Succulent leaves turning yellow – Some common problems and solutions

Succulents are unique plants that can withstand harsh conditions. They are prized for their beauty and unique qualities. When given the right environment, they can thrive for long periods with minimal care. They are, however, not immune to problems and can show signs that they require a change. Suppose you are uncertain whether your succulent plant is displaying normal behavior or is signaling that there is a problem in need of immediate attention. In that case, the information below will help you troubleshoot what’s going on with your plant. The Succulent leaves turning yellow is a very common problem with some easy remedies to

Here are some of the common problems, along with Succulent leaves turning yellow

Leaves falling off while succulent leaves turning yellow

Reason: Why are leaves falling off your succulents? The most common reason is watering issues. Too much water can cause the leaves to swell, become soft and mushy, and eventually fall off. Leaves that fall off from overwatering appear wet and mushy, and the stem may appear puffy.


Withhold watering until the top inch of the soil feels dry. Ensure the potting mix is well-draining and that the plant is not sitting in water for too long. If the wrong potting mix is used, re-pot the plant and switch out the soil with a well-draining one.


When repotting, let the plant dry out for a few days to recover and heal before transplanting and watering again. Let excess water drain out of the holes of the pot when watering. If the pot does not have drainage holes, consider drilling one or alter watering techniques to prevent overwatering. Leaves can also fall off during extreme heat. During periods of intense heat or drought, succulents respond by dropping their leaves to conserve energy and maintain their water supply. While this is a normal response in nature, you can take steps to minimize stress in your plant.


Move the plant in a shadier location away from the intense, full sun during a heatwave or drought. The plant may also need to be watered more often during these conditions. Increase watering as required or when the top inch of the soil feels dry to touch.


Succulent leaves turning yellow

There can be several reasons behind the yellow pages. Here are the most common ones and the remedies.

Watering issue:

Leaves can turn yellow from watering issues. Overwatering and underwatering can both cause the leaves to turn yellow. Pay attention to other things that are going on with your plant. If the plant is well watered and the leaves turn yellow, feel mushy and swollen, the plant is being overwatered. If the leaves are turning yellow, fading, and wilting, and you know you have not watered your plant for a while, then the plant is most likely underwatered.


Adjust watering techniques. If you suspect the plant is being overwatered, water less frequently and wait for the soil to dry out in between waterings. Suppose the plant is being under-watered, water the plant more thoroughly. Most succulents like a good watering until excess water drips out of the holes of the pot. Wait until the soil dries before watering again.

Lack of nutrients:

Succulent leaves turning yellow can also result from a lack of proper nutrients. Most commercial succulent potting soil comes with added compost or fertilizer in the mix. The plants can feed on those nutrients for quite some time. Eventually, these nutrients are flushed out of the soil from constant watering, and nutrients need to be added back in. Nutrients can be added by re-potting the plant in a fresh potting mix or fertilizing the plant.


Re-pot the plant using an appropriate well-draining potting mix or apply fertilizer. Use a well-balanced fertilizer designed for houseplants or a fertilizer blend specifically formulated for cacti and succulents. Cacti and succulents are not heavy feeders and do not require a lot of fertilizers. Dilute the amount of fertilizer recommended on the package to half. Feeding about every two weeks during the growing season should be good enough.


Withered or Shriveled Up Leaves while succulent leaves turning yellow

Watering issues: The leading cause of shriveled leaves is underwatering. If the leaves appear withered and shriveled, often from the plant’s top leaves first, the plant is most likely to need water. If you have been watering your plant sparingly, and the leaves are starting to wither, you have an under watering problem which can be easily remedied.


Water plants more thoroughly and frequently. During the growing season or a heatwave, succulents need more water. Let water drain out of the holes when watering and allow the soil to dry before watering again. Overwatering can also cause the leaves to fade. But instead of a wilted, shriveled appearance, leaves can appear limp, weak, and fall off too much water. The stem can also appear puffy. If you suspect overwatering, water less frequently, and make sure you allow the soil to dry out between waterings. The top inch of the soil needs to feel dry before watering again.

Suppose the plant is in a wrong potting mix, re-pot in well-draining potting soil. When repotting, let the plant dry out for a few days before to allow it to recover and heal from overwatering before transplanting and watering again. You can use tools, such as moisture meters and hygrometers, to check for moisture in the soil and the air. Please check out my resource page for product recommendations.


Brown leaves or dark spots on leaves while succulent leaves turning yellow

The most common reason for brown or dark spots on the leaves on your succulents is sun damage or sunburn. This can happen if the plant is exposed to unfiltered, full sun or if the plant is recently moved to a sunny location without acclimatizing the plant first. Even plants acclimated to full sun can have brown leaves during intense heatwaves or drought.

So these are some of the most common problems and solutions, including Succulent leaves turning yellow.

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