Why Do My Succulents Have Brown Spots

Sunburn or sun damage is the most frequent cause of brown leaves on succulent plants. When you observe brown spots on your plants’ leaves after moving them to a bright place or after a heatwave or other period of extreme heat, these patches are the equivalent of sunburn.

Brown spots from sunburn do not actually injure the plant, but they do leave a permanent mark on the leaves, which is unsightly but not harmful. The leaves will ultimately fall off as new growth appears, but these spots won’t fade away. More sensitive to sunlight than mature plants are little baby plants or newly produced plants.

If you notice that the plant is getting burnt, move it to a more shaded area or give it some shade. If you intend to leave your plant in a position that receives direct sunlight all day, acclimate it to the heat by gradually increasing its sun exposure. Remember that during a severe heatwave, even a mature plant that has become accustomed to full sun might still get burnt.

When a severe heatwave is predicted, move the plant or offer shade to avoid this from happening. Never leave young plants, plants without roots, or leaves that you are propagating outside in the direct light. Always give protection from the sun to prevent them from becoming completely cooked.

While solar damage is the most frequent cause of dark leaves on succulent plants, there are generally additional factors at play. While the majority of them may be resolved quickly and easily, some are trickier to resolve than others.

How can brown patches on succulents be repaired?

Sun scalding, also known as succulent sunburn, results in a patch or huge burned regions. That damage is irreversible and cannot be repaired. The succulent (or cactus) can be in direct light after being indoors for a few months, although this is a common mistake made when moving plants from indoors to outdoors. It’s comparable to exposing your skin to the sun without protection. At that point, you should temporarily provide your plant with morning sun or indirect light to help it acclimate.

Insects like scale, which have brown patches on them, can also be treated with a cotton swab bathed in rubbing alcohol. Simply rub the scale insects off the plant using a brush.

Brown spots are a result of fungal decay. These typically result from an adverse side effect of over watering, which causes edema, or water retention, in the plant tissue. Pockmarks are brought on by cells exploding.

Why are there spots on my succulents?

It has gotten too much water if the areas are squishy. It is sinking. See, to survive the dry circumstances of their native desert, succulents store extra water in their leaves, roots, and stems. The water storage tissue of the plant bloats and explodes when it is overfilled with water. A fungus has grown in the plant tissue damage that is the cause of the black patches.

Solution: Your succulent might not be able to be saved. Remove the plant from its pot and examine the health of its roots. If so, remove all harmed stems and leaves before repotting the succulent in dry soil. This time, water a little less. If the roots are mushy, the plant is doomed to failure since they are lifeless. Any remaining viable plant parts can be cut into cuttings, which should then be rooted in fresh soil after the cut ends have healed. Yes, just create a new plant and start over. Both the mother plant and the soil it was in should be thrown out because they are likely fungus-infected due to plant rot.

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 issues

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.

Watering Issues

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 √©tiolation.

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 discoloring and malformed.

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.

Stunted Growth

Lack of light might result in stunted growth. Plants that do not receive adequate sunlight become weak and will not grow 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.