Your succulent plant may be a little anxious if its leaves are becoming red, orange, blue, or purple! Succulents respond to environmental stressors like high sunlight and heat by producing pigments termed anthocyanin and carotenoid.
Why are the colors on my succulent changing?
Stress often causes succulent plants to change their color. If you want that hue to pop, stress is entirely normal and encouraged. Water, sunlight, and temperature are the three factors that drive succulents to change their color.
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.
Let the Soil Dry Out Between Waterings
It is crucial to let the soil dry out in between watering succulent plants since they will perish if their roots are left in moist soil for an extended period of time.
You should only water succulents when the soil is dry because they require deep, infrequent watering.
Remove Succulent Flowers and Buds
If succulent blooms or buds are kept on succulent plants for an excessive amount of time, they will become red as they deplete the energy needed for survival.
In order for succulent plants to concentrate on taking care of themselves and remaining hydrated during hot seasons, you must remove any flowers or buds that they are generating.
Move Your Succulent Plants Inside at Night for a Few Weeks During Cold Seasons
When succulent leaves are subjected to cold temperatures, they will turn red, which may result in succulent death.
Succulents may start to turn red if the temperature falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit because the cells are stressed.
Succulent plants, on the other hand, will be able to consume less energy and retain more water if you move them indoors during the colder months, so they won’t need to become red.
Repot succulents in a Bigger Pot with Better Soil
Succulents need space to thrive because cramming too many of them into a pot prevents them from getting adequate water and nutrients from the soil.
It could be time to repot succulents in a larger pot with better soil if your succulents keep dying off.
Keep Succulents Warm During Cold Seasons and Cool During Hot Seasons
High temperatures can cause succulent cells to break down while losing their flexibility, which can cause succulent leaves and stems to start turning red.
Because heat hinders succulents from retaining water in their cells, if they are kept too hot, they will wither and die.
Stop Over-Fertilizing succulents
When succulent leaves are exposed to excessive fertilization, succulent plants will turn red.
Succulents that receive an excessive amount of fertilizer may experience cell breakdown, which results in thirsty plants that are unable to retain water in their cells.
Very little fertilizer is required for succulents to survive. Only fertilize succulent plants when they are actively growing.
Keep Succulents in Bright Indirect Sunlight
As a result of the succulent cells’ inability to withstand the high temperatures, succulents will become red if their leaves and stems are exposed to harsh, direct sunshine.
Succulent plants lose their suppleness when exposed to excessive sunlight, which increases their susceptibility to death.
For a few hours, succulents require intense indirect sunshine. Additionally, during hot days, all succulent plants need to be shielded from direct sunshine.
How are succulents kept healthy?
Some succulents may undergo changes or lose the vivid hues they had when they were first purchased. Some plants may gradually turn green in a few months, especially if they are planted in the shade or in locations with poor natural lighting. For succulents to “stress” and show off their vibrant hues, they require intense sunlight all day long or at least six hours every day. To ensure that your succulent plants receive adequate sunlight, thrive indoors, and keep their brilliant red/pink hue, you must have windows that face south. Make sure there are no obstructions to natural sunlight for your succulents, such as trees or structures.
Are succulents sun-loving creatures?
Succulents enjoy direct sunlight, but if yours is always in the same position, only one side is probably receiving enough of it. Langton and Ray advise often rotating the plant. Rotating succulents will help them stand up straight because they like to slant toward the sun. (Leaning might also indicate that they need to move to a more sunny area.)
Do cacti require a lot of sunlight?
It might be challenging for succulents to receive adequate sunlight inside. They typically require 6 hours each day of bright, indirect sunshine outside.
However, indoors, you should put your succulents close to a window that receives light throughout the day. Place your succulents close to the brightest window or area of your house or office if this is not an option.
Watch this video to learn more:
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 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!
How frequently should a succulent be watered?
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.
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 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.
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 étiolation.
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.
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 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.