Succulent Turning Black: Reasons & Easy Fix

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If you’re a succulent owner and you’ve ever owned a succulent plant, you may have noticed that sometimes the leaves on succulents can turn black. This can be quite concerning, as it can indicate that something is wrong with your plant.

In this article, we will discuss the reasons why your succulent leaves may be turning black and provide some easy fixes to prevent further damage.

Succulent Turning Black

Why are succulent leaves turning black?

Here are the reasons why your succulents have turned black:


One common reason why succulent leaves turn black is due to overwatering. Succulents are desert plants and they are adapted to survive in dry conditions.

When they get too much water, their roots become waterlogged and cannot absorb the excess moisture. This leads to root rot, which can cause the leaves to turn black.


On the other hand, underwatering can also cause the leaves to turn black. Succulents store water in their leaves and stems, and if they don’t receive enough water, they can become dehydrated.

This can cause the leaves to dry out and turn black. So, check for underwatering by checking the soil and leaves. Feel the dryness in soil, you will easily understand if it is underwatered.


Succulents love sunlight, but too much direct sunlight can also cause their leaves to turn black.

When succulents are exposed to intense sunlight for long periods of time, their leaves can get burnt and turn brown or black.

Fungal infection

Black spots on succulent leaves can be a sign of a fungal infection.

Fungi thrive in moist environments, so if your succulent is constantly wet, it becomes more susceptible to fungal growth.

Pest infestation

Pests like mealybugs can also cause black spots on the leaves of succulents. These pests feed on the plant’s sap, causing damage to the leaves and stems.

Root rot

If your succulent is suffering from root rot, it can cause black spots on the leaves. This happens when the roots are constantly submerged in water and unable to get enough oxygen.

How to Fix Succulent Leaves Turning Black?

Here are the easy to fix ways: 

Proper watering

The key to preventing succulent leaves from turning black is to water them properly. Succulents prefer to be watered infrequently but thoroughly.

You can water the succulents once every two weeks checking its soil. If the soil is wet you may skip that day.

Allow the soil to dry out completely between watering sessions and then water the plant until water drains out of the drainage holes.

Avoid overwatering

To avoid overwatering your succulent, make sure to check the soil moisture before watering.

Stick your finger about an inch into the soil and if it feels dry, it’s time to water your succulent. If it still feels moist, wait a few more days.

Ensuring good drainage

Good drainage is essential for succulents to thrive. Make sure that the pot you are using has drainage holes at the bottom. This will allow excess water to escape and prevent the roots from becoming waterlogged.

Removing the Black Succulent Leaves

You can remove the leaves with a pair of scissors. This is essential and would stop the disease from spreading in the succulent. Also, do this only if there is issue in a few leaves.

Check for signs of overwatering

If you notice that your succulent leaves are turning black, check the soil moisture and the condition of the roots.

If the soil is wet and the roots are mushy, it is likely that you have been overwatering your plant.

Inspect for pest infestation

Check the leaves and stems of your succulent for any signs of pests, such as mealybugs.

If you find any, take appropriate measures to eradicate the pests, such as using potassium soap or insecticide and wiping the plant with rubbing alcohol on the specific leaves that are affected.

Repot the succulent in fresh soil

If your succulent is suffering from root rot, it is important to repot it in fresh, well-draining soil. Carefully remove the plant from its old pot, trim away any black or mushy roots, and replant it in a new pot with fresh soil.

Can succulents turn black if kept indoors?

Succulents generally do well indoors and can be treated as a house plant.

Potential lack of sunlight

Succulents need ample sunlight to thrive, and if they are kept indoors, they may not be getting enough light.

Lack of sunlight can cause the leaves to turn black.

Overwatering due to less evaporation

Indoor environments tend to have less moisture and evaporation compared to outdoor conditions. This can lead to overwatering of succulents, as the excess water takes longer to evaporate.

Pest infestation from indoor environments

Indoor environments can also harbor pests like mealybugs, which can infest your succulents and cause black spots on the leaves.

Also, you can check similar Succulent problems:

  1. Succulent Turning White
  2. Succulent Turning Pink
  3. Succulent turning Red
  4. Succulent Turning Purple
  5. Why is my succulent turning Light green?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my succulent turning black?

There can be several reasons why your succulent is turning black. It could be due to overwatering, sunburn, root rot, infestation, or lack of good drainage.

What are the 5 reasons why my succulent is turning black?

The 5 common causes of succulent turning black are overwatering, sunburn, root rot, infestation, and lack of good drainage.

How do I know if my succulent is overwatered?

Overwatering can cause your succulent’s leaves to turn black. You can tell if your succulent is overwatered if the leaves are mushy or have black spots.

What should be my watering schedule for succulents?

Succulents are known for storing water in their leaves and stems, so they require less frequent watering. It is recommended to water your succulent only when the soil is completely dry.

Can sunburn cause succulent leaves to turn black?

Yes, exposure to direct sunlight, especially during the hottest hours of the day, can cause sunburn and lead to black leaves on succulents.

How can I prevent my succulent from getting sunburned?

To prevent sunburn on succulents, it is best to place them in an area with indirect sunlight or provide them with some shade during the hottest parts of the day.

How can I treat root rot in my succulent?

If your succulent is turning black due to root rot, you should remove it from the pot and carefully trim away any affected roots. Let the plant dry out for a few days before repotting it in well-draining soil.

How do I get rid of pests that may be causing black leaves on my succulent?

If you suspect an infestation of mites or aphids is causing black leaves on your succulent, you can try using a solution of potassium soap to get rid of the pests. Remove any infected leaves and treat the entire plant.

Should I stop watering my succulent if the leaves are turning black?

If your succulent is showing signs of overwatering and the leaves are turning black, you should stop watering it immediately. Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again.

What can cause an entire succulent to turn black?

An entire succulent turning black could indicate a severe problem such as root rot or a fungal infection. It is best to remove the affected plant and take necessary actions to prevent the spread of the issue to other succulents.

Final Words

Let’s conclude the post!

So, maintaining healthy succulents is typically easy due to their low-maintenance nature. However, certain issues like black spots, or a color change from green to brown may arise and finally it may appear to be black. To notice it better you can see leaves turning black. 

To bring it back to the previous state, it’s crucial to consider the growing conditions – providing full sun for about four hours in the morning, inspecting your succulents regularly, and ensuring proper watering. 

If you notice your succulent turning or developing black spots, swift action is key. By taking these measures, you can bring your succulent back to a healthy state and enjoy thriving indoor plants.

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