How To Prevent Black Spots On Succulents?

Succulent plants are easy to maintain, create a bold statement and are suitable for great indoor plants. Weeping figs and aloe Vera are good examples of succulent plants as they elevate the beauty of your garden. But when those plants start to develop pigmentation and different kinds of spots, chances are they can spoil the beauty of your home.

That’s why you see many people keep buying fungicides to curb these problems. So, what do you think? Is fungicide the only option? I’m sure you might have been wondering, but that’s a no. There are many solutions or effective ways to prevent those black spots.

Today, we will walk you through several ways to prevent black spots on succulents. But before that, let’s quickly examine the six causes of black spots on your succulent plants.

6 Causes for Black Spots on Succulent Plants

1. Overwatering 

We all know that watering succulent plants is essential for growth. On the other hand, overwatering can lead to fungal diseases, and it might be difficult to revive the dead leaves on these plants. When this happens, it’s always a good idea to apply the soak and dry watering techniques. See, succulents generally store water in their leaves, and with this factor, they would be able to survive arid conditions.


  • Having a lot of fungal infections, thereby attracting bugs
  • When the overall succulent plant looks so wet and wilting
  • The bottom leaves fall off just by touching it alone
  • Edema and root rot starts to develop
  • When the leaves are changing colors, feeling mushy and swollen


  • Don’t change the soil completely, but instead scoop out the affected soil
  • Improve the drainage system by placing proper drainage holes at the bottom of the plant
  • Keep your plants and avoid direct sunlight when the soil feels dry

2. Sunburn 

While sunlight is perfect for plants, too much of it can contribute to a problem. In fact, if you place your succulent plants in sunlight direction, it will create a difficult time for its growth. However, burned leaves are likely not to heal, but you can remove the ones that are infected and ensure others are safe.


  • Succulent plants with a yellowish tinge and brown spots
  • When the leaves begin to dry, and brittle roots are in potting soil
  • Noticing dried or damaged soil around the area of sun exposure
  • Developing disclosed patches on the leaves (could be in black, brown, or tan color)
  • The smooth area of the leaves feels rough or has a change in texture


  • Identify the kind of sunburn you’re dealing with and keep the plant from direct sunlight
  • Place the succulent plants in a place where there’s plenty of natural or artificial bright light
  • Check the plant regularly, and understand if they’re getting too hot or need a shadier spot
  • Change the location or orientation of your succulents

3. Pest

Pest attacks can start from tiny little aphids to grasshoppers and snails. And, of course, more giant animals like kangaroos can also affect succulent plants. However, the kind of prevention you adopt would determine whether black spots would probably remain permanent or not. Moreover, controlling pests is hard; that’s why early detection seems to be the best practice.


  • Sticky, black mold that appears on or near the succulent plant
  • When the growth of new plants has been stunted
  • Noticing brown bumps on the succulent plant
  • Seeing white webs and small mites
  • Unproductive plants and excess weed structure


  • Spray the plant with a systemic insecticide while you quarantine it.
  • Remove dead leaves, and keep the succulent pretty dry
  • Keep a watchful eye to know any sign of bugs, and other pest infection
  • Avoid reusing soil or putting dead leaves into the compost pile

4. Root Rot

If you check the plant and a black dot begins to appear near the bottom of your succulent stem, root rot will likely emerge. Sometimes, this could be a result of overwatering or pest infections. This way, the root rot might spread throughout the plants if not taken care of. So, ensure that you’re using the best soil (draining spoil) when planting your succulents.


  • When you notice that the root has turned dark brown or black
  • Succulent plants are becoming paler and yellow
  • Foul smell occurring from soil and black patches on the stem and the leaves
  • Wilting foliage and mushy root and stem
  • The plants break into pieces when you take them off the soil


  • Allow the plump greens to dry out
  • Trim off the affected root part and save the plants
  • Using powdered sulfur to treat the root rot of succulents
  • Use well-draining soil and water the succulent properly

5. Frost 

Like sunburns, frost can be a problem if you stay in an environment with nothing less than 32 degrees or its equivalent to 33. More so, you might notice some dark spots that could affect the plants. In this case, it would be better to place the plants in a safer place. Not only that but avoiding frost causal factors plays a crucial role in preventing succulent plant damage.


  • When you see overwatered brown calloused patches on the leaves
  • The upper leaves of the plants begin to dry and get wilted
  • Light-grew leaves start to develop
  • The plants become leggy with elongated growth
  • Rotting leaves due to less water


  • Consider moving your succulent plants indoors during winter
  • Frost cloth usage helps to prevent tender succulent that has frostbite
  • Keep the plant warm during winter and cover it with a cloche

6. Viral Diseases Factor

21st-century viral diseases such as the black ring are one of the causes of black spots today. Also, these diseases can affect the plants in two ways. The first one is through insect infestation, while the other is by using infected grafting knives. Moreover, if your plants succumb to a virus infection like this, you need to ensure that black spots are prevented before they spread throughout the plants.


  • Stem rust and sclerotinia
  • Burnt spots on leaves and the sudden collapse of the entire succulent plant
  • When the mass of tissue in leaves is rotting
  • Overgrown shoots or stunted growth
  • Stunted growth and abnormal overgrowth of shoots


  • Using an all-purpose fungicide
  • Disposing of the affected plants away and removing fusarium infected soil
  • Provide the right amount of water to your succulent

5 Ways to Prevent Succulent Plant Black Spots

Black Spots On Succulents

Regular Check-Ups and Inspection

Regular inspections always help you detect succulent plant black spots. This way, eradicating the root cause in time can help save the infection from spreading. Additionally, 70% of isopropyl alcohol is what many people use and it always works great as a disinfectant to keep the diseases and pests from attacking the plants.

Avoid Overwatering 

As mentioned earlier in this article, overwatering can contribute to plant damage. On the other hand, if you water the plants accordingly, you’ll get the best result. In fact, the best option is to feel the soil on your finger to understand its status.

Ensuring the Plants Get Enough Sunlight

Always keep your plants outside to get enough sunlight. This will ensure that the water on it is regulated which is also essential for growth. Meanwhile, plants with little to no sunlight tend to have a slight growth unlike when it receives water.

Ensuring That The Plant Gets Adequate Temperature

If you want to keep your succulent plants, maintaining proper temperature is essential. Moreover, the normal temperature you should expect is between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only is that, but you need to put the plants indoors and avoid infections from pests through proper inspection.

Sufficient Drainage Holes

While overwatering is one of the major causes of black spots, it’s essential to have enough drainage holes that are not blocked. Also, it prevents root rots in the future and would likely help the excess water in your succulent plants drain out.


a beautiful succulent terrarium

How Do I Avoid Succulent Plant Black Spots?

As discussed earlier, there are many ways to avoid black spots. Some of these ways include; looking out for bugs, maintaining proper temperature, keeping low humidity, and many others, to mention a few. If these factors are considered, you’ll definitely have a better succulent plant.

What Does It Mean If My Succulent Has Black Spots?

Of course, when you notice that your succulent has black spots, it literally means that your plants have been affected. Sometimes, it could result from overwatering, but pest infections seem to be the causal factor. That’s why; you need to check the causes listed above to understand what could cause the black spots.

What Does Fungus Look Like On Succulents?

Fungus on any plant appears like a moist tan-coloured rot with red, orange, or pink bumps. They start small but rapidly expand throughout the succulent plant if you don’t take the necessary preventive measures.

Final Verdict

Succulent plant black spots are a typical anecdote, and you can find a solution through different measures aside from the ones listed above. While treating the damaged succulent plants, understanding the causal factor can ensure that they’re safe. Nonetheless, always provide the best care for your succulent to get better growth.

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