Why Is Your Succulent Dying? Common Causes and Solutions

by craftyclub

Have you ever had a succulent that seemed to be thriving one day, only to find it wilted and on the brink of death the next? It’s a common problem for many plant owners, but fear not! There are several reasons why your succulent may be struggling, and with just a little bit of knowledge and care, you can nurse it back to health.

As someone who has dealt with my fair share of dying succulents, I know firsthand how frustrating it can be. But don’t throw in the trowel just yet – understanding the root cause of the issue is key to solving it.

In this article, we’ll explore some common reasons why your succulent might be dying, as well as offer tips and tricks for bringing it back to life.

So roll up your sleeves (or gardening gloves) and let’s get started!


Are you worried that your succulent is dying? One of the most common reasons for this could be overwatering.

Succulents are known to store water in their leaves, stems or roots and can survive long periods without watering. However, if they’re watered too frequently, it can lead to root rot and eventually death.

To avoid overwatering your succulent, make sure to use a well-draining soil mix. This will allow excess water to drain out quickly and prevent any standing water that could harm the plant.

Additionally, always check the moisture level before watering by sticking your finger into the soil up to an inch deep. If it feels dry at that depth, go ahead and water but otherwise hold off until it’s needed.

Another useful tip is to water from the bottom rather than pouring directly onto the soil surface. Simply fill a saucer with water and place your pot on top so that it can absorb what it needs through capillary action.

Remember that every succulent has different watering requirements depending on its species and environment, so do some research beforehand to ensure you’re providing proper care!


Hey gardeners, let’s talk about one of the most common succulent ailments: underwatering! Here are some signs to look out for, ways to diagnose it, and ways to treat it. So if you think your succulent is suffering due to lack of water, read on!

First off, signs of underwatering include wrinkled leaves and stems, dry soil, and yellowing of the leaves. If you spot these symptoms, chances are you’re dealing with an underwatering issue.

To diagnose, you’ll want to check the moisture level of the soil. If it’s too dry and you’re sure you haven’t been overwatering, then we’ve got our culprit.

Finally, treating underwatering is pretty simple. Just give your succulent a good soaking, and make sure to water it more regularly. A bit of fertilizer can help too, as underwatering can cause nutrient deficiencies.

Signs Of Underwatering

You’ve always admired the beauty of your succulent. Its lush green leaves and plump appearance have been a sight to behold every day. But recently, you noticed that something has changed. Your once vibrant plant is now starting to wither away, leaving you puzzled as to what went wrong.

One possible reason could be underwatering. As a gardening enthusiast, it’s important to know how much water your plants need to thrive. Succulents are known for their ability to store water in their leaves, making them drought-tolerant. However, when they don’t receive enough moisture, signs of distress start showing up. Some common symptoms of underwatering include shriveled leaves, dry soil, and slow growth.

If you suspect that your succulent is not getting enough water, there are several things you can do to revive it. First off, check the soil moisture level by sticking your finger into the potting mix. If it feels dry or almost powdery to the touch, then your plant needs watering immediately. Secondly, increase the frequency of watering but make sure not to overwater as this may result in root rot. Lastly, provide adequate drainage so that excess water flows out freely from the pot bottom.

Remember that understanding the signs of underwatering is crucial in keeping your succulent healthy and happy. Keep an eye out for any changes in its appearance and act accordingly before it’s too late!

Diagnosing Underwatering

Now that we’ve discussed the signs of underwatering, it’s time to talk about how to diagnose this problem. As a plant parent, it’s important to understand what is causing your succulent distress so you can address the issue promptly and effectively.

One way to diagnose underwatering is by examining the leaves. If they appear shriveled or thin, then your succulent may not be getting enough water. Additionally, if the lower leaves are turning yellow and falling off, this could also indicate dehydration. Another telltale sign is dry soil – when you stick your finger into the potting mix, it should feel slightly moist but not completely dry.

If you suspect that your succulent is suffering from underwatering, don’t panic! There are several steps you can take to revive it.

First, give it a good watering session and make sure the soil is thoroughly soaked. You can also mist its leaves with water to provide extra hydration.

Secondly, adjust your watering schedule by increasing frequency or amount depending on your plant’s needs.

Lastly, consider moving it to a more humid location or adding a humidity tray underneath the pot for added moisture.

By diagnosing and addressing underwatering in your succulents early on, you’ll help them thrive instead of just survive. Remember to keep an eye out for any changes in appearance or behavior and act accordingly – after all, happy plants make for happier gardeners!

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Treating Underwatering

Now that we’ve discussed how to diagnose underwatering in succulents, it’s time to talk about the next step: treating this problem. Don’t worry if you find your plant dehydrated – there are several ways to help it recover and get back on track.

The first step is to give it a thorough watering session. Water your succulent until the soil is fully soaked, allowing the roots to absorb as much water as possible. You can also mist its leaves with water for extra hydration. Be careful not to overwater though, as too much water can lead to other problems such as root rot.

Next, adjust your watering schedule according to your plant’s needs. If you live in a dry climate or have particularly thirsty plants, consider increasing the frequency or amount of watering sessions. On the other hand, if you notice signs of overwatering or excess moisture in the soil, reduce the frequency of watering accordingly.

Lastly, provide additional humidity for your succulent by moving it to a more humid location or adding a humidity tray underneath the pot. This will help prevent future dehydration and keep your plant healthy and happy.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to treat underwatering in your succulents effectively and ensure their continued growth and well-being. Remember to pay attention to your plant’s behavior and appearance so that you can act promptly when needed – after all, being a successful gardener means mastering the art of caring for your beloved plants!

Poor Drainage

Like a fish out of water, your succulent may be struggling due to poor drainage.

Just like how we need air to breathe, plants require water and oxygen for their roots to thrive.

Poor drainage can lead to overwatering which in turn suffocates the roots causing them to rot.

When soil is unable to drain properly, it creates a breeding ground for harmful bacteria that feed on the roots of your plant.

When this happens, you’ll notice wilting leaves or yellowing of the stem.

If left untreated, the plant will eventually die.

To avoid this situation, always ensure that your pot has adequate drainage holes at the bottom.

Another way to improve drainage is by adding coarse materials such as perlite or sand into your soil mix.

These materials help create pockets where excess water can flow through easily without trapping moisture around the roots.

Remember not to use too much though as it may cause damage instead!

With proper drainage techniques, you’ll see an improvement in your succulent’s health in no time!

Lack Of Sunlight

If your succulent is looking a little worse for wear, it could be due to the lack of sunlight. Succulents need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day in order to thrive. Without enough light, they will start to stretch out and become leggy – this is when the stem becomes elongated and weak.

Here are some signs that your succulent may not be getting enough sunlight:

  1. The leaves appear pale or yellow
  2. The plant looks stretched out or ‘leggy’
  3. New growth appears smaller than usual
  4. The plant is growing very slowly

If you notice any of these symptoms, try moving your succulent to a brighter location where it can get more direct sunlight.

A south-facing window is usually the best spot in most homes.

Remember, too much sun can also be harmful to succulents! If you notice that your plant’s leaves are turning brown or crispy, it may be getting too much direct sunlight and you should move it to a shadier location instead.

With just the right amount of light, your succulent will soon bounce back to its healthy self!

Temperature Extremes

Now that we’ve discussed the possibility of your succulent dying due to lack of sunlight, let’s examine another potential cause: temperature extremes.

Succulents are known for their ability to thrive in hot and dry conditions, but they can also struggle if exposed to extreme temperatures. If your succulent is located near a drafty window or an air conditioning vent, it may be experiencing fluctuations in temperature that are too severe.

Similarly, if you’re keeping your plant outdoors during particularly hot or cold weather, it could be suffering from heat stress or frost damage. It’s important to remember that while succulents can tolerate some degree of temperature variation, they typically prefer consistent warmth.

To remedy this issue, try moving your succulent to a more stable location within your home or office. This might mean finding a spot with less direct sunlight but more moderate temperatures. You can also consider using shades or curtains to regulate the amount of light and heat your plant receives throughout the day.

If you’re keeping your succulent outside, make sure to bring it indoors during periods of extreme weather. Remember that while temperature extremes can certainly harm your succulent, there may be other factors at play as well. Be sure to monitor your plant closely for signs of distress and adjust its care regimen accordingly.

With patience and attention to detail, you’ll soon become an expert on caring for these beautiful plants!

Pest Infestation

If you’ve noticed that your succulent is looking a bit worse for wear, it may be suffering from pest infestation. This can happen even if you’re careful with watering and providing the right amount of sunlight.

Pests like spider mites or mealybugs can easily find their way onto your plant and wreak havoc. Spider mites are tiny little creatures that love to suck on the sap of plants, including succulents. They thrive in hot, dry conditions, so if you live in a warm climate or have your plant near a heat source, they’re more likely to show up.

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Mealybugs, on the other hand, look like small bits of cotton and tend to congregate around the base of leaves or in crevices. They also feed off sap and will cause damage over time. To get rid of pests on your succulent, there are several options available to you.

One method is using neem oil or insecticidal soap – both organic solutions that won’t harm your plant (or pets!). You can also try wiping down each leaf with rubbing alcohol to kill any bugs present. Just make sure not to use too much pressure as this could damage the delicate foliage.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to pest infestations. Regularly inspecting your plants for signs of trouble and keeping them healthy by giving proper care will go a long way in avoiding these pesky critters altogether. By taking the necessary precautions, you’ll soon have thriving succulents once again!

Nutrient Deficiencies

As a succulent enthusiast, it can be heartbreaking to see your beloved plant slowly withering away. But don’t lose hope just yet! One of the most common reasons for succulent deaths is nutrient deficiencies.

Think of your succulent as a car – you wouldn’t expect it to run without fuel and oil, right? Similarly, plants need nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to thrive. A lack of these vital elements can lead to discoloration, stunted growth, and ultimately death.

So how do you know if your succulent is suffering from nutrient deficiencies? Look out for yellowing leaves or stem rot – signs that your plant may not be getting enough nutrients.

To fix this issue, consider adding a balanced fertilizer specifically designed for succulents to your watering routine. With proper care and attention, your once-struggling succulent will soon flourish into its former glory.

Root Rot

If you’ve noticed your succulent looking a bit droopy and lackluster, it could be due to root rot. Unfortunately, this is a common issue for many plant owners.

Root rot occurs when the roots of your succulent become waterlogged and start to decay.

To prevent root rot from happening, make sure that your pot has proper drainage holes. Succulents don’t like wet feet! Additionally, try not to overwater them – only give them a good drink when the soil is completely dry.

If you suspect that your succulent already has root rot, carefully remove it from its pot and inspect the roots. Healthy roots should be firm and white; if they’re brown or mushy, trim away any affected areas with clean scissors before repotting in fresh soil.

It’s important to act quickly if you notice signs of root rot in your succulent. Left untreated, it can spread quickly throughout the plant and ultimately lead to its demise.

With some careful attention and proper care practices, however, you can help nurse your succulent back to health!

Transplant Shock

As we discussed in the previous section, root rot is one of the common reasons why succulents die. However, there’s another culprit that could be causing your plant to struggle – transplant shock.

Transplant shock happens when you move a plant from its original pot or location to a new container or spot. This can cause stress to the roots and affect their ability to absorb water and nutrients effectively. The symptoms of transplant shock are similar to those of root rot, such as yellowing leaves, wilting, and slow growth.

If you suspect that your succulent is suffering from transplant shock, here are some tips on how to help it recover:

  • Give it time: Allow your plant enough time to adjust to its new environment before making any changes.
  • Water carefully: Avoid overwatering or underwatering your succulent during this period.
  • Provide adequate light: Make sure your plant gets enough sunlight but avoid direct exposure for too long.
  • Add fertilizer cautiously: Hold off on fertilizing until you’re sure that your succulent has recovered from transplant shock.
  • Monitor closely: Keep an eye on your plant regularly and watch out for any signs of improvement or deterioration.

By following these steps, you can give your succulent the best chance at recovering from transplant shock. Remember that patience is key when dealing with stressed plants – so don’t lose hope just yet!

Pot Size

When caring for succulents, one of the most important factors to consider is pot size! Choosing the right size is key, as too small of a pot can lead to poor root development, while over-potting can lead to too much moisture and create problems.

It’s important to research the right size pot for your succulent, and make sure you select one that’s appropriate for its size and growth pattern.

Don’t forget to also consider the drainage holes and material of the pot, as both can have a major impact on your succulent’s health.

Choosing The Right Pot Size

So, your succulent is looking a bit sad and you can’t quite figure out why. Well, let’s start with one of the most common issues – pot size. Choosing the right pot size for your succulent is crucial to its overall health and happiness.

First things first, make sure you choose a pot that has drainage holes. Succulents do not like sitting in waterlogged soil as it can lead to root rot and other nasty problems.

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Once you’ve got a suitable pot, consider the size carefully. A good rule of thumb is to go up one or two sizes from the current pot (if repotting) or select a container that allows 1-2 inches of space around the roots if planting from scratch.

But why does pot size matter so much? Well, too small a pot means cramped roots which can impact how much water and nutrients they can absorb. Too large a pot means excess soil which stays wet for longer periods leading to overwatering and again, root rot.

So take some time to find the perfect fit for your succulent friend – trust us, they’ll thank you for it!


Now that we’ve covered the importance of choosing the right pot size for your succulent, let’s move on to another common issue – over-potting.

Over-potting is when you choose a container that’s much too large for your plant. It may seem like a good idea at first since it gives your succulent more room to grow, but in reality, it can cause some serious problems.

When you over-pot your succulent, excess soil holds onto water for longer periods which creates stagnant and poorly drained conditions. This causes the roots to become waterlogged and start rotting away due to lack of oxygen.

Additionally, an overly large pot also means there will be more soil than necessary which can lead to mineral buildup and other nutrient imbalances.

So how do you know if you’re over-potting? A general rule of thumb is selecting a container that has about 1-2 inches of space around the root ball or upgrading only one pot size up from the current one during repotting.

Remember, just because your succulent looks small in its current pot doesn’t mean it needs a larger one immediately! Keep these tips in mind and give your plants a healthy home where they can thrive without any issues caused by unnecessary over-potting.

Humidity Levels

Maintaining proper humidity levels is crucial for the health of your succulent. These plants thrive in dry conditions and cannot tolerate excess moisture, which can cause root rot and other issues.

Low humidity is not necessarily a problem, but if it drops below 30%, you may need to take action.

To increase humidity around your succulent, you can try misting it with water or placing a tray of pebbles filled with water near the plant. Another option is to use a humidifier in the room where your succulent is located. Just be sure not to overwater your plant as this can create an environment that encourages pests and disease.

On the other hand, if you live in a particularly humid area or have high indoor humidity levels, you may need to take steps to lower the humidity around your succulent. This can include using a dehumidifier or simply moving the plant to an area with better air circulation.

By keeping an eye on your succulent’s surroundings and adjusting accordingly, you can help ensure its long-term health and vitality.

Common Succulent Species And Their Care Needs

As we discussed in the previous section, humidity levels play a crucial role in maintaining succulent health. However, if your succulent is still showing signs of distress despite optimal humidity levels, it could be due to other factors.

One common reason for succulents dying is incorrect care based on their species. Each variety has its own unique needs regarding light exposure, watering frequency and soil type.

For instance, some types like the Haworthia require less sunlight but more water compared to the Echeveria which prefers bright indirect light and infrequent watering.

Another factor that may cause your succulent’s decline is pest infestation. Common culprits include spider mites and mealybugs that suck out sap from leaves or stems leading to wilting and yellowing.

To combat this issue, you can use natural remedies such as neem oil or soap spray or resort to commercial insecticides after identifying the specific pests affecting your plant.

In conclusion, while humidity level management is important in keeping succulents healthy, there are other vital aspects of care such as correct identification and addressing pest issues early enough before they wreak havoc on your plants’ wellbeing.

By mastering all these elements of proper care for various succulent species, you will witness thriving greenery that adds beauty to any indoor or outdoor space.


So, if your succulent is dying, don’t worry! There are plenty of reasons why this may be happening and many ways to fix it.

Remember to check that you aren’t overwatering or underwatering your plant, ensure proper drainage, provide enough sunlight (but not too much), avoid extreme temperatures, and give your plant time to adjust after transplanting.

Some people may argue that their succulent has been cared for properly but still seems to be struggling. In these cases, it’s important to remember that different species of succulents have varying care needs.

Make sure you research the specific type of succulent you have so you can provide exactly what it needs to thrive.

As a gardening blogger, I know how frustrating it can be when plants start to fail. But with some patience and attention to detail, your succulent will flourish in no time!

Remember to always keep an eye on its watering schedule, lighting conditions, pot size and humidity levels- all of which are crucial elements for success.

So go ahead and show off those beautiful healthy succulents – they’re worth the effort!

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