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.
How do I handle shriveling succulents?
Follow these measures if the leaves of your succulent are shriveling, becoming brown, or even taking on a translucent look.
- Restrict the irrigation. The most crucial element is to cut back on watering so that the soil can dry out. Determine when the soil in your succulent plants dries out. To do this, check to see if you can feel any moisture in the soil through the drainage hole. Wait a few days until the soil is completely dry before watering if it is still slightly moist. This might assist you in creating a trustworthy watering schedule to prevent overwatering.
- Change the dirt. In order to prevent overwatering and shriveled leaves, replace any soil that is sluggish to drain with a particular succulent and cactus soil. This soil helps water to drain away from the roots more effectively.
- The succulent should be repotted with drainage holes in the base to ensure appropriate drainage. Some succulents are sold in attractive pots without drainage holes, which prevents water from evaporating and results in an overabundance of moisture near the roots.
- If you can, move your succulent to a room with less humidity. When succulents are kept in bathrooms, they frequently experience water stress. Attempt to place your succulent in a space without artificial humidity. An open window’s breeze may be helpful.
Following each of these guidelines will allow the succulent to have a watering cycle that meets their needs and let the leaves to recover from their shriveled state to a firm, green one.
However, if your succulent’s leaves do not improve after two weeks and begin to change color, you should remove any parts that are becoming black and attempt to replicate the succulent from cuttings and any healthy parts of the plant that are still there.
Succulents naturally reproduce vegetatively through the development of roots in their leaves, making their propagation quite simple. Cutting-based propagation also has a very high percentage of success. To learn how to effortlessly save your succulents, watch this YouTube video:
- Succulent leaves shrink because they do not get enough water or because the soil surrounding the roots is overly wet. The first indication that a succulent needs more water is shriveling leaves. Succulent leaves that have received too much water wilt, turn yellow, and become mushy.
- To prevent withered leaves from underwatering, succulents should receive a good soak-watering once every one to two weeks. Succulents need a soil that drains properly.
- To prevent succulents from shriveling from overwatering, let them dry out between watering sessions and place them in a pot with drainage holes at the base.
- Succulents that have become shriveled and under-watered can be easily rejuvenated by increasing watering frequency, watering more liberally, and switching the potting mix. Succulents that have been overwatered need to dry off before being watered once again.
Why are the leaves on my succulents wrinkling?
Most likely, if you recently bought a succulent, you did so with the idea that it would be simple to maintain. It can be beginning to look a little dejected or simply be developing more slowly than you had intended. I’ve undoubtedly killed my fair number of plants and succulents in my inexperience as a succulent grower. But I’ve progressively come to understand what it takes to maintain these challenging plants. Make use of these 6 suggestions to grow lovely succulents!
Water carefully, first.
Overwatering is the simplest way to kill a succulent. Due of their drought tolerance, succulents can survive without routine irrigation. Only every other week or once a month do they require water. Before watering the soil once more, make sure it is fully dry. Some of my succulents haven’t had water in nearly two months, yet they’re still flourishing!
There are a few warning indications that your plant needs more water. The succulent’s leaves will start to wrinkle and the soil will have entirely dried out, especially around the bottom of the plant. This indicates that the plant is dehydrated and is replenishing itself with the water in its leaves. If you water sparingly, the wrinkling should go away in about a day.
Sadly, overwatering is much more difficult to correct than underwatering. The apparent warning signals are that your succulent has received a little too much water: if the lower leaves are yellowing, mushy, or easily falling off the plant. Additionally, it is too late to salvage your plant if the stem is becoming black. Few alternatives COULD rescue your succulent if it is only dropping leaves. Allow the soil to totally dry before giving it further time before watering. Remove the succulent from the soil and any dirt adhering to the roots if you have already done this and the plant is still shedding leaves. Before repotting the succulent in fresh soil, let it sit in the sun for a day or two. This will let any moisture that was trapped in the soil to evaporate and dry out the roots. Don’t water for a week or more after planting in new soil. Delaying watering until your succulent stops dropping leaves or the leaves start to show signs of being under-watered is a wise precaution.
2. Employ the proper soil
Since succulents like little to no water, their soil plays a significant role in how happy they are. In order to assist them absorb any extra water, succulents require a certain type of well-draining soil that contains big particles (such as perlite or crushed rock). It’s simple to locate specialist soil for cacti and succulents at any gardening store. You might need to replace your succulent if it doesn’t look as well as it used to or if the soil never seems to dry out.
3. Pick the appropriate pot.
Although a succulent won’t reject the pot you put it in, some types do make them grow better. Terra-cotta pots aid in soil drying out and water absorption. They are not necessary, though! Any pot will suffice as long as everything else is in order! It is ESSENTIAL to use a pot with drainage holes. Without drainage, a pot will retain too much water, which will likely cause your succulent to rot.
4. The Sun
Succulents adore the light! They will grow more quickly if you place them on a sunny windowsill, which will also assist the soil to dry out in between waterings. While some succulents can tolerate bright sunshine all day, others will burn if exposed to it. That is correct! If your succulent is not used to receiving direct sun all day, they could burn. Given that early light is far less powerful than afternoon sun, many of the more delicate succulent species can survive just a few hours of morning light. Just gradually adapt them to more light to prevent sunburn!
An all-day sun-exposure succulent may be seen in the top image. The SAME succulent is shown in the bottom shot one month after being placed in a window with a north orientation. Although it is still expanding, the lack of direct sunshine has caused it to lose some of its brilliance.
5. Accept the outcome
Succulent maintenance can be debatably very difficult. If they pass away, don’t let it bother you. Due to careless mistakes, I have lost a ton of succulents. It occurs. Each one will increase your knowledge!
6. Avoid discarding discarded leaves.
Did one of your succulent’s seemingly healthy leaves fall off? Don’t discard it! Succulents are experts at self-propagation and can grow a brand-new plant from a single piece of dead foliage. Allow the leaf to callus over the area where it was linked to the main plant for a few days. When the soil is dry, place it on top of a layer of dirt and spritz it with water. I typically water mine every two or three days. White or hot pink roots and possibly a little leaf will start to emerge. You’ll have a scaled-down version of the original in a few months!
This blog post could easily go on for several pages, but I’ve kept it short and sweet by focusing on only the essentials of caring for succulents. Each plant is unique and could respond in a different way. I’m hoping these pointers will help you become a skilled succulent carer!
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 can a succulent plant appear to be under-watered?
Most succulents retain water in their fleshy leaves and stems rather than having a complicated root system that aids other plants in finding water. This enables succulents to endure in habitats with limited water resources.
Like water balloons, succulent leaves and stems can only absorb so much liquid until each cell gets completely hydrated. Overwatering, or overfilling, causes these balloons to burst and severely damage their cell structures, resulting in rotting leaves and roots. The leaves would begin to seem translucent, become yellow, feel wet to the touch, and simply fall off. Black patches will also appear on the stem or leaves. The hue of the core would become much lighter on Echeverias, one of the most delicate succulents. While it is possible to prevent a succulent from decomposing, the best course of action is to use healthy leaves and cuttings to grow new plants. You can look at our instructions on how to reproduce succulents from cuttings in several ways.
What do withered leaves indicate?
Although there is typically some other outwardly evident indication before there is complete wilting, nutrient shortages can disfigure leaves and flowers. The common symptoms of a nutritional deficiency are yellow, stunted leaves and thin, sickly-looking growth. On the other hand, over use of undiluted fertilizers or excessive feeding might result in leaf burn. Fertilizer burn is typically identified by brown, crispy edges or a generally withered appearance. Plants might lose their blooms and their buds. If you think you may have burned something, water extensively and for a long time to dilute salts from harmful fertilizers.
How much sunlight are required for succulents?
1. Ensure that your succulents receive adequate light. 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.
How can you tell whether a succulent is well-watered or not?
Okay, so we’ve talked a lot about succulents that are dry, but what about those that have received too much water? Well, if you recall, overwatering essentially causes those particular balloon-like cells to overfill and burst, leading to damaged cell structures and rotting leaves and roots.
Discoloration and a change in the shape of the leaves are the first indications of overwatering to look out for. The leaves will turn transparent, floppy, and squishy, and unlike those that have been under-watered, they won’t be retrieved by the plant. It won’t be simple for succulents to recover from this state, but they can. Taking leaves and cuttings to root and grow new plants is an alternative to rescuing the overwatered succulent.
How frequently should succulents be watered indoors?
Indoor succulent plants probably need to be watered once a week. They require ample time for the soil to dry out in between waterings so that the water may be stored in the leaves. Use the following methods and advice while watering succulent plants inside.
- Use an irrigation system with a little pour spout.
- Fill the succulent plant’s center with water until it is completely submerged.
- Allow water to completely drain out of the pot through the perforations. Make careful to empty any water that seeps through the soil if there is a saucer underneath the plant.
- Since there won’t be enough heat and fresh airflow for the leaves to dry when planted indoors, avoid soaking the leaves to prevent rot from the top down.
- Dry the soil completely in between waterings.