Why Do Succulents Die

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.

To revive dying succulents it is important to recreate some of the conditions of low rainfall, full or partial sun and gritty well draining soils to save the succulent.

Why do succulents expire so quickly?

They are receiving too much water from you. Succulents don’t require as much water as standard houseplants. They can survive on less water and prefer well-drained soil because they are a sort of cactus. To the touch, the soil should feel cold and damp but never soggy or watered down, and it should never feel muddy. For optimal results, you might want to sprinkle the ground rather than feeding it directly. There can be a concern if the soil is consistently damp.

Underwatering can also damage your succulents, just like overwatering can. To maintain the moisture level at the proper level for your plant, do some research on its water requirements and create a watering schedule.

What is killing my indoor succulent plants?

Dead leaves on the higher portions of new growth are a symptom of a problem, usually over- or under-watering, but dead leaves near the bottom of your succulent are completely healthy. Succulents can experience issues with soil as well, as I discuss in this post.

Overwatering probably caused your plant’s leaves to turn yellow and translucent and feel soggy or mushy to the touch.

The emergence of leaves that only slightly bump is a warning sign of overwatering. If you start to notice your succulent has a black stem or mush spots on the stem or leaves, the over-watering is getting severe, and it may be difficult to save your succulent.

Here is a Donkey’s Tail succulent. The center plant has entirely perished as a result of being excessively overwatered. The middle has mushy leaves and black stems that are visible.

Overwatering might harm some succulents more than others. One of the most sensitive plants is the echeveria. These lovely rosettes will quickly perish if given too much water, even after just two or three days.

In this video, you can see how I determine what’s wrong with my succulents.

How can you bring a dying succulent back to life?

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.

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 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 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.

Can a dried-up succulent be revived?

Not many people are aware of this, but the best moment to propagate a succulent plant and grow another one is right when it is starting to wither (and almost die). Succulents, the quotation “It now has a completely new meaning: Every ending is a new beginning.

Succulent plants get very leggy when they don’t get enough sunshine. Next, the plant will “the leaves spread out, the stalk lengthening, and the leaves are irregularly spaced. Don’t worry just yet, even if you might feel a small tug in your heart because you murdered a succulent plant. Actually, now is the ideal time to start a new plant from this one that has faded. All you require are some fine pruning scissors, some soil that drains well, and a decorative pot or container.

The lower leaves are starting to wilt and may eventually fall off in the coming days, despite the fact that the plant may still appear healthy from the top. Remove the bottom leaves first, which is the first thing you should do. It can be a little tricky since you have to make sure you can remove the complete leaf without damaging the stem at the leaf base.

The best course of action is to move the leaf around until you hear it break. This indicates that the leaf and stem have already been separated. Put the leaf in a container after carefully removing it from the stalk. The leaf needs more time to dry up before planting, so you can wait. Once you have a rosette sitting high above the earth on a long naked stem, repeat the same procedure on all the other leaves beneath it.

Keep in mind that you must completely remove the leaf; if you leave the base of the leaf attached to the stem, the leaf will be useless. Without that foundation, it cannot grow.

Cut off the rosette once all of the leaves have been eliminated. You may find it painful to do this, but we assure you that it is the only method to rescue the plant. You ought to now only have a pile of leaves, a rosette, and a stump remaining (leave that in the old container).

Allow the leaves to completely dry out before callingousing them. The ends will retain and absorb too much moisture if you don’t let them dry out and put them right into the soil, which will eventually kill them. You must also let the stem’s tip to dry out for the rosette. Days or even a week may pass during this process.

You can now set the leaves on top of well-draining soil after the ends are sufficiently dried. You’ll see pink roots emerging from the ends of the leaves after a few weeks. Even the smallest young plants may start to sprout. You’ll have a full-fledged succulent plant once more in a few weeks if you only infrequently water the leaves.

If you leave the stump alone, you’ll ultimately notice that each spot where we pulled a leaf has sprouted a new plant. The stem of the rosette must also get calloused and dry out before being planted in soil that drains effectively. Roots will once again emerge from the stem after a few weeks of sparing watering and abundant sunlight.

See? Not all deaths of succulents result in gloomy moods. This is a chance to multiply the plant and develop new succulents from the old, withering ones.

They’re reaching for the light source.

I had to completely prune back my succulents for a number of reasons, including #1 and the pack rats eating them as appetizers. This pot is situated in a corner directly next to my front entrance. I rotate it every two to three months, but it won’t fit in the area if the planting becomes too leggy and the stems grow too long. The light isn’t excessively low; rather, it’s only that it isn’t uniformly illuminating the plants.

The light they’re growing in is too low.

A tiny portion of my Santa Barbara front garden. Every year or two, I had to trim back the graptoveria, narrow leaf chalk sticks, and lavender scallops because they were encroaching on the sidewalk. Yes, a rosemary plant in blossom is the huge shrub in the background.

After two or three years of growth, the paddle plant patch under my Giant Bird of Paradise in Santa Barbara needed to be trimmed down. Along with many other fleshy succulents, kalanchoes frequently have lengthy stems.

Once a succulent stem goes naked the leaves won’t grow back on it. It must be pruned back so that it can either be rejuvenated from the base or propagated by stem cuttings (the piece of stem & roots still in the soil).

Here’s what you do with those towering, stretched-out succulent stems, whether your succulents are growing in the ground or in a pot.

When Should You Cut Back Your Succulents?

Summer and spring are ideal. Early fall is also OK if you live in a temperate region like I do. Before the cooler weather arrives, you should give your succulents a couple of months to establish themselves and take root.

How can I tell if a succulent is about to die?

A succulent should be simple to care for. But there are a few things to know in order to maintain it healthy. How can you tell whether your succulent is prospering or dying, first?

Generally speaking, the following are typical signs that a succulent is perishing:

  • The roots are rotting if the leaves are brown and mushy.
  • Pale, yellow leaves are a sign of illness or rot that has spread.
  • Dehydrated, wrinkled leaves indicate that the roots are drying up.
  • Rot or infection was indicated by brown roots.

These are a few warning indications that your succulent may not be prospering. If you have one or more succulents and are worried that your plant is dying, continue reading to learn how to identify when your plant needs care.