Why Succulents Leaves Falling Off | 5 Solutions

When you see succulents leaves falling off, it means that your plant is not happy. Your plant is under stress, and you have to pay more attention before it is going to dies.

Therefore, when growing such arid environment plants in entirely different areas, you must pay more attention to the plant. Succulents and cactus are well known for minimum care. Though it necessarily means that once you plant them, you can ignore these plants.

There could be several reasons that can affect succulents’ health. First, we have to closely check the plant’s physical appearance, potting mix condition, and environment. Then, you have to identify the succulent plant is displaying normal or abnormal behavior.

These plants are well known for surviving in harsh environments like semi-desert or deserts. However, even if they can survive in such an environment, they cannot thrive in extreme climate changes.

Succulents Leaves Falling Off

As the plant matures, you can see the bottom of the succulent leaves drying up over time. It is also a common situation for plants. If you see several leaves losing, falling off or drying is not a normal situation.

Common issues for Succulents Leaves Falling Off.

In this post, I will cover all the reasons for succulents leaves falling off when touched.  There can be several reasons; some of them are,

  • Overwatering.
  • Underwatering.
  • Low light.
  • Overfertilized.
  • Extreme hot temperature.



Overwatered succulents symptoms are leaves turning yellowish, soft mushy, and eventually, bottom leaves turn black and die. Moreover, you can notice black spots. Finally, leaves start falling off. This high moisture will end up with root rot and stem rot, and eventually, succulents die.

Succulents plant not like to sit on a soggy potting mix. So when the plant receives excess moisture for a longer time, the plant starts to die.

Overwatering does not necessarily mean a regular watering pattern; sometimes, your potting mix waterlogging or pot drainage holes are not large enough to flow out excess water. Moreover, water can also collect in the saucer, therefore it is worth checking the pot saucer once you watered.

See also  How To Check Soil Moisture For Succulents Cactus | When to Water

Therefore immediately, you have to check succulents potting mix moisture level. First, check the surface soil has completely dried up. That is not enough to check potting mix moisture level.

Secondly, check pot subsoil moisture level because it is more crucial to check the moisture level around the root bowl. For this, you can use a chopstick or moisture level meter. With these methods, you can understand your plant sit on a wet potting mix.

The recommended potting mix for succulents and cactus is 60% of inorganic and 40% organic materials potting mix. Using a more gritty mix is recommended. These materials do not absorb moisture and improve the potting mix aeration. These things enhance the health of the root system. It is essential for healthier succulents.

Echeveria Dropping Leaves yellow

Save overwatered succulents.

  • When excess moisture remains in the potting mixture, the first thing to do is stop watering.
  • Then remove the plant from the pot and allow the root system to air dry for about a day.
  • Choose a well-drained container. In this case, the drainage holes should be large enough to allow excess water to drain out quickly, and the holes at the bottom of the pot should be well-drained.
  • Then replant the succulents in a well-drained potting mix. Here I suggest a potting mix containing 40% gritty/coarse sands, 30% ready-made potting mix, and 30% perlite/pumice. It is helpful for good drainage as well as for the development of a long root system. Again, I would recommend reading my DIY succulent potting mix guide for more detail.



Underwater succulents’ symptoms can quickly examine leaves’ appearance. If you notice the bottom of your succulent leaves falling off and drying up, it is a sign of lack of water. If you observe unusual leaves wrinkled and shrunken at the bottom of your plant, it is in the initial stage.

Unlike overwatering, succulent leaves drying up can quickly identify, and there are no many reasons. The main reason is your watering pattern or plant exposes to bright light for a longer period without water. Especially outdoor plants surfer underwatering.

See also  How To Repot Succulents, Cactus | Everything You Should Know

As I said, earlier succulents can live in harsh environments, and the majority of these plants are native to the desert, semi-desert. In such an environment, there is excess evaporation.

Save underwater succulents.

  • First, you identify your succulents are underwatered, thoroughly apply water. Water until it flows out the drainage holes. You can read more about how to water succulents and cactus.
  • Move the plant temporarily to partial shade. This solution will help the plant to absorb enough water and naturally heal.
  • Once the succulent is recovered, water when the surface and subsoil completely dry up. For this, you can use a chopstick or moisture meter to check soil wet.
  • In here, you have to water slightly frequently but not regularly.



Lack of bright light.

Another reason for succulent leaves drooping is the lack of bright light. These arid climate plants prefer full to partial sun. In the winter season, you have to provide supplementary grow lights to get bright light. This can further lead to losing succulents’ compact rosette shape.

Moreover, if you grow succulents indoors, you can experience succulent leaves falling off at bottom and steam stretching toward to bright light source. Once the succulents elongated, they cannot recover.

Succulent bend towards to bright light source

Save succulent from lack of bright light.

  • Move the indoor plant to a windowsill or a brighter outdoor area.
  • Provide full spectrum grow lights.
  • Replant the elongated succulent.




When the succulent over-fertilized, succulent dropping leaves, mainly if the plant receives high nitrogen plant stretching out and leaves falling off, not only, overfertilization leads to succulents’ root system burning.

Most of the fertilizers contain salt. Once they are dissolved in the soil, they increase the potting mix salt concentration. This overfertilization leads to succulent root rotting.

How to save overfertilized succulents.

See also  Select Best Succulent Pots? | Choose Right Size, Material



Extreme temperature.

When the environmental temperature extreme hot succulent leaves falling off at bottom and later it can extend to the top of the leaves. This behavior is normal for every plant. They use this method to survive.

You can quickly recover from dropping leave succulent by providing partial shade. Your plant can experience this situation, especially in hot summer months.

This is not a common situation. Since these plants can survive a bit higher temperature. When the ambient temperature rises above 94°F (34°C), your plants may experience this behavior.

Save succulents from extreme temperatures.

  • Provide sunblock shade cloth. It is recommended to use 40% of lower shade cloth.
  • Move the outdoor plant to a balcony or Porch.



Do succulent leaves grow back after falling off?

Once the succulents leave fallen off, new leaves do not grow in the exact location. Generally, all the new succulent leaves grow on top of the plant. However, for some of the varieties, we can expect new offshoots. The photo below is of one of my succulent plants that have fallen leaves. In that plant, you can see that new shoots sprout forth from the leaves. This is the same plant that you can see at the very beginning of this post.

Succulents new offshoots


If you can identify dropping leaves at the initial stage, you are lucky enough. You can quickly recover succulent dropping leaves. Once the leaves have fallen off you can correct their appearance by the succulents stem cuttings propagation method. Furthermore, you can read more about how to fix etiolate succulents to correct plant physical appearance changes.

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