Why Are Succulent Leaves Pointing Up? – Gardening Facts

Succulent leaves point upwards because of different reasons.

It could be because the leaves are drying away from direct sunlight, or it could be because they lack enough water. When you see that the leaves are starting to point upwards, and you are worried, then this article will help you understand more ways to deal with this spectacle.

Before we get into details, you should understand that it is better for succulent leaves to point up than to point down.

Reasons Why Succulent Leaves Point Upwards

We will look at five of the most common reasons that make succulent leaves point up.

Shriveling Away From Direct Sunlight

Although succulent plants are adapted to harsh climatic conditions, including exposure to direct sunlight, too much sunlight will harm your succulent plants. If you have young succulent plants in your garden, they should not be overexposed to direct sunlight.

Although most succulents enjoy the sun and can adapt to a variety of climates, some varieties tolerate the sun better than others. For instance, the flaming Katy is one common succulent plant found in most homes. It is a preferred choice because of its beauty, unique color, and drought-resistant properties. However, this succulent plant is not only delicate but sensitive to cold, excess heat, and direct sunlight exposure.

Flaming Katy cannot tolerate high temperatures, whereas the Agavoides thrive in direct sunlight. Once you notice your flaming Katy leaves or any other succulent leaves pointing upwards, especially if the tips appear burned, you need to take them away from the direct sunlight immediately.

 Find a new location where it can still get plenty of morning sun without the rays directly scorching the leaves.

Note: Most indoor succulent plants need between 9 to 10 hours of sunshine each day.

You should leave your indoor succulents near the windows and not be isolated in a corner without adequate lighting.

It Could Be Natural For Succulents To Have Pointed Up Leaves

When you start noticing, your succulent leaves are pointing up, in most cases, it happens naturally, and you do not need to worry or take any measures. Different succulent leaves have different growth patterns, shapes, and styles. Some will be linear, and others will be spatulate in shape.

Typical leaves will be elliptical and widest above the middle part. The Aloe succulent plant species are widely spiky and spotted kinds of succulent plants.

Aloe Vera, for example, is a common succulent that thrives in extreme heat and long periods of direct sunlight. Their leaves have a built-in tendency to point upward. If you have planted Aloe Vera in your garden, need not worry when you notice the leaves pointing up.

Other plant species in this category include the Haworthia, Aloe Nobilis, and the Agave succulent.

Wrinkled Leaves Because Of Lack Of Moisture Or Enough Water

Sometimes the succulent leaves curling of a specific species will point up and wrinkle when the plant lacks enough water/moisture. The process of leaf wilting includes loss of rigidity and modification of leaf angle. The leaves will often become wrinkly and feel dry with other leaves pointing up.

When the succulent leaves feel dry and look wrinkly, you need to adjust your watering habits immediately. Try to increase the number of times you water your succulent plants from once a week to two or three times a week and monitor how the succulent plants behave.

It’s not a good idea to pour too much to replace lost moisture, which is why, by following a regular watering schedule, your plant will quickly recover. In many cases, saving a succulent that has been underwatered is easier than saving one that has been overwatered.

It is extremely difficult to save the plant once the root begins to rot.

How To Identify Dying Succulent Plants Before The Final Stages (leaves Start To Point Upwards)

Dried out and dying leaves – When the bottom leaves die, it is often natural.

But, when you notice that even the top leaves have started to die, this is evident that the plant is struggling and is dying slowly.

Yellow and soggy leaves – When the leaves have started to feel soggy and look yellowish, this indicates that the succulent is being overwatered and is slowly dying. Overwatering is another stubborn succulent killer practice.

Root rot – root rot is an evident sign that your plant is dying. Different factors, including fungus infection and overwatering practices, can cause root rot.

Improper pH Value In The Soil

When succulent leaves assume a canoe-shaped or cup-like form, it could be because of a lack of specific nutrients. Most succulent leaves should not all suddenly start to point up. If the species of your succulent plant are not those with leaves that point upward, you should be able to tell whether or not they should by looking at their growth pattern.

Too much salt in the soil can alter the growth of any plant species. With some common succulent plants, too much salt will cause stunted growth, wilting, and leaf bend. Succulents need the correct amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium to mature healthily.


  • You need to identify the specific plant in your garden that is growing abnormally.
  • Confirm with the recommended sources whether it should grow in that particular way.
  • If it is not, reduce the amount of fertilizer in the soil.

Know the recommended PH value of your specific succulent plants.

How to reduce fertilizer: in the plants’ pot– water your succulent plants regularly and let them drain through the bottom hole. Also, you can remove the excess fertilizer that is physically present on the topsoil in the pot.

Transition From Young Leaves To Older Leaves

Don’t worry too much if the leaves in the middle point upward while the rest are laying horizontally; this is common in many succulents. The upward-pointing leaves are young shoots in the process of maturing from a young leaf to a mature one. When succulent leaves are pointing up, this could be a normal sign of transition from their early stage to older stage leaves. When succulent leaves shoot from the tree stem, they will point upwards.

However, as they continue to mature, they will assume a more horizontal appearance. When you observe this happening, you need not take any action because it is a natural occurrence.

Example: Plush Plant (echeveria pulvinata)

Do Not Confuse A Leggy Succulent With Pointed Up Leaves

A leggy succulent is an indication of a succulent that is struggling. Insufficient sunlight or planting succulents in shade will cause them to grow leggy and with stretched-out stems. Different succulent plants require different amounts of sunshine hours.

Most succulents will have stretched stems in instances where they do not receive adequate sunshine hours. Pointed-up leaves, on the other hand, are a normal observation in most succulent plants.

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