Why Are My Succulent Leaves Turning Yellow? (And How To Fix It)

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Succulents are a popular choice for indoor plants because they’re easy to care for, and they look great.

However, succulent leaves turning yellow can be an indicator of succulent pests, diseases, or succulent growing conditions that need improvement.

Here’s what you should know about this common succulent problem and how to fix it!

Why Do Succulents Leaves Turn Yellow?

Succulents are easy to take care of.

However, succulent leaves turning yellow is a problem, and it can be frustrating if you don’t know why succulent leaves turn yellow and what to do about it.

Succulent leaves may become yellow for various reasons, and it’s vital to understand why to ensure you’re taking proper care of your succulents.

It’s important to remember that succulent leaves turning yellow is not always something wrong!

Sometimes succulents need some time for their new growths to mature and become stronger. Succulents naturally go through a process of changing color before they produce new succulent growths.

If your succulents are healthy otherwise, they could just be part of succulent growth.

The most common reasons succulent leaves turn yellow are:

Overwatering

Succulents can survive long periods without water.

If you overwater your succulent plant, the roots cannot get any oxygen and will begin to rot. If the leaves of succulents turn yellow, this is often a sign of an overwatered succulent.

You need to stop watering succulents when leaves turn yellow immediately.

If your succulent is too far gone, you may need to remove any dead plants and soil from the container.

Do not water succulents for at least a week. After this time, if there are new green growths, you can start slowly re-watering your succulents but only once every two weeks!

Succulents only need to be watered when their soil is fully dried out.

Underwatering

Another common reason succulent leaves turn yellow is a lack of water!

If your succulents are not getting enough water, they will begin to wilt, and the lower leaves may also start turning yellow or brown, with dead plant material at the bottom of your succulent pot.

You need to start watering succulents when succulent leaves turn yellow immediately.

Feel the soil with your finger to see how dry it is if you are not sure if your succulents are getting enough water.

Too Much Sunlight

Succulents naturally prefer bright sunlight, but too much sun will also cause tour succulent’s leaves to turn yellow.

If your succulents are getting direct sunlight for most of the day, you may need to move them into a shadier location.

Succulents need a few hours of direct sunlight each day, but succulent leaves turning yellow can be a sign that you need to give your succulents more shade.

Lack of Sunlight

Succulents need sunlight to produce succulent growths.

If your succulents are not getting enough sunlight, they may begin to turn more pale, and their succulent leaves will start turning yellow or brown, with dead plant material at the bottom of your succulent pot.

You need to move succulents into a brighter location immediately.

Overfeeding Succulents

Succulent leaves turning yellow can also be a sign of over-fertilizing.

If you are feeding your succulent plant too often, it may start to produce unhealthy growths, and the lower succulent leaves may turn yellow or brown.

You need to stop feeding succulents when succulent leaves turn yellow immediately.

Cold Temperatures

Succulent leaves turning yellow and succulents not thriving can also be a sign that your succulents are too cold.

If you live in a colder climate, succulent plants may struggle with temperature change from indoors to outdoors.

Succulents are not cold hardy plants and will need to be brought inside before the first frost.

Pest Infestation

Succulent leaves turning yellow can also be a sign that your succulents are being affected by pests.

Aphids and mealybugs are some of the most common succulent plant pests, but there may also be other types of succulent eating insects at play!

You need to treat succulents with pests right away to prevent succulent leaves from turning yellow.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Succulent leaves turning yellow can also be a sign of nutrient deficiency.

Succulent plants need healthy soil to thrive, and if the succulent plant is not getting enough nutrients, it may start producing unhealthy growths with succulent leaves that turn yellow.

You need to start fertilizing succulents when their leaves turn yellow immediately.

Soil Drainage Issues

Succulent leaves turning yellow can also be a sign that you have drainage issues in your succulent pot.

If the soil of succulents is not draining properly, it may start to cause root rot or other fungal infections, which will lead to succulent leaves turning yellow and rotting away!

You need to repot succulents when succulent leaves turn yellow immediately.

Root Rot

Succulent leaves turning yellow can also be a sign of root rot, which is an infection that causes the roots to deteriorate and die.

Succulents need healthy soil that drains well to thrive, but if your succulents are not getting enough water, they may start succulent leaves turning yellow.

To treat succulents with root rot, you need to immediately stop watering succulents and start letting the succulent potting soil dry out completely before starting to water succulents again.

Sudden Temperature Changes

Succulent leaves turning yellow can also be a sign succulents are being affected by sudden temperature changes.

Succulents prefer stable temperatures, which means that succulent leaves may start to turn yellow when the temperature suddenly drops or increases!

You need to immediately move succulents into an environment with more stable temperatures if succulent leaves start to turn yellow.

Natural Changes

Succulent may turn yellow because succulents are natural plants that go through life cycles.

It may be normal for succulent leaves to change colors during succulent growth, dormancy, or when succulents naturally die after they have reached the end of their lifecycle or a different stage in growing.

You can help your succulents thrive by making sure that you prune off any dying succulent leaves.

How To Prevent Succulent Leaves From Turning Yellow

Prevention is the best way to maintain succulents with green leaves.

There are many things succulents need to maintain their healthy leaves.

There are many more ways to prevent succulent leaves from turning yellow, but the main things succulents need are:

Proper Watering

Succulents should be watered regularly, but they must also have time to dry out between waterings.

Succulent plants should only be watered when the top of their soil feels slightly damp.

If you want succulent leaves to stay green, avoid overwatering succulents by letting them dry out in-between watering sessions, and succulent leaves will remain green.

Proper Light Exposure

Succulents should receive at least six hours of sunlight per day if they want succulent leaves to turn green.

If succulents don’t get enough light, succulent leaves will start turning yellow.

However, succulents should also be kept away from direct sunlight, as succulent leaves can burn when succulents are exposed to too much light.

Proper Temperature Exposure

Succulents need a temperature range between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit with 40% – 70% humidity levels.

Succulents cannot survive in extreme temperatures, so it is essential succulents are kept in proper temperatures.

Succulent leaves will start to turn yellow when succulents are exposed to extreme cold or hot weather, so it is crucial succulents are given the right amount of light and temperature exposure for succulent green leaves!

Proper Soil Drainage

Succulents should be planted in succulent soil that drains well.

If succulents are not given enough drainage, succulent leaves may start to turn yellow. Succulents grow best in sandy, gritty soil that drains well. A cactus mix or a succulent potting mix are excellent succulent soils.

Succulents need succulent soil that drains well to thrive, so it is essential succulents have the right amount of drainage for succulent leaves to stay green!

Proper Pruning

Succulents should be pruned regularly to remove dead succulent leaves.

If you don’t want succulent leaves turning yellow, it is important to keep succulents healthy by removing dying or old succulent leaves regularly!

Proper Pot Size

Succulents should be planted in succulent containers that are the appropriate size for their root system.

If succulents have too little space, they will start to turn yellow because succulents need enough space so water and nutrients can reach the plant’s roots!

Succulent leaves turning yellow is often a sign of overwatering or under-watering succulents, so succulent plants must be given the right amount of space to stay green!

Should I Remove Yellow Leaves From Succulents?

When succulent leaves turn yellow, succulent plant owners become concerned. The first instinct is to pull the yellow leaf off of the stem immediately.

If you do this, you are not doing your succulents any justice! You may be causing them more harm than good by taking away their nutrients and exposing vital organs to sunlight that they don’t need or want.

First, you will need to determine if your succulent leaves turn yellow for a natural reason or due to some other succulent problems.

If succulent leaves are turning yellow for a natural reason, you can leave them alone. While succulents won’t be as pretty with pale yellow leaves instead of mint green ones, they will continue to grow and thrive by absorbing sunlight through their exposed organs.

Succulent leaves turning yellow is not a problem if succulents are healthy and strong enough to carry pale, nonfunctional succulent parts.

If your plant leaves turn yellow because there is something wrong with your succulent plant care, you should immediately act to correct the problem.

Succulents can recover from succulent leaf discoloration when the problem is resolved. However, you can prevent succulent leaf turning yellow by taking care of your succulents the right way.

You should only consider succulent leaf removal when succulents are already wilting and have lost all of their green colors. If succulents are still bright and shiny, you should leave them alone.

You should only prune succulent leaves when succulents have been knocked over, damaged from wind, or other external factors.

If succulents are healthy and strong enough to sustain their own weight, you should leave succulent leaf removal until later.

Succulents can recover from succulent leaf loss without any problem as long as they don’t lose more than 50% of succulent leaves.

If succulents have lost more than half of their leaves, you should care for them as though they were withering succulents.

You can restore your succulents to their former glory by giving them proper succulent plant care.

Succulents are very resilient succulent plants, and you can make your succulent plants healthy again by giving them the proper succulent plant care.

If succulents have lost their leaves for a natural reason, you should leave succulent leaf removal until later because there is no need to remove the leaves they need.

Succulent leaves turning yellow on succulents is not a problem as long as succulents are healthy and strong enough to carry pale, nonfunctional succulent parts.

You can make your succulent plants healthy again by giving them the proper succulent plant care if succulents have lost their leaves for another reason.

Final Thoughts

Succulent leaves can turn yellow for several reasons. However, succulents are hearty plants, and the succulent plant should recover if you correct your care techniques.

If you notice that one or more of your succulents is turning yellow, you will want to look at why it is occurring and how you can fix it.

With succulents being so hearty, they are great plants for those starting their first garden and those that have been gardening a long time.

In addition to knowing why your succulent leaves turn yellow, it’s essential to know the best practices when caring for succulents.