Pests and diseases for succulents: general prevention & solutions

Succulents are extremely resilient plants, but they can be affected by pests and diseases, particularly when grown indoors or kept too wet. When problems do arise, they are often related to mealybugs, aphids, gray mold (Botrytis), or fungus gnats. You can find specific information for each of these pests in their own articles in this FAQ, but below are preventative and curative measures that work for general succulent pest management.

Prevention

  • Keep plants in locations with enough sunlight and airflow for soil to fully dry
  • Use pots with drainage holes
  • Water deeply and only when the soil is completely dry
  • Water in the early morning so that plants aren't sitting in water overnight
  • Water the soil directly or gently shake droplets from leaves after watering
  • Clean tools with 25% bleach solution before and after pruning
  • Repot every 1-2 years with gritty, well-draining soil

Solutions

  • Spray affected plants and soil with diluted 50% isopropyl alcohol every day until pests are gone
  • Use fans and windows to improve ventilation
  • Move containers into sunnier locations
  • Reduce watering frequency
  • Repot with fresh, well-draining soil
  • Top soil with diatomaceous earth