How To Save A Rotting Succulent – A Practical Guide

How To Save A Rotting Succulent – A Practical Guide

Gardeners ought to know how to save a rotting succulent plant because it is the easiest plant to grow and take care of. Succulent is a marvelous plant that has thick fleshy leaves adorning different colors. They do not flower thus their fleshy leaves carry their beauty making them attractive.

There are many varieties of succulents. Some have rosette leaves while others have no leaf-like structure. They have a fleshy round or elongated green growth. They vary in colors, shapes, and sizes leaving you with the decision to choose what to take home.

Succulents need minimal care and thrive best when they are left on their own. They are healthy throughout the year and grow very well. However, one of the most common problems that face succulents is rotting. Succulents must get moderate watering to protect them from root rot.

How to Save a Rotting Succulent – Identifying an Overwatered Succulent 

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if the succulent is overwatered or underwatered. A healthy succulent plant always has plump, fleshy, and firm. But there are signs you need to look out for, they include:
  • Discoloration of leaves
  • The plant looks sick in appearance
  • Leaves feel soft and mushy to touch
  • Discolored stem with brown or black spots
  • Leaves falling off easily when lightly touched
Identifying an Overwatered Succulent 

In case of an overwatered succulent, you will notice the following signs
  • The leaves become discolored and squishy because they take up extra water and store excess water in their cells. This causes the water to run through the leaf causing discoloration as it begins to rot.
  • The discolored leaf finally turns black meaning it is rotting from the inside out. This indicates that the leaves are affected by a fungi disease due to excess water intake. Afterward, the leaves drop off and die.

Step by Step Process to Save a Rotting Succulent

Root Rot

If the root rot is mild, it is possible to save the plant. The roots are the most essential part of the plant. They help to absorb both nutrients and water.

Steps to Treat Root Rot

  • Dig out the plant and identify the level of the damage.
  • If it’s minimal, take out the plant from the pot and squeeze the excess water if any. Leave the plant out of the pot for about 2 days to dry up. The soil dries up, preventing the rotting from developing further.
  • If you notice the rotting is severe, with most of the root rotted away, remove the plant from the pot and cut off the rotted roots. Discard all the soil; it might contain fungi that will continue killing your plant. Wash the pot and put new clean treated soil. Keep the plant aside for a few days so that the remaining roots dry out before you plant it again.

Find out which is The Best Fertilizer for Cactus and Succulents

Fat Plants San Diego Small Succulent Cuttings Packages


Stem Rot

Steps to Treat Stem Rot
  • If the stem is suffering from slight rot, cut out the rotting part and check for any rot inside the stem. If there are any rots inside the stem, remove the rot completely or cut off that part.
  • Leave the succulent plant out for about 3 days so that the cut is callused over. Once calloused, plant it again in a well-drained soil mix. Only water it when the soil is dry to avoid getting the rotting back. You may use a rooting hormone to speed up the process of root growth. In a few weeks, you begin to notice roots developing on the cut area with the succulent growing.

Learn How To Propagate Jade Plant- Rooting a Jade Plant

Leaf Rot

Steps to Treat Leaf Rot
  • If you notice leaf rot, immediately remove the rotten leaves. Check if any part of the stem or root is too affected and amputate it.
  • In case you only salvage only a few leaves, go ahead and place them on a new soil mixture in a fresh pot. Keep spraying them with water lights to keep the soil slightly wet. In a few weeks, you will be able to see new roots forming on the leaf base. In a few months, you will have a new plant that is cloned from the mother plant.


Succulents are beautiful wonderful plants that need minimal care from us. Though they need the least care, they can either thrive or perish due to inadequate care.

It is important to give the succulents their requirements like well-drained soils, water, and light. Potted or indoor succulents need more care than garden ones to thrive. Though water is the most important element to all plants, too much or too little leads to damage of the succulent.

Most of the succulent death occur by overwatering. Always keep in mind a watering schedule to help you check how much watering you do. By being keen on these few details, we can grow healthy succulents for our homes.