Why Is My Succulent Stem Turning Brown

The leaves of a rotting succulent will be dark from the bottom up. The stems would seem mushy and possibly black or brown. These are indications that overwatering has caused the plant to rot from the roots up. If the plant is left to rot on its own, it will eventually dissolve and turn into a mushy mess, leaving you with nothing but a rotting mess.

Overwatered Sedum burrito (burro’s tail or donkey’s tail) plant with rotting leaves

This succulent planter can’t be rescued, regrettably. Overwatering caused it to decay and turn to mush. (My mum absolutely adored this Mother’s Day gift that I gave her.)

Why is the stem on my succulent rotting?

The majority of the time, stem rot starts underground. The roots become wet and slimy and begin to rot, which is typically brought on by excess water in the soil as a result of overwatering or inadequate drainage. If you think root rot is the cause of your succulent’s problems, take it out of its container and examine the roots.

Fungal Diseases

One of the most frequent causes of disease in houseplants is fungi. Since most fungus require moisture to survive, the majority of these can be attributed to overwatering. The most typical fungus issues with indoor plants are listed below:

  • AnthracnoseAnthracnose manifests as yellowing, then dead leaf tips that later turn dark brown. Those infected leaves should be removed and burned.
  • stem and root rot
  • Fungus can be the cause of both root rot and stem rot, which are primarily brought on by excessively wet soil from inadequate drainage or overwatering. Roots and stem both soften, turn brown or black, wilt, and eventually die. Once you notice this disease, it’s usually too late to preserve the plant; nevertheless, it is readily preventable with proper watering and sufficient drainage. Repotting the plant in a sterilized pot, however, might be beneficial if only some of the roots are impacted.
  • Spots on leavesFungal leaf patches might be small, brown spots with yellow borders or black spots. Because the fungi thrive on decomposing plant debris, remove and destroy the infected houseplant. Neem oil is also beneficial.
  • Botrytis
  • Another condition caused by fungi is botrytis, sometimes known as gray mold. On the stems and foliage, this appears as a moldy, fuzzy substance. It’s preferable to remove the entire plant and sanitize the pot because it spreads quickly. Check indoor plants daily for brown or dead leaves, and remove them right once to avoid botrytis.
  • a powdery mold
  • Every portion of the plant develops a white, powdery coating as a result of powdery mildew. In most cases, fungus from decomposing plant matter or from airborne spores and high humidity are the cause of these diseases. It is advised to provide careful watering and good ventilation. If required, place the plant in a sunny area to allow it to dry out. Remove and kill any plants that are seriously diseased.

Viral or Bacterial Diseases

Some houseplants contract bacterial or viral illnesses. Virus-affected plants are less prevalent unless they are kept outside, however they may exhibit stunted growth, crinkled leaves, and mottled color. Insects like nematodes and aphids are frequently at blame for viral infections.

A bacterial dropsy or edema-affected houseplant will have water-soaked areas and cork-like swellings along the surface of the leaf and stem. Although houseplants might not totally recover, repotting can increase their prospects by providing better drainage and ventilation. If not, they ought to be taken away and disposed of.

Can you prevent stem rot on a succulent?

You tend to your succulent plants. You try your best to take excellent care of them and carefully water them. However, you currently have a plant whose succulent leaves are falling off. The leaves have a somewhat translucent appearance and a soft texture. These are indications of succulents that have been overwatered, according to your research. You come to the conclusion after more research that some succulent rot was caused by overwatering. Don’t be upset; things happen. While it’s important to understand the issue, you also need to know what to do next. Learn how to rescue your overwatered succulents by reading on.

Checking Succulent Roots

Your succulent received too much water. It occurs. Perhaps it was exposed to the rain. Sometimes compacted roots obstruct the drainage hole. Now we have to fix it.

Never hesitate to remove your succulent from the ground so you may examine it more closely. Any plant’s roots are crucial to its survival, but succulents can withstand being dug up much better than most other plants. Simply removing the succulent from its container may cure the problem if you overwatered it but there are no signs of succulent rot or leaves breaking off. Squeeze out extra water while keeping the soil and root ball in tact. The plant and root ball can then be placed next to the container and left there for a day or two, allowing the dirt to quickly dry out. To stop any rot from growing, do this.

Signs of Overwatered Succulents

The first indication of overwatered succulents is probably when the leaves start to change color and look a little translucent. The water-storage cells’ walls were ruptured as a result of the extra water. The water rushes through the leaf instead of being neatly contained within specialized cells, causing color dilution and making the leaf feel squishy as it starts to decompose. These succulent leaves will soon start to fall off the plant.

The simplest way to kill succulent plants is to overwater them, which causes succulent rot. The sooner you spot a succulent that is overwatered, the sooner you can intervene to save it.

Treating Overwatered Succulents

A few wilted leaves were the first indication that Terran’s echeveria was in peril. The smallest touch caused them to fall off. When she pulled up her plant, she discovered that the stem had a brown tint and that the succulent leaves had fallen off. It resembles a fruit bruise in appearance. She was aware of her succulent stem rot.

A problem is evident from the tiny amount of root structure in comparison to the size of the top growth. Either this was a freshly rooted cutting of a succulent, or the roots had mostly withered away. Dig up your succulent if you want a better look at the root system. Compared to other plants, succulents are much more tolerant of this, and it’s an excellent method to know for sure what’s going on. Remove any extra soil and, if the soil is muddy, rinse the roots if you’ve found or suspect root rot. If you find rot, throw away the used soil and give the container a good cleaning.

Dealing with Succulent Stem Rot

Terran discovered succulent stem decay. Her succulent was rotting at the soil line from overwatering. See how the leaf bases on the left are discolored? They exhibit rotting symptoms just like the stem. The leaves on the succulents started to fall off because of this. because they withered where the meristem was Plants’ meristem tissue, pronounced mehr-i-stem, comprises uniform tissue that cannot be propagated. The portion of a leaf that can produce new roots and leaves is called the meristem tissue. There can be no more growth or development once this has withered.

Close examination reveals that the remaining leaves above the succulent stem rot still seem healthy.

Saving a Plant with Succulent Stem Rot

It’s crucial to distinguish the rotting tissue from the healthy plant when dealing with a succulent that has succumbed to overwatering and developed succulent rot, whether on the leaves, stem, or roots. Throw away used soil and any damaged plant pieces. Only the top of the plant was healthy in this instance due to the plant’s weak root system, rotting lower leaves, and lack of root structure.

First, get rid of all rot indicators. Cut off the stem with any rot and remove the leaves. Then, examine the stem’s interior to see if the stem’s core exhibits any indications of rot. Trim it back until there are no longer any rot indications. Terran did this, stripped the stem of its nutritious leaves. These wholesome leaves could be multiplied from their meristem tissue. After removing all evidence of succulent rot, she still had a rice rosette growing from the very top of her echeveria with a stem that was about 1/2 inch long. She successfully propagated the remaining rosette by using it as a succulent stem cutting.

Terran was able to salvage her overwatered succulent since the top of the rosette rooted well in new soil and had several leaves forming baby plants.

Succulent Rot in Black Echeveria

Black echeveria, such this Black Prince, are peculiarly susceptible to rot. You’ll inevitably see a plant with all of its succulent leaves dropping off at some point if you adore growing these types as much as I do. When overwatered, these plants immediately respond by abruptly losing all of their leaves. Even while their sensitivity is annoying, it usually implies that the majority of the leaves will be in good enough shape to root and grow into plants on their own. This is a survival strategy that allows the plant to multiply even when the parent plant is more prone to demise.

Steps to Saving Overwatered Succulents

Despite our best efforts, overwatering succulent plants still occurs. To prevent further harm and prevent succulent rot on your plants, take the following actions:

What to do if succulent is turning brown?

There are three main causes of succulent leaves turning brown: overexposure to sunshine, being submerged, and inadequate nutrients.

Sun Damage

One of the most typical causes due to why the leaves on your succulent plant are going brown or shriveling is because of the damage caused to the foliage due to sun damage. Smaller plants are more vulnerable to sun harm. Because of this, you must be very careful about where you place your succulent plant. You might see brown spots on the leaves of your succulent plant if you recently moved it to a brighter setting with lots of sunlight. These dark stains show that the plant’s leaves have suffered sunburn-related damage. The brown blotches on the succulent leaves do not significantly hurt them, but they do leave a permanent mark. These blemishes don’t go as quickly and could make your plant look unattractive.


You might want to reevaluate where you put your succulent plant if you see that the leaves are changing color and taking on a brownish hue. Their leaves become sunburned when they are placed in an area that is very bright. For this reason, you might have to relocate them inside to a cooler location. Additionally, you must be very careful about where you store them during heatwave warnings or they risk being fried to a crisp.


Everyone is aware of the significant harm that being submerged can do to any plant, including succulents. Succulent plants originate from semi-arid regions, yet they still require a lot of water for a healthy growth. Therefore, there is a great probability that your succulent plant’s leaves will also turn brown and shrivel down if it is not receiving the proper amount of water for growth. That is definitely not what you would want for your priceless plant. A succulent plant that has been burnt and submerged may seem shriveled and have brown leaves. Because of this, you need to be cautious about the amount of water your plant receives to grow healthily.

The good news is that it is very simple to restore succulent plants whose leaves have become dark or have a shriveled appearance as a result of underwatering. As a result, you should not worry too much. All you have to do is adjust how much water you are giving the succulent plant. Give your plant plenty of water, and then wait a while before watering it again.

Even while the succulent plant requires a significant amount of water for healthy growth, it also has to be allowed to completely dry out. By looking at the top inch of the plant’s soil, you may determine if it has totally dried out. The succulent plant will absorb the necessary amount of water once it reaches the roots, and it will then begin to develop healthily once more.

Lack Of Nutrients

The leaves of a succulent plant are likely to turn brown and begin to shrivel if it is not receiving the proper quantity of nutrients for healthy growth. A shortage of nutrients can harm your plant in ways you had never thought, even if this won’t happen right away and would take years. Your succulent plant may turn brown from a lack of nutrients if you do not routinely re-pot it. The nutrients in the soil in the container will eventually be depleted. Because of this, you must be very careful about the amount of nutrients you give to your succulent plants to ensure their proper growth and development.

This means that if you want your succulent plant to develop healthily, you may need to repot it very often into new pots so that it can get the nutrients it needs to thrive. Your plant’s leaves will start to shrink and turn brown if you leave it in the same pot for years. For your succulent plant, you can choose a potting mixture that drains well and is appropriate for their growth. Even better, you can make your own nutrient-rich mix for succulent pots. Making your own succulent plant mixture is also quite simple. In addition, if you want to give the succulent plant a quick fix for the nutrients it need, you can give it fertilizer. You can use a balanced fertilizer to provide your succulent plant with the nutrition it needs. Succulents don’t require much fertilizer because they are semi-desert plants. Therefore, you can even cut the fertilizer’s strength in half and feed them every two weeks.

Therefore, if your succulent plant exhibits any of these symptoms, it is obvious that something is wrong with it and that it is attempting to communicate with you. For this reason, you must carefully monitor your plant to check for any indications of weakening. Although maintaining and caring for a succulent plant is a very simple process, these plants are delicate and require a lot of attention. When these issues are discovered early on, maintaining and taking care of them also become very simple tasks. Because of this, you must give your succulent plants the essential attention and care necessary for their healthy growth.