Succulent with leaves dying at the bottom
- Symptoms. Leaves at the bottom of the succulent turn brown, crispy and have a dying appearance. It might also grow tall, drooping leaves and appear leggy.
- Causes. Succulents grow leggy and lose lower leaves when deprived of sunlight. New leaves grow and die from the lower leaves of succulents.
Because succulent leaves are not receiving enough sunlight, they die at the bottom of the plants. As a consequence, the succulent redirects energy to younger, taller leaves which search for more light, while the bottom leaves turn crispy, decaying, and unhealthy.
Some leaves can lean up too far towards the direction of the strongest sunlight, which can cause them to droop under their own weight (common with aloe vera growing too much shade).
Different succulent types require different amounts of light, such as aloe plants, which are adapted to direct sunlight, and string of pearls ones, which need indirect light in order to survive, so the amount of light required varies from plant to plant.
A succulent that is grown in optimal light conditions remains compact and retains a better shape as they need to grow shorter rather than growing taller to get a sufficient amount of light.
It is part of the natural cycle for succulents for the leaves to eventually die off and if the succulent doesn’t appear leggy or drooping then this is also part of its growth cycle. The wilting leaves at the base of your succulent can be perfectly normal and not a sign the whole thing is in decline.
Reviving Succulents that’ve got leaves dying at the bottom
- If lower leaves are dying on tall succulents, ensure that the succulent is in an area that receives enough light. For succulents to remain compact and prevent leggy growth, they either require bright indirect light (such as string or pearl or snake plants) or 4-6 hours of direct sun (such as aloe and jade plants).
- Expose it gradually to more sunlight instead of a sudden shock when moved from a shady environment to full sun. Over the next few weeks, move succulents to a brighter or sunnier spot for half an hour more every other day, so that the succulent gets used to the new levels of light.
- It is difficult to restore the succulent to its original shape and form when its growth has drooped over. To preserve the appearance of a succulent, it’s sometimes necessary to take cuttings from its leaves or stems for propagation, as all succulents grow quickly.
- Getting rid of the browned or dying leaves below the succulent leaves will not harm it, but it will keep its appearance healthy. Put a pair of tweezers or your fingers in the brown, dead leaves, and gently twist. If the leaves are difficult to remove, leave them in place for about a month and try again rather than trying to force them off.
Cold kills succulents
- Symptoms. Succulents can appear brown or black, depending on the degree to which they are damaged, with a soft, mushy texture to their leaves.
- Causes. Some succulents can survive lower temperatures but are rarely grown in frost. Most succulents grow in hot climates and frequently suffer as temperatures drop below 50°F (10°C).
A lot of succulents don’t like temperatures below 50°F (10°C) and die if they are exposed to them for a long period of time.
Typically, most varieties of succulents thrive well at room temperature, with a range of 55 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius to 27 degrees Celsius) being considered optimal.
Frost can result in succulents turning mushy in texture with brown or black appearance if they are exposed to cold temperatures.
A succulent’s younger leaves can sometimes be more vulnerable to damage.
Cold damaged succulents: How to revive them
Install your succulent outdoors in an area of your home or garden that is consistently between 55°F and 80°F (13°C and 27°C). Make sure none of the leaves touch the windows because they can be considerably colder than the rest of your home.
The cold damage should not necessarily get any worse once the succulent is stabilized in a more stable environment.
When the succulent’s leaves feel mushy, they should dry out and callus over after a few days, if not weeks.
After the mushy part has dried up, cut the leaf right below the damaged area because cold damaged succulents do not typically recover, but the succulents as a whole can.
Only water the succulent after the callus of the cut has completely healed, to prevent other problems such as root rot, caused by cold damage.
Eventually, the succulent can begin to recover from cold damage and grow new leaves.
- Succulents die mainly due to root rot caused by overwatering and slow draining soils. Succulents need soil to dry out between waterings and are drought-resistant plants. Brown, yellow, or black mushy leaves can indicate a succulent that is dying from too much moisture in the soil.
- Overwatering or sunburn causes succulents to turn brown. Leaves that are brown and mushy on succulents indicate that they are too moist. A sudden increase in the intensity of the sunlight can cause brown succulent leaves with a scorched appearance.
- Watering too frequently, damp soils or pots without drainage holes in the base can cause succulent leaves to turn yellow. Plants grown from succulents require the soil to dry out between waterings. If you see yellow and mushy succulent leaves, you may have waterlogged roots.
- When succulents are in too much shade, they grow tall and leggy. Succulents grow tall in the direction of the strongest light because they need bright, indirect light or full sun. Succulents with taller leaves are usually more delicate, sometimes dying leaves can droop from the weight themselves.
- Due to drought stress due to under watering or watering too lightly, succulent leaves shrivel because of drought. In the leaves of succulent plants, water is stored as a survival strategy. Your cactus can show symptoms of shriveling leaves if you do not give it enough water.
- If you want to revive dying succulents, you need to recreate the conditions of their native environment by using well-draining gritty soil, the right level of sunlight, and watering the plant when it dries out. You can propagate succulents from healthy parts for propagation to save the original one.
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