Why Is My Succulent Dying?

Succulents might be pretty resilient plants. But if you don’t provide them with the right conditions, they might start dying. If you are dealing with the same situation, you might have the question, why is my succulent dying and what I can do to revive it?

Succulents are one of the easiest to grow and ideal for new gardeners. Therefore, it is important to know what you can do to revive your succulent plant. In this guide, we will provide you with details.

Can You Save a Dying Succulent?

Succulents such as cacti and others come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. But a sudden decline in their health is primarily due to over or underwatering. However, pests can also be one of the reasons, and so are any disease issues. 

Therefore, you must figure out the primary cause of the deterioration of their health and sort out the solution for it. If your succulent looks dull or sad, you can quickly revive it. They are versatile plants and can survive in harsh conditions too. 

First, you have to determine whether it is a tropical succulent or a desert plant. Watering frequency is the most common cause of their dullness, so you need to decide whether or not you are over or under watering your plant. If you find out that its stem is rotting or mushy, you have over-watered it. 

But if the leaves seem puckered, you have underwatered it. So, you don’t need to worry if you find any dry or dead leaves at the bottom. It is expected as succulents can grow new leaves when you fulfill their watering requirements. 

Reasons for Succulent Dying

Why Is My Succulent Dying

Watering frequency is the main problem, but there can be other problems too that are causing your plant’s poor health. Let’s explore each of these problems in detail.

Overwatering or Underwatering

As we have mentioned above, over or under watering is one of the primary reasons your succulent is dying. First, you have to determine whether your succulent is a desert plant or a tropical one. If its stem is dull and seems rotting, you have overwatered it. 

And if it has puckered leaves, then you have underwatered it. Set a weekly schedule where you should water it 2 to 3 times a week in summers and once a month in winters, and you will end up revising your plant.


Another common reason your succulent is dying is it doesn’t have enough space to grow its roots. You might have found that cute-looking flower pot or teacup to plant a succulent, but that tiny space is not enough for the plant to grow its roots fully. 

You need to go for a pot that is twice as deep as the roots of your succulent. Its width should also be thrice wide as the plant for the best results. 


When choosing the pot, you also need to focus on another feature. It should come with a proper drainage hole or holes. You can use pantyhose or netting to stop the dirt from escaping with the water. You need to ensure water drainage is there. This way, you will prevent the roots of your succulent from rotting. 


A beautiful succulent prefers warm water, and you shouldn’t place them near a drafty window or directly out in the cold weather. Make sure they get warmth throughout the day. They will not last if the weather keeps on changing.


Your succulents need enough sun exposure. With the help of sunlight, your succulent can make food for itself, and it helps in its growth. 

If you don’t provide enough sunlight, it will start stretching and eventually die. If you don’t have a window where you can place your succulents, you can always go for plant lights, such as the Mars Hydro TS LED Grow Light.


You also have to provide them with nutrient-rich soil, such as the Miracle-Gro. Make sure to stir some organic matter into the planting mix for your succulents to provide the feed they require to stay healthy. You can also visit your local gardener center to find the best succulent soil or make your own. 

How to Revive Dying Succulents?

a beautiful succulent terrarium

What to do if succulent leaves are wilting, wrinkled, or fading?

The most common symptoms are that your succulent leaves appear shriveled, wrinkled, or droopy. These symptoms occur due to drought stress, and you have underwatered your plant. 

Water your sickly succulents thoroughly and adequately dampen them but don’t make the soil soggy for them, or you will overwater them. Develop a schedule and thoroughly water your succulent twice or thrice in hot weather and once a month in cold weather. 

Moreover, keep an eye on them and adjust the watering schedule accordingly. These plants are pretty resilient, and they can handle drought stress for some time, provided you make the changes to their conditions according to their needs. 

What to do if the succulent grows tall but the bottom leaves are dying?

You have to make sure that you have placed your succulent in a location that receives enough light. They need bright and indirect sunlight, such as snake plants or strings of pearls, or four to six hours of sun, such as jade and aloe plants. It prevents any legging in their growth. 

You can gradually expose them to more sunlight because sudden exposure can burn them, and too much shade can make them dull. You can also propagate by cutting off bay leaves or stems to make them look better. Those dying leaves at the bottom don’t harm the plant, but you can remove them to make your plant look healthy. 

What to do if succulents die from excessive cold?

You have to make sure you place your succulent in an area with temperatures ranging from 55 F to 80 F (13 C to 27 C). Also, make sure that none of its mushy leaves are directly in contact with the windows. You can also scale back watering for some time.

Once your plant is in a stable environment, cold damage will not get worse. Only resume watering your plant once the callus of the leaf cut has healed to avoid any other issues.


best pots for succulents

How do I know if my succulent is overwatered?

Your succulent is overwatered if its stem feels mushy or rotted. You will also notice changes in its leaves’ colors and shape. Leaves will start becoming soft and translucent too.

How often should you water a dying succulent?

You have to make sure that you water your succulent with a good soak and that the old cries out before you water it again. But the best practice is to water your succulents every two weeks.

What does a dying succulent plant look like?

A dying succulent has mushy brown leaves, and its roots have begun to rot. After that, it will have pale yellow leaves. If you have dehydrated and wrinkled leaves, it means the roots of your succulents are dried up.

Do succulents need sunlight?

Yes, they need 4 to 6 hours of sunlight based on the type of succulent you have. If you have newly planted succulents, direct sunlight might scorch them. So, it is best to introduce your succulent to the sun gradually.

The Bottom Line

Succulents are pretty resilient in various conditions. It means they are easy to revive, but you need to ensure that you provide them with the proper essentials to grow well. Prohibit over or under watering your succulents, and make sure to use quality soil mix for the best results.

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