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.
Replicating some of the minimal rainfall, full or partial sun exposure, and stony, well-draining soil conditions will help revive dying succulents.
How can a dying succulent be revived?
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.
Why do succulents expire so quickly?
Succulent deterioration is frequently brought on by too much water. Despite their reputation for drought resistance, plants still require water to survive. For accurate measurement, use a moisture meter. If the plant’s medium is completely dry because of carelessness or neglect, soak it in a bigger container of water to moisten the soil.
How come my succulents are dying?
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.
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.
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.
Can dead succulents regrow?
- Symptoms. Succulents’ leaves can become soft and mushy and become brown or black, but the intensity of the cold damage will determine the exact symptoms.
- Causes. Most succulents are native to hot climates and typically suffer in temperatures lower then 50F (10C) and can die in frost, although some succulent plants can tolerate a light frost but this is rare.
The majority of succulent types are not cold tolerant and will perish if left in temps below 50F (10C) for an extended period of time.
The majority of succulent species thrive in a standard room temperature environment, with a range of 55F-80F (13C-27C) being ideal for aloe vera.
Succulents’ leaves and stems may become mushy in texture and appear dark or black if they are subjected to chilly weather or even frost.
How to Revive Cold Damaged Succulents
Place your succulent in a location in your home or garden where the temperature is consistently between 55F and 80F (13C and 27C). Make sure that none of the leaves are directly in contact with windows, as these areas of the house can get much colder than the rest of the house. Reduce watering for the time being.
The cold damage should not likely worsen once the succulent is in a more stable environment.
Wait a few days, if not weeks, and the succulent’s mushy, cold-damaged section should dry out and callus over if the leaves feel gooey.
Cut the leaf back to below the injured section once the mushy portion has dried out. Cold-damaged succulent areas normally do not recover, but the succulent plant as a whole can recover.
In order to avoid additional potential issues, you should only restart watering the succulent once the callus of the leaf cut has completely healed over. Cold damage increases the danger of root rot.
The succulent can ultimately sprout new leaves and begin to regain its usual appearance after being damaged by the cold, but it takes a lot of persistence.
- The most frequent cause of succulent death is root rot brought on by over watering and poorly draining soils. Plants that can withstand drought, succulents need the soil to dry out between waterings. A succulent that has mushy, brown, yellow, or black leaves is withering because the soil is excessively wet.
- Overwatering or sunburn cause succulents to turn brown. Brown, mushy succulent leaves are a sign of excessive moisture around the roots. Due to a rapid rise in sunshine intensity, scorched-looking brown succulent leaves may be the result of sunburn.
- Because of excessive moisture around the roots brought on by frequent watering, wet soils, or pots without drainage holes, succulent leaves turn yellow. The soil needs to dry out between waterings for succulents. Yellow and mushy succulent leaves may be a sign of root rot brought on by over watering.
- If succulents are exposed to too much shade, they become tall and lanky. Succulent leaves grow tall in the direction of the strongest light since the majority of succulents need bright, indirect light or full sun. Tall succulent leaves can droop under their own weight and often have weaker, withering leaves at the base.
- Due to inadequate or excessive watering, succulent plants experience drought stress, which causes their leaves to shrivel. As a means of survival, succulents store moisture in their leaves. Underwatering your succulent causes it to draw on the moisture reserves in the leaves, giving it a shriveled appearance.
- Recreate the circumstances of the succulents’ natural environment by planting them in well-draining, rocky soil with the appropriate amount of sunshine, and watering them when the soil becomes dry. To preserve the succulent, take cuttings from healthy areas of the plant.
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.
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!
Where do succulents thrive in nature?
Succulents thrive in hot, arid conditions and don’t mind a little neglect due to their unique capacity to store water. They are therefore ideally suited to growing indoors and are the perfect choice for anyone looking for low-maintenance houseplants. Follow these instructions for successful plant care if you’re choosing succulents for the first time.
Select a succulent that will thrive in your indoor environment.
The majority of succulents need direct sunshine, however if your home only has a shady area, choose low light-tolerant plants like mother-in-tongue. law’s A trailing variety, like string of bananas, is an excellent option if you intend to grow your succulent in a hanging planter. To learn about your succulents’ requirements for sunlight, size, and spread, always read the plant labels.
Give the plants a good draining potting material.
You should repot your succulent as soon as you get it home since nurseries always plant their succulents in soil that is overly rich and holds too much moisture. A coarse potting mix with sufficient drainage and aeration is a good place to start. You can use an African violet mix or unique cactus and succulent mixtures that you can purchase at the nursery. Add perlite or pumice to the cactus or African violet mix (up to 50% of the total potting mix, depending on your particular succulent’s moisture requirements) to further increase drainage and prevent compaction. To make sure the mixture is moist throughout, always moisten it before using.
Decide on a container.
When repotting, use a container that has a drainage hole and is at least 1 to 2 inches larger than the nursery container. Avoid using glass containers (such mason jars or terrariums) for long-term potting since they prevent roots from breathing and over time may result in root rot. Place your plant inside the container and backfill with extra pre-moistened potting mix after filling the bottom one-third of the container with pre-moistened potting mix.
Put the succulent plant in a pot somewhere sunny.
Try to arrange your succulents close to a south or east-facing window because most succulents need at least six hours of sun each day. Insufficient sunlight may cause your succulents to become spindly or to extend toward the light.
Between waterings, allow the potting mix to dry out.
Overwatering succulents is the most common error people make with them. Watering more deeply but less frequently is preferable. Before the next watering, completely saturate the potting mix (while making sure the water drains out of the drainage hole properly). The plant can finally perish if the potting soil is left moist every day.
Succulents should be fertilized at least once a year.
Fertilizer works best for plants in the spring (when the days lengthen and new growth starts) and again in the late summer. Use a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer (such as 8-8-8 or 10-10-10) that has been diluted to half the strength indicated on the container. Since succulents are semi-dormant in the winter, there is no need to nourish them. Because they are not actively growing, they do not require the nutrient boost.
How are cacti stressed?
Placing your succulents in the dark is one of the simplest ways to stress them out. For four or five days, cover your succulents in darkness to replicate the conditions they would encounter when being transported in a dark box (one of the reasons why store-bought succulents are so colorful at first).
For the colors to truly stand out, you can continue doing this for up to fourteen days. Low-light indoor succulents including jade plants, air plants, gasteria, and haworthia work well for this.
Stressing Succulents With Grow Lights
On the other hand, by giving your succulents more sunlight, you might be able to encourage them to exhibit vibrant hues. Consider beginning the plants outside, where they can receive up to a week’s worth of bright shade (note – only do this if you live in a warm enough climate to grow succulents outdoors, or you may kill them with too much cold),
Give the plants another week or so to adjust before moving them to an area with partial sunlight. Bring the plants inside, where you should place them in a full-sun area or beneath grow lights.
When exposed to more sunshine, certain sun-loving succulents, such as cacti and sedum, will reveal more lovely colours of red, pink, and purple because their pigments will grow more bright.
Pay close attention to your succulents if you plan to light stress them. You’ll be able to recognize sunburn symptoms early. Succulents can typically bounce back from the majority of light-related issues in just a week or two if you gradually introduce them to the proper circumstances.
How to Cold Stress Succulents
Start with a robust collection of plants. You should pick succulent kinds like aloes, kalanchoes, euphorbias, sedums, sempervivums, aeoniums, and echeveria because not all succulents will change color when stressed. Normally, agave doesn’t change color under stress.
Cold stress has the same positive effects on succulents’ color as light stress does. While keeping temperatures above freezing, you could leave the plant outside in the cold. Similar to mild stress, this shock may cause pigments to flush.
But this procedure is a little more delicate. To ensure that your succulent plants aren’t stressed to the point of death by spending an excessive amount of time below their cold hardiness thresholds, you’ll want to keep a close check on them.
How to Stress Your Succulents With Moisture
You may stress your succulent plants with water just like you can with light and cold stress. Succulents are known for their capacity to tolerate extended droughts, therefore doing this can be challenging.
However, you can frequently stress your plant out enough to flush pigments by cutting out water (the precise amount you should cut out will vary depending on what kind of succulent you’re growing and how much water you are giving it now; consult your planting instructions for more information on this).