Losing leaves

As succulents grow or adjust to new conditions, their older, lower leaves naturally dry out and fall off. This is normal, healthy growth. If, however, you notice lots of leaves falling from the top or center of the plant, there could be something else going on.

Possible Causes of Leaf Loss (and Solutions)

  • Too much water: leaves will turn mushy and translucent as they rot and fall off; allow soil to fully dry out, reduce watering frequency, and ensure that the pot and soil are well-draining
  • Too little water: leaves that turn limp, wrinkled, and dry before falling off show that a plant needs deeper or more frequent watering
  • Frost damage: soft succulents will suffer if left in freezing temperatures; find your Hardiness Grow Zone to see if a variety can tolerate being outdoors year-round in your climate
  • Too little light: etiolated succulents will stretch tall and fade or turn green; move them to a sunnier spot or use a dedicated grow light over them
  • Sunburn: there is such a thing as too much sun for succulents; protect sensitive varieties from full sun when temperatures exceed 85F
  • Chemical burn: high concentrations of fertilizers, pesticides, or fungicides are detrimental to succulents; fertilize lightly and only in the growing season