Succulent Leaves Turning Yellow At Bottom | How To Fix?

Succulent leaves turning yellow at bottom: is it a problem? If you come across a succulent of which the leaves around base of the plant have turned yellow, you can  ignore that. It is in fact one segment of  their natural growth pattern.

This occurs once the plant halts in providing the necessary nutrients to certain leaves. When succulent’s leaves at the base of the plant has turned yellow, it tries to indicate that it is going to drop those leaves.

Should I remove yellow leaves from succulents?

Succulents are regarded as easy maintain plants. Nevertheless, if they do not get their requirements fulfilled, they will start to turn their leaves yellow.

You are encouraged to take out any dead leaves from the plant as well as from the soil. So that insects and bugs cannot survive there.

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Possible reasons and solutions for Succulent leaves turning yellow at bottom

Frequency of watering

Frequency of watering could be an impact for succulents leaves turning yellow.

Over watering

Succulents most faced issues are water related. Succulents are plants which prefer to grow in heated conditions. Further since they have a natural water conservation system, they do not really like to be over watered.

In case, you spot the succulents leaves are yellow, try to touch them and see whether they are soggy or mushy. If you feel it that way, undoubtedly it is due to over watering.

The very first sign the succulents give to indicate that they are suffering with over watering is losing their leaves at a gentle touch. There could be root rots as well.

Afterwards, chances are that little black spots will start appearing on the leaves as well as on the stems. Unfortunately, This will be the time, where you cannot do anything to protect your plant irrespective of what you do to save it.

How to Fix Over watering

First and foremost you should observe the plant closely to see what has gone wrong with your plant for it to turn mushy. The simplest thing to do as soon as you notice this issue is cutting down on watering. Best would be to halt watering for few days.

Then, you can realize whether the water has been absorbed. If all water has been absorbed and if the soil is dried enough, you can resume watering again. Additionally, you have the option of replanting  them in a new pot which contains a good drainage. . we could do that only if the plant has not got the root rots.

Moreover, you can add some gravel, pebbles at the base of the new pot which will consequently stimulate  better drainage. However, if you come across any black spots around the stem, following actions should be implemented.

Firstly take it out from the pot as well from the soil very cautiously without making any damage to the plant.

Secondly trim the area which has the black spots and leave the healthy part  for several days until it gets fully dried enough. Ensure that you do not expose it for direct bright sunlight. Once the succulent is dried enough, remove the old soil and plant them in a new pot along with a new soil mixture.

It must be a well-draining one. Ensure that you water them after one weeks’ time from its repotting.  Furthermore, be watchful to  water those moderately.

We can get the plant to bounce back faster if we  identify the succulent has become mushy  at the initial stage. Once you cut down on water, we can rescue the plant.

On the other hand, if you see any   black spots all over the plant , chances are that plant will deteriorate entirely. Ultimately  we will lose it.

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Under watering

As stated above, succulents have generally a natural mechanism to store water in the plant. It is not a secret that they could thrive in warm conditions and drought periods. It does not mean that they do not require water.

They would also appreciate a little drink so that they will feel happy. If they get deprived of water , they will try to indicate that in several ways.

In that circumstance, they will show up their leaves in a wrinkled way. That is simply because their water storage is getting finished. You will see, how your bottom leaves start to wither initially.

After that, when you try to touch the succulent, you will feel the leaves are mushy. That is because at this point of time, they had lost their firmness and plumpness.

Consider that you witness some roots forming on the stems. If you come across any condition like that, that shows it is running short of water. Literally, underwatering has resulted in turning the succulents yellow.

Though , under watering is less spoken when it comes to succulents, that could also affect or the succulents to become mushy. Eg-Portulacaria alfa or Senecio haworthii. As soon as you spot the succulent leaves turn yellow, wrinkled, you should start watering them.

How to fix under watering  –

If you realize that under watering has factored in your succulent to become mushy, without hesitation start watering them on a regular basis until its requirement gets fulfilled.

You can ideally water the plants once a week and let it soak properly. Underwatering does not mean that we need to over water them.

Hence, make sure you use a pot with good drainage system which will not help to retain water in the pot.

Sun light

Lack of sunlight is another reason as to why the succulent turn yellow. If you notice your succulent is growing tall and slender together with succulent turning yellow, that is also one more indication the succulent tries to give that it is lacking sunlight.

Despite the slow growth succulents have, they will tend to bend towards the direction where they get sunlight. Hence, they will look tall and thin.

How to fix Lack of Sunlight

Generally, if a certain part of a succulent is  not getting the essential sunlight, that particular part will start turning yellow before they fall off.

This could be an indication where you can determine the yellowing has caused due to this factor. The part which is turned to yellow is usually the part which is covered from sunlight. A small remedy to overcome this issue is changing the pot’s or the container’s direction where it is placed.

This could be done on and off. Best to do it about once a week.  It will help the plant to gain sunlight for the entire plant. Once the whole plant gets exposed to sunlight appropriately you will see how plant start to  grow like a healthy plant.

If that is still not adequate, try using an artificial plant light which will be useful in this scenario.

Soil and pot

Identifying this cause for yellowing could be challenging among the succulents In case, aforesaid reasons signs are not visible on the plant, you may decide that your plant turning yellow could occur due to a mistake you had done with your soil type, potting etc.

Ensure that the soil is a well draining one too. There should be enough draining holes for this purpose to be fulfilled.

 How to fix soil and pot

If the succulents are grown in wrong soil and shown yellowing , best thing to do is to trim the healthy part and let it grow in a better draining soil mixture.

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Watering is encouraged only after one seeks time from repotting. Consider that you have planted your succulent in a tiny pot.

As they grow, when they realize that they lack enough space to grow , they will change their color to yellow.  That indicates  they want more room to spread out.

Bugs & Deceases 

Mealybugs could be the most annoying factor for you specially if you are an indoor Gardner.They could do a greater damage for the plan and leaves will turn yellow in color.

This happens because of succulents trying to conserve its energy. There will be some tiny creatures who has occupied a plenty of places where you cannot even access of the succulent plant.

Unfortunately, they can spread all over the plant if you do not attend to it then and there.

How to fix Bugs 

If you see your succulent has yellow spots along with wrinkled leaves, stems , discolored flowers etc. without a doubt you can assume that your plant has got infected with bugs, pests.

Most frequently spotted bugs are mealybugs, aphids, spider mites. We should attend to this issue as soon as we can as if not the repercussions will be much greater.

Unless, we attend to this quicker, it will start spreading all over the plant. First of all, you should , isolate them from the other  plants,  so that it will  not infect the other plants as well.

It is essential to identify which big has caused the yellowing of your succulent. Then, we can make our own insecticides with mixture of alcohol and water.

Spray it at the damaged areas. It will be useful in eradicating these bugs. Apart from that, we can propagate new pants from the healthy parts of the plant. Ensure you use equipment with hygiene for these purposes.


As the time pass by, leaves die. In fact when the plant grows it will start shedding some of its leaves. This is how it has formed naturally in their growth pattern.

It is said that so much energy is required to retain all the leaves on the plant. The normal pattern is that once the plant halting giving the nutrients to certain leaves, they will turn yellow and finally will ended up being fallen on the ground.

You do not have to bother on this condition since it is a part of their lifecycle.

Once you spot your succulent with yellow leaves at the base, it indicates that it is about to shed those leaves.

This could be frequently spotted if it is in the event of flowering. This is mainly done to conserve its energy for flowering. In this circumstance, you can give that little extra help for the plant by removing the brown, dried out wrinkled, yellow leaves.

Different methods to identify the reason for yellow succulent leaves at bottom

Finger test

Consider that you have a succulent of which the leaves have turned into yellow. If you cannot understand as to what exactly has caused it, best thing to do is to do the finger test.

You can simply press your finger into your succulent soil and check whether it is too  moist. If you think, soil is too dried and the leaves are yellow, resume watering them once again and do it as appropriate.

If you think, soil is in too moist , leave it until it gets completely withered before you proceed with an another watering session. Check whether any root rots has formed.

Proper monitoring

Please do bear in mind to do regular check ups on your succulent plant. So that, you could see whether there are any signs on the succulents stress and if so, you can take necessary actions well in advance.

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The earlier you rectify the issues the better it will be. You can do experimenting as required whilst adding more water, less water , adjusting sunlight etc.

How to prevent succulent leaves turning yellow ?

Most importantly, ensure that your potting soil is entirely withered prior to each watering session. This is a known fact among all the succulents plant fans.

This literally means, the soil at the base of the pot should also be dry. At the same time, make sure to grow them in a proper soil mix which has a good drainage.

Please do be vigilant on the draining system of the pot as well since it is equally important as the other facts mentioned above. If in case, the draining is not good for the succulent, chances are that solid and it could get soggy. This will lead the plant for a great struggle.

You could be little tricky here as you can use large particles, stones in the pot.  This return will make the drainage efficient which will be beneficial for the plants growth.

This will obstruct the plant ins storing water. Not only that but also, it will avoid the plant getting rot as well.

Keep in mind to use, the correct type of pot for this purpose as well. It is recommended to utilize a terra cotta pot since they could absorb water. This will also help to avoid the plant in retaining additional water in the soil.

Make sure that you place your succulent at a location where it gets proper sunlight, so that you could prevent the plant yellowing.

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This occurs due to environmental changes. If the plant is running out of water, it will start to wither. Later, their leaves will also turn yellow from the tips downward. Having said that, excess water could also factor for root rots. Chances are that it could get invade by fungus and will end up getting deteriorated too.

Is there any fertilizer to prevent yellow succulent leaves?

Chances are that nutrients deficiencies could also cause for the succulents leaves to turn yellow. Nitrogen deficiencies is one of them. In this circumstance, we need to provide it through fertilizers.

 Should I use special type of pot to prevent yellow succulent leaves?

For better results you could use an unglazed ceramic pot, of which the drying process of the soil would be much faster.

Does tap water cause yellow leave in succulent?

Using tap water could also be another cause for succulents leaves to turn yellow.  Indoor grown succulents are very sensitive towards  chemicals as well as for minerals. If you take tap water, it usually consists of minerals like  fluoride, salts, and chlorine etc.

To overcome this issue, you could take a little precautionary step. That is to fil a pitcher or jug with water and leave it overnight without covering it. So that mineral will evaporate.  Instead you could use distilled water or even rain water.

Why my succulents leave turn in to brown?

Underwatering could also be one more reason for the leaves to  turn brown. On top of that, if it was exposed for too much heat and for sun rise , the plant will have a shriveled appearance along with burned leaves too. Nevertheless, it is not that hard to fix an under watered plant.

Generally , the plant will bounce back rapidly after it gets their water requirement fulfilled so that the soil can absorbs it. It is relatively easier to fix an under watered plant rather than fixing an overwatered plant.

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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.