Succulent Leaves Pointing Down – What Should You Do?

Succulent leaves are supposed to maintain a waxy and thickened appearance all through their lifespan. However, because of different growth-related challenges and restrictions, some will not assume this appearance.

When you start to notice a few of your succulent leaves are pointing down/drooping, you need to take action immediately. The sudden drooping of leaves could be a result of overwatering or underwatering your succulent plants.

Also, it could be because of many upsetting concerns like root rot and stem rot. If succulent leaves point down, it’s evident that the plant is dying slowly.

In this article, we will look at a few reasons that make succulent leaves droop, and what you can do to ensure the leaves are back to their healthy look.

Five Reasons For Drooping Leaves

There are five reasons that explain why succulent leaves point down.

1. Overwatering

Overwatering is one factor that can leave your succulents damaged and wilted because of the excessive water requirements and the deficiency of oxygen to the roots.

Succulent plants are adapted to withstand harsh weather conditions, bare soil structures, and drought-tolerant environments.

However, even with their tough structure and adaptations, they are not resistant to excess water.

When these succulents are exposed to increased moisture content and excess water, they may start to form crystal-like bubbles on their leaves or even droop their leaves.

Important fact: When you notice some of your succulent leaves curling and pointing down, you need to adjust your watering habits and monitor the plants’ growth keenly.

Watering: If you used to water your succulents twice a week, you can scale down and start watering them once.

Alternatively, you could try bottom watering, which evenly distributes water throughout the soil via capillary movement.

2. Underwatering

Since they can store water in specialized cells within their fleshy leaves, stems, or roots during prolonged drought, succulents are popular for their ability to grow in the driest of environments.

For whatever reason, we now simulate drought conditions for our succulents when we forget to water them for a period of time.

Underwatering is another severe cause of drooping leaves and a threat to all succulent plants. As much as succulents require small amounts of water, it does not mean that you should not water them at all.

When there is no more water left, the water reserves are then used sparingly. As the water storage is slowly used up over time, the succulent’s cells become flaccid.

Watering your succulent plants ensure that their growth is efficient and improved.

Important fact: Once you notice the leaves are pointing down, you need to adjust your watering habits immediately. Immediate action ensures that the plat does not die.

Common mistake homeowners make: Most homeowners water their succulent leaves without knowing the recommended amount of water.

You should understand that different succulent plants need different amounts of water.

For instance, mature succulents require watering once every 9-14 days. Young succulents, on the other hand, require watering weekly.

Try to increase the watering schedule from once a week to twice a week and monitor the plant’s growth.

3. Poor Soil And Growth Conditions

The soil structure plays a crucial role in determining the growth of any plant species. When soil conditions are deficient, plant growth (including succulents) suffers significantly. Also, when the soil has too much or insufficient fertilizer, most succulents will struggle to grow to their desired extent.

Note that: When there is too much fertilizer in the soil, the plant will not take in enough water through its roots. Also, the succulent leaves will burn and appear wilted because of the high levels of salt concentration.

How to fix too much fertilizer: Once you notice succulent leaves pointing downwards, need not worry.

A lot of over-fertilized succulents can be saved by following a few simple steps.

  • First, remove any visible fertilizer from the plant and soil.
  • Secondly, leach away the fertilizer by allowing sufficient water to run through the roots.

When there is insufficient fertilizer, it could also be disastrous for the plant. This is because soil structures with little to no fertilizers lack the required nutrients to support plant growth. Almost all succulents will struggle to grow under these conditions.

The leaves and stem will shrink, and you will notice a sudden drooping of leaves.

Important fact: It is with these fertilizers and manure that enhance the growth of succulent plants.

4. Restricted Sunlight Cover

All plants, including succulents, need the right amount of sunlight to thrive. Succulent plants, however, can survive in semi-arid and desert climates, as you should be aware. Therefore, if your garden does not receive enough sunlight, your succulent plants will not mature healthily.

The leaves will consequently change to a pale green or yellow color, start to curl, and face downward. If the light is not restored, the succulent may begin to shed its leaves.

If you plan on having your succulent plants inside the house, you need to make sure that there is enough light source reaching your plants. You need to place your succulent plants directly facing the windows, which receive long hours of sunlight.

Also, you can choose to use artificial lighting to boost plant growth.

Brightness with above 50% green LED light can often cause a reduction in plant growth, while illumination containing approximately 24% green light can improve plant growth (for some species)

5. Excess Exposure To Direct Sunlight

Sunlight is essential for succulents, but not too much. Depending on the type, succulents need six hours of sunlight each day because they are light-loving plants.

Excess light can lead to sunburns and dehydration in house plants and can alternatively cause the leaves to point down and even drop excessively.

As much as succulent plants require extra light if compared to other plant species, too much exposure to light can cause momentous damage to the plant’s structure.

In summer, the humidity is low, and most succulent plants struggle to survive.

If you notice that many of your succulent leaves are facing down, you need to adjust the hours taken by your plants under direct sunlight.

Important fact: Numerous succulent plants are tolerant to direct sunlight as opposed to others. In summer, carefully assess the behavior of the succulent plants planted in your home, and decide whether they require limited or increased exposure to direct sunlight.

Final Thoughts

The above five reasons have outlined why succulent leaves point downwards. You not only need to understand the species in your home before taking any necessary measures and precautions but know the watering routine and fertilizer application.

Also, if you have done everything right and your succulent leaves will not stay healthy and strong, you should pluck out the excessively damaged leaves and let the plant thrive naturally (This process helps reduce transpiration).

You should understand all the different succulents in your garden because diverse species will live up to 10+ years.


  • Lydia Beaumont

    Lydia Beaumont is a go-to expert in interior design, known for her knack for stylish table settings, blending houseplants seamlessly with home decor, and designing inviting outdoor spaces. She has a real talent for making spaces look stunning while keeping them comfortable and livable. Lydia's creative touch brings a fresh and vibrant feel to any room or garden she works on.

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