hanging succulent leaves [Common Causes And Solutions] –ISBUZZLE

Droopy succulent leaves can be caused by many different things individually or even by several issues at the same time.

So if your succulent is starting to sag, bend, or seem to fall off, here are the main causes and what you can do to fix the issues that are causing it.


1. Underwater

Although succulents are drought-tolerant plants, they do need a fair amount of water from time to time.

Forgetting to water for too long is one of, if not the most common cause of drooping succulents because without enough water, these plants lose the ability to stand upright due to drying out.

This doesn’t mean constant watering, as succulents don’t like standing water, which can lead to more serious problems such as root rot.

Succulents like to be watered thoroughly, but only when the soil is completely dry, which can take anywhere from a week to a month, depending on several factors.

If you’re not sure if you’ve really been underwater, there are some signs to look out for, such as the following.

  • understory growth
  • Your succulent leaves roll up
  • brown leaf tips
  • The leaves have started to fall
  • The ground is constantly dry.


If you suspect flooding is the cause of your leaf drop, it’s time to take a closer look at your water habits.

If you think misting succulents is the same thing as watering, unfortunately, that’s not enough and shouldn’t replace actual watering.

Instead, you should thoroughly soak your succulents each time you water until water begins to flow through your container’s drainage hole.

From then on, stop watering until the soil is completely dry or at least the top inch or two is completely dry.

Also, don’t panic and try to overcompensate by watering several days in a row to try to restore hydration, as this will do more harm than good.

Simply resume good watering habits by watering thoroughly whenever the soil dries out.

You also shouldn’t rely heavily on a set schedule, as the time it takes for the soil to dry out can vary depending on temperature, humidity, growth cycles and other factors.

2. Overwatering

While being underwater is one of the main causes of succulent wilting or leaf drop, so is overwatering.

If you overwater your succulents, the roots will eventually starve for oxygen and become less and less efficient at delivering nutrients to the plant as a whole.

This can cause your succulent to almost mimic the signs of waterlogging because the plant is essentially not getting enough water for the main plant if the roots aren’t functioning properly.

If this goes on long enough, you may run into the problem of root rot, which can destroy succulents quite quickly.

In general, it is better to flood succulents than to water them, as the former is a much easier solution.

Here are other signs that your leaves are falling due to overwatering.

  • Standing water that does not drain quickly
  • Your succulent leaves are turning yellow
  • brown leaf tips
  • Underdeveloped or slow growth
  • Roots are falling apart or have a funny smell (root rot)

As for overwatering your succulents, if you feel like you’re not watering that much, the soil you’re using may not be draining properly.

It is also best to use drainage holes in the containers it is grown in for maximum drainage.


As mentioned above, you shouldn’t water your succulents until the soil is completely dry, no matter how long that takes.

Instead of relying on a watering schedule, try to smell the soil every time before watering.

If the top 2 inches of soil is completely dry to the touch, it’s time to water, if the soil is still damp, wait to water until dry.

Also, be sure to always use well-drained soil, ideally with materials that also help with drainage, such as perlite, and drainage holes in all containers.

Adopting these practices will ensure you don’t overwater again, so at least you won’t have to worry about dead leaves or worst-case root rot.

3. Pests

Pests like scale insects, aphids, scale insects, and spider mites are some of the types of pests you may encounter while growing succulents.

What does all of this have in common?

All of the pests listed above are known to feed on the leaves of succulents, extracting nutrients from the plant and generally leaving your succulent plant dry and droopy.

Not only that, but they tend to leave behind a sugary substance that eventually turns to soot, which thankfully is largely just a cosmetic issue.

Some signs that you may have encountered a pest problem may include the following.

  • leaf loop
  • Your succulent leaves have turned black
  • Holes in the leaves
  • Sticky leaves (honeydew)
  • understory growth
  • Your succulent has turned white
  • brown leaf tips
  • yellow leaves
  • Bumps on leaves or stems (scales)
  • Cobweb-like material (red spider)

That being said, pests are one of the main causes of wilting or leaf drop in plants in general, and sadly, succulents are no exception.

So it’s time to get rid of them because, after all, who wants stink bugs on their plants?

Of course not.


There are many ways to get rid of parasites, but I’ve found that there are actually 3 main methods that are super effective.

First, you can dip a cotton swab in alcohol, then clean the leaves or remove individual pests if you really see them.

Very effective, but can take time.

Another way to get rid of these critters is to spray your succulent with insecticidal soap which kills the pests on contact by depriving them of oxygen.

Very effective and can be made with homemade ingredients.

Finally, you can spray your succulent with neem oil, which is similar to insecticidal soap but also acts as a repellent.

Super efficient.

I recommend this neem oil if you want to try this method.

Be sure to only spray in shade or in the evening until dry, as it tends to scorch the leaves if left in the sun.

4. Low light

Succulents need lots of light to grow and look their best, so if you don’t give them enough, you can expect your succulents to droop.

Most succulents prefer abundant indirect light with occasional full sun rather than growing in low light conditions.

If your succulent doesn’t get enough light, chlorosis can occur, which is a loss of chlorophyll and can lead to not only limpness, but also discoloration, such as pale or yellow leaves.

Some signs that you may not be providing enough light are as follows.

  • Your succulent is stretching (etiolation)
  • yellow leaves
  • pale leaves
  • understory growth
  • Leaves may begin to fall.


If you’re growing succulents indoors, try growing them near an east-facing window for optimal indirect light.

You can also use a south-facing window, but you should keep most succulents a few feet away, as the light can be quite intense in that direction.

If you’re growing outdoors, find a spot that gets plenty of light, but is also protected from the sun for most of the day.

In general we aim to provide 8+ hours of bright light per day, and the more the better.

5. Too hot

While low light can cause hair loss, excessive heat can also cause it.

Most succulents thrive in comfortable temperature ranges, like 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

It depends on the strain you are trying to grow, as some can grow in much colder climates and others can withstand high temperatures.

That said, if your succulent isn’t comfortable in the heat, you can expect its leaves to drop off in response to this type of stress, or to dry out much faster than normal.

This is especially true during unexpected heat waves, as we all know what it is.


If you’re growing outdoors in heat your succulent can’t handle, consider moving the plant indoors for now if possible.

If you are already growing indoors and are having this problem, you may need to move the plant away from the window, especially south-facing windows, or move to another window together.

Everything you need to keep your stress succulent and not burning.

6. Shock graft

Finally, the cause of succulent leaf drop can simply be attributed to transplant shock which can occur shortly after transplanting.

This happens when a plant is stressed by moving environments or when different soils or containers are used and it takes the plant by surprise.

Your succulent may react with a variety of symptoms, including leaf drop.

If all is well and the moult did not start until after the transplant, this is probably what is happening.


In the event of transplant shock, all you can really do is wait and see and your succulent will return to normal in time.

This can take weeks or months, so you’ll need to be patient and watch your succulent.

final thoughts

You will now have a pretty good understanding of why your succulent leaves are dropping and what to do about it.

All in all, I hope I helped you today so your succulent can be at its best again!

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