in a location in your home or garden where the temperature is consistently between 55F and 80F (13C and 27C). Make sure that none of the leaves are directly in contact with windows, as these areas of the house can get much colder than the rest of the house. Reduce watering for the time being.

The cold damage should not likely worsen once the succulent is in a more stable environment.

Wait a few days, if not weeks, and the succulent’s mushy, cold-damaged section should dry out and callus over if the leaves feel gooey.

Cut the leaf back to below the injured section once the mushy portion has dried out. Cold-damaged succulent areas normally do not recover, but the succulent plant as a whole can recover.

In order to avoid additional potential issues, you should only restart watering the succulent once the callus of the leaf cut has completely healed over. Cold damage increases the danger of root rot.

The succulent can ultimately sprout new leaves and begin to regain its usual appearance after being damaged by the cold, but it takes a lot of persistence.

Key Takeaways:

  • The most frequent cause of succulent death is root rot brought on by over watering and poorly draining soils. Plants that can withstand drought, succulents need the soil to dry out between waterings. A succulent that has mushy, brown, yellow, or black leaves is withering because the soil is excessively wet.
  • Overwatering or sunburn cause succulents to turn brown. Brown, mushy succulent leaves are a sign of excessive moisture around the roots. Due to a rapid rise in sunshine intensity, scorched-looking brown succulent leaves may be the result of sunburn.
  • Because of excessive moisture around the roots brought on by frequent watering, wet soils, or pots without drainage holes, succulent leaves turn yellow. The soil needs to dry out between waterings for succulents. Yellow and mushy succulent leaves may be a sign of root rot brought on by over watering.
  • If succulents are exposed to too much shade, they become tall and lanky. Succulent leaves grow tall in the direction of the strongest light since the majority of succulents need bright, indirect light or full sun. Tall succulent leaves can droop under their own weight and often have weaker, withering leaves at the base.
  • Due to inadequate or excessive watering, succulent plants experience drought stress, which causes their leaves to shrivel. As a means of survival, succulents store moisture in their leaves. Underwatering your succulent causes it to draw on the moisture reserves in the leaves, giving it a shriveled appearance.
  • Recreate the circumstances of the succulents’ natural environment by planting them in well-draining, rocky soil with the appropriate amount of sunshine, and watering them when the soil becomes dry. To preserve the succulent, take cuttings from healthy areas of the plant.

How can a dying succulent be revived?

Yes, I am aware that it seems illogical to remove extra water from the soil, but bear with me. This is the justification. Too much water has already put the succulent under stress, and exposure to sunlight makes matters worse. Direct sunlight is a big no because most succulents require brilliant indirect light.

Place the succulent that has been overwatered somewhere dry and bright, but out of direct sunshine.

2. Permit the roots to breathe.

Cut off any brown or black roots as they are already rotting. Dig the succulent out of the ground and remove any excess soil that has become stuck to the roots. Place the plant on a mesh or other strainer until the roots have had two to three days to air dry. Replant the roots in the pot once they have dried completely.

Remove the entire root system and any puckered, spotty, black, or brown stems if the roots are entirely rotted. The succulent stem can be buried in the ground for propagation.

Keep the overwatered succulent on a mesh screen or other strainer until the roots have had two to three days to air dry.

3. Modify the ground

You might not need to entirely alter your succulent if it is already rooted in homemade or commercial succulent soil. Algae (green living matter) typically grows on soil that is too wet. If so, it is your responsibility to remove all of the top soil from the area around your plants and replace it with new succulent soil.

My succulent plant is dying; why?

They are receiving too much water from you. Succulents don’t require as much water as standard houseplants. They can survive on less water and prefer well-drained soil because they are a sort of cactus. To the touch, the soil should feel cold and damp but never soggy or watered down, and it should never feel muddy. For optimal results, you might want to sprinkle the ground rather than feeding it directly. There can be a concern if the soil is consistently damp.

Underwatering can also damage your succulents, just like overwatering can. To maintain the moisture level at the proper level for your plant, do some research on its water requirements and create a watering schedule.

How does a succulent look as it ages?

The leaves on your succulent may appear yellow, translucent, or wet. Your succulent is starting to die as a result of overwatering. A more serious condition is indicated by leaves that are brown or black and appear to be rotting. Therefore, you must begin saving your withering succulents!

Do succulents require sunlight?

Depending on the type, succulents need six hours of sunlight each day because they are light-loving plants. You might need to gradually expose newly planted succulents to full sun exposure or give shade with a translucent screen because they can burn in direct sunshine.

What does a succulent look like when it is overwatered?

How can you tell if your succulent is getting too much water? You can usually determine if a succulent is being overwatered or underwatered by looking for telltale indications. A plant that has received too much water will have soft, mushy leaves.

The leaves would either turn translucent in color or appear lighter than they would on a healthy plant. A succulent that had received too much water would frequently lose leaves readily, even when only lightly handled. Usually, the lowest leaves are the ones to suffer first.

The plant will look to be unhealthy overall. When this occurs, the plant is either being overwatered, sitting in the incorrect soil that does not dry out quickly enough, or both.

Your plants are being overwatered if you have been giving them regular waterings or if you have been following a watering schedule regardless of how the plant appears.

On the other hand, a succulent that has been submerged will have withered, wrinkled, and deflated-looking leaves. The leaves will appear thin and flat. The entire plant will appear withered and dry.

The leaves of a good succulent plant should be thick and solid, not mushy or desiccated.

To learn more about this subject, visit my post titled “How To Tell If Your Succulent is Over or Under Watered,” in which I go into great length about how you may determine whether your succulent plant is being over or under watered.

This String of Pearls ‘Senecio Rowleyanus’ plant leaf is one that has been overwatered. If a succulent’s water storage capacity has been exceeded, it may physically burst from overwatering.

How are succulents maintained indoors?

Succulents may not need much attention, but they do need a few essentials to survive:

  • 1. Provide plenty sunlight. Succulents require adequate light—at least six hours each day of direct sunlight. Maintaining succulents outside can be quite simple. However, if you have a succulent indoors, you must keep it in direct sunlight near a window. A plant that is slanting toward the light is not receiving enough sunlight, yet a plant with burnt areas on its leaves is receiving too much direct sunshine.
  • 2. Use proper water. Depending on the season, succulents might have different water needs. Succulents should be irrigated if their soil dries completely during the growing season, but excess water should be avoided. When a succulent’s roots have time to dry out in between waterings, its lifespan is increased. In the chilly winter months, succulent plants go dormant and require less water. Only water your succulent as often as necessary because overwatering the soil is one of the main reasons of most development problems.
  • 3. Use the proper soil and pot combination. The appropriate container and potting soil can make all the difference, whether you’re growing your own succulents or purchasing one from a nursery. Your succulent planter needs to include a drainage hole if it is going to be an outdoor succulent. Proper drainage allows moisture to escape, allowing the soil and root systems to dry and prevent rot. Use well-draining soil instead of standard dirt if you have an indoor succulent. It is coarser than regular soil, enabling more air to pass through and encouraging evaporation rather than requiring to be drained. To increase aeration, perlite and pumice can be added to some potting mixtures.
  • 4.Remember to fertilize. The periodic fertilizing is beneficial for even low maintenance desert plants. To give your succulents a boost, use a diluted, water-soluble all-purpose fertilizer a couple times a year. Although it’s not entirely required, if you notice that your soil needs some help, add a little fertilizer.
  • 5. Examine your plant life. Pest hazards are more likely to affect a succulent indoors than outside. Make sure your plants are periodically checked for gnats or mealy pests. These insects are a sign that your plants are receiving too much water or fertilizer. Mealy bugs can lay hundreds of eggs and consume the plant juices that serve as their host, gradually harming your plant. Rubbish alcohol can be sprayed on your succulent’s leaves or soil to effectively kill mealy bugs and their eggs. Check the leaves and soil of the succulent before bringing it home from the nursery to make sure no bugs are present.

What’s causing my succulents to wilt?

Sunburn or sun damage is the most frequent cause of brown leaves on succulent plants. When you observe brown spots on your plants’ leaves after moving them to a bright place or after a heatwave or other period of extreme heat, these patches are the equivalent of sunburn.

Brown spots from sunburn do not actually injure the plant, but they do leave a permanent mark on the leaves, which is unsightly but not harmful. The leaves will ultimately fall off as new growth appears, but these spots won’t fade away. More sensitive to sunlight than mature plants are little baby plants or newly produced plants.

If you notice that the plant is getting burnt, move it to a more shaded area or give it some shade. If you intend to leave your plant in a position that receives direct sunlight all day, acclimate it to the heat by gradually increasing its sun exposure. Remember that during a severe heatwave, even a mature plant that has become accustomed to full sun might still get burnt.

When a severe heatwave is predicted, move the plant or offer shade to avoid this from happening. Never leave young plants, plants without roots, or leaves that you are propagating outside in the direct light. Always give protection from the sun to prevent them from becoming completely cooked.

While solar damage is the most frequent cause of dark leaves on succulent plants, there are generally additional factors at play. While the majority of them may be resolved quickly and easily, some are trickier to resolve than others.

Succulents can they cure themselves?

Again, just like people, plants are vulnerable to damage. Bites from insects and animals as well as stress like being dropped can cause physical harm to plants. This is an issue I regrettably know all too well because last fall I had the sad experience of having several squirrels feast on and topple several of my plants.

You can try your best to avoid physical damage to your plants, but there is no way to ensure that it won’t happen. Although it may seem like really basic advice, take care not to drop your plants when you move them. When choosing a site for your plants, maintain them on a robust base so that neither people nor animals may easily knock them over. Finally, to prevent squirrels and other animals from eating your succulents if you keep your plants outside, think about placing netting or wiring. You can use deterrents like coyote urine and wobbly stuff to stop backyard wildlife from asking about your plants.

Your succulents won’t ever entirely recover from physical trauma. Where the trauma happened, they will typically start to callus, but they could also start to decay. Plants that have developed calluses will eventually recover and become healthy again, but they won’t be as attractive as they could be. Cutting out the rotting areas and either replanting them or attempting to start over from a cutting are the two options you have if you notice symptoms of rot.

If a plant in the store exhibits these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily indicate that it is sick; rather, it just means that it was harmed throughout the process of getting from the producer to the retailer.