16 Common Succulent Problems and Solutions

Meet our Editorial Team, a collection of expert gardeners, writers, and DIY aficionados committed to delivering top-notch content. From organic gardening and indoor plant care to culinary arts and home improvements, we cover a wide spectrum of topics to enrich your life.
Learn About Our Editorial Policy

2-Minute Read

Here are some of the most Common Succulent Problems and Solutions to help you save the plants on time and to keep them healthy!

Want to keep your fleshy plants happy? Have a look at the most Common Succulent Problems and Solutions to keep them thriving!

Find out the best succulent watering tips here

Common Succulent Problems and Solutions

1. Problem: Overwatering

Succulent Problems and Solutions 01

Solution: Overwatered succulents can be more susceptible to damages than underwatered ones—you can overcome this issue by following the instructions suggested in this post here.

2. Problem: Underwatering

Succulent Problems and Solutions 02

Solution: Underwatered succulents can be saved easily—just water the plant completely till the soil is hydrated, soaked, and the water comes out from the drainage hole of the pot. Also, use a well-draining, porous soil mix.

In just two watering spells, the wrinkled foliage will benefit speedily.

3. Problem: Leaves Turning Black

Succulent Problems and Solutions 03

Solution: Mature or old foliage on the base or bottom of the plant generally becomes black, brown, or dries out. This is normal, but sometimes it is caused due to overwatering.

You can solve this issue by cutting back watering. Remove the damaged foliage and improve the sun exposure—most succulents favor indirect sun, so place them accordingly.

4. Problem: Brown Spots

Common Succulent Problems and Solutions 3

Sunburn or sun scalding can cause brown spots on the leaves. This issue arises when people transfer plants from indoors to outdoors, after keeping them inside the home and exposing them to the direct sun.

Solution: To resolve this problem, slowly acclimate the plant by exposing it to indirect or morning sun for a few hours before moving outdoors.

Note: Fungal infection can also result in brown spots—this is the secondary effect of overwatering.

5. Problem: Leaves Falling Off

Succulent Problems and Solutions 05

Solution: The reason behind this issue is excessive watering, which makes the foliage swelled, soft and mushy, causing them to fall off.

The remedy to solve this issue is cutting back watering till the top inch of soil feels dry. Ensure that the potting mix is well-draining and the plant is not sitting in the water.

6. Problem: Stems Stretching Out

Common Succulent Problems and Solutions 4

Solution: If stems or the whole plant is stretching out, it means it is not receiving sufficient light. In lack of sunlight,  the plant stretches towards the light, and the growth weakens over time.

Keep your succulents in a bright locationsouth or east-facing window will be an ideal place. Do not expose the plants to sudden changes as it can shock them. Avoid immediately moving the plant to low light conditions from the sun or bright light from indoors.

7. Problem: Stunted Growth

Succulent Problems and Solutions 07

Solution: This issue arises due to a lack of light. To beat this problem, place the plant in a brighter location. Acclimate the plant slowly to a sunny area.

Lack of nutrients also results in stunted growth. If you are keeping the plant in the same planter for over two years, then it’s time to repot or fertilize your succulent.

8. Problem: Rot

Common Succulent Problems and Solutions 5

Solution: The plant starts to rot from rootswhen you notice any rotting, then there is no way to save the succulent. But you try these tricks:

  • If you notice the rot in small areas, remove the damaged parts and allow the plant to grow.
  • Cut the stem above the rotten area and re-plant.
  • Do not plant succulents close to the soil. It will prevent the foliage from taking moisture from the soil that leads to leaf rot.
  • Improve air circulation, and avoid overwatering. Also, grow plants in well-draining, porous soil that does not hold water for long.

9. Problem: Pests

Succulent Problems and Solutions 09

Solution: Examine your plants closely to detect any pest issues. If you notice any problem, treat with a mild insecticidal soap.

10. Problem: Droopy Leaves

Common Succulent Problems and Solutions 6

Solution: Droopy leaves can result due to underwatering or issues that arise due to overwatering. In such a case, re-pot, and prune the lower leaves.

11. Problem: Pups

Succulent Problems and Solutions 11

Solution: If your succulent is producing lots of pups and you are not moving them into other pots, then you’ll ultimately sabotage the main plant and pups, both. The best thing to do is to give them away for free or multiply the plant!

12. Problem: Sunburn

Common Succulent Problems and Solutions 7

Solution: Though, succulents love to be in the sun, too much exposure might make them sunburnt. The simple solution to this problem is to snip away the burnt leaves and move the plant to a location where it is safe from prolonged exposure to the harsh, afternoon sunlight.

13. Problem: Frost

Succulent Problems and Solutions 13

Solution: If you live in a cold climate, then it would be wise to bring your succulents indoors and keep them in a warm place to save the plants from frost and eventually, death.

14. Problem: Succulents Losing Colors

Succulent Problems and Solutions 14

Solution: Keeping succulents in dark or shaded spot will fade their colors and shine. These plants simply love the sun and to make sure they grow best with vivid hues, make sure your succulents get plenty of bright light.


Common Succulent Problems and Solutions 8

15. Problem: Too Heavy Soil

Solution: Succulents do best in the well-draining growing medium, and regular garden soil might not be suited for their growth. A ready-made succulent or cactus mix would be best for the plant. We also have a great article on how to make the best soil for succulents here.

16. Problem: Bigger Pots

Solution: Succulents have a smaller root system and planting them in bigger pots increases the chances of them being in wet soil for long, which will result in rot as the growing medium will hold moisture excessively. Always go for smaller containers.

Check out this article if your plants are not blooming!

Recent Posts

Join our 3 Million Followers:


Related Articles


  1. Can heavy rain bore holes into succulents? I have an outdoor ,potted in a large ceramic pot and it starts with brown spots then it looks like something is eating holes in the middle of the leaves. I asked my neighbor who is president of our county succulent society and she’d never seen it before


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here