What's Wrong with my Succulent?


Do you love succulents but struggle to keep them alive? Are you unsure if you are over-watering or under-watering? Here are some of the common symptoms that may get you wondering if something is wrong, and what to do about it.


YELLOWING LEAVES – If your succulent has yellowing leaves, you are over-watering it. Indoor succulents don’t need water more than once a week or once every two weeks. Make sure that the pot is draining excess water out the bottom and not leaving the roots saturated in standing water.


BROWN AND CRISPY TOPS – Brown leaf tips is a sign that your succulent isn’t getting enough water. Even though succulents are incredibly drought resistant, they still need water occasionally. In summer months, you may need to water once a week, but in cold weather, once every two weeks is plenty.


BROWN LEAVES AT BASE – As a succulent grows, it drops leaves at its base to make room for new leaves. If you see brown leaves on your succulent at the bottom, just pull them off and discard. This is completely normal.


STRETCHING – If you succulent isn’t receiving enough sunlight, it may grow upward and stretch toward the sun, instead of remaining tight and compact. Make sure succulents are getting at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight.


WHITE MOUNDS ON LEAVES – Mealy bugs unfortunately love succulents. They may appear as white cottony mounds around the base of leaves or underneath leaves. Often you will notice new leaves appearing distorted before you notice the mealy bugs. Make sure you isolate any infected succulents from healthy ones, and treat with 70% isopropyl alcohol. You can either use a q-tip or a spray bottle. The alcohol will kill any mealy bugs it touches, but evaporated quickly and does not harm your plant.






Use a soil specifically made for succulents and cactus when you pot on a succulent. Regular potting soil is designed to hold too much moisture for succulents.



Succulents need light, but they also need heat! Make sure that if your succulents are near windows that they are not drafty.



There are lots of cut succulent pots out there, but if it doesn’t have a drainage hole, make sure you keep your succulent in a plastic pot with holes inside of it, so the water can drain out to the base of the container with out saturating the roots of your plant.


If you have any concerns not listed here, visit us in the greenhouse or call us at our store (919) 878-8877 and select option 3. We are always happy to help.