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What's Wrong With My Succulent?!

Plants May 15, 2018

What's Wrong With My Succulent

So, your succulent is looking a little worse for wear? You’ve come to the right place.

Despite the fact that succulents are touted as some of the easiest plants to grow in your home, they can actually be tricky little devils to keep alive. Trust me I know! Sometimes, for what may seem like no reason at all, they start to wilt and die, and with the wilting of those succulent leaves, so too your soul dies just a little. But fear not! There’s always a reason, and perhaps even a quick fix you can use to give them back their sparkle. A while ago we put together An Illustrated Guide to Caring For Succulents, and today we’re sharing with you another in our green series… We’re answering the age old question ‘WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY SUCCULENT?!’… (Usually said with a bunch of expletives).

To make it easy for you, once again we’ve put together an illustrated guide, this time outlining some of the common issues that happen with succulents, with the goal of answering your question about what’s wrong with my succulent. Once and for all!

What’s Wrong With My Succulent?!

Leaning Towards The Light

If your plant starts leaning towards the light, or growing in length towards a window, that’s a sure sign that it isn’t getting enough sunlight.

Quick Fix Well, obviously it’s time to shift your plant towards the source of light. But bear in mind that morning light is better than harsh afternoon light, and if you plan to make a drastic move it would be best to do it as baby steps so as not to cause a shock to the plant.

Shrivelled Leaves

Leaves dying are a normal part of succulent growth, and there will be times when you need to trim the dead leaves of a succulent which will often be the bottom, older leaves. However, if the leaves all of a sudden start shrivelling or looking wrinkled all over, chances are your plant isn’t getting enough water.

Quick Fix Check to see if the soil is very dry, which will help confirm underwatering as the issue. If this is the case, give your plant some water, making sure to fully drench the soil. Considering watering more often.


If your leaves and base of your plant start to get squishy, you’ve got rot on your hands. This is from overwatering, where the soil isn’t able to dry out properly between watering and the plant becomes waterlogged.

Quick Fix If you think the rotting is from overwatering, hold back on your watering schedule for a while. If the rotting is quite bad, chances are you may need to trim your succulent.

Yellowing Leaves

Another sure sign of overwatering, yellowing leaves is something you may notice prior to any major rotting.

Quick Fix Definitely hold back from your watering for a while until the leaves have started to regain their colour, and also make sure to let your soil dry out between watering.

Black or Brown Spots

If you’re seeing your plant turn brown or black in spots or along the trunk of the plant, chances are you’ve gone a bit over the top in the watering department.

Quick Fix Unfortunately once the trunk has gone completely black it can be difficult to bring a succulent back to life. However, leave it for a while to dry out and you may find that the spots go away and the plant recovers.

Dull Colour

A loss of colour is often what happens when a succulent is exposed to too much sunlight, as there is a bleaching effect. A green succulent may turn to a pale green or white, and if it was bright pink, purple or yellow it may turn a lighter green colour.

Quick Fix Move your plant to a less bright corner, and if it was in the afternoon sun move it to a place that gets more reflected light or less harsh morning sun.

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