Reviving Succulents: A Guide to Dealing with Dried Out and Dying Leaves

Reviving Succulents: A Guide to Dealing with Dried Out and Dying Leaves

Succulents, with their resilient nature, are known for thriving in arid conditions. However, even the toughest plants can face challenges, and one common issue is dried out or dying leaves. If you've noticed your succulent looking a bit worse for wear, fear not! Let's we'll explore the reasons behind dried leaves, how to identify the problem, and steps to revive your beloved succulent.

Understanding the Culprits:

Dried or dying leaves on succulents can be attributed to various factors, including normal aging, overwatering, underwatering, improper sunlight, or pests. Identifying the root cause is the first step in the revival process.

Normal aging:

When looking at succulent, the top leaves are newer leaves and the bottom leaves are old leaves. It it normal and expected for the bottom leaves to dry up and fall off, so don't worry if a few bottom leaves are looking worse for wear.  

Echeveria Lola with bottom leaves that are dry.

Photo: A healthy Echeveria Lola with a few dried bottom leaves.

Overwatering Woes:

If the leaves are mushy and translucent, you might be dealing with overwatering. Succulents, known for their water-storing abilities, don't appreciate consistently damp soil. Water only when the soil is dry and ensure proper drainage to prevent root rot.

Underwatering Signals:

On the flip side, if the leaves appear shriveled and dry, your succulent might be thirsty. Here at Just Succ It, we waterboard those bishes then wait for the soil to dry out before watering again. As long as your succulent has proper drainage, use enough water to soak the soil but always allow the soil to dry out between watering sessions. 

underwatered ruffly echeveria with several dried bottom leaves

Sunlight Struggles:

Succulents love sunlight, but too much or too little can lead to leaf issues. If your succulent is getting leggy or the leaves are etiolated, it's likely craving more sunlight. Gradually introduce it to brighter conditions to encourage healthy growth.

Pest Problems:

Inspect your succulent for pests like aphids, mealybugs, or spider mites. These critters can suck the life out of your plant, causing leaves to wither and die. Treat your succulent with a gentle insecticidal soap or neem oil to eliminate unwanted visitors.

Revival Steps:

  1. Trimming: Gently trim away dried or dead leaves using sanitized scissors or pruning shears. This not only improves the aesthetic but also redirects the plant's energy to healthier growth.

  2. Correct Watering: Establish a consistent watering routine, allowing the soil to dry out between watering sessions. Use well-draining soil to prevent waterlogged conditions.

  3. Sunlight Adjustment: Gradually acclimate your succulent to the right amount of sunlight. Move it to a brighter spot, but be cautious of sudden exposure to intense sunlight, which can cause sunburn.

  4. Pest Control: If pests are the issue, treat your succulent with a natural insecticide or a mixture of mild soap and water. Regularly inspect your plant for signs of pests and take prompt action.

Prevention for Future Growth:

To keep your succulent thriving, maintain a balance of sunlight, water, and proper care. Ensure adequate drainage, use a well-balanced succulent fertilizer, and keep an eye out for any signs of stress.

Dried out and dying leaves on your succulent don't spell the end. With a little care, attention, and the right adjustments, you can revive your plant and set it on a path to flourishing once again. Stay succy, friend!

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