Is Your Overwatered Succulent Dying?
Brilliant Tips to Help Revive Your Plant

You should know how to save an overwatered succulent and save it from dying. Read ahead to learn how to save it!

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Jimena Bolívar

April 12, 2021


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Introduction

Succulents can add beauty to any nook of your home, regardless of whether it is placed in windowsill or the balcony. Though it shouldn’t happen, it is possible for a plant to experience overwatering. This manifests as texture and color changes which can make you upset.

Understand the damage to the overwatered succulent which occurs mainly in the leaf, stem, or roots. Proceed to remove discolored squishy leaves, amputate stems with dark patches, or squeeze out water from the roots. Let the succulent dry out for some days and then repot the rest.

Identifying an Overwatered Succulent

A bunch of succulents

Succulents are not only beautiful but also beneficial for humans. You want them to live a healthy and long life, so if you’ve overwatered them by mistake, you may feel guilty.

There is a possibility that they haven’t been overwatered and the problem is something else. So it is crucial to find out the actual reason your plant is suffering.

Firstly, you need to figure out whether your succulent has been overwatered or your succulent is limping due to any other reason.

Being a succulent lover for years now, I’ve handled various issues that these lovely plants face. So, you might find my insights helpful if you think your succulent is overwatered. Luckily, you can save your baby plant by knowing a bit more about the anatomy of succulents, and I’ll help you with the rest.

If you notice any symptoms mentioned below, your succulent is probably overwatered:

  • Leaves feel too soft and mushy
  • Leaves look sick in appearance
  • Leaves fall off even by a gentle touch
  • Discoloration of stem - black or brown spots
  • Discoloration of leaves - light or translucent leaves

What are the Different Types of Rotting?

Dig out and observe your plant carefully. Generally, your succulent can face three types of rotting, and if you get to know the solution of each type, you can efficiently cure it.

  1. Leaf rot occurs in the leaves or petals of succulents.
  2. Stem rot occurs in patterns on the stem.
  3. Root rot affects the roots of the plant.

1. How to Treat Leaf Rot?

If you find signs of leaf rot, remove the squishy leaves at that very moment. Also observe the stem or roots for any damage; if any is found, simply amputate that rotten portion and salvage the remaining plant.

leaf rotting in succulent plant

Leaf rot happens as a result of excessive water intake by succulents which makes them more prone to fungal infections. The leaves show discoloration with a squishy texture. Discoloration then turns the leaves black as it starts to rot from the inside, indicating that the plant has caught a fungal disease.

Pro Tip

You can salvage fallen leaves!

If you see some shedded healthy-looking leaves, you can try to salvage them. All you have to do is put them in a soil bowl with moist soil, and you’ll notice new roots appear within weeks. You will be able to welcome a happy addition to your succulent family!

2. How to Treat Stem Rot?

If the rot isn’t severe, you can probably cut a specific section and try to grow it again. Observe the separated area; if there’s any rotten area inside, you may need to amputate it. The cut can be callused over in days. Once that happens, you can plant the succulent in dry soil following it with restrictive watering.

stem rotting in succulent plant

Remember that if you notice some type of black spots over the stem and notice some kind of decoloration occurring from inside the stem, it is probably stem rot. The stem connect leaves with the roots, and thus, you need to be careful.

3. How Treat to Root Rot?

If root rot hasn’t gone out of hand, you can save the plant by digging it out and squeezing the excess water out. For some cases it may be necessary, to even cut down the roots. You can then leave the succulent to dry up for at least two days. Change the pot and soil and keep it aside for several days before putting it in a new pot.

root rotting is seen in a succulent plant

Root rot can badly damage the plant. You can spot this issue when root loss occurs. The leaves may shrivel up due to restricted water intake and may look underwatered, but actually, they are overwatered.

Let us summarize how to diagnose and treat three different types of rotting in succulent.

Rotting Type Diagnosis Treatment
Leaf Rot Discolored, translucent, and squishy leaves Remove the squishy leaves
Stem Rot Black spots or coloration on the stem Cut out the rotten part. It will callus over time
Root Rot Shredded or swollen roots Squeeze out the water or cut the rotten part

How to Prevent Overwatering?

healthy, and colorful succulent plants

Prevention is always better than the cure. Here’re the steps that you can take to avoid overwatering your lovely little succulent.

1. Opt for a Pot with Good Drainage

Pots for healthy succulents

A pot that supports good drainage through the holes will promote the wellbeing of plants. That’s why it’s always better to use terracotta or clay pots instead of plastic ones. Regardless of the pot choice, make sure to check that the topmost soil is dry before watering it again.

No Worries

An overwatered succulent can survive if you're ready to do something for it!

Your succulent can survive after being repotted correctly, which makes it easier to revive from overwatering.

Don’t be too disappointed if you lose most of your plant. You can consider purchasing a new succulent collection from the market.

Succulent in 3.15 inch Pot - Pack of 6

You will never regret getting this assortment of succulents!

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2. Succulent Soil Mix

soil mixes for healthy succulents

Soil is food for succulents, and that’s why it’s essential to opt for soil that supports healthy succulent growth. It’s because simple garden soils are more prone to retain moisture. You can create a succulent soil batch by mixing average garden soil with perlite, coarse sand, and coir.

If it is too much hassle for you, you can find the perfect soil for your succulent in the market.

I have a lot of experience with succulents and, I place my trust in this soil mix:

FoxFarm FX14079 Succulent Soil Mix

I recommend this soil mix as it is perfect for succulents of all kinds!

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3. Set A Watering Schedule

watering the succulent plants

To avoid overwatering, set up a schedule to water your succulents. Usually, watering once a week is good to go, but obviously, it depends on the weather conditions, too. You can keep a good check by tracking the soil’s moisture. If the ground feels moist, do not water. But if its dry, go ahead!

If the overwatering experience still haunts you, you can read the Cacti and Succulents Handbook to do your best for your baby plant. It will help you never make a mistake again like overwatering your plant.

Cacti and Succulents Handbook

Everything you need to know about cacti and succulents packed into one easy-to-use volume!

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4. Measure the Water Level

checking the moisture level of succulents

Use a spray or an injection to water the plant. The idea is to only give it a specific amount. You can never overwater it if you use a specific amount in an injector!

It’s crucial to give limited water to your succulents. Before you go ahead and give your plant a dose of H2O, consider checking the topmost soil. Only water the plant if this topmost soil is dry. Otherwise, you risk putting the succulent in danger.

When it comes to succulents, only water them a little. It is better to give them lesser water because they store so much of moisture in their parts anyway.

Conclusion

Overwatering can manifest as root rot, stem rot and leaf rot. To save it, you may have to remove or amputate the parts which aren’t healthy. Then you will have to dry out the plant and repot it in another pot. There are some things you can do to prevent overwatering which you should implement!

If you’re learning more about succulents, you should consider reading our post about watering succulents!

How Much Water Does Your Cactus Need? The Seven Best Tips For Watering Cacti!

People throughout the world adore cacti for their resilience. Read ahead to learn how you can make your cacti-owning journey more pleasant.

Jimena Bolívar Picture

By Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Jimena Bolívar Picture

Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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