Common Succulent Plant Diseases and Their Solutions

Here are the most common succulent plant diseases. Learn how to identify and prevent diseases to keep your succulents healthy.
Common Succulent Plant Diseases and Their Solutions

Last update: 13 May, 2021

Succulent plants have become fashionable and as such, you can see them adorning spaces with their perfect and fun shapes. But not everyone knows how to take care of them. If you have one (or several) at home, we’ll tell you about the most common diseases of succulents and how to keep them healthy.

Although it’s a fairly resistant species, you need to take into account certain peculiarities. Remember, succulents aren’t immune or exempt from having problems.

Know the most common diseases of succulent plants

Learn to care for succulents

Did you know that most problems with succulents come from not knowing how to water them? Too much water and poor drainage can make succulents sick. Hence, the first piece of advice we’ll give you is to know the irrigation pattern of your plant.

On the other hand, you’ll also like to know that most succulent diseases have a simple solution. Take notes, observe and learn how to save your plants.


When there’s excess watering, fungi appear. If you live in an area or place with cold temperatures, this can become a problem. In early infections, they can be cured, but if the fungi have begun to rot the plant, it’s difficult to stop it.

The damage it causes depends on the type of fungus. This can range from rotting of the trunk of the plant to the appearance of white or grayish spots, it can even cause the plant to shrink.

The most common diseases of succulents: bacteria

This is rare, but it can happen. The bacteria penetrate the plant and can be present in the roots. Bacteria can even reach the succulent through different insects.


The last of the factors that can trigger diseases of succulents are pests, specifically sapsuckers. These pesky pests can cause certain viruses to enter succulents causing their death.

Identifying the most common succulent diseases

Learn to care for succulents

Now, in order to treat diseases of succulent plants, you must know the signs that indicate that there may be a problem. You can do this by identifying the symptoms and, of course, acting accordingly.

The plant loses its shape

When the succulent spikes, it’s called etiolation and it indicates that it’s not receiving the necessary amount of light. In these cases, the plant not only loses its original shape but also makes more effort to get the amount of light it needs. This weakens the tissues and consumes their resources. Solution: move it to a brighter place.

The most common diseases of succulents: leaf texture changes

If the leaves are wrinkled, firstly, check that they’re not just old leaves, in which case it’s normal. Otherwise, your plant is trying to tell you that it needs more water, especially if the upper leaves are wilting. Increase the watering schedule to help rehydrate the leaves.

On the contrary, if the leaves are wrinkled, it’s a symptom of excess watering. The best thing is to suspend watering it and resume when the leaves regain their usual hardness.

The leaves change color

If the leaves turn yellow, brown, or black, it’s a very serious case of overwatering. If a bad smell and a viscous texture also appear, it’s a sign that the succulent has rotted and it’ll be very difficult to recover it.

Another case is when the green color loses intensity. In this case, it may be due to a lack of light or a defect in the root. Move it and if it doesn’t improve, replant it into better quality.

The trunk has softened

When a rotten central stem is observed, it’s an indication that the roots are rotten and it’s likely too late to remedy it. This is due again to overwatering or improper drainage. If there’s a part of the plant that hasn’t been affected, you could replant it in new soil.

The most common diseases of succulents: beware of insects

There are different pests that can attack different species of succulents, but there are some insects that affect nearly all plants. We are talking about aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs.

The solution is to use an acaricidal insecticide as soon as the first infestation signs appear and on a regular basis.

Now that you know the most common succulent diseases and their solutions, you can enjoy succulents even more and beautify your spaces.

Note that part of prevention is learning to care for them correctly and pay special attention to their irrigation pattern.