Succulents with soft leaves

Succulents with soft leaves are an epidemic. Today I explain the causes and what you can do to save your succulents.

I have seen many photos of sempervivum and echeverias with soft or bent leaves pointing downwards. This is due to four main reasons.



Reasons why your succulents have soft leaves

The reasons are as follows:

  • Lack of lighting
  • Pests
  • Humidity
  • Excess of fertilizer

Succulents with soft leaves due to lack of lighting

The lack of lighting can cause the lower leaves of your succulents to bend downwards . To solve this problem, acclimate your plant to a place where it receives more lighting.

If your succulent is already bent you will have to decapitate it . If you do not know how to acclimate your plant or how to decapitate your succulent I recommend you read the following articles:

  • The correct way to acclimate the succulents
  • How to decapitate succulents

Succulents with soft leaves by pests

Disgusting pests such as cochineal and powdery mildew can cause soft leaves in succulents. The cochineal can be eliminated by spraying your plant with alcohol (70% isopropyl). Oidium can be treated with milk . If you do not know how, I share these two articles:

Succulents with soft leaves due to excess humidity

When the substrate retains too much moisture, the succulent can suffocate. We will notice the plant with soft and sad leaves.

The bad news is that not all rotten succulents can be saved . But some yes.

  • Gavin:  How to save a rotten succulent in 5 steps

To avoid moisture retention you use a substrate with good drainage. You can make your own mix or buy substrate for cactus and succulents.

Also check that the drain hole in the pot is letting water escape.

Succulents with soft leaves due to excess fertilizer

The soft leaves can be a sign of excess nitrogen . We usually associate over fertilization with burned leaves, but often the most severe damage occurs underground, at the roots.

Excess salt and Nitrogen in fertilizers can burn the roots and limit the absorption of moisture . Affected roots will also make your plants easy targets for pest attacks.

To eliminate excess fertilizer, irrigate your succulents with 5 times more water than water regularly . Note that you must increase the water, not the frequency of irrigation.

Before doing this make sure to use a substrate that drains well and that the drain hole of the pot is letting the water drain.

How to make a terrarium or verrine with succulents (use color sand)


How to eliminate the cottony cochineal from your succulents and cactus