If you’re a succulent lover, you know that one of the most common problems is overwatering. Succulents are very sensitive to too much water and will start to show signs of distress if they are overwatered.

The good news is that there are a few things you can do to save an overwatered succulent. With a little bit of care, you can bring your plant back to health.

In this guide, I will show you everything you need to know about saving an overwatered succulent. I will also share some tips on how to avoid overwatering your succulents in the future.

What does an Overwatered succulent look like?

An overwatered succulent plants looks like it is wilting, and its leaves are turning yellow or brown. The succulent may also have mushy or soft leaves. These are all signs that the plant is not getting enough oxygen and is suffocating. If you see these signs, you should immediately stop watering your succulent and let the soil dry out completely.

How to save overwatered succulents?

Overwatering is one of the biggest mistakes a succulent grower can make. Overwatering causes the plant’s roots to become wet and mushy. This can cause the succulent to lose its shape and colors and even die. Here are some tips to save your overwatered succulents:

Prune off any wilted or dead plants

Prune off any wilted or dead plants. Dead plants will not help your succulent survive, and they will only add water weight to your potting mix, which can cause it to topple over during transport or storage.

Remove excess water

Remove excess water from the pot using a garden hose or a watering that can be fitted with a spout of at least 1-inch wide. Do not use a stream of water – this will drown the plant and make it even more susceptible to root damage from overwatering. Aim for an even spray that covers the entire surface of the soil in the pot. Do not pour water directly on top of the succulent – this will also cause unnecessary damage.

Check the Watering Schedule

Saving an overwatered succulent can be a difficult task. Still, you should remember that succulents are drought-tolerant plants. Overwatering a succulent will cause the roots to rot, and the plant will die. Succulent plants require regular watering, but watering them too much can also cause them to become overgrown and damaged. To prevent overwatering, always check the watering schedule for your succulents and make sure you are giving them the correct amount of water.

Remove Overwatered Plants

When succulents are overwatered, the roots are the first to suffer. The roots anchor the plant in the soil and provide the plant with water and nutrients. Without healthy roots, the plant will not be able to survive.

If you think your succulent is overwatered, the first step is to check the roots. If the roots are mushy or black, they are probably rotting. Rotting roots will not be able to support the plant, and the plant will eventually die. The best way to save an overwatered succulent is to remove the plant from the pot and replant it in fresh, dry soil. Be sure to water the plant sparingly until the roots have had a chance to recover.

Correctly Water the Succulents

When succulents are overwatered, they can lose their color and health. Overwatering can also cause leaves to curl or turn yellow. To prevent succulents from losing water and becoming unhealthy, follow these tips:

  • Ensure the succulent pot has good drainage and is placed in a spot with good air circulation.
  • Water the succulents only when the soil is completely dry – do not water daily or weekly.
  • Remove excess water from the pot with a towel or garden hose after watering.
  • Water succulents in the morning or evening when the sun is not shining on them.
  • Remove any spent flowers or leaves before watering to help prevent overwatering.

Let the roots dry

Succulents are plants that require very little water, so overwatering them is not typically a problem. However, if succulents have been in the same spot for a long time and the soil has become compacted, over-watering can cause the roots to rot. You should allow the roots to air dry after being watered to prevent this from happening. This will allow the soil to retain its moisture and prevent root rot.

Change the Soil & Improve the drainage and using a timer

Watering succulents is a delicate balancing act. Too much water will rot, but too little water will die. Proper watering techniques include changing the soil’s moisture level, improving drainage, and using a timer.

Improving the soil’s moisture level is one of the most important steps in watering succulents. Succulent roots are very efficient at extracting water from the soil, so increasing the moisture level will help to ensure that they receive enough water without causing damage. A good way is to mix in organic matter such as compost or aged manure when repotting your succulents. Another option is to purchase a soilless potting mix specifically designed for succulents.

One of the most common problems with succulent watering is poor drainage. This occurs when there are areas of clay or other heavy soils in the garden that block the absorption of water by the plant’s root system. You can improve drainage by adding gravel or crushed stone to low-lying areas, paving over shallow furrows with concrete or bricks, planting on a raised bed, or using an earthenware pottery drain tile.

A timer is a great tool for watering succulents. Succulent plants need water regularly throughout the day. Still, they don’t need water on a schedule that matches the sun and moon. A timer allows you to set the watering schedule according to your plants’ needs, which will help to ensure that they get the water they need without over-watering or overwatering.

Repot or Propagate

Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes succulent growers make. It can be a quick and easy way to kill your plants and can be frustrating.

Repotting is the easiest option and will generally fix most water problems. If your succulent is already in a pot, remove it from the soil and put it into a new pot with fresh soil. Ensure the new pot has enough space for the plant to grow; succulents can get very large.

Propagating is a more involved option that may be necessary if you don’t want to repot your succulent or if you have several plants that need different amounts of water (for example, one that needs regular water but one that needs occasional drought relief). Propagating involves taking a cutting from an overwatered plant and planting it in new soil. You’ll need to wait until the cutting has roots before watering it; this could take several weeks or months.

How To Avoid Overwatering Your Succulents

Overwatering your succulents can be a big problem. It can cause them to rot, and it can also cause them to lose their color and shape. Here are some tips on how to avoid overwatering your succulents:

  • Always check the water level regularly. If the water looks like it’s about to overflow, top up the pot with fresh water.
  • Don’t overfill the pot. Succulents need plenty of space to grow, so don’t fill the pot more than two-thirds full.
  • Don’t overwater your succulents in winter or during times of drought. Succulent plants need a lot of moisture to survive cold weather or dry conditions, so make sure you give them enough water during these times but don’t let the pot get too full, or they will overgrow and rot.
  • Use a water-saving device. A water-saving device, such as a soaker hose, can help you conserve water.
  • Don’t fertilize your succulents unless they are showing signs of needing them. Overfertilizing can cause the plants to grow too quickly and become root-bound, which will then cause them to rot.
  • Prune your succulents every year in early spring before the new growth begins. This will help to prevent them from growing too large and becoming root-bound.

Frequently asked questions

Can you revive a dying succulent?

Yes, it is possible to revive a dying succulent. However, you should act quickly and have a plan in place before the plant completely dies. To revive a dying succulent:

  1. Start trimming off any dead leaves or stems.
  2. Water the plant deeply and allow it to drain thoroughly.
  3. Place the plant in a bright location and wait for new growth.

How do you save a damaged succulent?

Succulents are pretty resilient and can bounce back from a lot of damage, but if you want to give your plant the best chance at survival, these are a few tips: 

  • First, assess the damage. If the leaves are only slightly wilted, you can probably give the plant a little more water, and it will be fine. However, if the leaves are shriveled or burnt, the plant is in more serious trouble. 
  • If the plant is not too badly damaged, try to water it more frequently, letting the soil dry out in between waterings. 
  • If the plant is in really bad shape, you can try propagating it from a healthy leaf or stem. This will give the plant a new lease on life and hopefully help it recover.

Should you pull dead leaves off succulents?

Succulents are plants that are adapted to a dry environment. Dead leaves on succulents can impede water absorption and cause the plant to dehydrate. If you see dead leaves on your succulents, you can remove them by hand, using a garden shear or a sharp knife.

What does a dying succulent look like?

When a succulent is dying, its leaves will begin to turn yellow or brown and fall off. The plant will also start to wilt and look overall unhealthy. If a succulent is not given the proper care, it will eventually die.

How long does it take for an overwatered plant to heal?

Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes gardeners make. It can take a few days to a week for an overwatered plant to heal. You should water the plant less frequently and allow it to dry out more. The leaves may turn yellow or brown and fall off, but new growth should appear within a week.

Do succulents need direct sunlight?

Most succulents need direct sunlight to thrive, though a few can tolerate partial shade. If you’re unsure whether your succulent needs full sun, check the plant label or do a quick internet search. When in doubt, it’s better to err on the side of too much sun than too little.

Can a succulent survive root rot?

Yes, a succulent can survive root rot. However, you should catch the root rot early and treat it promptly. If the root rot is severe, the succulent may not be able to recover and may die.


In conclusion, you can save succulents if they are overwatered. By following the steps listed above, it is possible to revive a succulent that has been overwatered. You should act quickly, though, as succulents can only survive for a short period if they are deprived of water. If all else fails, it may be necessary to replant the succulent.