6 Reasons Succulent Leaves Turn Yellow and How to Fix it

Succulent plants are some of the most interesting and popular indoor plants. Thier features include thickened, fleshy, and engorged, enabling them to keep water in excessively dry climates or soil conditions. These characteristics are part of the reason they require a low amount of maintenance.

Even though it doesn’t take much to keep this pretty plant thriving in your home and garden, they are not exempted from certain issues when neglected. One problem when a succulent is not properly taken care of is that the plant leaves turn yellow.

Causes And Treatment Of Succulent Leaves Turning Yellow

Succulent Leaves Turning Yellow

Some common causes include too much sun, insufficient sunlight, underwatering, overwatering, lack of nutrients, pests, and diseases. The good thing is that most of these problems are easy to deal with.

1. Over-Watering

One of the most common reasons succulent leaves turn yellow is over-watering. When succulents are given too much water, their roots will drown, and the plant will show signs of distress. Overwatering can turn succulent leaves yellow, wilt, and then die.

If you think your succulent may be overwatered, the best thing to do is to cut back on the water and allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Also, add a drainage layer to your potting soil to help improve air circulation and reduce moisture levels.

2. Too Much Sun

Succulent plants need light but don’t need direct sun all day long. Too much sun can cause the leaves to turn yellow, especially during the hot or humid seasons. If this is happening to your succulent, try moving it to a spot where it gets morning sun or indirect light. Consider using a light stand or shade cloth to protect your succulent from the sun.

3. Not Enough Sun

On the other hand, if your succulent’s leaves are turning yellow, it might be due to a lack of sunlight. Succulents need a lot of sunlight, so if they’re not getting enough, their leaves will start to change color. The best way to prevent this is to ensure your succulent is in a spot where it gets direct sunlight for at least six hours a day.

4. Soil Mix Is Off

If you notice that your succulent’s leaves are turning yellow, one of the first places to check is the soil mix. If the soil is too dense, it could prevent the roots from getting the air they need to breathe.

To fix this, you can either loosen up the soil with a fork or replace it entirely with a loose, well-draining mix. If you live in an area with hard water, consider switching to distilled water or rainwater, as the high mineral content in tap water can build up over time and lead to yellowing leaves.

5. Fertilizer Burn

Fertilizer burn is one of the leading causes of succulent leaves turning yellow. Often, succulents are potted in soil that doesn’t have enough nutrients, so we tend to go overboard when fertilizing them.

If you think your succulent might be experiencing fertilizer burn, you should first leach the potting mix, which means running water through the mix until it clears out of the pot’s bottom. Once you’ve done this, you can continue fertilizing your plant, but be sure to do so sparingly.

6. Pests or Diseases

If you notice any pests or diseases on your succulent, it’s important to take care of them immediately. Not only can they make your plant look bad, but they can also spread to other succulents and houseplants.

Some common pests that can affect succulents are mealybugs, aphids, and scale insects. These little buggers are attracted to the sap of the plant, and they can cause the leaves to turn yellow and eventually drop off.

To eliminate pests, use a pesticide or try DIY solutions like spraying the plant with soapy water or rubbing alcohol. If you have a serious infestation, you should bring in the big guns and call an exterminator.

As for diseases, one of the most common is root rot. It happens when the plant roots sit in wet soil for too long and rot. The plant leaves will turn yellow and mushy, and eventually, the whole plant will die.

The best way to prevent root rot is to ensure your succulent is planted in well-draining soil. If you think your plant has root rot, you can try replanting it in fresh soil. If that doesn’t work, you should start from scratch with a new plant.

Preventing Succulent Leaves from Turning Yellow

Succulents in Pots

Your plants need to be cared for properly and mindfully so that you don’t have to go through the rigors of trying to correct the things you could’ve easily prevented. Please only seek a solution once there is an issue. Rather, after planting your succulent, ensure you tend to it as it grows.

Pick a spot you would like to position your succulent plant. It could be in a pot or outside on the ground in the garden. Observe the soil where you want to locate it, check its moisture, and check the pH level. When you’ve confirmed that, make the adjustments if required.

Remember to confirm that the pot has proper drainage holes and if it’s in the garden, try the soil water draining capacity. You can do this by sticking your finger in the soil to check or perform a test with another plant.

Conclude your findings and go ahead to plant your succulent. Take care of your plant by watering appropriately, sunning, and shading as needed. Perform periodic checks and observation of its leaves to prevent disease or pest attacks. Then, fertilize accordingly and at the right proportions, following the product’s directions. Whenever you notice something that might be off, and you’re still determining what it might be, you can always call in an expert to help you look at it.

Health Tips for Succulent Plants

Here are a few more tips on keeping your succulent plant healthy:

  • Water regularly, but don’t overdo it.
  • Place your succulent plants under bright, indirect light.
  • Feed your succulent plants monthly during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer.
  • Look out for pests such as aphids and spider mites, and treat them immediately with an appropriate insecticide or fungicide.

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