It is worth wondering to think ‘Why are my succulents turning yellow?’ and find its causes to deal with the problem.
There are several reasons for succulents turning yellow, and overwatering is the most significant. Similarly, underwatering, unavailability of nutrients, improper light, and insect infestation make succulent stressed, leading to yellow leaves. Above all, natural shedding can also give yellow leaves.
So, don’t let your succulent suffering and find the main issue. Here is every possible reason for succulent leaves to turn yellow with their solution.
Just crosscheck each cause with your plant conditions and trace the main culprit to save the plant. Let’s start!
Key Learning Points
Why are my Succulents Turning Yellow?
Succulents are diverse plants and can easily adapt to their environment to grow healthy, but not always. Sometimes, succulent leaves turn yellow due to their response to the growth conditions.
If you do not fix the problem at the start, your whole plant may get affected and become pale.
So, observe your plant and its growing conditions to find the problem. These 6 reasons are most common that make succulents yellow:
Like any plant, succulents grow, produce new leaves, and shed old ones. It is a natural process of leaves dying and also necessary for plants as it requires too much energy to sustain all leaves on the plant. So what happens is, your succulents stop providing nutrients to some leaves, and they turn yellow and eventually fall off.
There is nothing to worry about as it is part of the succulents’ life cycle, and some plants reserve energy for flowering and shed unnecessary leaves.
It also keeps plants healthy by shedding diseased or old leaves and replacing them with new and healthy ones.
All you need to do is help your succulent get rid of these leaves by pulling them off from the stem.
Lack of Nutrients
Succulent leaves can turn yellow due to a lack of nutrients. As soil is the only way for plants to get nutrients, it may become depleted when nutrients are absorbed.
Typically, commercial potting soil comes with added compost or fertilizer in the mix for limited use. Sometimes, soil mixes are not good enough to hold nutritional content, and it runs off with water.
So, mark this point for a significant cause of succulent leaves turning yellow.
How to Treat
Repotting succulents to a new and nutrient-rich soil is the quick solution to deal with this problem.
Ensure the soil can hold nutrients and are readily available to the plant. Similarly, you can also supplement soil with a fertilized blend specifically formulated for cacti or succulents.
Succulent light is an important factor in healthy plant growth, and if the plant does not receive plenty of light, it becomes yellow. This is again linked to photosynthesis as it makes plants green. Secondly, you might notice that the succulent may start to grow tall and lean towards a light source along with this yellowing of the leaves.
How to Treat
In order to fix light issues, move your succulents to a place where they can receive a good amount of light.
Remember, exposure to direct light for an extended period can burn the leaves. So, make sure your plant gets at least 3 hours of direct sunlight or 6 to 8 hours of indirect light.
You can also use artificial light or grow lamps to give ideal light to your succulents.
Overwatering is one of the leading causes of succulent yellow leaves, and it may worsen to kill the plant. In an overwatered succulent, the plant root system is constantly exposed to wet soil and can interfere with plants’ ability to take up nutrients and water from the soil.
Consequently, the plant cannot photosynthesize, or you may say the plant is unable to produce energy in the leaves or above-ground parts that lead to the yellowing of the leaves.
So, if you leave this problem untreated, overly wet conditions can cause leaves to fall or upper parts of the succulent to soften and trot.
How to Treat
The easiest way to fix overwatering is to not water plants unless the soil is bone dry. Similarly, instead of frequent watering, go for a soak and dry method to water the soil thoroughly unless it oozes out of the drainage hole. In this situation, make sure to use planters with drainage holes.
At the same, check the soil with a finger test, and do not water your plant if the soil feels wet.
Underwatering is less common, but still, it makes succulent leaves yellow in plants like Portulacaria alfa or Senecio haworthii.
Normally, the succulents receiving a good amount of water are fleshy and healthy, but when the plant is short of water, it shows a sign of underwatering with its yellow leaves.
How to Treat
If underwatering is the cause of your succulent yellow leaves, give it a deep round of watering and set up your watering schedule. If you are a bit forgetful in the watering of plants, you can get the benefit of some technology.
Use Apps for this purpose as they can guide the watering of plants as per weather conditions and give notifications to remind it is watering time.
You can also get the benefit of soil moisture meter, or hygrometer to keep an eye on soil moisture.
Succulents are favorite spots of bugs as they feed on their fleshy leaves. They also feed on the new growth of succulents which can cause a significant amount of stress for the plant. As a result of this stress, some leaves turn yellow as the plant tries to conserve its energy.
Typically, succulents are vulnerable to insects such as spider mites, mealy bugs, and fungus gnats. You can find these nasty pests in the nooks and crannies of your succulent in a web-like form that can spread to the entire plant if left untreated.
How to Treat
First, if the insects are visible, go for hand removal, or you can also use a water sprayer. Otherwise, you can also use commercial insecticides or go for home treatments.
When using store-bought insecticide, make sure not to harm the plant and go for safe and organic options. Neem oil also works best to treat bug infestation of plants.
Conclusion – Why are My Succulents Turning Yellow?
Succulents are hardy plants but at the same time can show problems like succulent leaves turning yellow. It could be either due to natural process or other causes like overwatering, underwatering, insufficient light or even insects can make trouble. So, you need to be cautious and figure out the root cause of succulent leaves turning yellow.
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