Common Problems with Succulents


Growing a nice variety of succulents can be extremely rewarding because of their natural beauty and their rugged, natural looks. While many people love to keep succulents on hand, it’s not uncommon to run into some issues while growing them. Here are a few common problems that come up with succulents and how you should deal with them.

Waterlogged 

One of the most common problems that people have with succulents is getting them waterlogged. Succulents are naturally very good at holding onto water, so it’s easy to give them more water than they need.

If you notice that the leaves are turning yellowish or that you can kind of see through them, it’s a sign that you’re watering too much. If you notice this, cut back on the watering schedule and see how the plant adjusts. It can feel very strange to consciously not water your plants, but in this case that’s what you’ll have to do more often.

Wrong Soil 

Many people make the mistake of putting their succulents in regular potting soil or dirt. While succulents can survive there, they most likely will not thrive there. Succulent potting soil has a lot more mineral content in it and drains really well.

Some of the soils that people use look almost like just a bunch of gravel. When you water your succulents, the water should pour through and drain very easily. If the soil soaks up the water and hangs onto it, it’ll lead to issues with the plant and potentially lead to pests and rot. 

Sunburn

Many varieties of succulents enjoy growing directly in sunlight. In fact, many succulents are perfect for dry, wide-open, desert climates. However, some varieties prefer to grow in shadier environments. If you notice brown, sunburned leaves on your plant, it means it’s getting too much direct sun.

In that case, try moving your plant to a different area that gets a little more shade. Do some research on the species of succulent that you get before planting. This way you can avoid putting it in too much direct sunlight right off the bat. 

Freezing/Frost

If you live in an area that gets cold in the winter, it’s not uncommon to run into issues with succulents freezing or getting frost on them. While there are a few varieties of succulents that can live in cooler climates, none of them enjoy waking up with ice all over them. That’s a really quick way to destroy your succulents.

If you live in a temperate climate, watch the weather forecast and plan accordingly. If frost is on the way, bring your succulents inside. In some cases, they may not be able to recover if they get too cold. If you accidentally leave them outside and part of the plant dies, prune that part of the plant off and keep going. 

Pests

It can be extremely frustrating when you look over at your prized succulents and notice them covered in bugs. It’s common to see mealy bugs, aphids, and red spider mites crawling on succulents. There are a few options you can try when you notice that your succulents have pests. 

Take them out of the soil, clean them off and replant them in new soil. When you replant, mix in some premium worm castings, as they have natural pesticide built in. Another great strategy is to make worm castings tea and spray it all over the plant. This will provide an invisible protective barrier around the succulent and make it so that most pests don’t want to be there. 

Overall, succulents are one of the more rewarding and easier types of plants to take care of. Although they are very versatile, it’s not uncommon to occasionally run into an issue with them. When that happens, don’t get discouraged and keep trying. If a succulent dies, pick out another one and try again. Sometimes it takes a little trial and error to figure out the system that works best for you.


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