When it comes to houseplants, few are as popular as succulents. These trendy plants are known for their ability to thrive in a wide range of conditions, making them perfect for even the most novice gardeners. However, even succulents can suffer from problems from time to time, with one of the most common being succulent leaves shriveling.

If your succulent leaves are shriveling, it could be several reasons. Perhaps the plant is not getting enough water, or the temperature is too hot or cold. It could also be a sign of disease or pests. Whatever the reason, it’s important to take action quickly to save your plant.

So what causes succulent leaves to shrivel up? And how can you prevent it? Read on to find out.

Succulent Leaves Shriveling Causes

Succulent leaves shriveling is a common problem caused by several things. The most common causes are overwatering and underwatering. Other causes can include pests, diseases, and improper soil conditions. If your succulent leaves are shriveling, it is essential to identify the cause so you can take the proper steps to fix it.

Frequent watering

One of the common causes of succulent leaves shriveling is frequent watering. When succulents get excess water, their leaves droop and shrivel up.

If you’re unsure how much water your succulent needs, it’s best to err on under-watering rather than overwatering. Succulents can also be affected by poor drainage, so be sure to water them in a pot with a drainage hole.

light watering

Leaves of succulent plants can shrivel for a variety of reasons. One of the common reasons is due to light watering.

When the topsoil is too dry, the succulent pulls water from its leaves to keep its roots hydrated. If this continues, the leaves will wilt and eventually shrivel up. To prevent this, water your succulents thoroughly when the topsoil feels dry to the touch.

Inappropriate soil

Succulent leaves shriveling and curling inward is a common problem that several things can cause. One of the common reasons for this is inappropriate soil.

Succulent plants need well-draining soil that is low in moisture. The succulent’s roots will rot if the soil is too wet, and the leaves will wilt and die.

To prevent succulent leaves from shriveling, make sure to use soil low in moisture and well-draining. You can also add organic matter to the soil to help improve drainage.

Fungal infection

Another cause of succulent leaves shriveling is a fungus infection. Fungi can thrive in moist, dark environments, leading to succulent leaves becoming infected.

The fungus is likely involved if you notice your succulents have lost their leaves, and it’s not due to over-watering or poor drainage. To treat this problem, start by removing any affected leaves and washing the plant with a fungicide spray. Then add fresh soil and water thoroughly.

High Humidity

Leaves of succulent plants can often shrivel when the humidity is too high. The high humidity can prevent the leaves from getting enough carbon dioxide, which they need to stay healthy. If the humidity is high for a long period, the leaves may die.

To prevent succulent leaves from shriveling in high humidity, open the windows and door to allow some air circulation. Also, make sure to water the plant regularly to get enough water and oxygen.

Temperature Stress

There are a few things as dreaded as succulent leaves shriveling in the succulent world. Several factors can cause this problem, but temperature stress is most common. When succulent leaves shrivel, it can indicate that something is wrong with the plant and that it is not getting enough water. If the problem is not addressed, the plant may die.

Keep your succulent plants out of extreme temperatures to prevent the leaves from shriveling up. Succulent plants need to be kept in a warm environment during the winter months and a relaxed atmosphere during the summer months. Suppose you are having trouble keeping your plants at the correct temperature. In that case, you can try using a heating pad or an air conditioner.

Lack Of Nutrients

Leaves of succulent plants may start to shrivel when the plant lacks the necessary nutrients. One of the common reasons for a succulent’s leaves to shrink is a lack of water.

However, if the leaves are not getting enough nutrients, they will also start to wilt and shrink. It is often a sign that the plant needs more fertilization. Signs that a succulent needs more water include droopy leaves and stems and brown or black spots on the leaves.

If you suspect that your succulent lacks nutrients, give it a thorough watering and fertilization.

How to Differentiate Succulents that Shrivel?

There are some easy ways to differentiate succulent plants that have shriveled.

One way is to look at the leaves; if they have puckered or folded edges, it is most likely due to dehydration.

The overall appearance of a succulent can tell you if it is healthy or not. A healthy succulent will be complete and have plenty of leaves. In contrast, a succulent that is not doing well will be miniature and have fewer leaves.

If you are still unsure, take a cutting from the plant and place it in water. Healthy succulents will perk up within a few hours, while unhealthy plants will remain wilted.

How do you revive overwatered succulents with shriveled leaves?

If you’ve ever overwatered your succulents, you may have noticed their leaves start to shrivel. It is because succulents need well-drained soil, and when they’re overwatered, their roots can’t get enough oxygen, and they begin to wilt. 

Few things you can do to revive overwatered succulents with shriveled leaves: 

First, make sure the pot has a drainage hole so the soil can dry out properly. If it doesn’t, move the succulent to a pot with a drainage hole. 

Second, wait until the top inch of soil is dry before watering again. You can check the soil moisture by sticking your finger in the soil. If it’s wet, wait until it dries before watering again.

Third, feed your succulent with a weak fertilizer once a week. Make sure the fertilizer is low in nitrogen because too much nitrogen can cause leaves to turn yellow and die.

Lastly, water sparingly until the succulent recovers. Over-watering can cause root rot, which will kill the succulent.

What to Do with an Underwatered Succulent?

Suppose you’ve noticed that your succulent has been looking a little limp. In that case, there’s a good chance you may have accidentally underwatered it. Succulents need relatively little water to thrive, so if you’re not careful, you can easily overwater them or underwater them. 

If your succulent is showing signs of being underwater, the best thing to do is give it some time to recover. Please make sure the potting soil is dry before watering it again, and be sure not to overwater it in the future. To determine if your succulent requires water, stick your finger into the potting soil. If the soil feels moist, then don’t water it yet. 

You can also help your succulents recover from being underwatered by adding some succulent soil to the pot. This will help the plant absorb more water and help it to recover quickly.

How to make sure you don’t lose the plant completely?

There is always a risk of losing them completely when it comes to plants. It can be due to many reasons, from overwatering to pests. However, by taking a few precautions, you can minimize the chances of losing your plant completely.

  1. Make sure you water your succulents only when the soil is dry. This will help to prevent overwatering.
  2. Observe the succulent’s appearance and behavior frequently to detect any changes. If it seems weak or wilting, that might be a sign that it needs more water.
  3. Try not to move your succulent around a lot, as this can also lead to it being lost. Instead, try to keep it in one place if possible to avoid getting moved around or damaged in transport.
  4. Always use a drainage system when planting succulents. This will help prevent over-watering and ensure that your succulent receives the right water.

Avoid light watering

Watering plants is essential for their growth, but it’s also easy to overwater them. It can be a problem, especially if you’re trying to keep an alive plant while on vacation. Here are a few tips for avoiding light watering:

Ensure the pot has drainage holes so that excess water can escape.

  • Don’t water the plant until the top inch of soil is dry.
  • Use a watering pot with a spout to target the soil directly.
  • Avoid watering the plant’s leaves, which can cause them to rot.
  • If you’re going to be gone for more than a week, consider hiring a plant sitter or placing your plants in plastic containers with watertight lids.

Use quick-draining soil.

When you first get your new houseplant, you must ensure you don’t lose it completely. If you are planting a new plant, use potting soil specifically for plants. If you don’t, the plant may become waterlogged and die. Instead, use a quick-draining soil mix to allow the plant to drain correctly and avoid rotting. You can either make your mix or purchase a pre-made mix from a garden center.

Another essential thing to keep in mind is never to overwater your plants. Houseplants need only about an inch of water per week, so check the soil regularly and water only when the top few inches are dry. Overwatering can also lead to root rot and the death of the plant.

Finally, place your plants in a bright spot to get plenty of sunlight.

Reduce watering

When people are first introduced to the beautiful world of plants, getting carried away with the watering can be easy. It’s common for people to overwater their plants, leading to the plant losing its leaves and even dying. If you’re unsure how often to water your plant or worry that you might be overwatering it, follow these tips to ensure you don’t lose the plant.

The most important thing to remember is that most plants only need water when the soil feels dry. You can test this by sticking your finger in the soil; don’t water it if it feels wet. Another way to tell if a plant needs water is by checking the leaves. If they’re starting to look wilted, then the plant probably needs water.

If you water the plant before it’s completely dry, water thoroughly and evenly. Overwatering can lead to root rot and the death of the plant.

Change the soil and repot the plant.

When your plant has been in the same pot for too long, the soil becomes packed, and the roots can no longer grow. To avoid losing the plant thoroughly, you need to change the soil and repot the plant.

First, remove the plant from its pot. If there’s a lot of soil attached to the roots, gently loosen it with your fingers. If the pot is clay, you can also soak it in water for a few minutes to make it easier to remove.

Next, fill a new pot with fresh soil. The pot should be slightly larger than the old one – about 1-2 inches wider and taller. Put some fresh soil in the bottom of the pot, then set the plant on top. Fill in around the roots with more fresh soil, using your fingers to pack it down lightly.

Finally, water well to help settle everything into place.

Choose safe locations for your succulents.

If you’re new to succulents, choosing safe locations for your plants is essential so they don’t get lost completely. Succulents don’t need a lot of water, but they do need some sunlight. Make sure to place them in an area where they will get at least six hours of sunlight per day. You can also place them near a window that gets direct sunlight.

FAQ On Succulent leaves shriveling

Should I pull dead leaves off succulents?

One of the questions people often have about succulents is whether they should pull off dead leaves. The reason the leaves on your succulent stopped growing is complicated. Many things could be causing this, such as the succulents or why the leaves stopped growing. In some cases, pulling off dead leaves is necessary for the succulent’s health. It may not be required in other subjects and could even harm the succulent.

What to do if your succulent is shriveling?

If your succulent is shriveling, you can do a few things to help it. The most important thing is to water it correctly. Ensure the pot has proper drainage so the succulent doesn’t sit in water, and water it thoroughly but infrequently. You can also mist the succulent occasionally with water to help it stay hydrated.

How do I know if my succulent is overwatered?

When it comes to succulents, overwatering is one of the most common mistakes made by gardeners. It’s easy to tell if your succulent is overwatered because the leaves will often be limp, and the stem will be soft.

Why are my succulent leaves shriveling and falling off?

Succulent plants are a favorite for many gardeners because of their low-maintenance nature. However, succulents can be prone to problems, such as leaves shriveling and falling off. There are several reasons why this may happen, but the most common is overwatering. Other causes can include Underwatering, pests, diseases, and environmental factors.

What Does an Underwatered Succulent Look Like 

One of the first signs that your succulent is not getting enough water is that the leaves will start to curl up. This is because the plant is trying to conserve as much water as possible.

What Does an Overwatered Succulent Look Like

Watering succulents is essential for taking care of them, but it’s also easy to overwater them. One telltale sign that you’re overwatering your succulent is if it starts to look wilted. If the leaves on your succulents are drooping, it’s a good indication that you need to cut back on the water. If the soil is wet to the bottom of the container, you are overwatering your succulents. If this is the case, you’ll need to let the soil dry out before watering again.

Why are my succulent leaves shriveling and falling off?

One possible reason for succulent leaves shriveling and succulent leaves falling off when touched is that the plant is not getting enough water. Succulents need to be watered regularly, especially during warm weather, but over-watering can also be a problem. If the soil is wet or soggy, the roots will rot, and the leaves will wilt and die. 

Another possibility is that the succulent is being over-fertilized. Too much fertilizer can damage or kill a succulent plant. It would be best to fertilize your succulents when growing in the spring and summer. When you fertilize them, use a light hand.

A third possibility is that your succulent is getting too much sun. Succulents need sunlight, but they also need some shade during the hottest part of the day.

How do I know if my succulent needs more sun?

If your succulent looks a bit wilted, it might need more sun. Succulents need at least six hours of sunlight per day to stay healthy. You can tell if your succulent needs more sun if its leaves turn yellow or brown. If this is the case, try moving your succulent to a spot that will get more direct sunlight.

How to revive a dried out succulent?

If you have a succulent that is dried out and has little to no life left, you can do a few things to revive it. You can soak the succulent in water for an hour or two, then place it in a bowl of cool water. You can also give it a partial water bath by filling a large pot halfway with water and placing the succulent inside. Finally, you can place the succulent in the oven on low heat for about an hour or until it’s revived.


In conclusion, succulent leaves fading may indicate over-watering, under-watering, or fungal infection. If the leaves of your succulents are shriveling, look at the plant’s watering and environmental conditions to find out what is causing the problem.