Succulent Leaves Turning Yellow – Why?

Succulents are lovely house plants that are low maintenance and look nice in any room.

But sometimes succulent leaves turn yellow. What can be the cause of this?

Yellow leaves on succulents?Pin

It turns out that diseases, pests, and poor plant care are all possible causes.

This article will provide information to help prevent succulent leaves from turning yellow.  Also, learn how you can aid in your plants’ recovery from discoloration.

Table Of Contents

What Are The Diseases Turning Succulent Leaves Yellow?

The most common diseases that turn succulent leaves yellow and how to identify them:

  • Anthracnose: The fungus Colletrotichum and Gloeosporium cause leaves to discolor and then die.
  • Bacterial Leaf Spots: Water-soaked spots appear as a sometimes sticky yellow halo.
  • Fungal Leaf Spots: Several fungi cause brown and yellow margins on leaves, almost like a ring pattern. The bodies of the fungi are small black spots, seen on dead tissue and they thrive off of decaying plant matter.
  • Root Rot and Stem Rot: The leaves are wilt, the soil is too damp, and the infected roots are black or brown.
  • Oedema: A physiological condition that causes the leaves to turn yellow and drop from the plants. It is common during the winter with low lighting and excessive soil moisture.

What Damage Do Diseases Cause?

Fungi can further penetrate a wounded plant, accelerating the decline of your plant.

Some plants may not be able to recover because of the damage from diseases.

How To Control Diseases On My Succulent Plant?

Get to know your plant and look for signs early. Inspect it often for signs of discoloration or dry leaves.

There are also different fungicides to choose from:

  • Natural, less toxic fungicides include copper, soaps and sulfur
  • Chemical fungicides often include these active ingredients: Chlorothalonil, Myclobutanil, or Tebuconazole

Remove infected leaves. Spray the area with these products to reduce the spreading.

Re-potting with fresh soil after removing dead leaves and decaying matter may help.

Which Pests Turn Succulent Leaves Yellow?

These pests may be the cause of yellow leaves on Succulents:

  • Aphids on Succulents: Small insects that feed on the underside of leaves; stunts plant growth
  • Mealybugs on Succulents: Most common pest amongst succulent plants; appear white and look like cotton; found on stems, leaves, and roots
  • Whiteflies: Tiny white gnat insects that may swarm if disturbed
  • Soft scales on Succulents: Round, oval bugs that attach to a spot and feed off of the plant; secrete a waxy substance on its body that does not come off
  • Thrips: Small insects that distort foliage and flowers, causing buds not to open
  • Spider mites: Tiny arachnids that thrive in hot conditions; feed on the undersides of leaves and leave droppings and webbing

What Damage Do Pests Cause?

Pests can cause irreversible damage if they are not kept under control.

They multiply rapidly if the problem is not detected right away.  They cause distress to your plant and lead to yellow leaves.

Some pests attack the nutrients of the plant, causing deficiencies, among other problems.

How To Control Pests On My Succulent Plant?

There are several ways to control pests:

  • Rinse the leaves with warm water
  • Apply alcohol dipped cotton swabs
  • Spray with diluted alcohol
  • Handpick the pests
  • Prune infected areas

The best natural solution is water. But for more challenging jobs, insecticidal soaps are available. Imidacloprid is typical for stubborn infestations.

Related: Tips on Succulent Pest Control

Watering Issues: Am I Over Or Under Watering My Succulent Plant?

Diseases and pests can cause the yellowing of succulent plants. But a watering schedule that includes overwatering and underwatering are the most common causes of discoloration.

Overwatering also leads to root rot. To help prevent this, make sure your plants are in a well draining soil that does not stay too wet.

Yellow leaves are an indicator something is wrong.

How To Help My Succulent Plant Recover?

When your plant begins yellowing, it’s telling you there is a problem. Early detection is critical.

Pick out infected leaves and any other rotting material around the plant. Buy natural or safe chemicals against pests and diseases to keep them at bay.

Transport your plant to a fresh new pot and continue to watch the situation. Keep the plant separated from other plants, alone in a clean environment.

Low lighting or too much can also cause the leaves to turn yellow.

Keep track of how often you water your plant because extra moisture leads to root rot and yellow leaves.  Listen to your succulent.

JOIN Our FREE Plant Care Newsletter 

By entering your email address you agree to receive a daily email newsletter from Plant Care Today. We'll respect your privacy and unsubscribe at any time.