Why are your succulents losing leaves? Issues with watering are the most frequent cause. If the leaves receive too much moisture, they may expand, turn mushy, and eventually fall off. Overwatering causes leaves to drop off, which are soggy and mushy, and the stem may look puffy.
Solution: Delay watering until the top inch of soil feels completely dry. Make sure the potting soil drains adequately and that the plant doesn’t sit in water for an excessive amount of time. Repot the plant and replace the soil with one that drains effectively if the wrong potting mix was used.
Before transplanting and providing fresh water after repotting, give the plant some time to recoup and mend. When watering, allow extra water to drip out of the pot’s openings. If the pot doesn’t already have drainage holes, think about drilling some or changing your watering methods to avoid overwatering.
Extreme heat can also cause leaves to fall off. Succulents adapt by shedding their leaves during periods of extreme heat or drought to help conserve energy and retain their water supply. Even though this is a typical natural reaction, there are things you can take to lessen stress in your plant.
In the event of a heatwave or drought, move the plant to a more shady position away from the direct, full sun. Additionally, the plant might require more frequent watering under these circumstances. When the top inch of the soil seems dry to the touch or as needed, increase irrigation.
Watering problems might cause the leaves to become yellow. Both overwatering and underwatering might result in yellowing of the leaves. Pay attention to additional developments involving your plant.
The plant is being overwatered if it receives plenty of water and its leaves are yellowing, mushy, and bloated. The likelihood of the plant being underwatered increases if the leaves are yellowing, shriveling, and wilting and you are aware that you have not watered the plant in a while.
Adjust watering methods as needed. Reduce your watering frequency and wait until the soil is completely dry between applications if you think the plant is being overwatered. Water the plant more thoroughly if it’s being neglected. The majority of succulents appreciate regular watering until extra liquid leaks from the pot’s perforations. Do not rewater until the earth has dried out.
Lack of nutrients
Insufficient nutrients can cause leaves to turn yellow. The majority of commercial succulent potting soil contains compost or fertilizer in addition to the soil. For a long time, the plants can survive on those nutrients.
These nutrients eventually need to be brought back in because of the frequent watering that flushes them out of the soil. Repotting the plant in new potting soil or feeding the plant are two ways to supply nutrients.
Solution: Fertilize the plant or repot it in a good, well-draining potting mix. Use a fertilizer combination made especially for cacti and succulents or a well-balanced fertilizer made for houseplants.
Because they are not heavy feeders, cacti and succulents don’t need a lot of fertilizer. Reduce the recommended fertilizer dosage to 50% from what is stated on the container. During the growing season, feeding once every two weeks should be plenty.
Underwatering is the primary cause of withered leaves. The plant probably needs water if the leaves start to look withered and shriveled, which usually happens to the upper leaves of the plant first. If you have been lightly watering your plant and you see that the leaves are beginning to shrink, you likely have an underwatering issue that is readily fixed.
Solution: Give the plant more frequent and thorough waterings. Succulents require extra water during the growing season and during heat waves. When watering, allow water to drain from the holes and wait until the soil is dry before watering again.
The leaves may also shrink as a result of overwatering. However, excessive watering can cause leaves to seem limp, weak, and fall off rather than wilt and shrivel. The stem may also seem swollen.
These are images of plants that had been overwatered and had lost the majority or all of their leaves. The leaves had mold and were mushy and rotten. Also squishy are the stems.
Solution: Water less frequently and be sure to let the soil dry out between applications if you suspect overwatering. Before rewatering, the top inch of the soil must feel dry. Repot the plant in a well-draining potting soil if it is in the incorrect potting mix.
Before transplanting and watering the plant once again after repotting, let it dry out for a few days to give the plant time to recuperate and mend from overwatering. To check for moisture in the soil and the air, you can use tools like hygrometers and moisture meters. Please visit my resource page to see my suggested product list.
Brown Leaves or Dark Spots on Leaves
Sunburn or sun damage is the most frequent cause of brown or black blotches on the foliage of your succulents. The plant may experience this if it is exposed to unfiltered full sun or if it has just been transferred to a sunny site without having had time to acclimate. During extremely high heat waves or droughts, even plants accustomed to full sun may have brown leaves.
Solution: Move the plant to a more shaded area or offer more shade while it’s hot outside. To gradually acclimate a plant and prevent sun damage, gradually increase the amount and intensity of sunlight it receives over time before bringing it outside or to a sunnier place. To prevent burning, avoid placing young plants or plants that have recently been propagated in direct sunlight. Please visit my resource page if you would want product recommendations for shade cloths and outside sun protection for succulents.
Dead Lower Leaves
As the plant grows and develops new leaves from its core, the lower leaves inevitably wither and die. Dead leaves either fall off on their own or are readily plucked off.
To prevent insects and bugs from hiding in the soil, remove any dead leaves off the plant or pick up any dead leaves that have fallen into the ground.
Stems Stretching Out
If the plant doesn’t get enough light, the stems will sag or the entire plant will begin to etiolate. A plant’s natural response to darkness is called étiolation.
The plant’s stem and overall shape are extending towards the direction of the light source. The stem may appear to be extending, and the spacing between the leaves may appear to be widening. When in this condition, the plant’s growth is prone to being stunted.
Solution: Move your plant to a more sunny area. The greatest sunshine will enter a room through a south or east facing window. If you’re transferring your plant to an area with more sunlight, do so gradually to prevent sun damage.
Avoid any abrupt alterations that could startle your plant. For instance, avoid transferring the plant from a low-light environment indoors to direct sunlight outdoors right quickly. Increase the plant’s exposure to sunshine gradually in both quantity and quality.
A grow light is an excellent choice to provide more light for those inside regions that are difficult to access if you are unable to supply more sunlight for your indoor succulents. If you move your plant to a new area, use a grow light, or make any other changes, pay attention to how it responds. Adapt and modify as necessary.
The above-mentioned irrigation problems might cause leaves to grow malformed. Either too little or too much water is being given to the plant. If there is too little, the leaves begin to shrivel. If the leaves receive too much moisture, they become limp and droopy and may even wrinkle.
Lack of nutrients in your plants is another typical explanation. The potting mix your plant is in may no longer have enough nutrients for your plants if it has been in the same pot for more than two years or more. The leaves may start to seem deformed and occasionally turn yellow or discolored if this is the case.
The majority of commercial succulent potting soil contains compost or fertilizer in addition to the soil. For a long time, the plants can survive on those nutrients. These nutrients eventually need to be brought back in because of the frequent watering that flushes them out of the soil.
Lack of nutrients is causing these plants to struggle. Their leaves are wilting and changing color.
Solution: If you think your plant’s misshaped leaves may be the result of hydration problems, try adjusting your watering methods and monitoring how your plant reacts. A thorough watering will frequently resolve the issue without taking too long if the plant is drowning and its leaves are withered. The degree of the damage determines how your plant will respond when water is withheld if it has been overwatered. If not, you might need to replace the soil your plant is sitting in or there might already be root rot. The plant might recover rapidly.
If the plant needs more nutrients and has deformed leaves, either fertilize it or repot it in a suitable, well-draining potting mix. Repotting the plant in new potting soil or feeding the plant are two ways to supply nutrients. Use a fertilizer combination made especially for cacti and succulents or a well-balanced fertilizer made for houseplants.
Lack of light might result in stunted growth. Without enough sunlight, plants deteriorate and can’t develop properly. The stems begin to sag, and there won’t be much new growth.
Solution: Move your plant to a more sunny area. The greatest sunshine will enter a room through a south or east facing window. If you’re transferring your plant to an area with more sunlight, do so gradually to prevent sun damage. Avoid any abrupt alterations that could startle your plant.
For instance, avoid transferring the plant from a low-light environment indoors to direct sunlight outdoors right quickly. Increase the plant’s exposure to sunshine gradually in both quantity and quality. When moving your plant, observe how it responds and make any necessary adjustments.
Stunted growth can also result from nutrient deficiency. It could be time to re-pot or add fertilizers if your plant has been in the same pot for more than two years. The majority of commercial succulent potting soil contains compost or fertilizer in addition to the soil.
For a long time, the plants can survive on those nutrients. These nutrients eventually need to be brought back in because of the frequent watering that flushes them out of the soil.
Solution: Fertilize the plant or re-pot it in an appropriate, well-draining potting soil. Repotting the plant in new potting soil or feeding the plant are two ways to supply nutrients. Use a fertilizer combination made especially for cacti and succulents or a well-balanced fertilizer made for houseplants.
How can a wilting succulent be revived?
In warmer climates, succulents can be grown either indoors or outdoors. Succulents are often low-maintenance plants that retain water in their leaves or stems. They can thrive both inside and outdoors in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 8 through 12, depending on the species. Succulents typically don’t need much extra care, but if the conditions aren’t right, the plant may start to develop yellow leaves.
In their substantial leaves and stalks, succulents store water. The majority of these plants are naturally green, while some have variegated leaves and sporadically have green blended with other hues. In order to stop the succulent from suffering significant harm, act right away if you see some of the leaves starting to turn yellow.
Checking the Soil
The most frequent reason for yellowing leaves on a succulent plant is overwatering. A plant’s ability to absorb water and nutrients from the soil might be hampered by perpetually damp soil, which can rot the roots. This stops the plant’s leaves and other above-ground components from producing energy through photosynthesis, which causes the plant’s green color to turn yellow. Untreated extremely moist conditions can result in leaves falling off of plants or the upper portions of succulents becoming soft and rotting, which can ultimately destroy the plant. If the soil of your plant seems wet to the touch, overwatering is probably to blame.
Correcting the Problem
If you stop watering a succulent until the soil dries up and then water it only when the top 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) of soil feels dry, the problem may go away if there are only a few yellow leaves on the plant. It may be required to replace the soil around a plant as it begins to drop leaves by taking it out of its container and gently shaking the soil away from the roots. Repot the plant in a commercial succulent-specific mix or create your own. Use an unglazed ceramic pot to repotte the plant in a container with a sizable drainage hole so that the soil may dry out rapidly. Make sure the replanted plant is not sitting in a saucer of water when watering it.
Checking for Other Problems
If overwatering is not the issue and your plant’s soil is a well-draining mixture designed for succulents, the lighting setup may be to blame. The majority of succulents can withstand a lot of light, however when grown in excessive light, such as full sun all day, a green succulent starts to take on a lighter bleached-out yellowish tint. This issue should be resolved by moving the plant to an area that receives direct light that is bright.
The yellowing of the leaves of a pest-infested succulent is a symptom of general suffering. The issue might be brought on, for instance, by mealybugs, which cover leaves in a cottony layer, or by spider mites, which are tiny insects that can leave yellow feeding marks on plants. These pests can be eliminated by spraying ready-to-use insecticidal soap on a plant.
Will the yellow succulent leaves eventually become green?
Yellow leaves are beautiful in the autumn on trees like gingko and quaking aspens. However, if you notice a large number of them on your fern, green-leafed pothos, or other indoor plants, it can be a concerning sight. However, it’s not always a terrible thing.
All year long, tropical plants maintain their leaves. But the life cycle of houseplant leaves exists (like all living things). Each leaf ages, gets yellow, and eventually dies. It’s not a problem if one or two leaves are yellow. However, if several leaves start to turn yellow, it’s time to intervene.
The most frequent causes of yellowing leaves are inconsistent watering (either too much or too little) or improper illumination (too much, too little). You must determine the cause of the issue in order to prevent other leaves from becoming yellow. Learn more about additional reasons why leaves could yellow.
Usually, when a leaf on a houseplant turns yellow, it is about to die. A leaf’s green tint is caused by chlorophyll. The plant abandons the leaf after it stops producing chlorophyll and starts utilizing any remaining nutrients in the leaf. Because of this, you usually can’t convert a leaf back to green once it turns yellow. (However, in instances of nutrient deficits, yellow leaf color occasionally becomes green again with therapy.)
There are numerous types of plants that naturally produce leaves with splashes and streaks of yellow. Variegation is what we refer to as when this occurs in healthy plants. When plants are exposed to more light, variegation may appear brighter.
Conclusion: It’s not necessary to panic if a few leaves turn yellow. The yellow leaf is like a warning light, therefore you should pay attention to it. It might be a normal shedding process or it might be an indication that something is wrong.