Succulent Turning Yellow – What To Do

Any indoor gardener won’t have a complete garden unless they have growing succulents in their plant collection. Succulents are great and add a unique look, which makes them popular, as does the little maintenance they need.

Succulents don’t need much of a watering schedule and can conserve energy, so forgetting to water on occasion won’t hurt them. However, there are times problems occur, and one of the more common is yellow leaves on the succulent plant. The question here is, why do you have yellowing leaves on succulents?

The primary cause for yellow leaves on succulent plants is down to overwatering. Most plants like a good frequent watering, yet over watering succulents is one thing they hate. Other reasons for yellowing leaves happen to be underwatering, not enough light, and possible plant pests.

Tips how to fix Succulent Turning Yellow

In our guide, you can learn more about why my succulent is turning yellow? By the end, you’ll have enough succulent leaves turning yellow information to fix any issue that causes your succulent plant leaves to turn yellow. (Learn How Long Do Succulents Live)

Why Are Succulents Leaves Turning Yellow?

Here you can find a list of reasons succulent leaves turning yellow. But, before diving in, remember that succulent leaves turning yellow isn’t always something that is wrong!

Sometimes succulents need to develop yellow leaves so their new growths can mature and grow stronger. Therefore, succulents change color before producing new succulent growths.

If you can see your succulents are healthy and naturally green, then the yellowing leaves could be just part of succulent growth.

Besides this, here are common reasons succulent leaves turn yellow:


Most succulents can survive for an extended period without water. So, if you overwater your succulent plant, its roots can’t receive oxygen, and the plant’s roots rot. If the succulent plants’ leaves turn yellow, it’s a sign of excess water and an overwatered succulent.

Stop watering your succulents when you see yellowing succulent leaves to avoid death.

If your succulent has gone too far, remove dead plants and soil from the container.

Don’t water succulents for a week at least, and if you see new green growths, you can carefully re-water your succulents once every two weeks. Only water when the plants’ soil has dried thoroughly to prevent succulent plant leaves from turning yellow.


As desert plants, succulents store water, but this doesn’t mean they can’t go indefinitely without water as they will eventually fall. Thus, the following reason succulent leaves turn yellow is a lack of water.

If your succulents start to turn yellow, and it is because of no water, they wilt, and the lower succulents’ leaves start turning yellow or brown. With this, you can see dead plant material in your succulent pot.

If the leaves of your growing succulents turn yellow, immediately water the plant’s soil once you determine they are in totally dry soil and their fleshy leaves are limp. Feel the succulent plant’s soil with your finger and check how dry it is. (Learn How To Repot Succulents)

Too Much Sunlight

Succulents like sunlight, but too much light can cause your succulent’s leaves to turn yellow.

If the succulents get direct sunlight for most of the day, you may have to move them to a shadier location with indirect light.

Succulents do require several hours of direct sunlight, but succulent leaves turning yellow show they are getting too much, thus eventually killing them.

Lack of Sunlight

You can find succulents leaves are turning yellow when they also don’t get enough light. Need sunlight to produce succulent growths. Succulent plant care means the entire plant gets the right amount of sun.

Succulents turn yellow and go pale when the green color fades, and you are left with yellow leaves.

You need to move succulents to a brighter location, or they will drop leaves because of not enough sun.

Overfeeding Succulents

Succulent leaves turning yellow is a sign of over-fertilizing. Therefore, there is little reason to feed your succulent plant too often, as it could lead to unhealthy growths, and lower succulent leaves turn yellow or brown.

Stop feeding succulents if the succulent leaves turn yellow. Should you need to feed them, make sure you use a well-balanced fertilizer or one made for cacti and succulents.

Cold Temperatures

Succulent leaves turning yellow because they are not thriving can be your succulents are too cold.

Succulent plants prefer warmer climates, and indoor plants could struggle if you have moved your plant from inside to outside as part of your succulent plant care.

Pest Infestation

Leaves on a succulent turning yellow can be a sign that your succulents are under attack from succulent pests.

Aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs tend to be the common succulent plant pests you will find. However, other types of succulent eating insects eventually killing your plant. Therefore, you need to treat succulents with pests right away to prevent yellowing succulents succulent leaves from turning yellow.

Potting Mix Drainage

Succulent leaves turning yellow could signify that you have drainage issues in your pot.

If the succulents potting mix can’t drain, it can cause root rot or another fungal infection, resulting in yellowing succulent leaves. Rather than use the same pot, it could be better to re-pot succulents with fresh potting mix and a pot that has a large drainage hole in the bottom.

Root Rot

Succulent leaves that start to turn yellow could be a sign of root rot, an infection causing the roots to deteriorate and die.

Succulents need healthy soil, and the pots need drainage holes, so the soil dries rather than remaining saturated.

To treat succulents for root rot, stop watering succulents and start letting the succulent soil dry with the well-draining mix before you water succulents again. It can be easy to re-pot succulents into a well-draining mix formulated for succulents, cacti, and other plants of this type. (Learn How To Plant Succulents In Glass Containers)

Over Sunlight makes Succulent Turning Yellow

Can Yellow Succulent Leaves Recover?

Here you can find how to fix most succulents with yellow leaves problems.

Leaves Yellow And Die-Off

Older leaves turn yellow as they die and then dry out. Then, after a while, they dry out, turn crispy, and you have yellow leaves falling off.

How To Fix?

Pull dead leaves from the plant. If they don’t detach easily, use a sharp, clean knives or secateurs to snip the leaves.

Overwatered Succulent Leaves Turn Yellow

If the lower leaves of your succulents have started to feel squishy and go yellow, pale, or even transparent, overwatering is probably the cause. Signs of rot may also appear in the roots and stem.

Succulents store water in their fleshy leaves and stem from coping with arid conditions. This means that they do not need frequent watering like other types of house plants.

If your succulent has been sitting in water for a while, you’ll soon notice that the lower leaves develop a yellow color and look more swollen than usual.

How To Fix?

Empty any excess water from the bottom of the pot and wait for your plant’s potting medium to completely dry out before watering again.

When the plant is dormant, you will need to reduce watering right back in winter. It’s much easier to overwater at this time of year, so keep a close eye on moisture levels.

Underwatering Turns Succulent Leaves Turn Yellow

Are the leaves on your succulent looking pale, yellow, and wrinkled? Is the potting medium bone dry with big gaps around the edge of the pot? It could be a lack of water putting your plant under stress.

Fortunately, succulents are well adapted to cope with low moisture levels, and this issue can be easily fixed.

Cacti, for instance, have ribbing on their stems so they can expand when water is plentiful and then contract as conditions dry up again.

Succulents in the wild will often shrink and shrivel in on themselves when the plant is low on water. The leaves may feel wrinkly to touch and take on a yellow color.

If your plant looks like this, there is no need to panic. It’s just time to give it a good drink.

How To Fix?

Increase your watering schedule for your succulent, and remember, most plants take on extra water in the growing season and warmer months.

Do you live where it gets hot, with nighttime temperatures not dropping below 80-90F?

Succulents could go dormant to cope with the heat, where they’ll stop taking water. So check soil moisture before you top them up.

Succulent pests

Pests Cause Turning Yellow Succulents

Common succulent pests could start to turn yellow on your succulent leaves. Mealy Bugs and Spider Mites can cause yellow leaves as they turn your succulent into lunch. Damaged leaf tissue will start to turn yellow and will eventually turn completely yellow and fall off.

Fix Mealy Bug

Use a spray water bottle on the affected area and then treat with insecticidal soap. Unfortunately, the waxy residue Mealy Bugs create can make it difficult for pesticides to take effect.

If the infestation is in the roots, remove the whole plant from the pot and dip the roots into a dilute pesticide. Always follow instructions carefully when handling and using pesticides.

Spider Mite Symptoms

Tiny spider mites are bright red and almost impossible to spot. Your first sign is the plant has turned a lighter shade of yellow.

Fix Spider Mite

Choose a miticide, but the first application isn’t 100% effective, so you’ll need follow-up treatments.

To prevent succulent plant leaves turning yellow, it’s crucial to remember their needs, although they don’t have many. Succulents survive on little water and need well-draining soil and ample sunlight for energy production.

When succulents grow in your home, ensure you have the right pot, the right kind of soil mix, and the right conditions to help your succulent thrive. Yellow leaves mean they can’t produce any energy. (Read What Do Succulent Seeds Look Like)

Water your plant once a week, and merely enough to moisten the potting mix, and the water can drain from the soil.

Check your succulent regularly for issues or stress and remember you may have to add more water or less water based on the surrounding environment. Succulents are hardy and easy to maintain; therefore, once you spot leaves turning yellow, they offer you the chance to help them survive.

Succulent Turning Yellow - What To Do

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