What Does Root Rot Look Like In Succulents

Yellow, shriveled, and limp leaves are a warning sign that

Root rot can be a problem for roots that are in thick soil and have poor drainage. Container

What does the stem of a decaying succulent resemble?

The leaves of a rotting succulent will be dark from the bottom up. The stems would seem mushy and possibly black or brown. These are indications that overwatering has caused the plant to rot from the roots up. If the plant is left to rot on its own, it will eventually dissolve and turn into a mushy mess, leaving you with nothing but a rotting mess.

Overwatered Sedum burrito (burro’s tail or donkey’s tail) plant with rotting leaves

This succulent planter can’t be rescued, regrettably. Overwatering caused it to decay and turn to mush. (My mum absolutely adored this Mother’s Day gift that I gave her.)

What do robust succulent roots resemble?

Since the plants are all in pots and the roots are clearly visible, it is simple to spot healthy roots in the store. Place the plant on its side, hold the stem between two fingers just above the soil, and carefully slip it out of the pot.

How do strong roots appear? Healthy roots should be long enough to keep the soil in the shape of the pot, white or tan in color, succulent, and abundant. If there are any visible root tips, they should be white.

The plant is unhealthy if the roots are dark and brittle. AVOID BUYING IT. The plant is still healthy but not yet ready for transplant if the roots are very small and don’t hold the form of the soil.

If you can keep it in the pot for a while, only purchase it. The plant is root bound if the roots are round the pot in a way that leaves little area for soil. It will probably be okay if you buy it and transplant it, but it will take some time for it to acclimate and start growing nicely.

How can root rot be distinguished?

Root rot is frequently difficult to identify until significant harm has been done. Slow growth, squishy stems, and wilting, yellow, deformed leaves are indications of root rot (especially when the plant has been well watered, as wilting leaves can also be a sign of a dry plant). Typically, the soil will smell foul and the roots will be reddish brown in color.

The best course of action is to remove and replace the plant if root rot symptoms have been found. The plant frequently can’t change its direction.

How do succulent roots appear?

Succulents are tough, so even if their leaves, stems, or roots sustain minor injury, they’ll keep growing and flourishing.


Succulent roots that are healthy always have veins, are white or light in color, and are long enough to hold the dirt in the shape of your pot. In addition to looking moist, healthy roots taper in thickness away from the rootball. Don’t transfer your succulent if its roots can’t exactly retain the majority of the soil in the pot; instead, wait until it has expanded a little more before repotting.

Let your succulent grow a little bit more before repotting if its roots can’t quite hold the majority of the soil in the pot.

A succulent with root rot may still be saved.

Beheading your succulent might be able to salvage it if the rot has affected the entire plant, including the roots, stems, and leaves. Similar to propagation, which can save a portion of your plant, beheading can also do so. Most seasoned gardeners advise beheading in the most dire circumstances.

It is crucial to note that succulents with rotting stems may have a lower probability of surviving at this point. Still, if you want to save this drought-tolerant green, reproducing from healthy cuttings may be your only option. Cut the stems 2-inches above the rotting area, then plant them in soil to do this. For a day or two, don’t water it; it’s likely that these cuttings will regenerate into a healthy, happy succulent.

What does a succulent look like when it is overwatered?

The appearance of the leaves is the best indicator of whether your succulent is being overwatered or overwatered. While an overwatered plant will have mushy, nearly translucent leaves, an underwatered plant will have wrinkly, shriveled up foliage.

These are the plainly visible warning signals that your succulent is being overwatered or underwatered. However, the signs are frequently difficult to read. A succulent that has been submerged in water may act similarly to a plant that has been overwatered.

And here is the part where most folks are perplexed. Other indicators can help you determine whether you are indeed overwatering or underwatering your plants.

What does a succulent that isn’t healthy look like?

On its leaves, a sick succulent will display the following indicators: leaves that are turning brown, orange, or yellow. leaves with dead leaf patches along the border. perforations in the leaves.

Is my succulent infected with fungus?

Succulents are without a doubt among the easiest plants to care for. They are the perfect plant to take care of, especially if you’re a busy office worker who is constantly on the go because they can thrive in neglect and come in many forms, colors, and sizes.

Succulents can, however, experience issues much like any other houseplants, particularly if their growing environment changes. Nothing is more aggravating and bothersome than fungus problems.

They are without a doubt the worst. They have the ability to appear out of nowhere while also swiftly destroying your succulent plants!

But don’t worry! Everything you need to know, including how to identify and treat them, will be covered in this article.

Particle Mildew

One of the fungi that is the simplest to recognize is powdery mildew. It has symptoms that are highly unusual and tends to grow superficially, or epiphytically, on plant surfaces.

A succulent with powdery mildew infection may likely appear to have been covered in a traditional white or grayish powdery coating. On the leaves and stems, it typically starts as round, powdery white patches. And as the infection worsens, the spots will eventually turn black and turn yellow-brown. Before the plant really wilts and dies, it will also start to have twisted and deformed leaves.

A mild case of Powdery Mildew could disappear by itself. But if you’re curious, copper is a really powerful fungicide for this particular type of fungus. Just be sure to carefully read the label recommendations because too much copper will be bad for the soil and the plant.

A gallon of water can be combined with one tablespoon of baking soda and one-half teaspoon of liquid, non-detergent soap. This combination can then be sprayed liberally on the damaged leaves.


– Be sure to water your plant thoroughly before applying, and avoid doing so during the day.

– Sunburn can be brought on by baking soda. To avoid issues, it’s preferable to try 1 or 2 leaves initially.

Black mold, commonly referred to as sooty mold,

The fungal that causes the least harm to succulents is sooty or black mold. This fungus typically indicates that a sap-sucking insect, such as mealybugs, aphids, whiteflies, or scale, has invaded the plant. It will manifest as black or dark brown, superficial fungal growth on the aerial sections of plants, especially the upper leaf surfaces.

Spray a mixture of horticultural oil or neem oil on your plant’s afflicted leaves in the early evening. Neem oil is less harmful and works well as a fungicide to eliminate sooty mold from plants, especially those that are heavily afflicted.

How do you tell if the roots of a succulent are dead?

1) Examining the Sources Take the succulent out of the pot, shake off the soil, and examine the roots’ color. Either white or yellow roots are indicators of health. Root rot is present if the roots are either dark brown or black and feel slimy and damp to the touch.

Can root rot heal on its own?

Wet conditions in the plant’s soil provide toxic fungi the chance to flourish, which results in the disease known as root rot. Because roots require air to function properly and prolonged immersion in water deprives them of oxygen, the roots decay. Since it’s more difficult to regulate moisture and water might become confined, houseplants in pots are more likely to develop root rot than their planted counterparts. While other causes can also contribute to root rot, overwatering is the main cause of root rot issues. So, we’ll focus on the precise method for treating root rot brought on by excessive moisture.

Root Rot Diagnosis:

You must first confirm that the roots of your plant are indeed rotting. Navigating the best remedy for your plant will be made easier by immediately removing any further potential problems. If you want to determine if your issue is genuinely indoor plant root rot, start by observing any obvious symptoms, such as:

Remember that it’s normal for older leaves to change color and fall, so pay greater attention to those younger ones. If you observe browning, yellowing, or dead leaves, it may be a sign that the roots are also dying. Wet soil and wilting foliage are two telltale signs of root rot.

Look at the saucer of the pot; if water is still there, too much water was supplied at some time, soaking the soil and roots of your plant. Standing water should never be present because it might create waterlogging of the soil and its roots.

Assess the roots at the bottom, which will have received the most water exposure, after slipping the plant out of the pot. Check the roots to see whether they are dark brown in color, squishy or spongy, or even covered in fuzzy moldy debris. These are all warning indications of rot. All of these are symptoms of weakened roots.

Root Rot Rx:

Firm roots and light colour are characteristics of healthy plants that are not rotting (usually either beige, green, or tan). The soil must be adequately moistened and the leaves must be in good condition. Once you’ve determined that your houseplant’s problem is actually root rot, it’s time to create a treatment strategy. Priorities first

1. Let the dirt dry out.

Allow the soil to air out if you’ve recently seen some standing water or a change in leaf color and are unsure whether it’s root rot yet. Allow the soil around the plant to dry out for 3-5 days. For plants that aren’t yet damaged, this technique occasionally works. Drying the soil is beneficial since plant roots require oxygen to function properly. However, if the roots of your plant are severely decomposing, go to the instructions below right away because it’s probably too late to dry the soil.

2. Get rid of all the browned leaves.

Attempting to remove any dead leaves is the first step in this process. As close to the plant’s root as you can, make sure to remove them from it.

3. Get rid of old soil.

The next step will be to repot. To do this, you must first dig the plant out of its present soil. As you take the plant out of the pot, carefully scoop out as much soil as you can. Brush off wet or clumpy soil being careful not to overly damage the root system.

4. Remove rotting and dead roots.

Trimming off rotten roots will be done carefully while the plant is still in its pot. Attempt to preserve as much as you can by removing dead roots and preserving good ones.

5. Replant in fresh soil.

Repot your plant next using sterile potting soil (one that is appropriate with your specific plant). Fresh soil will help ensure that any bacteria or fungi that may have developed have been largely eliminated. Additionally, it will provide nutrients that may have been lacking in the previous soil and aid in the plant’s recovery.

Remember that the plant is probably already susceptible and under stress from the root rot. And depending on how severe the damage is, repotting could make your plant much more stressed or even kill it. But given that the plant is already declining, it’s definitely worth a chance. Also, it’s actually your only opportunity. Allowing the root rot to continue in its current condition of decomposition will eventually kill the entire plant because root rot cannot be reversed and spreads swiftly.

Preventative Measures:

Always, prevention is the best course of action. So make an effort to develop a watering schedule that works for the particular indoor plant you have. Simple procedures like these can help prevent root rot in the future.

  • Use pots that have a drainage hole.
  • Use appropriate soil, and periodically check to make sure the water is draining properly.
  • The plant roots must have access to some air, as was previously said, in order to survive. The plant will be able to absorb oxygen and avoid probable root rot if the soil is allowed to somewhat dry out (only the top layer). The finger test—in which you wiggle your finger a few inches deep into the soil to gauge the moisture level—works well for determining whether to water many tropical houseplants. Its presence indicates that the soil’s bottom is noticeably moist. Therefore, you won’t water again until the top layer is mostly dried.
  • Again, don’t let extra water build up and remain in the bottom dish of the pot.
  • Depending on the season, you’ll also need to change how much water your plant receives. Plants typically require less water during the colder, drier months.
  • Keep an eye on your plant. Knowing when the plant needs less or more will help you stay in the moment.

Since root rot affects the part of the plant that cannot be seen, it is frequently not discovered until major harm has already been done. Your houseplant may be saved if you swiftly follow the survival instructions. However, if your plant simply won’t survive, we strongly advise taking some cuttings to reproduce it. In this manner, some of the plant survives and everything is not lost!