Succulent Leaves Turning Yellow – How to Fix Your Succulents

Are your succulent leaves turning yellow? Don’t worry; it’s a common problem that many succulent owners face. But you’ll still need to know what to do and why your succulents are turning yellow:

Succulents turning yellow can signal overwatering, inadequate sunlight, or soil issues. Ensure well-draining soil, proper watering, and adequate sunlight to maintain their health and green color.

So, several reasons could be causing this issue, but the good news is that it’s fixable.

In this article, we’ll explore the common reasons for succulent leaves turning yellow and provide tips on how to revive them. So, why are my succulents turning yellow? Let’s find out more now.

Key Takeaways

  • Succulent leaves turning yellow is a common issue for plant owners.
  • Common reasons include lack of sunlight, overwatering, pests, nutrient deficiencies, and transplantation issues.
  • Proper drainage holes in succulent pots are essential for healthy plants.

Lack of Sunlight: A Common Reason for Yellowing Leaves

One of the most common reasons for yellowing leaves on succulent plants is a lack of sunlight. Succulents are adapted to thrive in environments with plenty of sunlight, and inadequate lighting can cause their leaves to fade or turn yellow.

If you have indoor succulents, make sure to place them near windows that receive enough natural light. If you notice that your succulents aren’t getting enough light, consider using artificial light sources to supplement their needs. On the other hand, if you have outdoor succulents, ensure that they are exposed to at least six hours of sunlight per day.

It’s also important to note that different succulent species have varying light requirements. Some succulents can thrive in indirect sunlight, while others require full sun exposure. Research your specific succulent species to determine their ideal lighting conditions.

To summarize, providing enough sunlight is crucial for preventing yellowing leaves in succulent plants. Whether you have indoor or outdoor succulents, ensure that they receive enough light to thrive.

Overwatering: Excess Water Leading to Yellow Leaves

If you are witnessing yellowing of your succulent’s leaves, the cause might be overwatering. Excess water can cause root rot, which can be detrimental to the plant’s health. In this section, we will discuss overwatering and how to prevent it, including tips for establishing a proper watering schedule and using well-draining soil.

Watering Schedule

It’s essential to establish a watering schedule for your succulent, to prevent overwatering. The frequency of watering should be determined based on the plant’s specific needs, the size of the plant, and the pot. Here’s a general rule of thumb to follow:

Succulent Type Watering Frequency
Drought-resistant succulents Every 2-3 weeks
Non-drought-resistant succulents Every 7-10 days

Remember, these are just guidelines – be sure to check the soil moisture before watering and adjust your schedule accordingly.

Well-Draining Soil

Another important factor in preventing overwatering is using well-draining soil. This type of soil allows the water to drain away from the roots quickly, preventing the plant from sitting in water and promoting root rot. You can purchase pre-mixed succulent soil at most garden centers, or you can make your own.

Here’s a simple recipe:

  1. Mix two parts of regular potting soil with one part of coarse sand or perlite.
  2. Add one part of pumice or volcanic rock to improve drainage.
  3. Thoroughly mix the ingredients together before using.

Using this type of soil will help ensure your succulent has the appropriate drainage it needs to maintain healthy growth.

In conclusion, overwatering is a common cause of yellowing succulent leaves. By establishing a proper watering schedule and using well-draining soil, you can prevent overwatering and promote healthy plant growth.

Pest Infestation: Spider Mites and Yellowing Succulent Leaves

It’s frustrating to see small insects taking over your beautiful succulents, and spider mites are one of the most common pests that affect these plants. Spider mites are small, eight-legged pests that feed on the sap of succulent leaves, leaving behind tiny yellow or white spots and webs.

When spider mites infest your succulents, they can cause significant damage, leading to yellowing and ultimately killing the plant if not treated promptly. The good news is that there are ways to eliminate spider mites from your succulents.

“Spider mites are one of the most challenging pests to control in indoor gardens.”

One effective way to treat spider mites is by using insecticidal soap. Insecticidal soap is a type of cleaner that can kill pests like spider mites without harming your succulent. To use it, mix one tablespoon of insecticidal soap with one quart of water and spray the solution on the affected plant.

You may need to repeat this process every few days until the spider mites are gone completely. If the infestation is severe, you may need to apply a more potent pesticide or seek professional help.

Nutrient Deficiencies: Fading Colors and Yellow Leaves

One of the most common reasons for yellowing leaves on succulents is nutrient deficiencies. These deficiencies can affect the overall health of the succulent, leading to fading colors and dull, yellow leaves.

To ensure your succulent has all the necessary nutrients, it’s important to use a well-balanced fertilizer specifically made for succulents. This fertilizer should contain all the essential nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Nutrient Function Signs of Deficiency
Nitrogen Stimulates growth and vibrant foliage Yellowing of older leaves, stunted growth
Phosphorus Promotes root development and strong stems Purple or red discoloration of leaves, weak stems
Potassium Aids in water regulation and disease resistance Brown leaf tips, weak stems

If you notice yellowing leaves on your succulent, it’s important to check for nutrient deficiencies and adjust your fertilizing schedule accordingly. However, be careful not to over-fertilize your plant, as this can lead to other issues such as salt buildup.

Another way to ensure your succulent is getting the necessary nutrients is to use a quality succulent soil mix. This soil should be well-draining, allowing for proper absorption of nutrients and preventing root rot. It’s also a good idea to mix in some gravel or sand to promote drainage and aeration.

Remember, a healthy succulent will have vibrant colors and strong foliage. If you notice any signs of nutrient deficiencies, take action promptly to ensure your plant stays healthy and happy.

Transplanting and Repotting: Reviving Yellow Succulents

Transplanting and repotting your yellowing succulents can help revitalize their growth. The process involves transferring your plant to a new pot with fresh soil that allows for better drainage and root growth. Here are some essential tips to follow when transplanting:

Choose a New Pot

Select a new pot that is slightly larger than the current one, with proper drainage holes at the bottom. A new pot will allow fresh soil for your plant to grow and prevent soil compaction that often leads to overwatering. A bigger pot will also give the roots more room to grow and prevent overcrowding.

Prepare Fresh Soil

Use a well-draining succulent soil mix with good air circulation and drainage properties. This soil type will allow water and nutrients to flow through quickly and prevent the roots from sitting in excess water, which can rot the roots and lead to yellowing leaves. Make sure the soil is slightly moist before repotting your plant.

Transplanting the Succulent

Gently remove the succulent from the existing pot by flipping it over and tapping the bottom of the pot. If the plant is stuck, gently loosen the soil around the edges and push it out from the bottom. Remove any dead or dried-out roots and prune the plant to encourage new growth.

Place the plant in the center of the new pot, making sure the base of the plant is level with the pot’s surface. Add fresh soil around the plant, gently pressing it down to remove any air pockets around the roots. Leave a small gap between the soil and the pot’s rim to prevent water from overflowing.


Water your newly transplanted succulent sparingly, giving it a good soak, and then letting the soil dry out slightly before watering again. During the first few weeks after transplanting, it is essential to keep the soil slightly dry to prevent overwatering and allow the roots to establish in their new environment.

Transplanting and repotting succulents can be a great way to revive yellowing plants and promote healthier growth. By choosing a new pot, preparing fresh soil, and following the proper transplanting steps, you can give your succulent a new lease on life.

Common Issues with Succulents: Troubleshooting Tips

While succulents are relatively easy to care for, they can still encounter some common problems. In this section, we will discuss some of the most common issues that succulent owners might encounter, and provide some troubleshooting tips to help you address them.

Brown Leaves

Brown leaves are a common problem with succulents and can be caused by various factors. One common reason is overwatering, which can lead to root rot and cause the leaves to turn brown. Another reason could be sunburn, which happens when the plants are exposed to too much direct sunlight. To fix this issue, try reducing the amount of water you give your succulent and move it to a spot with indirect sunlight. If the brown leaves persist, you may need to trim them off to prevent further damage.

Yellow Spots

Yellow spots on succulent leaves can be caused by a few different factors, including sunburn, nutrient deficiencies, or pest infestations. One way to address this issue is to inspect your plant for any signs of pests, such as spider mites or mealybugs, and treat them promptly with insecticidal soap. You may also want to check the soil of your plant and ensure that it is well-draining and not retaining too much moisture, which can lead to root rot and yellow spots on the leaves.

Black Spots

Black spots on succulent leaves are usually a sign of excess moisture or overwatering, which can cause the roots to rot and the leaves to turn black and mushy. To fix this issue, you should stop watering your plant for a while and let the soil dry out completely. You may also need to trim off any affected leaves and repot your succulent in a fresh potting mix with good drainage.

Dead Leaves

Dead leaves on a succulent plant are a natural part of its growth cycle, and it’s important to remove them regularly to prevent the spread of disease or pests. However, if you notice an excessive amount of dead leaves on your plant, it could be a sign of underwatering or overwatering. To fix this issue, adjust your watering schedule accordingly, and make sure your succulent is getting the right amount of sunlight and drainage.

Older Leaves

As succulent plants grow, they naturally shed their older leaves to make way for new growth. This is a normal process, and you don’t need to be concerned unless your succulent is shedding an excessive amount of leaves. If this is the case, you may want to check for pest infestations or nutrient deficiencies, and adjust your care routine accordingly.

Light and Water Requirements: Finding the Right Balance

One of the key factors in preventing succulent leaves from turning yellow is finding the right balance between light and water. Succulents are drought-resistant plants that thrive in arid conditions, which means they require less water compared to other plants. However, they still need regular watering to survive.

When it comes to light, succulents prefer indirect sunlight or full sun, depending on the species. Placing them near a window or under a light source can provide the necessary sunlight. It’s important to note that succulents placed in full sun may require more frequent watering than those in indirect light.

The type of pot and soil can also affect the water requirements of your succulent. Choosing the right pot with proper drainage holes and using well-draining soil can prevent excess moisture and promote healthy growth. A good idea is to water your succulent until all the soil is moist and allow it to dry out before the next watering. During the growing season, it’s a good practice to give your succulent a good soak once a month to ensure it gets enough water.

On the other hand, underwatered succulent leaves can also turn yellow. If you notice that the soil of your plant is dry, it’s time to water it. Be careful not to overwater it, as this can lead to root rot and yellowing leaves. Long periods of time with too much moisture can also cause succulent leaves to turn yellow.

To summarize, finding the right balance between light and water is crucial for the health of your succulent. Providing the appropriate amount of water, placing it in the right pot and soil, and giving it enough light can prevent yellowing leaves and keep your succulent thriving.

Preventing Yellow Succulent Leaves: Best Practices

Keeping succulents healthy and vibrant requires a few key practices. Here are some best practices to prevent succulent leaves from turning yellow:

Provide Adequate Light

Succulents require a good amount of sunlight to thrive; however, direct sunlight can be harmful to them, especially during the hottest part of the day. During the growing season, it’s a good idea to place your plant in an area that receives indirect sunlight or filtered light. If you’re growing succulents indoors, place them near a window that faces south or west. This will ensure that your plant receives enough light without getting too much.

Water Properly

Overwatering is one of the most common reasons for succulent leaves turning yellow. It’s important to water your plants at the base of the plant, rather than from the top, and to let the soil dry out completely before watering again. During the growing season, it’s a good idea to give your succulent a good soak every two weeks. Use succulent soil to ensure proper drainage and avoid excess moisture.

Avoid Crowding

If your succulent is getting crowded, it may be time to repot it to a larger pot. Crowded plants can lead to root rot and other issues, which can cause yellowing leaves. When repotting, make sure to use fresh potting mix and plant your succulent so that the base of the plant is at the same level as the soil.

Monitor Nutrients

Succulents require certain nutrients to grow and maintain vibrant colors. During the growing season, it’s a good idea to fertilize your plants with a balanced succulent fertilizer every four to six weeks. Follow the instructions on the package carefully and avoid over-fertilizing, which can also cause yellowing leaves.

Light Water Potting Mix
Full sun to partial shade Water at the base of the plant Use well-draining succulent soil
Indirect sunlight or filtered light Let soil dry out completely before watering again Repot with fresh potting mix when needed

By following these best practices, you can ensure that your succulent stays healthy and vibrant, with no yellowing leaves. Remember to give your plant adequate light, water it properly, avoid crowding, and monitor its nutrient levels during the growing season. With proper care, your succulent will thrive and bring beauty to your indoor or outdoor garden.


Yellowing leaves on succulents can be a frustrating issue for plant lovers, but it is not an unsolvable problem. By understanding the various factors that can cause succulent leaves to turn yellow, such as lack of sunlight, overwatering, pests, nutrient deficiencies, or transplantation issues, you can take appropriate action to revive your yellowing plants.

In addition to tackling the specific issues causing yellowing leaves, it is also important to maintain a healthy environment for your succulents. This includes providing adequate light, watering your plants properly and regularly, and using quality succulent soil. By taking these steps, you are ensuring that your plants receive the best possible care and have the potential to thrive and bring joy to your indoor or outdoor garden.

Remember These Tips to Keep Your Succulents Happy and Healthy

Here are some key takeaways to help you prevent yellowing leaves on your succulents:

  • Ensure your succulents receive enough sunlight, whether they are indoors or outdoors.
  • Avoid overwatering your plants, and establish a proper watering schedule using well-draining soil.
  • Watch out for pest infestations, such as spider mites, and use insecticidal soap to treat the issue.
  • Monitor your plants for nutrient deficiencies and provide them with the appropriate nutrients.
  • Consider transplanting or repotting your succulents to promote healthier growth.
  • Troubleshoot common issues, such as brown leaves or black spots, with targeted solutions.
  • Find the right balance of light and water for your succulents to thrive.
  • Use a good quality succulent soil and give your plants a good soak during the growing season.

With these tips in mind, you can prevent yellowing leaves on your succulents and keep your garden looking vibrant and healthy.


How can lack of sunlight cause yellowing leaves in succulents?

Lack of sunlight is a common reason for succulent leaves turning yellow. Succulents require enough sunlight to thrive, whether they are grown indoors or outdoors. Providing adequate light is important for their overall health and preventing yellowing leaves.

How does overwatering lead to yellow leaves in succulents?

Overwatering is another common cause of succulent leaves turning yellow. Excess water can lead to root rot, which affects the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients properly. This can result in yellowing leaves. It is important to establish a proper watering schedule and use well-draining soil to prevent overwatering.

What pests can cause yellowing leaves in succulents?

Spider mites are a common pest that can infest succulents and cause yellowing leaves. Treating the infestation with insecticidal soap can help eliminate the pests and prevent further damage to the leaves.

How do nutrient deficiencies contribute to yellow leaves in succulents?

Nutrient deficiencies can affect the color and health of succulent leaves, leading to yellowing. It is important to provide the right nutrients for your succulents to maintain vibrant colors. Identifying and addressing any deficiencies can help prevent yellowing leaves.

Can transplanting and repotting help revive yellow succulents?

Yes, transplanting and repotting succulents can be a helpful way to revive yellowing plants. Choosing the right pot and using fresh soil can promote healthier growth and improve the condition of the leaves.

What are some common issues with succulents and how can they be addressed?

Common issues with succulents include brown leaves, yellow spots, and black spots. These can be addressed by identifying the underlying causes, such as overwatering or pest infestations, and implementing appropriate solutions.

How can you find the right balance between light and water for succulents?

Finding the right balance between light and water is crucial for succulent health. It is important to provide enough light, whether it is indirect sunlight or full sun, and to avoid overwatering or underwatering your plants. Using the right pot and well-draining soil can also help maintain the proper moisture levels.

What are some best practices to prevent yellow succulent leaves?

To prevent yellowing leaves, it is recommended to give your succulents a good soak during the growing season, choose the right light source, and use quality succulent soil. Providing adequate indirect light, avoiding excess moisture, and ensuring proper drainage will help keep your succulents healthy and vibrant.

How can I revive my yellowing succulents and restore their vibrant colors?

By understanding the potential causes of yellowing leaves and implementing the appropriate solutions, you can revive your yellowing succulents. Providing adequate light, proper watering, and addressing any pest or nutrient issues are key steps to restore their vibrant colors. With proper care, your succulents will thrive and bring joy to your indoor or outdoor garden.

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