Why is My Succulent Turning Yellow? And How to Fix It?

Succulents are popular houseplants known for their ability to thrive in low-maintenance conditions. However, despite their reputation for being hardy, succulents can sometimes experience problems that can affect their growth and appearance. One such issue is when the leaves or stems of a succulent plant turn yellow, which can be a sign of a problem that needs to be addressed. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons why your succulents are turning yellow and some tips on preventing and treating this issue to keep your plants healthy and vibrant.

Succulents are plants that store water in their leaves, stems, and roots, enabling them to thrive in arid environments. These plants have become increasingly popular among enthusiasts due to their unique appearance, low maintenance requirements, and various shapes, sizes, and colors.

Characteristics of succulents :

1. Fleshy leaves: Succulents typically have thick, fleshy leaves that can store water for extended periods. The leaves may also be covered in a waxy or hairy coating to reduce water loss through transpiration.

2. Drought-tolerant: Succulents are adapted to survive in environments with little water. They can go for long periods without watering and tolerate hot and dry conditions.

3. Varied appearance: Succulents come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. Some have long, thin leaves, while others have short, thick ones. They may be green, blue, purple, red, or variegated.

4. Easy to propagate: Many succulents can be easily propagated through stem or leaf cuttings, making them a popular choice for plant enthusiasts who want to grow their collection.

5. Adaptability: Succulents can grow both indoors and outdoors and in a variety of containers, such as pots, terrariums, and hanging baskets.

Overall, succulents are a unique and fascinating group of plants well-suited for those looking for low-maintenance and visually striking plants.

Causes of yellow succulents


It’s important to identify the underlying cause of yellowing in succulents to address the issue and help the plant recover. When succulents receive more water than they need, their roots may become saturated and unable to absorb oxygen, leading to root rot and a host of other issues.

The yellowing of leaves is one of the signs of overwatering in succulents. When succulents receive too much water, they may not be able to process it all, and the excess water can accumulate in the plant’s tissues. As a result, the leaves may turn yellow or brown and feel mushy to the touch. Overwatering can also cause the leaves to drop, making the plant limp and weak.

To avoid overwatering, it’s essential to understand how much water your succulent needs and when it needs it. Most succulents require well-draining soil that allows excess water to escape easily. Water should be given sparingly and only when the soil is dry to the touch. Depending on the species and the environment, this may be as little as once every two weeks or less.

It’s also crucial to avoid watering succulents from above, as this can cause water to accumulate in the plant’s rosette, leading to rot. Instead, water is at the base of the plant, allowing the water to soak into the soil and reach the roots.

 Overwatering is a common cause of succulents turning yellow, and providing these plants with the right amount of water is essential to avoid this issue. Using well-draining soil, watering sparingly, and avoiding watering from above can help succulents thrive and avoid common problems like yellowing leaves.


is a common problem that many succulent owners face. Succulents are adapted to surviving in arid conditions, so they don’t need as much water as other plants. However, they still need water to survive; if they don’t get enough, their leaves can turn yellow.

When a succulent is underwatered, it doesn’t have enough water to carry out essential processes like photosynthesis. As a result, the plant’s leaves begin to lose their color and turn yellow. The leaves may also become thin and papery, and the plant may wilt.

To prevent underwatering, it is essential to water succulents regularly but not too frequently. The watering frequency depends on the type of succulent, the pot’s size, and the environment’s temperature and humidity. Overwatering can be as hazardous as underwatering It is therefore essential to strike the right balance.If your succulent is turning yellow due to underwatering, acting quickly to save the plant is crucial. Please thoroughly water it and ensure the soil is moist but not soggy. You can also mist the plant or place it in a humid environment to help it recover.

 Underwatering is a common cause of succulent leaves turning yellow. As a succulent owner, finding the right watering balance is essential to keep your plants healthy and to thrive. With a little care and attention, your succulents will continue to bring joy and beauty to your home or garden.

Poor drainage:

 is often to blame for succulents turning yellow. Succulents are native to arid climates and need access to dry and well-draining soil; when this isn’t provided, root rot can set in, leading to yellowing of the leaves and eventually death.

When succulent roots remain waterlogged for too long, they cannot absorb necessary nutrients to grow and may begin to turn yellow and wilt. Furthermore, when soil remains wet for too long, bacteria and fungi may develop, leading to root rot.

To prevent succulents from turning yellow due to poor drainage, using a well-draining soil mixture that allows excess water to drain away quickly is key. Additionally, using containers with drainage holes helps you avoid overwatering your succulent.

If your succulent has become yellow due to poor drainage, repotting it into a new container with fresh soil and adequate drainage is recommended. Furthermore, cut away any rotting or damaged roots and let the plant air dry completely before watering again.

Nutrient deficiency:

When a succulent turns yellow, it is often a sign of nutrient deficiency, which several factors can cause.

Lack of Nitrogen: 

Nitrogen is an essential nutrient that helps plants to build chlorophyll and carry out photosynthesis. When a succulent is deficient in nitrogen, it can’t produce enough chlorophyll, causing it to lose its green color and turn yellow. This deficiency can be caused by poor soil quality, overwatering, or excessive fertilization.

Lack of Iron: 

Iron is another crucial nutrient that plants require to make chlorophyll. A lack of iron can lead to yellowing between the leaves’ veins, known as interveinal  chlorosis. This deficiency can be caused by soil pH imbalance or a lack of organic matter in the soil.

Lack of Magnesium: 

Magnesium is essential for the growth and development of plants. A magnesium deficiency can cause yellowing in the leaves, starting from the tips and moving toward the center. A lack of magnesium in the soil or using hard water for irrigation can cause this deficiency.

Lack of Zinc: 

Zinc is an essential nutrient for the growth of plants. A zinc deficiency can cause yellowing of the leaves, starting from the base and moving towards the tips. This deficiency can be caused by soil pH imbalance, over-fertilization, or the use of contaminated soil.

In conclusion, nutrient deficiency is a common cause of succulents turning yellow. To prevent this problem, providing succulents with a balanced supply of essential nutrients and maintaining healthy soil quality is crucial. Regular fertilization, proper irrigation, and soil testing can help to prevent nutrient deficiencies and keep your succulents healthy and vibrant.

Pest infestations:

 are a common cause of succulents turning yellow. Pests like spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects can attach themselves to the leaves of the plant, causing damage to the plant’s health.

When pests feed on the leaves of a succulent, they suck out the nutrients from the plant, leading to a yellowing of the leaves. This discoloration often indicates that the plant is under stress and not getting the nutrients it needs to grow.

Moreover, pests can also spread diseases to the succulent, making it more vulnerable to yellowing and other symptoms. For example, spider mites can introduce viruses into the plant, which can cause the leaves to turn yellow and wilt.

To prevent pest infestations and protect your succulents from turning yellow, it’s important to regularly inspect your plants for signs of pest activity. If you spot any pests, immediately remove them from the plant and treat the affected area with a natural pest control solution.

Proper care and maintenance can go a long way in keeping pests away from your succulents. Ensure to provide adequate sunlight, water, and nutrients to your plants, and avoid overwatering or overcrowding them. This will keep your succulents healthy and less susceptible to pests and diseases.

Low temperature:  

When the temperature drops below the ideal range, it can cause stress to the plant and affect its ability to absorb nutrients and water from the soil. This stress can also cause the plant’s leaves to turn yellow.

Yellowing leaves in succulent plants often show stress due to low temperatures. The cold temperature can slow down the plant’s metabolic processes, resulting in less chlorophyll production, which is responsible for the plant’s green color. The lack of chlorophyll can cause the plant’s leaves to turn yellow or white. Low temperatures can also cause the plant’s roots to become damaged, leading to further nutrient deficiencies and water uptake issues. Therefore, it is essential to maintain the right temperature range to keep the succulent plant healthy and green.


succulentscan be sensitive to high temperatures, which can cause them to turn yellow.

When succulents are exposed to high temperatures, their leaves may wilt or turn yellow. This is because the heat can cause the plant to lose water more quickly than it can absorb from the soil or its reserves. As the plant loses water, its leaves may become dry and crispy and eventually turn yellow.

In addition to water loss, high temperatures can also cause the plant’s metabolism to speed up, leading to chlorophyll breakdown. Chlorophyll is the green pigment that gives plants their color and allows them to photosynthesize. When chlorophyll breaks down, the plant may appear yellow or brown.

To prevent your succulent from turning yellow due to high temperatures, it’s important to provide it with adequate water and shade. Succulents should be watered deeply and infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. They should also be placed where they receive partial shade during the hottest day. In extreme heat, moving the succulent indoors or providing it with additional shade or ventilation may be necessary. If you notice your succulents turning yellow, it may be a sign that something is not quite right.

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 Here are some steps you can take to fix yellowing succulents:

Check for overwatering:

 Overwatering is one of the most common causes of yellowing succulents. If the soil is constantly wet or saturated, the roots may start to rot, which can cause the plant to turn yellow. To fix this, stop watering your succulent for a few weeks until the soil has completely dried out.

Adjust the lighting:

 Another common cause of yellowing succulents is too much or too little light. Most succulents need bright, indirect light to thrive, but they may turn yellow or brown if they get too much direct sunlight. On the other hand, they may become weak and pale if they do not get enough light. To fix this, adjust the location of your succulent so that it gets the right amount of light.

Provide proper drainage:

Succulents need well-draining soil to thrive, as their roots can quickly become waterlogged if the soil does not allow for adequate drainage. If your succulent is in a container that does not have drainage holes or if the soil is not well-draining, it may cause the plant to turn yellow. To fix this, replant your succulent in a container with drainage holes and use a well-draining potting mix.

Address nutrient deficiencies:

Yellowing can also indicate nutrient deficiencies in the soil. To fix this, you can fertilize your succulents with a balanced fertilizer specifically designed for succulents. Be sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package, as over-fertilizing can be just as harmful as under-fertilizing.

Address pests or diseases:

 Finally, yellowing can be a sign of pest infestations or diseases, such as mealybugs or root rot. If you suspect your succulent is affected by pests or diseases, immediately prevent further damage. This may involve using a natural pesticide, pruning affected leaves or stems, or treating the soil with an antifungal agent.

Adjust the temperature: 

Here are some steps you can take to fix your succulent from turning yellow by adjusting the temperature:-

Check the ideal temperature for your succulent:

 Different succulent species have different temperature requirements. Generally, most succulents prefer warm temperatures ranging between 60°F (15°C) and 80°F (27°C). However, some varieties can tolerate temperatures as low as 40°F (4°C) or as high as 100°F (38°C). Check your succulent’s specific temperature requirements to ensure it is not experiencing temperature stress.

Avoid exposing your succulent to extreme temperatures:

Rapid changes in temperature or exposure to extreme temperatures can cause succulent leaves to turn yellow or brown. Keep your succulent away from cold drafts, air conditioning vents, and direct sunlight. Also, please protect it from freezing temperatures during winter by moving it indoors or covering it with a cloth.

Yellowing succulents can be a sign of a range of problems, from overwatering to nutrient deficiencies, but by following the above steps. You can help your succulent recover and return to its healthy, vibrant state.

How To prevent the yellowing of succulents?

there are several steps you can take:


Succulents do not require frequent watering; overwatering is one of the most common causes of yellowing. Make sure the soil is completely dry before watering, and then water the plant thoroughly, allowing the water to drain out completely. You should also avoid watering the leaves directly, which can cause yellowing.


Succulents require well-draining soil allowing excess water to drain quickly. If the soil is too compact, water will not drain properly, leading to yellowing. You can purchase soil specifically for succulents or make your mix using sand, perlite, and peat moss.


While succulents require plenty of sunlight, they can become yellow if exposed to too much direct sunlight. Make sure your succulent is in a location that receives bright but indirect sunlight for most of the day. If you notice yellowing, move the plant to a location with less direct sunlight.


Succulents require nutrients to thrive, and a nutrient deficiency can cause yellowing. To prevent this, fertilize your succulent every two to four weeks during the growing season with a fertilizer designed for succulents. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully, as overfertilization can also cause yellowing.

 Pest control: 

Pests such as mealybugs and spider mites can infest succulents, causing yellowing and other damage. To prevent this, inspect your plant regularly for signs of pests and treat any infestations promptly. You can use insecticidal soap or neem oil to control pests.

By following these steps, you can help prevent the yellowing of your succulents and keep them healthy and vibrant. Remember to observe your plant closely and adjust your care regimen to ensure it gets the right amount of water, nutrients, and light.

In conclusion, succulents turning yellow can indicate issues such as overwatering, underwatering, poor drainage, pests, or diseases. Therefore, it’s important to identify the root cause of the problem and take appropriate action to remedy it. By adjusting the watering schedule, improving drainage, treating pests, or addressing any other underlying issues, you can help restore your succulent’s health and prevent further damage. Regular monitoring and care can go a long way in ensuring that your succulent stay healthy and vibrant for years.


1. Q: What causes succulents to turn yellow?

 Ans: There are various reasons, including overwatering, underwatering, disease, pests, and sunburn.

2. Q: Can overwatering cause succulents to turn yellow? 

Ans: Overwatering is one of the most common reasons succulents turn yellow.

3. Q: How often should I water my succulents? 

Ans: Succulents should be watered sparingly, usually once a week, depending on the species and the environment.

4. Q: What should I do if my succulent is overwatered? 

Ans: Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again, and make sure the pot has good drainage.

5. Q: Can underwatering cause succulents to turn yellow? 

Ans: Yes, underwatering can cause the leaves of succulents to turn yellow and wilt.

6. Q: How can I tell if my succulent is underwatered? 

 Ans: The leaves of an underwatered succulent will appear shriveled and dry.

7. Q: Can pests and diseases cause succulents to turn yellow? 

    Ans: Yes, pests such as spider mites and mealybugs, as well as diseases such as root rot, can cause succulents to turn yellow.

8. Q: How can I prevent pests and diseases from affecting my succulents? Ans: Keep your succulents clean and free from debris, and make sure to use well-draining soil and containers.

9. Q: Can sunburn cause succulents to turn yellow? 

     Ans: Succulents exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods can become sunburned, causing their leaves to turn yellow.

10. Q: How can I protect my succulents from sunburn? 

Ans: Move your succulents to a shadier location, or provide them with shade using a sheer curtain or shade cloth.

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