What’s Wrong With My Succulent?

Five quick fixes and troubleshooting tips for succulent growers.

Debra Lee Baldwin, the author of Succulents Simplified and Succulent Container Gardens, says that succulents can be grown anywhere by anyone. But even though succulents are tough, hardy plants, they’re still living things and sometimes things can go a bit sideways. Here are Debra’s five troubleshooting tips for succulents.

1. Why are the leaves on my succulent bleached, beige or have dark spots?

The cause of sickly coloring on succulents is too much sun. Try moving into a spot that still receives sun, but experiences more shade throughout the day.

2. Why are the stems on my succulents puffy and squished?

The No. 1 secret to caring for succulents is to not overwater them, and overwatering is the culprit here. If the roots are dead, take clippings from healthy tissue and replant in new soil.

3. My succulent’s leaves are mushy and have collapsed. What should I do?

The cause here is frost. Cover the plants or move them indoors until the temperature rises.

4. Why are the leaves and stems stretched out?

Your succulent is trying to get closer to a light source, because they’re not receiving enough light. Adjust their location to somewhere sunnier.

5. The leaves on my succulent have lost their shine and their tips are shriveled up. What happened?

There’s not enough water. A good rule of thumb is to keep soil only as dry as a wrung-out sponge.