Why Succulent Leaves Turn Yellow?

Why Succulent Leaves Turn Yellow

Succulents are some of the friendliest indoor plants because of their low-maintenance nature. Even then, you might face some problems with succulents, and one of the most annoying issues is its leaves turning yellow.

So, if your succulents are turning yellow, you should understand the reason why this happens. Is it improper care or some other factors that cause this fading color? Whatever the reason is, the best part is that you can fix these issues and save your plant, but the question is, how?

Keep reading to discover the reasons why your succulent leaves get yellow. Also, get some tips to fix those problems.

Reasons Why Succulent Turn Yellow

Succulents come from harsh desert climates, so they are habitual of the warm temperature, plenty of sunshine, and require less water than other plants. If you miss any of these requirements, the leaves turn yellow as an alert sign that something is wrong with them.

Following are some common reasons for succulent leaves turning yellow:

1. Overwatering

Watering the succulent plant too often can cause yellow leaves. If you see that the soil is too wet and the leaves are yellow, it’s a red flag, and you need to stop overwatering the plant.

Succulent plants only require water when the soil is dry as the plant cannot survive in moist conditions. The most noticeable sign of overwatering is that yellow leaves appear soggy and mushy when you touch them. Also, the leaves start falling even after a slight bump.

Another indication is that black spots appear on leaves and stems when you overwater a succulent.

How to Fix It

If you find that overwatering is a problem, try to recover the plant. If you catch no signs of root sot (black spots on the lower stem), wait for some days until the soil dries out completely before watering it.

You can also plant the succulent in a fresh pot with drilled drainage holes, as this is the best solution to save your plant from retaining water.

However, if you notice any black spot on the stem, follow these steps.

  • First, remove the succulent from the pot, and cut the rotten black stem of the plant.
  • Allow it to dry, but keep it away from sunlight during this time.
  • Throw that old soil and place the succulent in a pot, which contains the soil with good draining quality.  
  • Look after the plant and water it after a week of repotting.  

2. Underwatering the plant

The next reason for succulents turning yellow is underwatering. Because of this, the leaves appear dry, brittle and yellow. For example, if you water the plants once in a month, they will show signs of stress this way.

How to Fix It

When you notice the leaves turning yellow and getting wrinkled, pour some water, and salvage the plant. Please make sure you regularly water the plant to keep it healthy. It will be better to have reminders on the phone to keep track of watering days when you have too many plants to take care of.

3. Lack of Sunlight

Succulents also start turning yellow when they don’t get enough sunlight. Along with the yellowing of leaves, you will notice that the plant is growing tall and thin.

You should remember that succulents have slow growth, but if they get less exposure to sunlight, they start reaching out for sunlight. So, instead of being healthy and strong, the plant becomes thin and yellow.

How to Fix It

If you find out the succulent isn’t getting sufficient sunlight, change its location, and keep it in daylight.

Succulents need at least three hours of direct sunlight every day. For more details related to sunlight requirements for these plants, follow this link.

4. Bug Attack

If there is something horrible that can happen to a succulent is getting attacked by mealybugs. You can spot these predators in the corners of the leaves in a web-like structure.

These white bugs tend to grow on the feed of succulents, and the leaves turn yellow in response to this stress because it deprives the plant of essential nutrients.

How to Fix It

To deal with bugs, take prompt action; otherwise, they will spread very quickly and destroy the whole plant.

Buy an insecticide, or you can even use a homemade solution to disinfect the plant.

5. Planting Succulents in the Wrong Soil or Pot

If you can’t notice any evidence of watering problems, inadequate sunlight, or bug issues, then the problem might be with the pot or soil.

Succulents require soil that drains well, and the pot should have drain holes so that the water doesn’t stay there.

How to Fix It

You can fix it out without difficulty if there is an issue with the soil or the pot. The best characteristic of succulents is that they are wonderful propagators. So, if any part of the turns yellow, don’t stress out.

Cut the healthy portion of the plant and put it in the soil. Moreover, you can add some rocks or pebbles in the pot, so the roots don’t rot because of extra water at the bottom. After a week, water it and see it grow into a fresh plant.

6. Natural Yellowing of Leaves

Apart from all the reasons stated above, leaves turn yellow when they die. That’s the natural growth process of succulents that leaves shed as the plant grows. The leaves turn yellow because the plant doesn’t have enough energy to carry all the leaves, so they fall off.

Next time, don’t fret out when you find some yellow leaves in the pot. It would be best if you pulled out the brown and dry yellow leaves to let your plant grow well.

How to Identify the Reasons for Succulents Turning Yellow?

These are the two basic rules to follow:

Observe the Leaves

It is easy to figure out the reason why succulents are turning yellow by watching the leaves. Pay attention to the leaves’ colors so you can take the right action to recover the plant from stress.

For example, if the plant is growing tall and thin, it is asking for sunlight, so you should move it into an area that receives more sunlight.

Otherwise, if the leaves are dry and wrinkly, it needs more water. If the leaves are turning mushy, soft, and break with a slight touch, you are overwatering the plant. Whereas, if you see bugs on the leaves, it indicates a bug infestation.

Check the Soil

If you observe some yellow leaves, but none of the signs are evident, it might be an issue with the soil.

If the soil is dry, adjust the watering schedule, give more water than usual. However, you find wet soil; it is a clear indication of overwatering, so you should wait for a few days until the soil gets dry, and then water again.


We have discussed the most common reason why succulents turn yellow. Now it’s your turn to prevent succulents from becoming yellow, and give them the right care. Remember, they need limited water, well-draining soil, and plenty of sunlight to grow healthy.

Keep an eye on the succulents; they require less maintenance than other plants but make sure you don’t miss any signs of yellowing of the plants. However, if you catch some yellow leaves, apply the given tips and tricks to save your plant.