Why Are My Succulents Turning Black

Succulents with black foliage frequently indicate overwatering. If the leaves are becoming black, the succulent is drowning in water and is decomposing from the root up. The leaves typically feel mushy and spongy as well.

It can also mean that the plant is in the incorrect potting soil. To avoid root rot, succulents require soil that drains efficiently.

Your plant may suffer if it is in the incorrect potting soil and receives excessive watering. If this occurs, you need to act quickly to rescue your plant.

Remove the dead plant from the ground as a solution. Most of the time, the plant is still salvageable. Examine the plant and remove as much of the mushy, dark sections as you can.

The top of the plant can generally be saved because the bottom and center rot first. Cut off all the rotting sections of the plant and save any part that is still clearly green and alive. Allow the cuttings to dry for a few days before replanting them in an appropriate, well-draining potting mix.

Within a few weeks, the plant will take root, giving you access to a new, healthy plant. It’s okay sometimes to just be able to save a few healthy leaves. I’ve done this with a dying plant, and I ended up with a few new plants made entirely from the dying plant’s leaves. Just place the leaves on the ground and wait for them to take root and sprout new plants.

How can blackening of succulents be prevented?

Sunburn, over watering, bugs, viruses, and fungi are the four main underlying causes of black leaves in succulent plants.

If you’ve been cultivating succulents for a while, you may have run across this issue previously. Perhaps the most typical spots are black ones that appear on the leaves or even the stems.

You must take action as soon as you realize that your succulent’s leaves are turning black because this is not normal for your plant.

#1 Overwatering

Your succulents’ leaves turning black are typically an indication that they are decomposing from the roots up. This can occur when overwatered plants are allowed to sit in water for an extended period of time. If their leaves seem mushy or squishy, take a look at them to see if this is the case.

Succulents store extra water in their leaves, roots, and stems to help them weather the dry conditions of the desert where they are native. However, when there is too much water, the leaf tissues can no longer store it and swell and burst.

Black spots are a sort of fungus that has developed in the plant’s damaged tissues.

Take the plant out of the pot, then check the health of the roots. If so, remove all diseased leaves and stems before replanting succulents in dry soil.

Allow it to settle for a few days on fresh soil with good drainage without watering it. After two or three days, you can begin watering it, although less frequently than before.

Both the dead mother plant and the soil where it was grown need to be disposed of because they may both contain fungi that contributed to the plant’s decay.

How can black rot on succulents be treated?

After that, clean the container and fill it with new dirt. A drop of antibacterial dish soap should be added to a bowl of water. Carefully clean the succulent’s roots with brand-new cotton swabs. The roots could also be submerged in a weak anti-fungal solution. Before repotting, allow the roots to totally dry out. For two weeks, let the plant remain dry, and keep a constant eye on it.

Can a dead black succulent be revived?

Making sure your soil is entirely dry before rewatering is the greatest approach to prevent overwatering. As I’ve mentioned in several of my prior posts, most succulents can survive three days—and perhaps even a week—without water, so if in doubt, wait.

Start by reducing your watering schedule as soon as you see signs of overwatering on one of your plants. Additionally, you might want to use a pot with a drainage hole and convert to a better soil mix.

You’ll need to perform some minor surgery on your succulent if it has a black stem or patches. It’s lot simpler than it seems to do this! Simply remove the top of the plant, remove any dark spots, and then propagate it in fresh soil after giving the cutting three to five days to dry out.

You can see how I removed every portion of the stem that was moist or discolored on the cuts below.

It’s worth waiting to see even though it’s unlikely that the original plant will survive! Leave the bottom area alone and wait till the soil is completely dry before watering it (all the way to the bottom of the pot). If you’re lucky, the plant may recover from the excessive watering after a few days of drying out and may even start to delay new growth.

You don’t want to risk harming the other succulents if the decaying succulent was part of a succulent arrangement. I advise pulling the rotting succulent out of the ground in this situation.

Will a black succulent survive?

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 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!

What does succulent black rot look like?

Your plant has acquired infected roots if you unpot your succulents and see that the roots are dark brown or black. As a result, you must take action right away to address it or your plant may perish.

The stems and leaves will get paler and yellow if the rot gets to them. Your succulents’ leaves will deteriorate into mush over time. Overwatering is likely to be the cause of lower leaves turning pale. But if the upper leaves start to yellow, there may not be enough nutrients in the soil.

Do cacti require a lot of light?

Ensure That Your Succulents Receive Enough Lighting 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.

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. &nbsp

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.


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.

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.