Why Are My Succulent Leaves Drying Up

Because most succulent species are not particularly cold hardy and most die if they experience temperatures below 50F (10C) for an extended period of time, most succulent are susceptible to frost damage. Succulents are adapted to living in hot and dry climates (Jade plants are native to Africa, and aloe vera plants are native to the Arabian peninsula).

The ideal temperature range for succulent growth is roughly 55F-80F (13C-27C), making them considerably better house plants.

When succulents are exposed to cold or even frost, the liquid that is contained inside the leaves freezes, causing the leaves and stems to turn brown or black and mushy.

Move your succulent to a room or part of your yard where the temperature is between 55F and 80F (13C and 27C). Make sure the leaves are not in direct touch with any windows, as these areas of the house can get much colder than the rest of the house. Reduce watering for the time being.

The harm from cold shouldn’t necessarily get worse in the short term once the succulent is in a more stable environment.

Wait until the mushy, cold-damaged portion of the succulent dries up and develops a callus if the leaves of the succulent feel gooey.

Cut the leaf back to below the damaged section once the mushy portion has dried out. Cold-damaged succulent areas normally do not recover, but if the damage is not too severe, the succulent plant can be preserved as a whole.

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.

After being damaged by cold, succulents can ultimately produce new leaves and begin to regain their natural appearance, however it frequently takes a lot of patience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Overwatering and wet soil are the causes of succulent plants dying. The soil must completely dry up before watering succulents again because they are drought-tolerant plants. Succulent leaves rot from the roots when they are placed in moist soil.
  • Succulent leaves shrink and wilt owing to drought stress, overwatering, insufficient watering frequency, or soil that has baked hard and repels water from the surface. Succulents’ leaves are water reservoirs, and when the roots do not have access to enough moisture, the leaves wilt.
  • Transplant shock or wet soils are the causes of succulents dying after repotting. A sudden difference in the amount of light, soil, and moisture causes succulents to wither. Repotted succulents may not be able to survive the new soil’s excessive moisture retention, which will cause the leaves to turn yellow, brown, or black.
  • Because they are submerged or don’t receive enough sunshine, succulent leaves wither at the bottom. Succulents and succulents that are drought-stressed When a succulent receives excessive shadow, it diverts its energy toward protecting the top leaves, which causes the lower leaves to wither and fall off near the base of the plant.
  • Due to freezing temperatures and frost, the majority of succulents lose their leaves and die back. Succulents typically prefer temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (13C-27C). The moisture stores in the succulent plants’ leaves are harmed by freezing temperatures, which causes the plant to turn black and die.

How should one respond to dried-out succulent leaves?

First and foremost, remember that losing leaves are a normal part of every plant’s life, including succulents. It’s not always the case that this indicates your succulent is dying or that you’re doing something incorrectly.

Your succulent is probably still healthy even if its lower leaves have dried out, but you might need to water it a little more frequently.

While the older leaves on your plant wither away as it grows, new leaves are produced. There is therefore no cause for concern if you just notice a few dry, crispy leaves at the bottom of the plant. This is entirely typical.

On the other hand, if the majority of the leaves on your succulents are drying up, that is a clue that it needs to be watered a little more frequently.

Simply pluck the dried leaves from the plant’s base and discard them if they begin to look unattractive. Keep your plant in its container when you remove the leaves to prevent disturbing the roots.

Only remove leaves that are completely dead or that fall off readily. To better illustrate what dead leaves on a healthy plant look like, I took the plant out of the pot and placed it here.

Why are the leaves on my succulent shriveling up?

Water is stored in the stems, tissues, and leaves of succulents. These plants are able to resist prolonged droughts or extremely dry, arid circumstances because they have evolved to be highly adaptable to very dry growing conditions. But this does not negate their need for water.

Succulents actually enjoy a good sip of water. When they run out of water, they will exhibit symptoms that indicate they need more.

Here’s what to look for to know that your succulent is underwatered:

  • wilted leaves As the amount of water in a plant’s reservoir continues to diminish, the plant’s leaves will begin to wrinkle and shrivel. The more severe the water shortage, the more wilted and droopy the plant will appear.
  • brown, lifeless, and dried-up leaves
  • From the plant’s base, you will see a lot of dead, dried-up leaves. The lower leaves begin to dry out first as the plant begins to lose its ability to store water. In an effort to preserve water and energy for survival, certain plants will also begin to discard their dried leaves.
  • The leaves are supple and flat.
  • The leaves are soft and flat to the touch. The hardness and plumpness of the leaves will deteriorate. A succulent that has been submerged will feel as though its leaves have deflated.

Leaves falling off

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 issues

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.

Watering Issues

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 √©tiolation.

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.

Stunted Growth

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 fertilizing the plant are two ways to add nutrients. Use a fertilizer combination made especially for cacti and succulents or a well-balanced fertilizer made for houseplants.