You may find out that your pretty succulent has something strange in its leaves, or a strange way of growing: dark spots, wrinkles, stems that are too long, etc. There are very common problems among fleshy plants that can worry you if you don’t know what it is. Some are easily solved, others are more complicated, but you can almost always do something for them.
If you wonder why does my succulent die? , today we give you some clues talking about the most common symptoms and their treatment, so you can identify them and know how to deal with them.
Some common symptoms of succulent plants and their causes
- The upper leaves wilt, wrinkle and dry: Lack of water
- Older leaves turn yellow, transparent and explode at the minimum pressure expelling water: Excess water
- Brown and hard spots appear on the leaves: Sunburn
- The plant grows spiky, the upper leaves distance and the stem lengthens: Inadequate light
- Soft and fallen leaves, gray or grayish-yellow and break at the slightest pressure releasing the water inside: They have frozen
- Leaves that turn red/brown/black, soaked, viscous and smelly: Rot
- New leaves have irregular growth: Pest problem
What to do when a succulent seems sick
Lack of water
Succulents are very resistant to drought and can spend a lot of time without water. It is easy to save a succulent that is fuchsia because it has gone thirsty. Water it well, until the soil is soaked, and then let it drain completely. Always use a mixture of the porous substrate and with good drainage so that it does not retain water for a long time, the roots could rot. You should also wait for the soil to dry completely before watering again. Wrinkled leaves will recover quickly, one or two irrigation cycles will suffice.
This problem is greater than the previous one. Watering a succulent excess can cause the plant to rot hopelessly. Try to space the watering and do it only when the earth is completely dry to the touch. If you water your succulents every week and notice that the leaves turn yellowish and as if they were going to explode, that means that your plant does not want so much water, you must change to a two-week irrigation cycle. Also, check that the substrate drains properly and dries quickly after watering.
It is difficult to save a succulent that has suffered from excess water, but perhaps you can help it survive by cutting the top of the plant and eliminating soaked yellow leaves or stems. Let the cut dry for a few days until the wound closes and plant it in new soil. Do not water right after planting the cut. Wait a couple of days for it to dry and grip on the new substrate. Hopefully, you will see new growth in a short time.
Even with a single sheet, you can get to reproduce your succulent.
Leaves with burns
There is little you can do when the leaves are sunburned and have turned brown. Simply remove the damaged leaves and take the succulent to a place with less sun exposure. Most succulents prefer indirect or filtered sun, so you can let your plant enjoy sunlight through a curtain or a windowpane. If it is outside, it will be enough that you place it in a place where there is very bright shade, or under other bushes that filter solar radiation.
In general, succulent plants should receive between 6 and 8 hours a day of light. Some like direct sun, but others prefer filtered or indirect. Indoors, cold light bulbs, between 5000 and 6500 K. can be used.
When the plant receives enough light, its growth is compact; when not, the leaves grow more separated and the stems spike and weaken. This strange process is called etiolation. If you notice these symptoms, you should provide more light to your succulents.
But do it gradually, go closer to the sun a little more every day so that it does not suffer from an abrupt change and burn easily. If you have it indoors, take it outside in the shade first. Pass it from total shade to partial sun and, finally, in full sun, over the course of a couple of weeks. Remember to rotate the pots every so often, for a uniform exposure on all sides of the plant, if you do not want it to grow inclined towards the light bulb.
Some cold-resistant species such as Sempervivum can withstand cold temperatures and tolerate frost. Other species such as Echeveria and Lithops, because of their tropical origin, prefer temperatures above 10 or 15ºC. If you expect temperatures to fall below what your plant can tolerate, take your succulent inside or cover it with plastic as a greenhouse. Some leaf may freeze during winter, you can remove dead leaves in spring so that it looks beautiful again.