Do Succulents Like To Be Touched? | 5 Interesting Facts About Them |

Succulents in general are very attractive with their fleshy leaves and stems. Which makes it tempting to touch the plant. But Do succulents like to be touched? Let’s find out the answer in this article

Do Succulents Like To Be Touched

Do succulents like to be touched? 

When you touch a succulent, it could affect the succulents either in a positive manner or in a negative manner.

There are certain succulents you would love if you touch them. On the other hand, there are certain succulents which respond in an opposite manner. Hence, it is vital to know exactly what your succulents require. 

Having said that, you should know whether your succulent will really like it or not before you touch it. 

Because, Chances are that they will assume that you are harassing them when you touch them though.

It depends on the species whether they like us to touch them or not. There are certain succulents which change their colors after you touch them.

You could commonly spot this among the plants which have powder coating.

You could that powder coat layer as farina. Its duty is to protect the plant from extreme sun rays.

Echeverias and Graptoverias are some examples which contain the farina. Once you touch them, they tend to lose their defensive cover.

However, you really cannot repot them without touching it. Best thing to do is to handle the plant while touching its stem instead of the leaves.

It would be difficult to handle them only with the stem during this process as they would be little when you repot them.

On the other hand, there are several more succulents which you cannot touch due to their leaf formation.

In other words, if you take white films succulent for example, it is difficult to touch the plant. Because they  have spikes on the leaves margins. Spikes themselves indicate that  you should not touch them.

That is about how succulents respond negatively if you touch them. There are some succulents which will respond to you positively.

Those succulents would prefer  if you touch them as it is a part of the care they expect and a way of nurturing them.

Do Succulents Like To Be Touched

Does touching hurt the succulent?

As mentioned before, if you touch succulents which have a special coat or wax layer , it will harm them.

Once you touch those leaves, they will lose the powdery coat which is beneficial for the plant to protect from the intense sunlight.

In addition to sunlight, it protects the plant from pests and from  pathogens as well. Unfortunately, it won’t regrow.

Hence why it is crucial to touch them only if you know that they like it.

The succulent leaves are fragile and when you touch them with your fingers, scratches or other damages will remain on the leaves forever.

Hence, if the succulent you own has a powdery coat, refrain in touching the leaves for the well being of the plant.

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Damage the leaves 

When you touch the succulents which have the powdery coating ( farina), it will start losing the farina and won’t be able to regrow it.

Farina is crucial for its well being and once the plant loses it , it will affect the plant. it will make the plant prone to pests attacks and for sunburn. 

Instead of touching the leaves you should handle the plant with its stem only.

The thing is there could be some  chemical releases from humans, which could harm fragile succulent leaves. 

Further, succulents will lose their initial bright color when you try to clean the plant from the dirt , you may unintentionally wipe the farina layer off.

This happens especially with freshers in succulents gardening when they buy them and grow them. They may misinterpret the farina layer as dirt and will end up removing it from the plant.

This will lead the plant to change its bright pastel color to a glossy look.

Frosty succulents are easily breakable. There are many succulents which suffer from frost damage.

This happens as a consequence of developing ice crystals in the succulent tissues. When they go through frost damage, succulent leaves will appear wilted, crispy, and so gentle.

When you try to touch them, they will break at the slightest touch you do. 

Attract bugs

When you touch the plants, you will unintentionally leave fingerprints and scratches  on the succulent leaves’ surfaces.

Unfortunately those marks will remain on the leaves permanently and those scratches and the damaged parts of the leaves will attract pests and bugs.

Above all, these marks and scratches will deteriorate the plant’s aesthetic beauty too.

Do Succulents Like To Be Touched

Touching can be beneficial for succulents

You should avoid touching your succulents if you are uncertain whether they will react positively or negatively.

There are certain succulents which could bear the touch better than other plants. For an example, you could take Hawaii’s plant. They can tolerate it if you touch them. 

This is not the most colorful plant you would want to have, but they usually come up with various textures and that makes them look pretty. 

To know how much to water

You could touch the succulents and see how much you need to water the plants. They do not want us to water them frequently as they have stored water in the plant naturally.

Normal succulent leaves feel flechy and in shape.

But if you over watered them the plant tries to absorb as much water as they can. This might produce conveyed and mushy succulent leaves.

You can feel the water inside the leaves when you touch it. That is not good at all. You need to cut your watering until the plant becomes its normal shape. 

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The underwatered succulent leaves can be identified by its rough surface and concave shape. You can not feel the flesh texture of the leaves. 

If you could touch and feel the plant and then water, it will avoid all the menace you have to go through with under watering and over watering.

You should ideally observe how your plant feels and reacts  when they run out of water and when they have an adequate amount of water. 

If you practice this way, you could simply touch them and decide whether you need to water them or not.

Check their health

By touching the succulents, you could check on the plant’s health as well. You could simply figure whether the plant is not healthy and whether it required more attention from you.  

To observe this you should know how healthy plants feel like. For me healthy succulent plants always feel fleshy and smooth. A healthy succulent normally does not feel rough, corrode, flaccid or turbid.

However, If you feel like it’s healthy to your touch, you could just keep doing the regular care treatment.

On the other hand, if you could identify an unhealthy plant by touching it , you may treat it accordingly. A succulent which is healthy will stay stiff when you touch them.

Check their light requirement

Sometimes, Succulents could lose their leaves at once. You could prevent this from happening if you touch them and feel them. Succulents generally drop their leaves when they run short of sunlight.

You should feel the leaves of your succulents from time to time. When you notice your succulent has bent towards a direction slightly,  you should try to raise the leaf.

When you do this, if you notice they react to your touch and back up, that indicates they need water.

If in case they do not react to your touch and remain as they are , that indicates they want to get more sunlight exposure.

Then, you need to immediately relocate the plant to a place where they can get adequate sunlight. If you could touch the plants and feel them, you can identify this issue.

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Unavoidable reasons

When the succulents are in heat stress, they react to our touch , just like when they lack sunlight. Succulents in general can grow under certain unhealthy conditions for some time.

Having said that they are also very sensitive towards intense heat and they could suffer from that. If you leave them under a scorching sun, they will tend to lose more water.

Additionally, the plant will turn pale in color. Then, leaves will change their colors to either yellow or to brown. Discoloration will take place on bottom leaves first. You can’t even spot this in advance.

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Hence you need to protect the plant from heat stress, simply observing the plant and leaving them in a shady area.

To do this, it is essential for you to lift the leaves and check the underneath of the leaves and around the leaves margins to see whether they have discolored.

By doing this,  you can identify their issue in advance and  can take necessary actions to treat it. .  Moreover you can adjust the watering frequency accordingly and minimize the heat stress.

Further you would need to touch the plant to take off the dead leaves too. That will help to grow new leaves and consequently it will help to minimize their tendency to attract the pests and bugs.

Cleaning the plant

When you grow succulents indoors, you need to clean the plants from dust. Dust and other substances will cause the air to deposit on the leaves’ surfaces as they are sticky and fleshy.

This badly affects the plant as it disturbs its natural transpiration and photosynthesis process. I

You should clean the succulents occasionally to remove the dust and other particles from the succulents.

When you do this, you need to touch the plant and wipe the plant. Unless it will be challenging to do it without touching the plant. When you clean the plant, do not wipe the farina layer off.


However, you really cannot repot them without touching it. Best thing to do is to handle the plant while touching its stem instead of the leaves.

It would be difficult to handle them only with the stem during this process as they would be little when you repot them.

Checking for bugs

Moreover, you need to touch the succulents and see whether they have got any fungus infections and or any bug attacks.

You could simply observe the plant and see whether they have got any bug attack.

But it would be better if you could touch the plant and feel it and then decide as to what kind of bug has attacked the plant and the damages they have done to the plant.

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Can plants feel when you touch them?

Irrespective of what species of succulent you own, when you touch them, they can feel it.

We could prove that simply based on the positive and negative response these succulents do, when you touch them.

Certain experts have found that plants can hear water and other environmental sounds.

Further researches have discovered that these succulents have a way of communicating through chemical signaling.

Do cactus like to be touched?

I think they do not like your touch. Generally, the cactus contains spikes at the edges of their leaves. That itself indicates that we should not touch them.

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About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.