Wondering how to save dying succulents? Or are you worried that your succulent plant will die from overwatering or underwatering? Find out how you definitely say that in this article!

Succulents are hardy plants that do not need much attention, which is why they have become very popular in recent years.

If you are a horticulturist or have an Instagram account and follow something cute, chances are you have at least a few adorable succulents. And we don’t blame you!

Some succulent plants like Echeveria, Panda Plant, Burro’s Tail, or Jade Plant are so cute that you only need to purchase them, and while they do well with little water and light, they sometimes wilt. , Wilt, turn yellow or just crumble.

I’ve gotten quite a few emails from anxious succulents, wondering why their beloved plants are dying. Sometimes there is nothing wrong with their plants.

Other times, the problem is that the plant has been overwhelmed or underwater … and it can be hard to tell which is which! I will give you some helpful tips in this article so that you can diagnose the error!

Fortunately, every succulent problem has a solution. So if you check your succulents regularly, you can spot problems early and prevent them from dying.

Read on to learn more about the most common causes of succulent death and how to save it.


Almost always, when someone tells me their juices are struggling, I ask when I finally watered them.

They usually don’t know the answer!

I totally understand. Tracking watering can be cumbersome. But it will totally help you keep the succulent alive for longer.

While you can use anything to record watering dates (pen and paper, spreadsheet, notes on your phone), I found using the Succulent Tracker app to be the most effective way. Simple for me to follow my collection of succulents, which now number over 200!


In the app, you can save all kinds of things related to succulents – names, watering, re-nailing, bug handling, photos, etc.

I highly recommend downloading this app and recording every time you water. And if it isn’t on the app, record it another way so that you have some helpful information to better diagnose what’s going on with your sap.

And now … let’s get to the diagnosis!


First, it’s important to keep in mind that dying leaves are a natural part of every plant’s life – and succulents are no exception. This doesn’t always mean that your succulent is dying or that you are doing something wrong.

As your plant grows, it creates new leaves, while old leaves die. So if you see dry, crunchy leaves at the bottom of the plant – and only at the bottom – don’t worry. Normal!

If the dried leaves start to look ugly, gently pull them from the base of the plant and discard them. When removing leaves, keep the plant in a pot so as not to disturb the roots.

Just remove leaves that are easily fruiting or dead. Here I took the plant out of the pot to better show you what the dead leaves of a healthy plant look like.


You have this lovely aloe vera on a windowsill and a bunch of other blooming plants on your balcony, but your favorite succulents don’t look good and the two most common problems are watering and overwatering. Watering, the latter is more popular with us (lovers of nature, also known as gardeners).


Of course, you’ll reduce watering right away, but usually the problem isn’t resolved once you do. Simply, you want to know whether or not your plant can be preserved. Yes, it can be saved as the damage is not too far away. Don’t worry if it’s too bad, you can collect and spread leaves and stems.


You think you water the plant a lot, but it is always best to make sure that is the case and not anything else. Let’s move to the following and emphasize that over-watering is the main problem.


Clogged with water and damp. You will end up with tufts of soil, not separate pellets of soil.


The leaves near the bottom are brown while the leaves and stems as a whole look swollen and feel spongy rather than firm. Leaves appear lighter or have translucent (it could be the whole leaf or just blotches) due to the excess water breaking down the cell walls. New growth will be brown.

While dead leaves at the bottom of your succulent are perfectly healthy, dead leaves in the upper parts of new growth are a sign of a problem – usually over-watered or underwater. Soil can also cause problems for succulents, as I explain in this article.

If the leaves of your plant start to look yellow and translucent and are wet or streaky to the touch, then you may have suffered from overwatering.

An early sign of over-watering is that the leaves will begin to fall off with a slight bump. If you start noticing smooth black spots on the leaves or stems of your plant, overwatering becomes severe and it can be difficult to save the succulents.

Here is the donkey’s tail plant, as the middle plant is heavily swamped and rot as a result. You can see that the stems of the plants in the lower left are also starting to rot.

Some succulents are more prone to overwatering than others. Echeverias appears to be the most sensitive. After only two or three days of overwatering, these lovely roses will be on a fairway to rot.


The best way to avoid over-watering is to make sure the soil is completely dry before watering again. As I said in many of my other posts, most succulents can easily pass for three days (and sometimes a week or more) without water – so if in doubt, wait before watering.

Once you notice the symptoms of over-watering on one of your plants, start reducing the watering schedule. Also, check if you may need to switch to a better soil mix.

But if you see black dots on the stem, you will need minor surgery to save your plant. It is much easier than it sounds! Simply cut off the top of the plant, remove the black spots, allow the cuttings to dry for three to five days, and then spread it into the new soil.


In the clips below, you can see how I cut each part of the wet or black stem.

While it is unlikely that the original plant will survive, it is worth the wait until we see! Leave the bottom part as is and do not water until the soil has dried (to the bottom of the pot). If you are lucky, a few days of drying time will allow the plant to recover from overwatering, and it may start to stunt its new growth.


Although overwatering succulents is the most common problem, many succulents are also prone to falling underwater. I found that Portulacaria afra and Senecio haworthii like to be watered more frequently than other succulents.

If the top leaves of your plant start to curl, dry, and brittle, it is time to give the succulents a little more water. Take a look at Mesembryanthemum Lehmann, which has never been watered.

I planted it in this cute concrete planter, which didn’t have a drainage hole, so I wasn’t watering when I first planted it – then I totally forgot!

With a little more watering, this succulent will look great in a week or two.


In most cases, reviving a submerged succulent plant is much easier than reviving a submerged plant. If your curl has just started, you will likely straighten up very quickly after one or two cycles of watering. However, if they are almost completely wilted, I am sorry to tell you that they are probably very far from recovering.

To help them recover better after they have been watered, be sure to soak the soil well when watered. Be sure to check out my article on How to Water Your Succulent to Do It The Right Way.

If you are feeling a little adventurous and desperate, you can also try hydrotherapy. It is intended only for underwater succulents.

And don’t forget to grab my free cheat sheet to see what it looks like when your succulents need more or less water. This way you can avoid future problems before they arise! Click here for the cheat sheet.

I hope that by understanding these signs and symptoms of watering problems, you will be able to conserve succulents before it’s too late.


While overwatering or underwatering tends to be the most common problem faced by new succulent growers, there are some additional issues you may encounter. They can include stretching, insect infestations, internal infections, etc.

I often ask this question – why do the lower leaves of my succulent die? This video will help you understand what is normal for succulents and what is not normal.

You can also check my page that has common succulent problems to continue diagnosing succulents. Just be sure to get diagnosed as soon as possible so you have a better chance of helping your succulents recover.

By taking a keen interest in succulent plants, you’ll be able to see the first signs of trouble, which will make it easier to salvage the succulents before things get out of control.

If you are looking for a great community to help you keep your zest for addiction succulents, I’d love to join the Succulents and Sunshine Facebook community!

Feel free to share your experiences there and get help from a large group of people who also want you to be successful.


How do you know if your succulents are getting a lot of water?

  • Leaves and stems are swollen and generally unhealthy.
  • Discoloured, yellow, translucent, or jagged leaves are also signs that your plants are getting too much water.
  • Over-watering can lead to root rot, which can lead to leaves turning black.
  • Succulent leaves swell and begin to fall off.

It is easy to think that a plant needs more water just because it is not growing fast enough. In fact, too much water can kill the delicate roots of the succulent and stop the growth process.

How do you know your succulents is not getting enough water?

  • The succulent plant will begin to shed some of its extra leaves and branches to retain moisture.
  • Its leaves and lower stems are wrinkled or completely dried.
  • The succulent drooping and withered.

Drought causes the leaves to become deflated and soft.

What if the succulents do not get enough water?

It’s really easy to solve the problem of submerging succulent plants underwater by watering them often. Dried succulents can be repaired with a technique called “hydrotherapy,” which involves removing the plant from the pot and submerging its clean roots in water.

During this process, the water should not touch the stems or leaves. The roots should be left in the water for a few days so that the plant appears healthy and renewed.

How do you know if your succulent isn’t getting enough light?

  • The succulent leaves of your plant grow too wide. If you don’t know how to check this, search the Internet for photos with the same type of succulent to see how closely the leaves naturally come.
  • Succulents do not grow new leaves. During the growing season, the happy plants will have a new life. Therefore, a plant that has stopped its growth process may not get enough light.
  • The plant extends towards the light. Plants tend to seek out light, so if your succulent is bending in an unusual way, this could be a sign that they need more natural light.
  • Aerial roots are another sign that the juices are not getting enough light.

What if the succulent does not get enough light?

Succulents that are naturally exposed to sunlight 12 hours a day will not work well when placed on an east-facing window sill. The best option would be to place succulents near a south-facing window, which is usually the sunniest spot in the home. Therefore, you can easily solve this problem by moving the succulents to a brighter place.


If you don’t have a lot of light in your home, try choosing succulents that don’t need a lot of sunlight such as Aloe Vera, Snake Plant, or Schlumbergera.

How do you know your succulent has the wrong type of soil?

Standard pot soil contains a lot of water, so the first signs will be the same as those shown in the section on watering.

What if your succulents don’t have the right kind of soil?

Replant the succulent. Succulents grow in porous, sandy soils with good drainage properties. You can make your own succulent soil mixture (for example 3 parts potting soil, 2 parts sand, 1 part perlite) or buy a pre-made one.

How do you know that your succulent is overcrowded?

Some of them appear unhealthy while others grow naturally.

You notice the spread of mould or insects.

What to do if your succulents are overcrowded?

Solving this problem is not at all difficult, especially if the succulents are not badly damaged. All you have to do is transfer them neatly to separate containers.

How to Save a Dying Succulent (What You Need to Know)

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