Solution For Why Succulent Leaves Turning Black (2023)

Succulents are a type of plant that is very popular in the garden, and it’s no wonder why. They’re beautiful! But when succulent leaves turn black, they can be an eyesore for you and your guests. The good news is that there are many reasons why this happens, and ways to fix it, so don’t worry. Today, we will discuss the causes of succulent leaves turning black, as well as how to get rid of the problem.

Reasons that succulent leaves turning black

succulent leaves turning black
succulent leaves turning black


There are a few reasons that can cause leaves to turn black. One of them is overwatering. Overwatering succulents will kill the roots, and they’ll start to rot from the inside out, causing these symptoms on your plant.

Root rot from overwatering, too much water sitting on the leaves, or a lack of air circulation around the roots  can also cause succulent leaves to turn black.

Wrong potting mix

The best results come from using a well-draining soil, such as cactus and succulent potting mix. You should not use garden dirt or regular potting soil for this type of plant.

You should never use soil that contains peat in the containers with succulents. This is because peat holds moisture, which can cause overwatering of the plants and potentially kill them.

Low soil moisture 

If the soil of your succulents is low on moisture, they can turn black. This happens when minerals in the soil bind to their leaves and stems and oxidize.

Too much fertilizer 

If you fertilize succulents too much, they can turn black and die. When cultivating succulent plants in containers, use half the recommended amount of fertilizer to prevent this from happening.

Excess salt in the soil

Too much salt in the soil can make succulents turn black. So even though they are drought-tolerant, too much salt will affect their color and may even kill them.

Insects feeding on them 

The effects of insects like mealy bugs and spider mites will make succulents turn black. They feed off the sap that’s inside their plants, which causes this as well as other problems to occur.

It is getting rid of old matured leaves

If succulents are in the process of getting rid of old leaves, they can turn black.

Solution if your succulent is rotting

If your succulent starts rotting for whatever overwatering or soil mixture or excessive salt, you should act as fast as you can.

But how do you know that your succulent is rotting?

Are the leaves smush?

Does it smell bad?

Does it feel mushy?

Do the leaves feel like can fall down at any moment?

Is the stem also turning black?

If it is mushy, smells bad, and the leaves are falling down easily, and the stem is turning black as well, then your succulent is rotting. And if the rot is in the earlier stage, you can top the rot and save it. To do that, follow these steps.

  • Pull it out of soil
  • Cut down the stem to the point where it is rotting.
  • Keep cutting down stems and leaves until there is no black or rotten parts left.
  • Now you have a perfectly healthy top part and the rotten bottom part.
  • Put the rotten part back in the soil.
  • Add cinnamon powder to the top part so that the cut heals fast.
  • Keep it in a dry place for a few days and it will get dry completely.
  • After a few weeks, you will see new roots starting to appear from the cut.

Solution if your succulent is getting rid of old matured leaves

How would you know if the plant is getting rid of the old leaves and it is not rotting?

Touch and hold the succulent and see if it is firm and stable or not. If the plant is stable and firm, you have nothing to worry. The succulent is healthy and well. So what to do now?

Do not cut down the black leaves. Because if you cut down the black leaves and the soil is wet, chances are it will get rot from the cut.

Keep it in bright sunlight as much as possible, and let the soil get drained. This will help to promote the growth of new succulent leaves and stems.

You can also add some water if they become dry after a few days.

In a matter of few weeks, you’ll notice that succulents are growing very fast, and there is no black leaves on them.

Why is my succulent turning yellow?

succulent turning yellow
succulent turning yellow

Lack of nutrients

Lack of nutrients causes the succulent to turn yellow. I suggest that you add a fertilizer with nitrogen to the soil.

Lack of water

Your succulent is dehydrated. It is turning yellow because it does not have enough water. Give them water. And they will be green again in no time.

Why is my succulent turning red?

succulent turning red
succulent turning red


The plant is experiencing an underwater environment. It should be removed if it doesn’t recover on its own in a few days. Give it the amount of water it needs. Though succulents need very little water, without that they will die eventually.

Too much daylight

Too much light can make a succulent turn red. If it is in the sun for a long time, it might burn and fade its leaves. Then they’ll be orange – not green like before. So, the solution might be simple, keep it away from the sunlight for a while.

Final words

We have talked about different reasons for succulent leaves turning black, yellow, or red. Solutions to these problems were also given. I hope that you have found this article helpful. If not, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns, and I will do my best to get back to you as soon as possible. Good luck!