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Why Are My Succulents Leaves Falling Off – 5 Common Reasons Why

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Succulents are excellent plants that usually withstand harsh conditions. They’re mostly known for their unique features and beauty. They can thrive for an extended period with little care in the right environment.

However, they’re not immune to issues and sometimes show signs of needing help. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to hear the question, ‘Why are my succulents leaves falling off?’

Why are your succulents leaves falling off? A common reason would be watering issues. Too much water sometimes causes the leaves to become soft and mushy till they fall off. If you don’t know the problem, the information provided in this guide will help you figure out the problem and what to do.

Why Are My Succulents Leaves Falling Off
Crap ton of leaves falling off – via Reddit

Why Are My Succulents Leaves Falling Off?

It’s easy to determine that your succulents are in distress. One of the signs it gives is dropping leaves. At this point, you know your succulent leaves are not healthy. However, figuring out what’s ailing them can be challenging. Find out the most common reasons why below.

1. Low Lighting

There are times when your succulents’ leaves fall off because they’re in low light conditions for extended periods. One of the symptoms of a sun-starved succulent is that it will begin to look tall and stretched out.

The succulents do this while sourcing for a light source. Therefore, they grow in that direction. Another symptom is that they grow sideways to get close to a window; this tells you lack of light is the issue.

How to Fix

Low light condition for your succulent is easy to fix. You simply have to place your plant somewhere sunnier. However, before placing them outside and exposing them to the sun’s rays, let them slowly acclimate to the location first.

For starters, exposing them to an hour of sunlight every morning can help them adjust and stop dropping leaves. You can slowly increase the length over a few weeks until the plant gets six hours of direct sunlight each day or 12 hours of artificial light.

 This action helps them receive all the light they need every day. Additionally, you’ll prevent the plant from getting sunspots because of a sudden environmental change. Further, you can get a grow light and place your succulents under it.

2. Overwatering Issues

Another answer to your question, ‘why are my succulents leaves falling off?’ is overwatering. This could have severe consequences for your plants, like root rot and the leaves falling off. In some cases, overwatering could lead to the death of the plant.

Overwatering is a fast way to kill your succulents, and it is something you want to avoid. Generally, your plant begins to look sick when you overwater your succulents.

A symptom is mushy, soggy, and falling leaves. It could also cause the leaves to look lighter or translucent when compared to a healthy leaf. When this happens, you should cool it with the watering can.

How to Fix

To begin, you’ll have to prune off the affected leaves. Also, check to see if the plant stems are rotted. If it is, you have to cut off the rotted parts and keep the healthy parts dry for a week. Stay entirely off the watering can during this period.

Drainage is crucial for your succulents. Therefore, you should plant them in a gritty soil mix and a pot with adequate drainage holes at the end.

Only water your succulents when it is completely dry to the touch. After a week, you might have to repot your succulents and then follow the proper watering schedule from this point onward.

Why Are My Succulents Leaves Falling Off 2
These succulents leaves are falling off – via Reddit

3. Too Much Fertilizer

If there’s too much fertilizer in your succulents, it would have the opposite effects and stunt your plant’s growth. In some cases, too much fertilizer can also lead to the succulents leaves falling off.

It could discolor the leaves still hanging on and burn your plant’s root system. Additionally, it makes your succulents vulnerable to pests and diseases.

How to Fix

You must flush out the excess fertilizer from the potting soil. Water the succulents and ensure the water drains completely. Repeat the watering process once or twice till you’re sure there are no traces of fertilizer in the soil.

Look out for white crust on the soil surface and remove them carefully. This is a sign of excess salt from the fertilizer and could damage your plant if you leave it there.

Next, remove any damaged or dying leaves from your plants so your succulents can focus on growing new leaves. In the future, only fertilize using water-soluble fertilizers for your succulents.

4. Extreme Temperature

If your succulents get too hot, it could cause the leaves to start falling off. This is quite normal as it responds to the stress caused by the heat and drought. While it won’t hurt the plant, it could be why the leaves are dropping off.

Additionally, extreme cold temperatures can spell disaster for your succulents. Most succulents don’t fare well in freezing temperatures, especially if exposed for too long. The cells inside can freeze, causing irreparable damage to the plant.

Some of the succulent leaves sometimes look brown and mushy when frozen. Other times, it begins to appear like it’s rotting, making it unsalvageable.

How to Fix

If the hot temperature is the issue, you can try throwing a plant cover or shade cloth over your succulents. Alternatively, you can move your succulent to a less sunny area to prevent further damage.

If your plants were outdoors, move them to a garage. However, you might want to purchase a garage heater in wintertime. During winter, minimize watering your succulent as it gives them the best chance of survival. Succulent survive better in winter when they are bone-dry.


It can be confusing when you find fallen leaves around your succulents. It could lead you to wonder, ‘Why are my succulent leaves falling off?’ Most times, all your plant needs is a slight care adjustment. In our guide above, you can find the most common reasons why your succulent leaves are falling off.

We hope this insightful post helped you figure out the problem with your succulent leaves. Take note of the symptoms listed in this article and compare them with your fallen leaves to determine the right action to take.

We also included the best solution to each cause so you can nurse your succulent back to health in no time. Share your comments and queries with us in the comment section below.