3 Easy Steps To Revive A Dying Succulent

Succulents are a popular choice for houseplants, but they can be tricky to care for. They’ll look fine one day and then limp and lifeless a few days later. This is because succulents can take a long time to show signs of stress, making a sudden death appear out of nowhere if they have been suffering for a while. But don’t fret! As long as your succulent is still showing signs of life, it can be revived.

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Signs that your succulent is dying

  • Black leaves that start from the bottom
  • Brown, mushy leaves
  • Pale, yellow leaves
  • Wrinkly, dehydrated leaves
  • Brown roots
  • Leaves will start to fall off with just a slight bump

Here are some ideas for how you can help revive your beloved succulent.

1. Inspect your succulent

Brown, yellow, or mushy leaves indicate that it has been over-watered and is growing in slow-draining, damp soil, which can lead to root rot. Dark leaves could indicate that it has been exposed to too much direct sunlight. Loose leaves could indicate overstress caused by too much moisture in the soil.

Start by removing the succulent from its pot and slowly cutting and pruning away any of the rotted roots and dead leaves. Make certain that all of the rot has been removed from the plant. Don’t worry if you cut too many roots; as long as there are still some left, it can still grow and spread quickly once repotted.

2. Prepare the soil

Succulents need well-draining soil to thrive. Too much water or moisture causes your succulent to die and wither. So, use a lighter mix, such as a cactus or succulent mix. This type of soil is much lighter and provides better drainage than traditional potting soil. You can also add some perlite or pumice to the existing potting soil to help loosen it up. Also, if the pot has drainage holes in the bottom, ensure that they are open and unobstructed.

3. Repot the succulent

It’s very important to air-dry the roots before you start repotting your succulent. Leave them on a mesh or a strainer for a few hours or days to ensure they’re completely dry. Then start putting them back in the pot with proper soil. Whatever you do, don’t water the succulent yet. Don’t worry, because succulents store water in their leaves, they can live for weeks even without being watered. It’s possible that overwatering was what initially made it wither. Before you water your plant, you need to make sure that its roots have grown. If not, the plant will sit in the wet soil and start to rot again.

Now that your succulent is all set, learn more about how to properly care for your succulents to avoid overwatering and keep them alive and healthy.

Here are some additional tips on reviving dying succulents

  1. Assess the Root System: When trying to revive a dying succulent, it’s crucial to examine its root system. If the roots are mushy, black, or foul-smelling, they may be rotting due to overwatering. In such cases, it’s essential to trim off any rotted roots using sterile scissors or a knife.
  2. Repotting: Repotting your succulent into fresh, well-draining soil can make a significant difference in its recovery. Choose a pot with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging, and use a specialized succulent or cactus mix, or create your own by adding perlite or sand to regular potting soil to improve drainage.
  3. Watering: One of the most common reasons succulents die is overwatering. After repotting, allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. Succulents are adapted to survive in dry conditions and prefer to be underwatered rather than overwatered. Typically, watering once every 1-2 weeks is sufficient, but this can vary depending on factors such as humidity, temperature, and the type of succulent.
  4. Sunlight: Succulents thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. Place your succulent in a location where it can receive several hours of sunlight each day, such as a south-facing window. However, be cautious of intense midday sun, especially if your succulent has been indoors for an extended period, as it may need time to acclimate to direct sunlight to avoid sunburn.
  5. Temperature and Humidity: Succulents prefer warm temperatures and low humidity. Avoid placing them in drafty or excessively humid areas, as this can increase the risk of rot and other issues. If you live in a climate with cold winters, make sure to protect your succulents from frost and freezing temperatures.
  6. Patience: Reviving a dying succulent can take time, so it’s essential to be patient and consistent with your care routine. Keep an eye on the plant for signs of improvement, such as new growth or vibrant coloration. If you notice any further signs of distress, such as wilting or yellowing leaves, adjust your care regimen accordingly.
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