Why Is My Spiky Succulent Turning Yellow

The most frequent reason for yellowing leaves on a succulent plant is overwatering. A plant’s roots may rot in perpetually damp soil, which will prevent it from absorbing water and nutrients from the ground. This stops the plant’s leaves and other above-ground components from producing energy through photosynthesis, which causes the plant’s green color to turn yellow. Untreated extremely moist conditions can result in leaves falling off of plants or the upper portions of succulents becoming soft and rotting, which can ultimately destroy the plant. If the soil of your plant feels moist to the touch, you may have overwatered it.

How can a wilting succulent be revived?

In warmer climates, succulents can be grown either indoors or outdoors. Succulents are often low-maintenance plants that retain water in their leaves or stems. They can thrive both inside and outdoors in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 8 through 12, depending on the species. Succulents typically don’t need much extra care, but if the conditions aren’t right, the plant may start to develop yellow leaves.

In their substantial leaves and stalks, succulents store water. The majority of these plants are naturally green, while some have variegated leaves and sporadically have green blended with other hues. In order to stop the succulent from suffering significant harm, act right away if you see some of the leaves starting to turn yellow.

Checking the Soil

The most frequent reason for yellowing leaves on a succulent plant is overwatering. A plant’s ability to absorb water and nutrients from the soil might be hampered by perpetually damp soil, which can rot the roots. This stops the plant’s leaves and other above-ground components from producing energy through photosynthesis, which causes the plant’s green color to turn yellow. Untreated extremely moist conditions can result in leaves falling off of plants or the upper portions of succulents becoming soft and rotting, which can ultimately destroy the plant. If the soil of your plant seems wet to the touch, overwatering is probably to blame.

Correcting the Problem

If you stop watering a succulent until the soil dries up and then water it only when the top 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) of soil feels dry, the problem may go away if there are only a few yellow leaves on the plant. It may be required to replace the soil around a plant as it begins to drop leaves by taking it out of its container and gently shaking the soil away from the roots. Repot the plant in a commercial succulent-specific mix or create your own. Use an unglazed ceramic pot to repotte the plant in a container with a sizable drainage hole so that the soil may dry out rapidly. Make sure the replanted plant is not sitting in a saucer of water when watering it.

Checking for Other Problems

If overwatering is not the issue and your plant’s soil is a well-draining mixture designed for succulents, the lighting setup may be to blame. The majority of succulents can withstand a lot of light, however when grown in excessive light, such as full sun all day, a green succulent starts to take on a lighter bleached-out yellowish tint. This issue should be resolved by moving the plant to an area that receives direct light that is bright.

The yellowing of the leaves of a pest-infested succulent is a symptom of general suffering. The issue might be brought on, for instance, by mealybugs, which cover leaves in a cottony layer, or by spider mites, which are tiny insects that can leave yellow feeding marks on plants. These pests can be eliminated by spraying ready-to-use insecticidal soap on a plant.

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 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.

Stunted Growth

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.

Is the yellowing of succulent leaves normal?

Plants known as succulents originated in desert environments. They require less water than other plants because they are accustomed to warm temperatures and abundant sunlight.

In order to inform a gardener of their poor care and to save energy, they may generate yellow leaves when they are not given what they require. Your succulent plant’s leaves may be yellow for a variety of reasons.

Overwatering: Most Common Cause Of Yellowing Leaves On A Succulent Plant

The most frequent issue that directly contributes to the yellowing of succulent leaves is overwatering your plants. It demonstrates how stressed out your plant is.

Touch any fallen leaves that have turned yellow to see if they are mushy or moist. If so, you’ve probably been watering it too much.

The first symptom of overwatering is the shedding of leaves with even the slightest jolt. It may therefore be difficult to salvage your overwatered succulent because the leaves and stem may begin to develop tiny black patches.

How To Fix

Try to figure out whether there is any way to save the succulent if overwatering is your issue. Wait a few days to observe if the water absorbed, and then wait until the soil is totally dry before watering the plant again, if there are no signs of root sot (black patches on the lower stem).

Try relocating the succulent in a new pot with better drainage holes if there are no indications of root rot. Additionally, to further the over-retention of water, think about adding some gravel or stones to the bottom of the new pot.

  • Remove the plant as carefully as you can from the pot and from the soil.
  • Next, remove the succulent’s portion with the black stem rot and allow the remaining portion to naturally dry out (but away from direct sunlight).
  • When the succulent has dried out, discard the diseased dirt and repot it in fresh, well-draining soil.
  • One week after repotting the succulent, water it. Just enough water should be applied to the land, keep in mind.

Under-Watering Can Make Succulents Leaves Yellow

For some succulents, like Portulacaria alfa or Senecio haworthii, under-watering is still a concern even if it’s less common than over-watering.

In addition to turning yellow, leaves may also appear a little dried out and brittle. Both of these indicate under-watering.

Give your succulent leaves a little water as soon as you notice that they are beginning to discolor and wrinkle. Your succulents will remain content and healthy if you follow a regular watering regimen.

Give your plant a nice drink and slightly increase the amount of watering you give it if underwatering is your issue and it hasn’t gotten that far.

Succulents should ideally be watered once each week, with a good soak each time. So that you don’t wind up overwatering the succulent, keep in mind to grow your plants in containers with drainage holes.

Not Enough Sun Can Result In Succulents Leaves Turning Yellow

Your succulents’ leaves turning yellow is another sign that plants are not receiving enough sunlight.

Along with this yellowing of the leaves, you could also notice that the succulent is beginning to get tall and lanky.

Even though they typically develop very slowly, succulents will begin to reach towards the light source if they don’t receive enough sunshine.

They might appear to be bending toward the light as a result, growing tall and slender rather than full and lush.

Move the plant to an area of your house with additional sunshine if you think your succulent isn’t getting enough. Each day, they require at least three hours of direct sunlight.

Bug Infestation

Mealybugs are an indoor gardener’s greatest nightmare. These insects enjoy feeding on succulents’ new growth, which puts the plant under a lot of stress.

As a result of this stress, the plant may try to conserve its energy by turning some of the leaves yellow.

These tiny suckers are typically hidden in the crevices of your succulent plants in a web-like structure. If you don’t deal with them right away, they’ll spread to your entire plant.

Starting with the bugs, this issue needs to be resolved as soon as possible to prevent the plant from becoming entirely infested.

According to each insecticide’s specific directions, you can use either a commercially available or home-made insecticide.

Planting In The Wrong Soil And/Or Pot

Even though this issue could be a little difficult to identify, it is crucial to keep in mind. If there are no indications of excessive or inadequate watering, a lack of sunlight, or a pest infestation, your soil or pot might be the issue.

Succulents require soil that drains properly. In order to prevent the roots from rotting, they also require a pot with a drainage hole or at the very least some gravel or stones at the bottom.

Do not worry if the majority of the plant cannot be saved. Succulents are known to reproduce well.

Remove the portion of the plant that is still in good health and bury it slightly in soil that drains properly.

Give it some water a week later, and watch it transform into a brand-new plant!

Leaves Naturally Die

Finally, leaves pass away spontaneously. Plants must shed some leaves as they develop. Frequently, it takes too much energy to keep all the leaves on one body alive.

Some of your plant’s leaves start to turn yellow and eventually drop off when your plant stops feeding them nutrition. There is no need to be concerned because this is a normal phase of life.

It’s possible that your succulent is trying to shed some leaves if it has yellow leaves around the base of the plant. This happens a lot more frequently if your plant is in the middle of flowering.

The succulent will try to get rid of some of the extra leaves and save some of its energy for the blossom. By removing some of the excessively brown and dried-out yellow leaves, you can aid in its progress.