Overwatering and poorly draining soils are the main causes of succulent deaths. Succulents need the soil to dry out between waterings because they are drought-tolerant plants. Succulents get root rot in wet soil, which turns their leaves brown, black, or yellow and gives them a withering appearance.
While overwatering is the most frequent cause of dying succulents, there are several other potential causes as well:
Succulent plants typically die back when they are kept in environments that are drastically different from their native habitat.
Replicating some of the minimal rainfall, full or partial sun exposure, and stony, well-draining soil conditions will help revive dying succulents.
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.
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 frequently should I water my cacti?
During the months that are not winter, when the temperature is above 40 degrees, you should water your succulents every other week. You should only water your succulent once a month in the winter (when the temperature falls below 40 degrees), as it goes dormant at this period.
A few situations constitute an exception to this rule. Because their tiny leaves can’t hold as much water as other varieties with larger leaves, some varieties of succulents need to be watered more frequently. In the non-winter months, feel free to give these small leaf succulents a water if they appear to be thirsty. When they are thirsty, succulents generally exhibit a wrinkled appearance. But always keep in mind that being underwater is preferable to being overwater.
Why are my succulents losing health and shriveling up?
Because they are either overwatered or underwatered, succulent leaves shrink. Between waterings, succulents require the soil to completely dry out. The stress makes the leaves shrivel, turn yellow, and become mushy if the soil is wet. Succulents that are underwatered shrink and turn brown.
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!
Can succulents endure direct sunlight?
Due to their drought tolerance and water-storing properties, which enable them to tolerate high heat and very harsh sun exposure, succulents have become well-known. This is true for the majority of succulent plants, however some cannot survive direct sunlight without protection, and if exposed to excessive heat, they may suffer sun damage.
The best 10 succulents and cacti that will thrive in full sun are listed below. Some of these plants can withstand full sun exposure better than others.
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.
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.
Is it possible to hydrate succulents with ice cubes?
One of the most enjoyable pastimes you can engage in is caring for plants. They will not only give you many advantages, but they are also aesthetically beautiful. Simply ensure that you are aware of how to care for them.
Be mindful of the risks if you decide to attempt watering succulents with ice cubes. It’s conceivable that your plants will be harmed or killed if you subject them to such jarring temperature variations.
Any plant won’t like having its watered with ice cubes, succulent or not. To avoid stressing them out, it is preferable to use room temperature water. Additionally, you should plant plants in containers that encourage proper water drainage as well as good air circulation.
If my succulent lacks water, how can I tell?
There is a ton of information on the internet regarding watering succulents, specifically about overwatering them. You already know that overwatering is one of the seven deadly sins of succulents and will almost certainly result in your succulent being less than perfect. However, succulents do require watering, so how can you tell when it is necessary to water them or if you are just going to let them wither away in a pool of water?
A succulent with enough watering would have thick, sturdy leaves. There should not be much give when you squeeze them between your fingers. They probably require watering if they are soft. Wrinkled leaves are another telltale clue; when plants are thirsty, they pucker and wrinkle their leaves.
“Only water when the earth is fully dry,” is a common phrase. This is true, but sometimes it can be challenging to detect when the soil is dry if your plant occupies most of the pot or if you have a topdressing. Keep in mind that you want to ensure that the soil is dry throughout the entire pot, not just on the top.
Picking up the pot is my tried-and-true, highly scientific method of determining whether my plants require water. Learn about your plants; eventually, you’ll be able to discern if the soil is dry or not by the weight of the pot. It goes without saying that a pot with dry soil will weigh far less than a container with moist dirt. Therefore, pick up your pots after watering them and feel their weight. Then, pick them up once they are dry and feel their weight once more. After some practice, it will come naturally to you to know when your plant needs to be watered.
Another simple approach is to poke a wooden skewer into the ground; if it emerges clean and dry, your soil is probably dry and your succulent needs watering. Your succulent will be alright for the time being even if it comes out dusty and moist.
Water meters are available in garden centers and on Amazon if you wish to use a real scientific method. These ought to make it clear to you if your plant requires watering or not.
Always keep in mind that succulents require a full soak; water them until the drainage pores are completely filled. Not even a spritz will do.
You now know how to determine whether your succulent needs watering. Do you have a favorite way to determine whether your plants need water? If you do, please tell me about it! You can leave a comment below, or you can find me uploading photos of my plants on several social media platforms; the links are on the sidebar.