Succulents are a type of plant known for their thick, fleshy leaves. These plants are native to dry, arid regions and are adapted to store water in their leaves. However, succulents can also be grown in other climates, including indoor environments. If you notice that your succulent leaves are turning yellow, it could be due to several reasons. This blog post will discuss the most common reasons why succulent leaves turn yellow. Stay tuned to learn more!

Why is my succulent leaves turning yellow?

Succulents are plants that have adapted to an arid or semi-arid environment. In these environments, the succulent leaves may turn yellow and eventually die because they have lost their ability to photosynthesize. The leaves may turn yellow due to a lack of water or sunlight. Over time, the leaves will die, and the plant will lose its shape.

We will explain the following reasons why succulent leaves may turn yellow:

Nutrient Deficiencies

Succulent plants are always fascinating, with their soft textures and delicate leaves. However, suppose succulents are not getting the nutrients they need. In that case, their leaves can start to turn yellow and eventually fall off. There are a few reasons why succulents might be deficient in certain nutrients. Some of these can be easily remedied by adding supplemental nutrients to the plant’s soil.

  • One common issue with succulents is that they often lack nitrogen. This nutrient is crucial for plant growth and development, as it helps create new cells and helps the plant build proteins. Succulent plants deficient in nitrogen may show signs of yellowing their leaves and stunted growth. To help remedy this problem, it is important to add nitrogen-rich fertilizer to the soil around the succulent plants.
  • Another common cause of succulent leaves turning yellow is a lack of potassium. This nutrient is essential for the plant’s root system and for triggering photosynthesis in the chloroplasts of the leaf cells. If potassium is deficient, the leaves will show signs of yellowing and may even fall off the plant. Again, adding potassium-rich fertilizer to the soil around the succulent will help to remedy the issue.
  • Finally, one common cause of succulent leaves turning yellow is a lack of magnesium. This nutrient is important for helping the plant transport water and nutrients throughout its vascular system. If magnesium is deficient, the leaves will show signs of yellowing and may even fall off the plant. Again, adding magnesium-rich fertilizer to the soil around the succulent will help to remedy the issue.

Overwatering or underwatering 

Too much water can cause a succulent’s leaves to turn yellow and eventually rot. This is because the plant cannot absorb all the water and the excess sits in the leaves, causing them to turn yellow. If you think your succulent is overwatered, allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. You can also remove the yellow leaves to help the plant recover.

Underwatering a succulent can also cause the leaves to turn yellow. This is because the plant is not getting enough water, and the leaves start to dry out and turn yellow. If you think your succulent is underwatered, water it thoroughly and make sure the soil is moist. You can also mist the leaves to help the plant recover.

Lack of Sunlight or Too Much Sunlight 

When succulents are grown in direct sunlight, their leaves will usually turn yellow or orange. If the succulent is not getting enough sunlight, the leaves will turn a darker yellow or brown. The succulent’s photosynthesis process needs sunlight to work properly and produce energy. If there is not enough sunlight reaching the plant’s leaves, they will not be able to produce as much energy, and the leaves will start to turn yellow or brown.

If you live in a place with little or no sunlight, you can protect your succulent by growing it in a container or using artificial light. You can also move the succulent to a location with more sunlight.

Temperature fluctuations 

Temperature fluctuations can cause succulent leaves to turn yellow. The leaves are unable to photosynthesize properly when the temperature fluctuates rapidly. Additionally, the water in the succulent’s root system is also affected by temperature fluctuations. It can become too cold or hot, causing the plant to suffer.

Low humidity

Low humidity is one of the most common causes of succulent leaves turning yellow. This is because succulents are adapted to dealing with low levels of humidity. When the level drops too low, they begin to lose water through their leaves. This can cause the leaves to turn yellow and eventually die. To prevent this from happening, you should make sure your home has a good humidity level and keep your succulent plants well-watered.


Over-fertilizing a succulent with fertilizers can also cause the leaves to turn yellow. Over-fertilization can cause problems such as fungal overgrowth and nutrient deficiencies. When these problems occur, the leaves will turn yellow and eventually die.

Pest Infestation

There can be several reasons why succulent leaves may turn yellow and become droopy. Pests, such as aphids, can cause distorted growth, while fungal diseases like black rot can cause leaf distortion and eventual death. In extreme cases, a succulent may develop brown lesions indicative of a pest or disease infestation. Suppose you notice your succulent leaves are turning yellow and limp. In that case, it’s best to consult a trusted grower or professional for help diagnosing the issue and ensuring proper care is taken to prevent further damage.

Fungal diseases 

Fungal diseases can cause succulent leaves to turn yellow and die. The most common fungus that causes succulent leaves to turn yellow is Phytophthora cactorum. This fungus attacks the plant’s roots and stems, causing them to rot. This rot then spreads through the plant, killing the leaves and eventually the whole plant.

If you notice your succulent leaves are turning yellow and dying, it is important to take action. Remove any dead leaves immediately and water your succulent sparingly until you can get a diagnosis from a professional. Once you know the problem, you can treat it with fungicides or other treatments.

Natural yellowing and shedding 

Succulents are plants that have adapted to growing in arid or desert climates. This adaptation includes a thickened stem that helps the succulents retain water and leaves that do not photosynthesize as much as other plant leaves. Over time, exposure to the sun can cause natural yellowing and shedding of succulent leaves. This is due to a decrease in chlorophyll levels in the leaves and can be caused by several factors, including exposure to direct sunlight, high wind speeds, or dry air.

Seasonal Changes Causes succulents leaves turning yellow

The leaves of succulents can turn yellow and fall off as the plant undergoes seasonal changes. The plant’s leaves are typically green and grow rapidly in the spring. As the weather becomes warmer, the leaves change color, first becoming a light green and then turning a more vibrant yellow. This is due to increased exposure to sunlight. The leaves will continue to change color as the weather becomes warmer until Fall when they will start to become brown and fall off the plant.

How do you fix a yellowing succulent?

Leaves on succulent plants can turn yellow and eventually fall off due to several factors. The most common cause is overwatering, making the plant’s roots stay wet longer than they should. High temperatures can also cause leaves to change color, and pests like spider mites and mealybugs can also cause leaves to degenerate. Here are some tips to help prevent succulent leaves from turning yellow:

  • Check the watering schedule frequently and adjust as needed. Succulent plants need water less often than other plants, but they still need regular attention to avoid over-watering.
  • Provide adequate ventilation for your succulent plant. Overcrowding or poor air circulation can lead to poor root growth, cell death, and even leaf yellowing. Move your succulent plant if necessary to provide enough light and ventilation.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or fertilizers in your succulent garden. These substances can damage the plant’s delicate tissues and lead to leaf yellowing and other problems down the line. Succulents are naturally resistant to many types of pollutants and fertilizers, so sparingly use them.
  • Check for pests and diseases. Take appropriate action if you notice any bugs or fungus gnawing on your succulent leaves. For diseases, try a natural remedy like apple cider vinegar or neem oil before calling a professional.

FAQ on Why is my succulent leaves turning yellow

Should I remove yellow leaves from succulents?

The leaves on succulents should generally be left alone unless they are dead or diseased. Removing live leaves can actually harm the plant, since it will remove some of the photosynthetic surface area and energy production. Yellow leaves may be due to a number of factors, such as overwatering, underwatering, pests, or disease. If you are unsure of the cause, it is best to consult an expert or a gardening book.

Why are my succulents leaves turning yellow and falling off?

Succulents are plants that have evolved to store water in their leaves and stem tissues, allowing them to survive in areas with low water availability. While succulents are generally drought-tolerant, they may experience problems when over-watered or when subjected to cold weather. One common symptom of overwatering is yellowing the leaves, which may eventually lead to leaf fall.

Can yellow succulent leaves turn green again?

The leaves of succulents can change color depending on the amount of light they receive. In general, succulent leaves are green, but they can turn yellow if they don’t get enough light. If a succulent’s leaves turn yellow, they may be able to turn green again if they get more light.

How often should you water a succulent?

Watering frequency for succulents can depend on various factors such as pot size, potting mix, climate, and the individual succulent’s water needs. In general, most succulents prefer to dry out somewhat between waterings. The most important factor to consider is that succulents should not be kept wet all the time. This will lead to root rot.

How do you save an overwatered succulent?

One way to save an overwatered succulent is by slowly reducing the water given to the plant. Another way is to place the succulents in a dry and sunny location. Succulents need well-drained soil, so adding sand or perlite can help improve drainage. If the succulent is in a pot, consider repotting it into a container with a drainage hole.

Do succulents need full sun?

No, succulents do not need full sun. In fact, they can thrive in partial sunlight or even in shaded areas. Succulents typically need at least 4 hours of direct sunlight per day, but if they’re in a shaded area, they will still grow albeit more slowly. It’s important to note that the more sunlight a succulent receives, the faster it will grow; but too much sun can also cause them to dry out quickly.

What type of sunlight do succulents prefer?

Succulents prefer direct sunlight. They need at least six hours of direct sunlight to stay healthy. Indirect sunlight is not ideal, but it will still work.

Do succulents like coffee grounds?

No one is sure why, but succulents seem to love coffee grounds. Some gardeners recommend adding a small number of grounds to the soil when potting or transplanting a succulent, as the caffeine may help to stimulate growth. Others sprinkle grounds on the soil’s surface to keep pests away. While there is no concrete evidence that caffeine affects succulents significantly, it can’t hurt to try it out in your garden!

How do I know if my succulent needs more light?

The best way to determine if your succulent needs more light is to observe its growth. If it is growing tall and spindly, it may need more light. Succulents also typically have a brighter color if they are getting enough light. You can also try moving your succulent closer to a window or increasing the time it spends outdoors.

Why is my succulent dying?

There could be several reasons why your succulent is dying. One possibility is that the succulent is not getting enough light. Succulents need at least six hours of sunlight per day to thrive. Another possibility is that the succulent is not getting enough water. Succulents should be watered thoroughly once a week, and the soil should be dry to the touch before watering again.

Why is my succulent turning brown?

The succulent may be turning brown due to a lack of water. Succulents need water, but too much water can cause the succulents to turn brown. Succulents should be watered when the soil feels dry to the touch.


In conclusion, yellowing and falling leaves on succulents may be caused by several reasons, including over-watering, pests and diseases, insufficient light, and improper fertilization. If you notice any of these problems developing on your succulent, take action to correct the issue before it becomes more severe. Additionally, be sure to provide your succulent with the proper amount of light and nutrients. Keep an eye on its water level to ensure it gets the proper hydration.