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Succulent and Cactus Most Common Problems (And How to Fix!)

Succulent and Cactus Most Common Problems (And How to Fix Them!) : As a succulent and cactus enthusiast, it’s crucial to recognize the signs of common problems that can arise with these plants. From overwatering to pests, there are several issues that can affect the health and appearance of your succulents and cacti. By knowing how to identify and address these problems, you can ensure that your plants thrive for years to come.

Identifying Common Issues with Succulent and Cactus

Overwatering of Succulent and Cactus

One of the most common issues faced by succulent and cactus owners is overwatering. These plants are adapted to survive in arid environments with infrequent rainfall, so they are highly susceptible to root rot if they receive too much water.

Signs of overwatering include yellowing or translucent leaves, mushy stems, and a foul odor emanating from the soil. If you suspect that your plant is being overwatered, the first step is to allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. Additionally, consider repotting your plant in well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes to prevent future issues.

Under-watering of Succulent and Cactus

On the flip side, under-watering can also be a problem for succulents and cacti, especially for beginners who may not be familiar with their watering needs. Signs of underwatering include shriveled or wrinkled leaves, dry and crispy stems, and a generally wilted appearance.

To remedy underwatering, thoroughly water the plant until water runs out of the drainage holes, then allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. It’s essential to establish a watering schedule that takes into account the plant’s specific needs and the environmental conditions in your home.


Another common issue faced by succulent and cactus owners is pests. While these plants are relatively low-maintenance, they can still fall victim to pests such as aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites.

Signs of pest infestation include tiny insects on the leaves or stems, sticky residue on the plant, and yellowing or distorted growth. To address pest problems, start by isolating the affected plant to prevent the infestation from spreading. Then, remove the pests manually with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or use an organic insecticidal soap to treat the plant.


Succulents and cacti love sunlight, but too much direct sun exposure can lead to sunburn, especially for plants that are not acclimated to intense light.

Signs of sunburn include brown or white patches on the leaves, wilting, and a generally unhealthy appearance. To prevent sunburn, gradually introduce your plants to direct sunlight, starting with just a few hours of exposure per day and gradually increasing over time. Additionally, consider providing some shade during the hottest part of the day, especially during the summer months.

Root Rot

Root rot is a serious issue that can affect succulents and cacti if they are overwatered or planted in soil that does not drain well. It occurs when the roots become waterlogged and begin to rot, leading to a decline in the plant’s health and eventual death.

Signs of root rot include blackened or mushy roots, foul-smelling soil, and wilting or yellowing leaves. To address root rot, remove the affected plant from its pot and carefully inspect the roots. Trim away any rotted or damaged roots, then repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil. Be sure to adjust your watering habits to prevent future issues.

Also Read – 10 Succulent Plants Perfect for Indoor Summer Spaces.


While succulents and cacti are relatively low-maintenance plants, they can still encounter problems from time to time. By knowing how to identify and address common issues such as overwatering, underwatering, pests, sunburn, and root rot, you can ensure that your plants remain healthy and vibrant for years to come. With proper care and attention, your succulent and cactus collection will continue to bring beauty and joy to your home.


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