10 Common Succulent Problems and Easy Cure in 2024

Have you been always fond of succulents and lately thinking about having one for your garden? At first, I must say succulents are an excellent choice for indoor gardening but before you opt for one, you need to know about the common succulent problems.

They are quite admired for their charm & extensive qualities.

Although they can be tagged as tough certainly cannot be called unbreakable as like any other plants they too have certain problems which are often shown by the plant itself through various signs.

Are you worried knowing that succulents aren’t vulnerable to complications? Do not be worried since the problems can be dealt with easily once you have enough knowledge about them.

This article will take you through all the features and common issues that you have a chance of facing if you plant a succulent and also the solutions to them. So, let us begin now.

 

Essentials to Keep in Mind While Planting Succulents

There is no doubt in the fact that succulents do not need much attention but I would suggest you take good care of your indoor plant, otherwise, they might get killed even.

As we all know the saying, “Precaution is better than cure”, so, before we know about the problems & their solutions, let’s quickly go through the essentials that need to be kept in mind while choosing to plant a succulent.

Light & Temperature

It is advisable to keep your succulent in a bright place, but away from direct sunlight. If planted outdoors, build them shade, and if placed indoors on a window pane, the south-facing one would be the best.

They cannot be said frost intolerant since some of them can resist really low temperatures. For others, a temperature ranging between 40ºF – 60ºF will be good for growth.

Soil & Watering

A well-draining soil is what the succulents demand. You may use pumice and coarse sand to prepare your soil. Adding fertilizers is a per choice as they don’t need it mandatorily.

However, you need to be very specific with your watering routine for such houseplants. Water them once a week during the summers and during winters try not to water them unless the soil is very dry.

Pest Care

Well, succulents do not have too many reports of pest attacks, but most of them are prone to fungus infections. Some of them are prone to mealybugs and mites.

You can spray pesticide sprays a fixed intervals to avoid your succulents getting infected.

 

Common Cactus and Succulent Problems

Succulents can be fussy at times. When you think they are doing great they can certainly start behaving odd and indicating problems.

Do not panic if you see any problem signs, with this article you will get to know various issues related to common succulent & cactus plants & their solutions.

From symptoms to causes, prevention to cure we have got it listed here for you.

Fall of Leaves

This is something being tensed about when you find your succulent leaves falling off and an obvious question like why is my succulent losing leaves would appear in your mind. Well, this is usually due to an irregular watering routine, mainly overwatering.

When you overwater the plant than its actual need, swelling occurs in the leaves and they become mushy making the succulent leaves turn soft.

This eventually leads to the succulent leaves falling off untimely and at a rapid pace.

You may also witness the succulent leaves falling off when touched during conditions of drought. No need to worry much about it since it is a natural floral phenomenon where the leaves are shredded by the plant itself to conserve water & energy.

Solutions

First, you need to identify the exact reason for your succulents losing leaves.

If it’s during the summer when temperatures are very high, the intensity is the reason for your succulent dropping leaves. Relocate your houseplant to shade and keep watering it frequently and do not allow its soil to get dried up.

If the temperatures are normal, then it’s probably happening due to overwatering. In such circumstances, you need to reduce the frequency of watering.

You may be required to relocate it to a new pot as well if the water is not draining out properly.

Use a proper soil mixture having a well-drainage capacity and a pot with holes at the bottom for draining the excess water.

 

Leaves become Yellow

Gardeners often come up with a question like why is my succulent turning yellow? If it’s not the shredding season, then definitely there is a problem and you need to find it out.

Yellowing of leaves can be from irregular watering and in such cases, you need to be observant since both overwatering and under-watering can cause such conditions.

How to find out which is the case here? If your plant is watered regularly, yet you find the succulent leaves turning yellow and soft, then it’s surely overwatering. Otherwise, if you find your succulent wilting, probably you missed out on watering it for a long time and the reason is under-watering.

Another reason for this problem is poor soil supplements. If you find your succulent turning yellow but your watering routine is alright, definitely it’s the poor soil mixture with a lack of nutrients in it.

Solutions

As you already know, succulents are very sensitive to watering routines and any abnormal quantity may affect them.

You need to strictly adhere to the principles of watering your houseplant unless the plant has some special requirements.

Remember, you need to wait for the soil to dry before you water your succulent once again.

If it is the soil, you can choose re-potting your indoor plant.

You must have a good soil mixture this time with a balanced amount of fertilizer in it. If you are not sure about how to prepare your soil well, you can try out some readily available mixtures from online stores.

 

Leaves Drying Up

In most cases, under-watering is the cause behind succulent leaves’ shriveling. The occurrence with your plant may also be the same.

How to identify if the reason is under-watering? Look at the leaves at the upper part of the succulent, if they appear dry, you can be sure about the cause.

Surprisingly, overwatering has also been found as another cause for shriveling of houseplants like succulents. The noticeable points are fluffy leaves that appear to limp or fall off.

Solutions

The best way to cure things is by getting a reasonable watering routine. In the case of under-watering, this is sufficient to have the issue solved.

But if the reason is overwatering, you might be required to transplant your succulent.

But remember to use a soil mixture with proper drainage and a pot that properly drainage supports excess water.

Before you water it again, it is advisable that you check the moisture content in the soil and for this, you can use a hygrometer. Let the overwatered plant dry for a few days before starting to water again.

 

Leaves turning Brown

Succulents love bright places but their relationship with sunlight is a bit complicated. Confused hearing this? Bright light is favored by these indoor plants but you must remember that the light should be partial.

The main reason for your succulent turning brown is excessive heat and direct sunlight.

Overexposure to sunlight may not be good for the houseplants leading to sunburns for which brown spots on succulents may appear.

Solutions

As we all know it is the partial light of the sun which is preferred by succulents and to save your indoor plant from heatwave you can provide it with shade or plant it near a bigger tree if placed outdoors.

Remember, you need to habituate the tiny plant to the sun rays before it can resist them. So, increase the intensity gradually.

 

The Cochineal Scale

Whitish fluffy dots appear on the cactus as signs of these succulent diseases which on mashing will make your finger red. This is what the effect of the cochineal scale is. The pests can do severe damage to your indoor plant if not treated at the early stages.

This condition can worsen if your cactus is not getting proper humidity, moisture & air circulation. If the temperatures are too hot, this might intensify the conditions.

Solutions

You need to believe in herbal curatives for this problem. A solution of the oil extracted from the medicinal ‘Neem’ tree can be sprayed to treat this condition.

You will find it strange that even some insects can help to cure this condition. We usually term such insects as beneficiary insects, like the ladybug.

But before you take some curative measure, remember to clean the existing pests by blasting them with our gardening hose. You can also scrub off the infected leaves or pads with a soap solution. It is advisable to use a brush with a long handle and soft bristles for this purpose.

 

Etiolation of the Houseplant

Etiolation is the stretching out of the plant and in this case we can find the stems of the succulent stretching out. Well, the reason is almost the same for every plant, the need for sunlight.

Every green plant needs sunlight and as our primary school books have taught us if we keep the plant in a dark place with a small ray of light coming into the place from an end, the plant will stretch its branches towards the lighted spot and so does the common succulents.

The growth is slowed down in such conditions and you might get to see the stems arriving in between the leaves and the gap between two consecutive leaves getting wider.

Solutions

The solution, in this case, is quite simple as all you need to do is to move your indoor plant to a brighter spot and that will serve the purpose. For your indoor plant, a south-facing window pane will be the best-suited spot.

You must consider the golden rule while relocating your baby succulent plant. Expose it gradually to the intensity of the sun rays and not all of a sudden.

If moved suddenly it might shock your plant and the worst scenario is that you may find a dead succulent.

Be observant while you take this step and if you find any complication, shift it back to its original spot for a few days and then try once again to make it adapt to the lighter surrounding.

 

Succulent Not Growing Fairly

The most obvious reason behind the succulents not having fair growth is poor exposure to light. If your houseplant does not get enough exposure to the sun it will become weak, resulting in a stunned growth.

Some experts have also found the issue to be arising due to poor soil quality.

Since succulents are quite hardy plants and do not require much maintenance, often novice gardeners do not put much effort towards the preparation of the potting mixture making the plant devoid of its essential nutrients.

If your indoor plant does not get to feed on the required supplements, you also have chance of the succulent falling over.

Solutions

The best way to solve this issue is to transplant the succulent to a new pot with a fresh mixture of qualitative nutrients added to the soil.

You must use a well-balanced fertilizer and my suggestion would be to opt for the ones which are specially made-ready for this kind of houseplant.

If the reason is improper lighting, then moving the succulent to a brighter spot will do. If you have kept it indoors try to find an east-facing window to place it..

 

Desiccation of leaves

We often get to see the succulent leaves curling or wrinkling. Your succulent with long leaves which were pumped up previously may show signs of desiccation by losing its sheen.

This condition usually occurs due to the plants drying out due to a lack of water.

Succulents are tough plants that can even survive droughts by using the water stored in their leaves.

However, if your plant has some disease or pest issues it can make your plant weak and therefore wrinkles are likely to be seen.

As time passes by, the nutrients in the potting mixture are consumed totally by your succulents making the soil void of essential nutrients. This might lead to discoloration of the leaves of your succulent plant.

Solutions

In case the issue seems to be with your watering routine, fix it. You need to follow a strict rule for watering your succulent if you want it to live longer.

Lack of proper supplements for your houseplant can put into a lot of problems, one of which is desiccation, and to save your plant you can re-pot it to a new home.

Plant nutrients are a crucial element to plant growth even, so never compromise on that.

 

Root Rotting

The rotting of roots is a very common problem with succulents and the main reason being overwatering and poor drainage system of the pot.

The plant tissue becomes mushy when the plant roots reside for a longer period in logged water which is excess than its requirements and you may see the succulent leaves pointing down.

This is a very serious problem and if it’s too late you may need to say goodbye to your houseplant even. Are you already scared? Don’t be scared as I got a solution for you as usual.

Solutions

Besides checking for signs like falling leaves or succulents becoming soft, you need to also check the soil frequently. If you find the soil taking a longer time than expected to dry off, there is a problem.

If the plant roots have not rotted fully, you can still recover by cutting the unaffected parts and using them to grow a new plant. It will be a better option than trying to save the impacted plant.

But if you still wish to give it a try to save your actual plant, you may remove the affected portions and then replant it in a new pot with a proper drainage facility.

 

Houseplant Edema

The flat-leaf succulent plants often have some white patches on their leaves which are mainly visible on the top portion of the leaves.

The effect is although not very serious but succulent edema can be very unsightly. These spots usually appear due to the exposure of the plant to intense heat waves.

Having an improper watering routine may also affect the plant and is capable of causing edema.

Solutions

You may once again be surprised, but the truth is that succulents are capable of outgrowing the conditions of edema by themselves.

So, if you find your succulent turning white, no need to panic.

All you need to do is to provide your plant with a safe place from the extremely hot climate and also fix a watering routine depending on the prevailing weather conditions.

 

What Can Be Done to Save a Dying Succulent?

Once the plant starts suffering, you must be worried but you need to calm down and check for the main cause behind the suffering of your houseplant rather than panicking.

The problems may be varying from species to species but if your symptoms suggest any of the above-stated problems, then you already have a solution, just go through the needful.

Most importantly remember to check the roots of your houseplant, if they are still lively, you always have chances. In worst scenarios, you may be required to immediately propagate your plant using the unaffected healthy portion.

In case you have already lost your floral friend and have been thinking – why did my succulent die, you may well find a reason among the above-listed symptoms for common succulent houseplants.

 

Conclusion

Succulents are very strong plants and they are habituated to arid climatic but it is said that the strongest is still inevitable.

You may take the best care yet find your houseplant in danger. The reason is not always due to improper caring, something they are genetic, and sometimes even due to external agents like pests.

These common house succulents are very prone to fungal infections and mealybugs and aphids.

You would never like your succulent to get affected by one. Therefore, I would suggest you spray pesticides on your plant once a month and also have regular checks for pest attacks.

The succulents are resilient and the moment when you start feeling that you have lost it, the succulent may respond to your caring and get freshened up.

So, do not worry, and have a happy planting experience with your succulent plant.