Dying Succulent and Cactus

Updated: September 16, 2022

Dying Succulent and Cactus

Clear Succulents and cacti look good, indoors and outdoors. They are hardly ever demanding as they never bother your conscience if you forget to water them and add fresh O2 to the air. But, does it mean that there are no succulent problems? Succulents being underwatered is an issue on one hand, and succulent overwatering is also a headache. Are you worried about your indoor succulents dying? Is your Echeveria succulent not doing very well?

Indoors and outdoors succulents dying

Did you know that succulents start to indicate issues? For example, succulents turning purple or leaves getting soft indicate that things are not right. Not just this, many other signs tell things are not well with the plant.

Succulent overwatering signs are:

  • Black succulents,
  • Succulent leaves turning yellow,
  • Brown succulent
  • Wrinkly succulent leaves
  • Wilting succulent
  • Dry succulent leaves
  • Succulent leaves closing up
  • Succulent losing all leaves
  • Soggy succulent leaves
  • Succulent with soft fuzzy leaves,
  • Translucent succulent

If you pay attention, these signs are mostly associated with the condition of the leaves and the color of your plant. Water and soil are two things that matter and can help you know if your succulents are dying inside. In this blog, we will address multiple issues, including succulent root rot, underwatered succulents, how to save dying succulents, and everything else about unhealthy succulents.

Do succulents come back to life?

Succulents are robust and can be very well adapted to fewer ideal conditions. Thus, succulent rot can be prevented. With a few tweaks and modifications, reviving succulents is not a tough job.

How to recognize a rotting succulent?

You will notice succulent leaves turn black, especially the bottom leaves. Brown and mushy stems also point at a rotting plant indicating the succulent is in too much water - time to get started to revive the cactus. Remember, underwatered succulents are never the issue; it is simply the opposite scenario that will harm the plant.

Overwatering is one of the reasons behind mushy succulent leaves, rotting stems, and roots. You have been showering your succulents with too much water if the leaves are discolored. Succulent wilting, yellow leaves, succulent leaves becoming soft and wrinkly, plants falling apart even in the slightest wind or touch, followed by rotting roots and stems means that it has been receiving way too much water than it needs for its existence. Continuation of these conditions means a dead plant succulent in your garden!

How to revive a succulent plant?

No need to be disheartened on discovering wilted succulents. You can do little things to revive the dry plant.

a) Place the succulent away from direct sunlight. You may have noticed cacti generally need partial shade or indirect light for best growth.
b) The roots need to be free of excess soil.
c) Rotten roots of the soggy succulent will appear black or brown and need to be removed.
d) Do not plant the unpotted succulent back into the soil immediately. Leave it on a strainer, exposed to air so that the roots can dry out. Plant it back only after two or three days.
e) The stem that has started to rot, appears brown or black should also be removed.
f) Throw away and replace the soil, especially the topsoil, if you see algae formation. If you are already using succulent-appropriate soil, no need to replace it.
g) If the rot has spread too much amongst the roots, you may have to replace the middle soil. The right soil mix for succulents is – 16 to 17 % perlite or pumice, 32 to 34 % poultry grit or sand, and about 48-49 % potting soil.

Reviving rotted succulents method step-by-step guide

FAQs - Specific species

The majority of succulent lovers have some common questions – what is wrong with my succulent, why is my succulent turning black, how to revive a dying cactus, what does it mean when succulents turn yellow, can you overwater them, and so on.

  1. Why is my String of dolphins shrivelling?

The reason for the shrivelling String of dolphins is usually overwatering. Just follow the steps mentioned in the ‘how to revive a succulent plant’ section in this blog, and it will start to grow back healthy.

  1. Why is the Fishhook succulent dying?

The hooks of this succulent are naturally designed for water retention. The Fishhook succulent dying is an issue related to overwatering.

  1. What are the reasons for my Echeveria succulent dying?

Check out the soil mix, possibly it has a drainage issue. As a result, the water gets collected at the roots causing it to rot.

  1. Why is the Banana succulent dying?

You should check the soil to salvage the succulent. Is it muddy or soggy after watering? If it is, then the issue is the soil, and you need to change it.

  1. What does a Donkey tail look like? Why are Burro's tail leaves falling off?

The Donkeys’ tail or the Burro’s tail has a healthy-looking thick growth of stems. The key characteristic is that it is a plaited concrete leaf succulent. Extremely good-looking, the tail succulent can start to rot on receiving excess water. It causes the leaves to fall off.

  1. Why does my Kalanchoe have black spots?

The dark black spot on Kalanchoe is a fungal disease. It starts to damage the leaf cells, eventually making the leaves fall off. The Kalanchoe leaves falling off is called defoliation. How to revive the Kalanchoe plant with dark spots? Reduce the watering and ensure the topsoil is dried out between two waterings. Also, place it appropriately so that the plant receives more light.

  1. Reasons for my Pearl plant dying.

There could be various reasons - huge pot size, excess water, underwatered succulent, the potting mix or the soil is not correct, mealybugs, not enough sun, or too much sunlight.

  1. Why is my Happy bean plant turning black? How to propagate a Happy bean plant?

Exposing your Happy bean plant to too much sunlight could be an issue. It can also be due to the roots rotting due to overwatering. To propagate, take the stem cuttings, remove the lower leaves and plant them in a succulent rooting mix.

  1. Why is my creeping Sedum dying?

Sedum succulents can die due to numerous reasons. You will notice Sedum yellow leaves.

Sedum problems include –

  • The plant is receiving more water than it can handle;
  • It has got Botrytis disease;
  • It is not receiving adequate sunlight.
  1. Are Haworthia yellow tips common?

The tips of the Zebra Plant or Haworthia start turning yellow to signal that the plant is being overwatered. Other than yellowing, see-through Haworthia leaves and the leaves falling off are the signs of rot.

11. How to save the Jade plant?

Unlike most succulents, a Jade plant needs sufficient water to survive and grow. An unhealthy Jade plant is either overwatered, the root is rotting, or the plant has a bacterial disease.

  1. What happens when Echeveria is underwatered?

Underwatered ornamental Echeveria Miranda blue will have faded and wrinkled leaves. The leaves of Echeveria become translucent if it does not receive enough water. Therefore, it is not advisable to keep Miranda succulent in drought conditions.

  1. Sedum little missy plant care tips

Sedum little missy requires full sunlight, well-drained rocky or sandy, slightly alkaline soil. Once the plant is propagated, it is drought-resistant. Ensure that the soil drains off well.

  1. Can Overwatered Hens and chicks survive?

Overwatering means mushy and soft leaves on the succulent. However, if this does not continue for long, it can survive. Try succulent drying out immediately.

Common problems faced by succulents and cacti

Troubleshooting Succulents - General

  1. Can you save dying succulents?

Yes, it is possible to save dying cacti and succulents with a little care.

  1. Why my indoor succulents are dying?

Succulents are naturally suited to grow indoors. They are usually quite tolerant and adaptive to their surroundings. However, if the succulents are dying inside, it could be light or water issues.

  1. Can you overwater a succulent?

Overwatering is never advised for succulents. It is advisable to use less water but not vice versa. Overwatering makes succulent leaves turn yellow, soft, and mushy. As a result, the color changes to brown or even black. You can see translucent, clear plant leaves and stems. For example, Echeveria root rot is caused by overwatering.

  1. Do succulents die?

Yes, even these versatile and flexible plants are prone to dying. The reasons are overwatering and issues with the soil.

  1. How to rescue a succulent?

Saving succulents is easy. Remove the succulent plant turning purple immediately from the soil. Cut off all black, brown, and yellow parts, including roots, stems, and leaves. Leave it open to dry the roots and then plant the dry succulent in well-drained soil.

Concerned about your ​​sick succulents? Your succulent turning black and white, wrinkled or hard leaves, and all other common problems will get resolved productively here. We hope this blog post was helpful.


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