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 I prevent the death of my succulents?
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.
Why did my succulent wither and shrivel up?
The most frequent issue with succulents is overwatering, however many succulents are also sensitive to underwatering. I’ve discovered that Senecio haworthii and Portulacaria afra prefer to be watered more regularly than other succulents.
Give your succulents a little more water if the upper leaves of your plant begin to wrinkle and get dry and crispy. Look at this Mesembryanthemum lehmanni; it was never watered.
It was placed in a nice concrete planter that lacked a drainage hole, so I didn’t water it at first and promptly forgot about it.
In a week or two, this succulent will look as good as new with a bit more frequent watering.
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!
Do succulents require sunlight?
Succulents generally require at least 4-6 hours of sunshine each day to thrive. They enjoy being in places that are sunny and bright. Lack of sunshine will cause difficulties in succulents such elongation or etiolation, when the plants extend for more light. Weak stems and low growth are the results of this procedure. Lack of light causes succulents to lose their bright coloring and turn pale or back to a drab green tone. Plants that receive enough sunshine will display their whole spectrum of brilliant hues, showing their genuine beauty.
How frequently do succulents need to 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.
What’s causing my succulents to dry up?
Due to its affinity for well-draining soils and occasional watering, overwatering is the most prevalent cause of succulent death.
However, if they are not hydrated properly or are planted in soil that has peat as one of their constituents, which can reject water when it is dry, succulents can still succumb to drought stress.
Succulents shrink when they are not watered frequently enough or are irrigated too lightly. Succulents require more frequent watering than other plants (every two weeks or so), so that water trickles from the bottom of the pot to keep the leaves from shriveling.
After a flood of rain, succulents retain moisture in their leaves and stems as a defense mechanism against droughts in their native harsh, arid habitats.
The succulent’s leaves should appear thick and robust when it is properly watered.
The succulent pulls from and depletes the moisture stores in the leaves and stems, causing the leaves to look thinner and the surface to shrivel as a result. This can happen if the succulent is not watered frequently enough or too lightly.
Because the moisture reserves serve as the plant’s structural support, the leaves and stems can also droop as a result of drought stress.
It is important to remember that some potting soils, especially those that contain peat moss, repel watering when they become dry. As a result, water runs off the soil’s surface and down the side of the pot rather than penetrating the soil and reaching the roots, leading to the symptoms of drought stress, including shriveled leaves.
Fortunately, saving succulents that are under stress from drought is far easier than saving succulents that are overwatered.
Can you revive a succulent that is rotting?
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.
If you keep a proper watch on your habit of watering, everything should run smoothly. Overwatering succulents is a bigger issue, but underwatering is less of a problem. Consequently, avoid overwatering. Additionally, keep an eye on your plants every day to guarantee healthy growth and prompt problem detection. Happy gardening!
Where do succulents thrive in nature?
Succulents thrive in hot, arid conditions and don’t mind a little neglect due to their unique capacity to store water. They are therefore ideally suited to growing indoors and are the perfect choice for anyone looking for low-maintenance houseplants. Follow these instructions for successful plant care if you’re choosing succulents for the first time.
Select a succulent that will thrive in your indoor environment.
The majority of succulents need direct sunshine, however if your home only has a shady area, choose low light-tolerant plants like mother-in-tongue. law’s A trailing variety, like string of bananas, is an excellent option if you intend to grow your succulent in a hanging planter. To learn about your succulents’ requirements for sunlight, size, and spread, always read the plant labels.
Give the plants a good draining potting material.
You should repot your succulent as soon as you get it home since nurseries always plant their succulents in soil that is overly rich and holds too much moisture. A coarse potting mix with sufficient drainage and aeration is a good place to start. You can use an African violet mix or unique cactus and succulent mixtures that you can purchase at the nursery. Add perlite or pumice to the cactus or African violet mix (up to 50% of the total potting mix, depending on your particular succulent’s moisture requirements) to further increase drainage and prevent compaction. To make sure the mixture is moist throughout, always moisten it before using.
Decide on a container.
When repotting, use a container that is at least 1 to 2 inches bigger than the nursery container and has a drainage hole. Avoid using glass containers (such mason jars or terrariums) for long-term potting since they prevent roots from breathing and over time may result in root rot. Place your plant inside the container and backfill with extra pre-moistened potting mix after filling the bottom one-third of the container with pre-moistened potting mix.
Put the succulent plant in a pot somewhere sunny.
Try to place your succulents close to a south or east-facing window because most succulents need at least six hours of sun each day. You may notice your succulents becoming spindly or stretching toward the light if they don’t get enough sun.
Between waterings, allow the potting mix to dry out.
Overwatering succulents is the most common error people make with them. Watering more deeply but less frequently is preferable. Before the next watering, completely saturate the potting mix (while making sure the water drains out of the drainage hole properly). The plant can finally perish if the potting soil is left moist every day.
Succulents should be fertilized at least once a year.
Fertilizer works best for plants in the spring (when the days lengthen and new growth starts) and again in the late summer. Use a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer (such as 8-8-8 or 10-10-10) that has been diluted to half the strength indicated on the container. Since succulents are semi-dormant in the winter, there is no need to nourish them. Because they are not actively growing, they do not require the nutrient boost.
How are cacti stressed?
Placing your succulents in the dark is one of the simplest ways to stress them out. For four or five days, cover your succulents in darkness to replicate the conditions they would encounter when being transported in a dark box (one of the reasons why store-bought succulents are so colorful at first).
For the colors to truly stand out, you can continue doing this for up to fourteen days. Low-light indoor succulents including jade plants, air plants, gasteria, and haworthia work well for this.
Stressing Succulents With Grow Lights
On the other hand, by giving your succulents more sunlight, you might be able to encourage them to exhibit vibrant hues. Consider beginning the plants outside, where they can receive up to a week’s worth of bright shade (note – only do this if you live in a warm enough climate to grow succulents outdoors, or you may kill them with too much cold),
Give the plants another week or so to adjust before moving them to an area with partial sunlight. Bring the plants inside, where you should place them in a full-sun area or beneath grow lights.
When exposed to more sunshine, certain sun-loving succulents, such as cacti and sedum, will reveal more lovely colours of red, pink, and purple because their pigments will grow more bright.
Pay close attention to your succulents if you plan to light stress them. You’ll be able to recognize sunburn symptoms early. Succulents can typically bounce back from the majority of light-related issues in just a week or two if you gradually introduce them to the proper circumstances.
How to Cold Stress Succulents
Start with a robust collection of plants. You should pick succulent kinds like aloes, kalanchoes, euphorbias, sedums, sempervivums, aeoniums, and echeveria because not all succulents will change color when stressed. Normally, agave doesn’t change color under stress.
Cold stress has the same positive effects on succulents’ color as light stress does. While keeping temperatures above freezing, you could leave the plant outside in the cold. Similar to mild stress, this shock may cause pigments to flush.
But this procedure is a little more delicate. To ensure that your succulent plants aren’t stressed to the point of death by spending an excessive amount of time below their cold hardiness thresholds, you’ll want to keep a close check on them.
How to Stress Your Succulents With Moisture
You may stress your succulent plants with water just like you can with light and cold stress. Succulents are known for their capacity to tolerate extended droughts, therefore doing this can be challenging.
However, you can frequently stress your plant out enough to flush pigments by cutting out water (the precise amount you should cut out will vary depending on what kind of succulent you’re growing and how much water you are giving it now; consult your planting instructions for more information on this).