You thought you were giving everything to your succulents until you saw horrible brown tips. They can be caused by many factors, so we break it down for you and give the best tips on caring for succulents with brown tips.
1 Over-Watering The most common reason succulents turn brown is that they receive too much water. They’ve adapted to dry climates and long periods with little to no water, so they're incredibly vulnerable to damage from excess water. An overwatered succulent will also have soft brown or yellow leaves, a slimy texture, blisters of water on the Leaves, and a foul smell.
2 Poor Quality Soil and Pot Even if you’re watering well, a potting blend that doesn’t drain or a pot with no drainage holes will turn a reasonable amount of water into a boggy mess. Ensure your succulents are in a pot with free-draining soil. I like an equal mix of sand, potting mix, and perlite, with the odd handful of smooth gravel added for good measure.
3 Underwatering Too little water results in dry, shriveled leaves that turn brown from the tip inwards. Depending on the type of succulent, the plant may drop leaves, starting with the older leaves at the bottom of the plant. The easiest way to get a lot of water into the roots is by submerging the succulent for ten to fifteen minutes.
4 Disease (Brown Spots and Black Spots) Fungal diseases appear as brown leaf tips or patches of leaf discoloration, like brown spots or black spots. It is also one of the main reasons that cause patches of rusty or moldy-looking tissue and black leaves that rot while still on the plant. You can save a sick plant by applying a copper-based commercial fungicide, or a cooled cinnamon tea.
5 Too Much Sun You wouldn’t think a dry climate plant is vulnerable to sunburn, but it’s surprisingly common. Many species are best adapted to partial shade and can’t handle too much sunlight, like Aloes and Haworthia. Move your sunburned plant to a shadier area and give it a good drink. Trim away any leaves with visible sun damage and watch for others that may fall.
6 Too Little Light Too little light causes different sorts of brown leaves in succulents. Depending on the species, leaves curl inwards, both along the sides of the leaf and from the tip. The brown tips will be brittle or leathery. Move your little gem to a brighter location, being sure to harden off as you do.
7 Temperature Shock Chill them for too long, and they’ll pout, dropping leaves and refusing to grow. Likewise, long-term exposure to hot, dry conditions causes the plant to enter a dormancy from which it may never awaken. Remove the damaged tissue, water well with lukewarm water, and place in a more appropriate climate (between 68 and 77 °F is a good start for most varieties.)
8 Pest Infestation Root aphids are pests that live and breed in plant soil and feed on plants' roots while mealybugs and scale beetles love a bit of succulent sap. You can also apply a commercial insecticide or wipe leaves with neem oil.
9 Too Much Fertilizer Succulents evolved to deal with low-resource environments. They don’t need fertilizer often, so the leftovers accumulate in the soil as mineral salts. It also builds up in leaves. The first thing to do is flush the pot with lots of water to remove the excess fertilizer. Allow it to dry out before watering again, and don’t fertilize at all for the rest of the growing season.
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