Holes in Succulent Leaves – Causes & Remedies

Succulents come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. They are one of the most resilient plant types that you can choose.

What happens though, when this seemingly infallible plant displays holes in the leaves?

You might be shocked by the appearance of holes in your succulent leaves. Although succulents are extraordinarily long-lived and resilient, they are still susceptible to certain factors. However, these adverse factors you can, in most cases, easily address.

You don’t need to worry; we will look at the causes associated with holes in the leaves of your succulents.

We will also look at how you can prevent and fix the appearance of holes so that your succulents will continue to thrive.

Holes In Succulents Caused By Disease: Anthracnose

Many diseases affect succulents, and if they are left untreated, they can cause severe damage and potentially kill your plant. Usually, diseases don’t affect succulents as much as other varieties of flowers and plant leaves.

Most succulents are grown in relatively dry conditions, so they have an added layer of protection from most diseases that inhibit colder and damper environments.

If you have too much water in or near your plant, it could be attracting diseases. Succulent leaves can develop holes due to bacteria and fungi. A disease that specifically causes holes in the leaves of your succulents is called “anthracnose.”

This is a variant of a fungal disease that affects many different types of succulents. You will be able to identify this disease, not only by the holes that it is causing. It will also appear as a moist rot that is often red, orange, or pink on the surface of your plant.

This fungal disease can be prevented but is often very difficult to treat.

How To Prevent And Treat Holes Caused By Disease: Anthracnose

To ensure that your succulents don’t fall prey to disease, you must keep the environment where they live dry.

Diseases love to infect succulents that live in a wet climate or that are overwatered.

In the case of the fungal disease anthracnose, you can prevent the disease from attacking by keeping the plant’s environment dry and not overwatering the succulent.

You can also use a copper fungicide to spray around the plant as an added precaution. Should your succulent leaves already display holes from contracting this disease, you will need to act quickly.

If you don’t act fast, your succulent could die. You will need to immediately after identifying the disease have to remove the infected leaves and destroy them. Additionally, you will need to change the potting soil as the disease spreads through the soil.

Using a fungicide and destroying the potting soil of the affected succulents, you should be able to save the plant and promote healing. In time your succulent holes in its leaves will heal; however, if you don’t act fast enough, the holes will get worse.

Your plant will then have a high likelihood of dying, so try to avoid this at all costs.

Keep your gardening area clean by removing any dead or diseased leaves, and if necessary, use a fungicide or bactericide to prevent and treat illnesses.

Why Is This Important?

If you know that diseases can affect your succulent and cause holes in its leaves, you can prevent it. You will also know there are solutions to heal a disease-stricken plant.

Holes In Succulents Caused By Birds, Insects, And Snails

Your succulent could be presenting holes in its leaves because of birds, slugs, caterpillars, insects, or snails. These creatures can cause immense damage. Birds are perhaps a surprising culprit when identifying what is causing holes in the leaves of your succulents.

If you are housing your succulents in a dry environment, the water in your plant’s leaves will often attack birds. As such, they are known to peck holes in your succulent leaves to get to the water. There are numerous types of insects that have an attraction to succulent leaves.

Often these insects create infestations in the plants and can cause holes to appear. Additionally, insects such as scale, mealy bugs, and red spider mites are usually strong contenders for the pests causing the holes in your succulent leaves.

You may not have thought that your friendly garden snails are causing the holes in your succulent leaves, but there is a genuine possibility that they are.

Snails are a very real danger to succulents and often cause a lot of damage to succulent leaves. Snails are particularly fond of fleshy succulents and will eat out fleshy holes in the plant’s leaves.

How To Prevent And Treat Holes Caused By Birds, Insects, And Snails

You can prevent birds from feasting on your succulent leaves and causing holes by placing a barrier between them and the plant. You are preventing them from reaching the plant by placing netting or shade cloth.

This method also works when you need to promote the healing of the holes in the leaves. When you want to prevent insects from causing holes in your succulents’ leaves, the best thing you can do is use a pesticide. Additionally, changing the potting soil and destroying contaminated soil will help prevent and treat holes in succulent leaves caused by insects.

Isolating the plant will also promote healing. To prevent snails from eating out the flesh from the leaves of your succulents and causing holes, you can check over your plants daily.

If you see any snails, you can remove them by hand. Remember, you will have to move them more than two hundred yards away as snails are territorial.

If this fails to work, you can make use of a molluscicide.

Why Is This Important?

Should you identify the creature that is causing the holes in the leaves of your succulents, you can rule out other factors.

You will also be able to treat and promote the healing of the holes effectively.

Holes Caused By Watering And Climate Factors

Environmental stressors like excessive watering, submersion, exposure to strong winds or sunlight, and temperature changes can also result in holes in succulent leaves.

Over and under-watering a succulent is a serious factor to consider when holes appear in the leaves of your succulents.

Overwatering can cause rot, and this leads to holes appearing in the leaves of the plant. Additionally, if you overwater a plant in its dormant stage, you will also cause rot, and holes are likely to occur.

Underwatering your plant can cause dehydration to the point where leaves fall off, discoloration occurs, and holes form. Climate factors such as extreme heat and cold can cause holes to develop in the leaves of your succulents.

Leaving your plants out in extreme heat can cause sunburn, and this can cause holes. If you leave your succulent out in the extreme cold, you risk frost damage and, therefore, the leaves forming holes.

Why Is This Important?

Climate factors and watering issues are very relevant to holes forming in the leaves of your succulents. In order to address the situation as soon as possible, it’s necessary to keep an eye on your succulent and notice any changes or indications of stress.

By being aware of this, you can care for your succulent properly.

How To Prevent And Treat Holes Caused By Watering And Climate Factors

You must always check the consistency of your soil. This way, you can check if your succulent needs water.

Make sure your succulent is in a pot that drains well, is situated where it needs to be with the right amount of light and temperature, and is properly watered to avoid stress (when the soil is dry).

If you are concerned that you have been overwatering your succulent and this is why holes have formed, then remove the plant from the soil and check the roots for rot.

Should you notice dehydration signs such as dead leaves and discoloration, you can prevent holes from forming by watering your plant more. If it is too late and holes have developed, you can still save the plant by adding water slowly and periodically until it has healed.

Keep your succulents out of extreme climate elements whenever possible to prevent holes from forming in the leaves. Add a layer of protection over the plant or keep the plant inside.

If holes in the leaves have appeared, adding protection or keeping the plant out of the elements will promote the healing of the holes caused by climate damage.

Why Is This Important?

Essentially if you know that you are doing wrong in terms of watering and climate, you can resolve the problem that’s causing holes in succulent leaves and, in most cases, avert or fix the issue.

The plant’s general health may suffer, and it may also grow less slowly or even die. You can make your succulent’s growing environment more favorable and promote its growth by addressing environmental stress.

In conclusion, your succulents can develop holes in the leaves for many reasons; however, you can often prevent and fix this problem.

Try to consider all the causes for holes in the leaves and ways to treat this in succulents mentioned in this article. By doing this, you are sure to grow healthy succulents.

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