Succulent Leaves talk- Listen to them, for symptoms.

Listen To Your Succulent Leaves.

Succulents don’t speak like us, but they talk a lot. They say many things to us with the succulent leaves showing the signs of comfort and discomfort. It only takes to have a careful watch over them and a wise mind to understand the signs.

Adromischus maculatus

It must be sounding like what happens with our cute babies, and in some way, they really are. They add glare to our place with their adorable presence, and although they can’t talk but give their messages with signs.

Having the succulents in your garden is one thing, and taking care of them and understanding their requirements is another. One needs to pay attention to the things that can play a part in their growth and de-growth.

Understandably, everyone cannot pay attention to all the changes in the weather and surroundings. But, surely can recognize the signs that the succulent leaves show. As, they are pretty limited compared to changes in surroundings. And are, therefore, much easier to understand and remember, resulting in faster action.

Succulent leaves mirror their inner health. Sometimes, they show their problems through it, and sometimes they show their well-being too.

In total, if you learn to read the signs efficiently, you can solve most of the issues with them even before they worsen. From weather effects to pest infestation, ill-effects of all the issues show up on their leaves, and you can take action according to it.

We summarize the general symptoms that show up on the succulent leaves. And, briefly discuss the simple methods to tackle those problems.

How to tell if succulent is healthy?

Green/Pale leaves

Healthy succulent leaves

This signifies that your succulent is okay, and you don’t have to worry about its condition. Along with that, you may also notice new growth at the inner side of the plant, filled with new leaves coming to life.

Dead leaves at the bottom

Dead succulent leaves

This is a natural condition, which means your succulent is healthy. And due to the new growth at the center, old leaves at the bottom are getting rejected. This is good for your soil, as these dead leaves will provide extra nourishment to it.

However, they could be the invitation for mealybugs, so keep track of its excess.

Over-watering & Under-watering symptoms

Yellow leaves

This is a symptom of the early stage of over-watering when the succulent’s need for moisture is fulfilled, and it has stored enough moisture in its water storage cells.

Due to excess availability of moisture, the pressure on water-storing cells is increased quite a lot, and the leaves start to swell up a bit, and its color starts to change to a bit yellowish. Remember, they are yellowish but feel squishy and soft in touch, not dry.

Being an early stage, this issue can be handled much more straightforward by controlling the watering quantity and frequency.

You need to remove the yellow leaves first and need to air-dry the plant for 5 days. Then you can re-pot it in a much drier soil base in no direct sunlight spot. After that, you can continue with the regular watering schedule when the plants and soil seem dry.

You can also start using a container with drainage and put the rocks at the bottom to make for extra moisture.

Swollen & bloated leaves

overwatered succulent leaves

When the over-watering is continued, and early symptoms are neglected or are ignored. The situation worsens to the level where the leaves of a succulent start swelling to a significant extent.

The moment you hold them, they will feel too watery and squishy in your hands and will feel quite fragile.

The solution to it is also the same as the previous, but, being an advanced stage, even if you stop watering from the same moment.

Recovery will take some more time compared to early-stage damage. But, there is no guarantee that your succulents can be brought back to life; however, it’s worth a try.

Fallen leaves

Fallen leaves

This is a stage, which comes before or after the swelling stage of over-watering.

Simply saying, the leaves are swelled up to an extent where they start falling from the succulent, or they will break off the main plant with a gentle touch.

It will start from the bottom leaves and spread to the top, where the new growth comes up.

Reclaiming your plant back from this situation is quite challenging; however, you can try the steps discussed in point 1. Neglecting this condition may leave you with a dead succulent in your garden.

Rotten leaves

rotten succulent leaves

This is the most advanced stage of over-watering, where the problem has spread to most of the leaves of your succulent. And if neglected, it could spread to the trunk and base of your succulent, which could damage the whole existence of the succulent.

Bringing back your succulent from this level of damage is quite challenging. So, you should propagate your succulent from the remaining healthy leaves of your plant as soon as possible. However, there is no harm in taking up the chances of reviving with the earlier discussed method.

Thin & wrinkly leaves

Thin and wrinkly leaves

If the leaves of your succulent feel a bit thin compared to their regular width and are a bit wrinkly. Then it might be the symptom that your succulent is under-watered, and they are not getting their required dose of moisture.

You don’t have to worry much, as it is an early sign of under-watering. And could be handled by supplying it with extra moisture, and when things seem familiar, you can continue with a regular watering schedule.

Dry & yellow leaves

Dry and Yellow Leaves succulent leaves

When the underwatering signs are neglected for a time, the situation may worsen, and the succulent leaves may start to dry and become yellowish. Do not get carried away by the yellow symptom of over-watering. In this condition, if you touch the leaves, they will feel quite rough and dried out.

The recovery process is the same as in the above point, but it may take some more time to bring back your succulent to full glory.

Sunlight-deficient or sun-stressed succulent

Etiolated leaves

Etiolated leaves succulent leaves

If your succulent leaves are not compact or are growing far apart, it means that it is not getting enough sunlight.

One can expose it to more sunlight, but slowly and steadily, exposing it to the sun may upset the growth balance.

Brown spots or leaves

brown spots on succulent leaves

Mostly, this is caused by sudden exposure to the full sun without acclimation. It means you have moved your succulent to direct sunlight area at once, and it is feeling hard to adjust to it.

One can revert back from this stage if I had not spread to the whole plant by acclimating it to a lower sunlight location, but that should be done slowly.

Red/orange leaves

Red/Orange leaves succulent leaves

This is due to sun stress, which means your succulent is exposed to direct sun rays for a long time. The healthy color may turn red or orange or attain other vivid colors, as per the sun exposure and succulent variety. However, this is not a very serious condition, as lots of people purposely do this to give some vivid colors to their succulent.

However, if you want to revert back from this condition, you can limit the sun exposure by moving you succulent from the direct sunlight area or by erecting a shade on it.

Blotchy leaves

Your succulent may come up with some spots on its leaves, but you don’t have to worry as it is a transition color between regular color to vivid color or vice versa. And this means your succulent is healthy.

However, if you don’t like the transition, you can revert to standard color by keeping it away from the sun. And if you want it to be more vivid, you can expose it more to full sun, so it soon gets vivid.

Fungus symptoms in succulent leaves

White fungus

White fungus succulent leaves

Too much humidity causes this problem; desert origin succulent fall prey to it often. Indoor succulents like a string of pearls, jade can come up with this issue, while tropical succulents like rubber plants, ferns can live with the extra humidity in dark rooms.


Now, when you have got the idea about the common symptoms that show up on the succulent leaves, you can be more prepared to take care of it well.

For more details, you can refer to the below videos