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Why Is My Succulent Plant Dying?

“Why is my succulent plant dying” is one of the questions asked by new houseplant lovers and cultivators.

The reason for dying succulents is because of poor Watering practice and poorly draining soil.

Drying and Dying Leaves

Watering succulent plants can be tricky as both over watering and under watering of the plant can lead to dying succulent plants. Undrained soil can cause the root of the succulent plant to rot.

How Do I Know My Succulent Plant Are Dying?

Succulent plants that lose their leaves from the top are most likely suffering from underwatering. Withered and shriveled-up leaves at the top of the succulent plant can be a result of the plant being underwatered.

Dry and dying Leaves appearing at the bottom of the plant is a natural occurrence and therefore not an issue to be worried about.

When new leaves are created, old leaves at the bottom of the plant become dry and fall off. The dead leaves allow the plant to focus its energy on growing new leaves.

Succulent Leaves or Stem Turning Brown, Yellow, Or Black 

Succulent Leaves or Stem Turning Brown

Whenever the stem or leaves of the succulent plant begins to turn either brown, yellow, or black, that’s a sign that it’s suffering from overwatering.

Succulent plants are drought-resistant plants and therefore require little water to survive.

Overwatering the plants sometimes causes stress on the roots of the plants thereby leading to discoloration of its leaves.

Brown Spots On The Leaves Of The Succulent Plant

Brown Spots On The Leaves Of The Succulent Plant
World of Succulents

Brown spots on the leaves of the succulent plant can be caused by overexposure to sunlight. Succulent plants can survive under direct sunlight but when it becomes excessive, it can cause leaf burn.

Look out for any sign of mushy off-color part of your plant, as if not handled properly, it can spread across the whole plant.

Leaves Become Black And Mushy

Leaves Become Black And Mushy

When succulent plants are exposed to excess watering or cold, their tissues absorb more water than needed.

Leaves lose their colors and tend to become soft and turn mushy when overwatered. They are drought-resistant plants and therefore contain enough moisture in their tissues.

Soil with a bad draining system can lead to water logging causing the root of the plant to rot. A good way to determine this problem is through its leaves that are appearing extra soft and fat.

Succulent Plant Losing Its Leaves

Succulent Plant Losing Its Leaves

Succulent Plants just like every other household plant lose their bottom leaves for newer leaves to grow. When the loss of leaves occurs across the whole body of the plant, that’s a sign of stress being caused by over watering.

When the root of the plant begins to rot, the petiole becomes weak, leading to leaf loss.

Why is my succulent plant dying

Dying succulent plants are caused by several factors.

Over Watering

Over Watering
World of Succulents

Overwatering of succulent plants is one of the leading causes of their death. Knowing when to water the plant is essential. Succulent plants are accustomed to growing in areas with less water, so overwhelming them with water is of no use.

Another mistake new gardeners make is watering immediately after repotting. Allow the root of the plants to adapt to their new potting mix before watering.

Lack Of Sunlight

Lack of Sunlight
Mountain Crest Gardens

Succulent plants require intense sunlight to thrive. Succulent plants are known to survive in the desert under intense heat. To replicate this environment, place the plant under direct sunlight.

For indoor propagation, consider growing under a grow lamp as this provides the required amount of sunlight needed.

Improper soil and poor drainage

Improper soil and poor drainage
The Spruce

One of the reasons why succulent Plants die is as a result of improper soil mix. Plain soil can cause soil compaction leading to poor aeration and drainage. Succulent Plants require a potty mix that will aid water drainage and airflow. 

Also, the lack of draining holes under the pot can cause water logging as no escape route is created for excess water. 


Succulents and Sunshine

As with other household plants, succulent plants attract pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and scales. Although they cause less damage when compared with over watering if left untreated can cause significant damage to the plant.


Gardening Know How

Succulent Plants love warm and dry climates. They grow better in warm environments. Indoor cultivation is ideal because most home temperatures are suitable for growing succulent plants.

Placing the plant in a cold and moist environment can cause the plant to experience difficulty growing.

How to fix my dying succulent plants

The first step in reviving a dying succulent plant is by identifying the cause of the problem leading to the death of the plant. Once the cause has been established, then carry out the following steps.

Over watering

  1. Measure the moisture content of the soil using a moisture meter.
  2. Water the soil only if it is completely dry.
  3. Do not water directly on the flowers. Spray on the soil instead.

Lack Of Sunlight

  1. Check if the plant has access to direct sunlight.
  2. Move the plant outside or beside a window where it can access direct sunlight
  3. Use a grow light if growing indoors without access to direct sunlight.

Improper soil and poor drainage

  1. Create a new potting mix that supports water drainage.
  2. Create tiny holes at the bottom of the new pot so excess water can be drained out.
  3. Remove the succulent plant from its old pot with care and wash off any bit of soil remaining on its roots.
  4. The new pot should be placed on a windowsill to access direct sunlight.
  5. Do not water the plant immediately after repotting. Wait a couple of days till the soil is completely dry before watering.
  6. In cases where the sun becomes too intense, temporarily remove the plant from the window area to prevent leaf burns.


  1. Maintain proper plant hygiene by picking out dead or rotting leaves from the pot.
  2. Use fly traps to kill adult pests such as fungus gnats.
  3. While Covering the base of the plant, use water to rinse off pests such as mealybugs and spider mites.
  4. Use Neem oil and other insecticidal soaps to wipe the infected plants.


  1. During the winter season, move your plant from the window area and place it under a grow light.
  2. When possible, Close all doors and windows to keep out the cold.


Should I be worried that my succulent Plant is losing its leaves?

Succulent plants just like every other household plant lose their bottom leaves to give way for larger new leaves. Loss of leaves across the whole plant could be a sign of overwatering.

How often should I water my dying succulent plant?

The plant might be dying as a result of overwatering. Only water your dying succulent plant when the soil is completely dry across the entire pot. 

How long can succulent plants survive without water?

Depending on the variety of the plant, Succulent Plants can survive for about 1 to 3 months without water. 

Is direct sunlight dangerous for my succulent plant?

No. Succulent Plants love direct sunlight. They are known as drought-resistant plants due to their fleshy and engorge roots, stems, or leaves. They can survive for long under arid climates and soil conditions. 

How can I water my succulent plant?

Watering succulent plants need to be done carefully. Do not water directly on the leaves of the plant but rather on the soil. Keep watering till it starts to run out of the draining holes of the pots.