Common Succulent Problems | Help! What’s wrong with my succulent?

Even though succulents belong to the group of low-maintenance plants, they still need to be properly cared for. In this article, we tackle the most common succulent problems and how you can bring them back to life.

Help, my succulent’s leaves are falling off

Did you accidentally bump into your succulent and did it then drop its leaves? Nothing that can’t be fixed. Usually, this is caused by a little too much love, also known as overwatering. When you over-water a succulent its leaves start to swell, they get mushy and eventually fall off. Another cause could be extreme heat. To help conserve energy and their water supply succulents drop their leaves when it gets extremely hot. Since we are in the UK, the dropping leaves will most likely be caused by overwatering.


Oh no! My succulent’s leaves have turned yellow

You like your succulents to be lush and green, so when its leaves start to turn yellow alarm bells start ringing. Again, the most likely cause is overwatering that turned the succulent’s leaves to turn yellow and transparent. If you gave them a bit too much water you will also notice that the leaves feel a bit soggy. Whereas if the leaves look shrivelled you have probably not given it enough water.

succulent problems
common succulent problems

Yikes! The succulent’s leaves have started to wither and shrivel

Shrivelling, wilting and crispy leaves… That doesn’t sound like a happy succulent. You probably haven’t given it enough love. Even though succulents can go a long while without water they do need it every once in a while. If the upper leaves start to wither and shrivel you know you need to up your watering game.


Help, my succulent’s got brown leaves or dark spots

Another colour you don’t want to see on your succulents is brown. Sometimes brown or dark spots appear on a succulent’s leaves and this is usually caused by sunburn. Unfortunately, there is no remedy for these spots but see it as a lesson. Succulents like a bit of sun but if they are exposed to direct and/or unfiltered sunlight without getting a chance to acclimatise they will get burned – just like you and me.


My succulent’s lower leaves have died-off, what now?

Don’t be too alarmed when the succulent’s lower leaves turn dry and crispy and eventually die-off. This is a natural process that enables the plant to grow new leaves. You can remove these dead leaves by gently pulling them off and remove any dead leaves that have fallen onto the soil.

common succulent problems
succulent problems

How to prevent overwatering succulents

Don’t kill your succulents with kindness. The first thing to remember is to make sure the soil dries out before you water it again. You can test this by sticking your finger about an inch into the soil. Furthermore, you need to use soil that drains well to prevent the succulent to sit in water for too long. It also helps if the succulents (inner) pot has drainage holes so excess water can drip out.


How to prevent underwatering succulents

Luckily it is a little bit harder to underwater a succulent but it does happen occasionally. When the soil is completely dry you need to give it a good soak and let it drain. If you have any shrivelled leaves they should start to look better after two waterings. From then on, remember to water your succulent more frequently. Please note that during a heatwave, succulents do need a bit more water – don’t we all?


Now you know what kind of common succulent problems you can expect and how you can prevent them it is time to buy some (new) succulents. Florists adore these lush little plants as well and usually have lots of them in stock. Click here to find a florist near you

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