The appearance of the leaves is the best indicator of whether your succulent is being overwatered or overwatered. While an overwatered plant will have mushy, nearly translucent leaves, an underwatered plant will have wrinkly, shriveled up foliage.
These are the plainly visible warning signals that your succulent is being overwatered or underwatered. However, the signs are frequently difficult to read. A succulent that has been submerged in water may act similarly to a plant that has been overwatered.
And here is the part where most folks are perplexed. Other indicators can help you determine whether you are indeed overwatering or underwatering your plants.
Why is my succulent getting wrinkled?
Most likely, if you recently bought a succulent, you did so with the idea that it would be simple to maintain. It can be beginning to look a little dejected or simply be developing more slowly than you had intended. I’ve undoubtedly killed my fair number of plants and succulents in my inexperience as a succulent grower. But I’ve progressively come to understand what it takes to maintain these challenging plants. Make use of these 6 suggestions to grow lovely succulents!
Water carefully, first.
Overwatering is the simplest way to kill a succulent. Due of their drought tolerance, succulents can survive without routine irrigation. Only every other week or once a month do they require water. Before watering the soil once more, make sure it is fully dry. Some of my succulents haven’t had water in nearly two months, yet they’re still flourishing!
There are a few warning indications that your plant needs more water. The succulent’s leaves will start to wrinkle and the soil will have entirely dried out, especially around the bottom of the plant. This indicates that the plant is dehydrated and is replenishing itself with the water in its leaves. If you water sparingly, the wrinkling should go away in about a day.
Sadly, overwatering is much more difficult to correct than underwatering. The apparent warning signals are that your succulent has received a little too much water: if the lower leaves are yellowing, mushy, or easily falling off the plant. Additionally, it is too late to salvage your plant if the stem is becoming black. Few alternatives COULD rescue your succulent if it is only dropping leaves. Allow the soil to totally dry before giving it further time before watering. Remove the succulent from the soil and any dirt adhering to the roots if you have already done this and the plant is still shedding leaves. Before repotting the succulent in fresh soil, let it sit in the sun for a day or two. This will let any moisture that was trapped in the soil to evaporate and dry out the roots. Don’t water for a week or more after planting in new soil. Delaying watering until your succulent stops dropping leaves or the leaves start to show signs of being under-watered is a wise precaution.
2. Employ the proper soil
Since succulents like little to no water, their soil plays a significant role in how happy they are. In order to assist them absorb any extra water, succulents require a certain type of well-draining soil that contains big particles (such as perlite or crushed rock). It’s simple to locate specialist soil for cacti and succulents at any gardening store. You might need to replace your succulent if it doesn’t look as well as it used to or if the soil never seems to dry out.
3. Pick the appropriate pot.
Although a succulent won’t reject the pot you put it in, some types do make them grow better. Terra-cotta pots aid in soil drying out and water absorption. They are not necessary, though! Any pot will suffice as long as everything else is in order! It is ESSENTIAL to use a pot with drainage holes. Without drainage, a pot will retain too much water, which will likely cause your succulent to rot.
4. The Sun
Succulents adore the light! They will grow more quickly if you place them on a sunny windowsill, which will also assist the soil to dry out in between waterings. While some succulents can tolerate bright sunshine all day, others will burn if exposed to it. That is correct! If your succulent is not used to receiving direct sun all day, they could burn. Given that early light is far less powerful than afternoon sun, many of the more delicate succulent species can survive just a few hours of morning light. Just gradually adapt them to more light to prevent sunburn!
An all-day sun-exposure succulent may be seen in the top image. The SAME succulent is shown in the bottom shot one month after being placed in a window with a north orientation. Although it is still expanding, the lack of direct sunshine has caused it to lose some of its brilliance.
5. Accept the outcome
Succulent maintenance can be debatably very difficult. If they pass away, don’t let it bother you. Due to careless mistakes, I have lost a ton of succulents. It occurs. Each one will increase your knowledge!
6. Avoid discarding discarded leaves.
Did one of your succulent’s seemingly healthy leaves fall off? Don’t discard it! Succulents are experts at self-propagation and can grow a brand-new plant from a single piece of dead foliage. Allow the leaf to callus over the area where it was linked to the main plant for a few days. When the soil is dry, place it on top of a layer of dirt and spritz it with water. I typically water mine every two or three days. White or hot pink roots and possibly a little leaf will start to emerge. You’ll have a scaled-down version of the original in a few months!
This blog post could easily go on for several pages, but I’ve kept it short and sweet by focusing on only the essentials of caring for succulents. Each plant is unique and could respond in a different way. I’m hoping these pointers will help you become a skilled succulent carer!
How are soft succulents repaired?
You can try a few things if the plant is just mushy around the leaves. The simplest option would be to let the soil totally dry out before trying to water your plant again after another two weeks. Repotting your plant is another alternative.
How come my succulent is mushy and soft?
A potted succulent plant’s softened leaves are a surefire sign that the soil is too damp for healthy growth.
Succulents typically go dormant and like to be submerged throughout the winter.
Watering too much during these months can result in soggy, withered leaves.
How do you revive a dried-out succulent?
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.
How does a succulent that has been overwatered look?
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!
What does it signify when the leaves of a succulent are pliable?
Numerous factors, including overwatering, can cause succulents to become brittle. Succulents are resilient small plants that can frequently be salvaged, whether or not this is the cause.
Consider propagation, which is the practice of growing a new succulent plant from a cutting of an existing one, if saving your succulent is not an option. Do not be intimidated by the propagation procedure because succulents are known for being simple to grow.
Since succulents are tough tiny plants, the likelihood that you can save yours if it is overly soft is very high. Most of the problems are simple to solve.
The following list of causes of succulent softening includes suggestions for how to remedy the situation.
Your Succulent is Being Watered Too Much
Succulents don’t need a lot of water because they often grow in arid settings. Watering succulents once a week is the normal rule of thumb, though there may be exceptions. Using pots made specifically for succulents is also strongly advised because they frequently include additional drainage holes in the bottom to prevent overwatering.
The leaves of your succulent will start to get considerably more squishy than they should be if it has been watered excessively. Additionally, colors may start to fade. Additionally, the plant can get incredibly droopy, occasionally to the point of lying flat in its container.
Stem or root rot can also be brought on by overwatering. There are cures to attempt, but depending on the region, this could be catastrophic for your plant.
Dig Up and Repot Your Succulent
Most succulents that have been overwatered can be revived. Dig up your succulent and get rid of any rot indicators. These will seem like bruises on a banana, making them simple to identify. Rinse the roots of your succulent after the rot has been eliminated, then pat dry. You can leave the plant in a warm, dry location for up to a week, but keep the exposed roots out of direct sunlight. You can pot it once more when it starts to appear healthier.
Wait at least a week before watering your plants again after repotting. Your succulent won’t be ready for more water until it has used all the extra water it has already absorbed into its leaves. As soon as you’ve solved the issue, you don’t want to compound it again.
You will notice some dampening as the succulent goes through the drying-out process because it will push some of the extra water back into the now-dry soil. It is okay to start watering when the soil continues to be dry. To prevent overwatering once more, make sure to water it only approximately once a week.
The plant won’t continue to grow if the roots are too severely rotting. Even if this is the case, it does not necessarily indicate that you have permanently lost your succulent. Here’s where knowing how to propagate can be useful.
Your Succulent is Not Being Watered Enough
There are certain differences between an overwatered plant and a succulent that has been submerged, however both can feel soft. Usually, the leaves of the succulent will droop and get wrinkled. You really want to make sure that you are keeping an eye out for those creases to form since a succulent that is thirsty typically won’t change color.
While the leaf itself may feel tender, its outer layer of protection will feel tough and rubbery. This is because it is working harder than usual to prevent its water from evaporating.
Water Your Succulent
Saving a succulent that hasn’t received enough water is considerably simpler than saving one that has, especially since you don’t have to dig up the plant. Follow these simple instructions to solve this issue:
- Fill the pot with water until the succulent is completely submerged. The drainage holes in the pot’s bottom will begin to leak water.
- Repeat this procedure as soon as possible two or three times, letting the water drain fully between each watering.
- Check to see if your succulent brighten up after a few days. After a vigorous watering, this should occur quite soon.
- Keep an eye out for overwatering warning flags. Going from one extreme to the other might quickly destroy your succulent, so avoid doing it. Repot your succulent in dry soil if you see that the leaves have returned to normal but the soil is still wet in order to stop issues before they start.
When done properly, your succulent’s leaves will reappear wrinkle-free. After that, after the soil has dried out, you can go back to watering once a week as usual.
Your Succulent Has the Wrong Nutrient Balance
To survive, succulents require a somewhat exact mix of nutrients. This is generally not a problem for growers because most potting soils can manage it with ease. Sometimes issues might arise, especially if you don’t fertilize properly or frequently repot your succulent.
The following nutrients are essential to a succulent:
The plant may become floppy and droopy when these nutrients are out of balance. You might also observe that your plant is not blooming as it should or that the leaves are beginning to yellow. Its general ill-health pallor is obvious.
Repot Your Succulent with Fresh Soil
Repotting a nutrient-deficient plant in new soil is the best solution. This ought to fix the issue because potting soils are already fortified with nutrients. Applying a fertilizer safe for succulents might also aid if repotting is not possible for whatever reason, such as an outdoor garden.
Your succulent should start to bloom after repotting or fertilizing within a few days. Be patient; this process usually takes a little longer than when your succulent is excessively dry.
The Temperature is Too Cold
Succulents are hot-weather plants, thus they are sensitive to chilly air. The succulent will soften when it begins to defrost, especially if it has been exposed to frost. Additionally, they frequently turn discolored or droopy.
You should be careful to carefully check the conditions your plant has been in before treating because the consequences of exposure to low temperatures can readily imitate an overwatered plant. You want to be careful not to further hurt your succulent by treating it incorrectly because the solutions for these two issues differ considerably.
Cut off Damaged Areas of Your Succulent
With a knife that has been doused in rubbing alcohol, trim off all damaged regions of your succulent, paying close attention to any particularly tender places. Keep your succulent out of direct sunlight as it heals after you’ve properly pruned it. Sunburn can occur when there have been cuts.
Your Succulent Has Fungi or Mildew Growth
Both mildew and fungi prefer warm, humid environments. Succulents often grow in dry settings, therefore they don’t have the best defenses against these dangers already built in. It is your responsibility to protect kids against these risks to their health.
A white, gray, or black powdery substance coating all or some of your fingers is the initial symptom of this infection. They will then start to deteriorate and eventually pass away. Also possible are some leaf or stem discolorations.
Because both fungus and bacteria spread very rapidly to surrounding other succulents, it is critical to identify this early. Your entire succulent garden might easily perish from this kind of exposure if you do not take prompt action.
Eliminate the Mildew or Fungus and Lower Humidity
The air is too humid for succulents if they exhibit signs of fungus or mildew. To get rid of the mildew or fungus, you must first spray them. Rose-related varieties are often wonderful choices, but you should do your homework on brands before making a purchase.
You must take precautions to prevent mildew or fungus from returning after getting rid of it. If your plants are indoors, a dehumidifier is the finest tool for the job. If, however, you cultivate them outdoors and they continue to mildew, your environment might not be suitable for these plants. It might be preferable to move them inside.
Too Much or Too Little Sunlight
A plant exposed to too much sunshine may develop burnt spots and rot that makes it brittle. If you recently treated your succulent for another condition and put it in direct sunlight too quickly, this is something that is very likely to happen. Young succulent plants are also prone.
A lack of light has its own issues. The leaves on the stalk will spread out more as the succulent grows upward in search of light. It will begin to appear unusually tall and spindly and lose many of the adorable patterns that succulent leaves frequently display. This condition is straightforward to identify when you know what to look for.
Change Your Succulent’s Amount of Sunlight Exposure
Fixing excessive or insufficient lighting is simple. Keep your plant in a bright location but out of direct sunlight if it receives too much light. The sunburned areas will recover with time. If rot has already taken hold, you should treat it in the same way that you would overwatered plants.
Move a plant that isn’t getting enough sunlight gently toward the sun. Place it in a well-lit area, but away from direct sunlight, to start. Move it to a spot with intermittent direct sunlight after about a week, and finally to a sunny area.
It’s crucial to confirm that your variety thrives in sunshine before transferring a succulent there. Some succulents, especially those with thin protective coats on their leaves, require indirect light to grow.
Cut the succulent’s top off the stem if it has grown very spindly from a lack of sunlight. After a week or two, pot it after keeping it out of direct sunlight as it establishes roots. The leftover, spindly bottom piece may be thrown away.