Why Is My Succulent Wilting? Questions Answered

Last Updated on July 5, 2021 by Marco C.

Why is my succulent wilting? This is one of the most common questions that new plant moms faced.

Succulents add color and texture to a garden. They are not only interesting. Their appearance can make anyone looking at them happy. Moreover, they have unique stems and leaves that make them very attractive.

Native to arid climates, succulents normally have thick fleshy stems and leaves. But they are not only green. They come in different shades of green and sometimes other colors that make them look so dear in the landscape. 

Anyone collecting succulents can attest to their beauty. However, since their leaves are thick and fleshy they are prone to absorbing water. Water is the primary reason that they experience wilting. Other cultural practices also cause it to wilt. 

Reasons Why Your Succulent Is Wilting

So why is my succulent wilting? You will probably ask yourself this question many times. 

Several factors are affecting the health of your succulents. In this article, we’ll discuss the different reasons for your wilting succulents.

Water Stress: Overwatering Succulents vs. Underwatering

Water stress that causes wilting of succulents can include too much or too little water. Even though they store water in their leaves, too much water will cause their roots to rot. Conversely, not having enough water will cause their leaves to wilt, drop off, and die. 

So how do you know when you’re already overwatering? Generally, succulents don’t need watering every day. You may water succulents once every 2 to 3 weeks. When watering, just water enough to keep the soil moist. After a week, if the soil has fully drained, you can water it again. 

 An early sign of over-watering is that leaves will start to fall off with just a slight bump. Black stem or mush spots will start becoming visible. Echeverias are one of the most sensitive succulents to water. If you water too much, this succulent variety can eventually rot. 

While over-watering is the most common cause of wilting in succulents, many varieties are also sensitive to under-watering. Portulacaria Afra and Senecio haworthii like to water more often than other succulents. 

This is why you need to get to know your succulents well. This way, you will know what is best for them.

If your succulent’s upper leaves are starting to wrinkle or dry, then it is time to give it a little more water. Water-loving succulents can appear limp, shriveled, and weak when don’t get enough water.

over watering succulents

Read more about: Do Succulents Need To Drain: What You Should Know

Temperature Stress: Too Hot Or Too Cold?

The ideal temperature for succulents is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This means succulents are more conducive for outdoor growing. Even so, it is always a good idea to grow succulents in containers. This makes it easy to move them indoors if the temperature dips below 60 degrees.

If succulents are exposed to extremely cold temperatures, their leaves can begin to wilt. A wet and cold climate can be deadly to succulents. 

Again, you need to know what variety you’re growing. Some succulents are sensitive to too much heat while some succulents can survive in the cold.  

About 65 to 75 degrees would be generally optimal for succulents. However, succulents may die if the temperature dips below 40 degrees. The worst temperature for succulents to survive is 30 degrees Fahrenheit. In this case, they may freeze or die. Depending on changing weather conditions, your succulent may still survive when the temperature is between 40 to 45 degrees.

If it gets colder than that, you have to transfer your succulents indoors. Place them in a location with indirect silence and with optimum temperature. You can return them outside when the weather condition is better.

Light Stress: Why Is My Succulent Wilting?

Succulents are sun-loving plants. Without the right amount of sunlight, these plants lose their vigor. They also experience a wide array of health issues. For example, keeping your succulents in dim and damp areas will make them prone to pest infestation.

However, placing them under too much sunlight may cause their leaves to wilt. We suggest placing your succulents in a south-facing area of your landscape. Put container-growing plants in a south-facing window.

Make sure your succulent receives direct sunlight for half of the day. Give it partial shade for the rest of the day. If your succulent wilts due to overprotection, you can bring them back outdoor for some sun. 

Take note that a sudden increase in light can kill your succulents. So do this routine in the morning when the sun is not too hot.

Bacterial Wilt: Help My Succulents Are Dying!

Young succulents are prone to a bacterial pathogen. So if you’ve just bought a new succulent, you may notice that it is very hard to grow.

Bacterial wilt often happens in young or newly bought succulents. You can blame this on bacteria called Ralstonia solanacearum. These bacteria can cause the rotting, wilting, and collapsing of a plant.

Ralstonia solanacearum is a type of bacteria that is spread by insects like the cucumber beetle. It feeds on plants, gradually seeping its nutrients until it dies. Unfortunately, there is no cure for plants affected by bacterial wilt.

However, there is preventive care available in the form of insecticides. To keep your succulents safe from this type of bacteria, you can spray insecticide from time to time. 

Other common problems in succulents are stretching out, bug infestations, and internal infestation. Aphid infestation can also cause wilting in succulents. Aphids or mealybugs are extremely tiny insects that stick on the back of the leaves of your succulents.

Preventing Succulents From Wilting

Self-diagnosing succulent problems are the key to finding the right cure for wilting. But before that, you need to familiarize yourself with the different varieties of succulents. Depending on what you have, the level and type of care may also vary.

Either way, make sure you diagnose your succulent as soon as possible. This gives you a better chance of helping your succulent recover. As you pay close attention to your succulents you will be able to see early signs of problems. Consequently, you will be able to help your succulent before things get too out of hand. 

Finally, remember that dead leaves at the bottom of your succulents are different from wilting. This means your succulent is growing and leaving older leaves off. When there are dead leaves at the bottom, your succulents are perfectly healthy. Only worry when the leaves at the top start to die.

Learn more about: When To Plant Propagated Succulents

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