Should You Remove Dead Leaves From Succulents?

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Should You Remove Dead Leaves From Succulents

Should I remove the dead leaves from my succulents? This is the most common question I get asked frequently. When I was a beginner I had this doubt too, my succulents used to have dead leaves almost all the time and I had no idea about the reasons for having it. Many of my beautiful succulents died due to this, after consulting many gardening experts I got to know the main cause and the solution. 

Let’s quickly get to know the answer. Should you remove dead leaves from the succulents? 

Yes, it is important to remove dead leaves from the succulents to enhance the growth of new leaves. Also, dead leaves at the bottom can choke the plant by avoiding airflow and tends to keep the soil damp which causes root rot.

Succulent leaves tend to die naturally; it is their natural phenomenon to promote new growth. Sometimes they die due to overwatering or fungal infection. But in both scenarios, it is essential to pull the dead leaves off the succulents.

Now that you know, let’s get into the details and get to know more about removing and dispatching the dead leaves.

Removing Dead Leaves From Succulents

While removing the dead leaves from the succulents it is important that you do it carefully. Do not damage the stem or uproot the succulents as these plants are not deeply rooted under the soil. Here are a few steps to follow while removing the leaves.

Step 1

The first thing you should do is get a clean cutting tool (a knife or scissors). And then make sure to disinfect the cutting tool so that it gets completely clean and will not cause any infection to succulents. You can buy a cutting tool from Amazon, there are a few good sellers on Amazon.


I am not an affiliate to Amazon, just sharing my own experience.

Step 2

Now look for the dead leaves on the succulents. To spot the dead leaves look for yellow color leaves or look for completely dried ones. These are mostly found at the bottom end of the plant.

Step 3

In this step, remove the dead leaves, there are two ways for removing them. Firstly, you can cut them with the help of a cutting tool. Secondly, just by plucking the leaves with your fingers. 

When removing the leaves using the cutting tool, cut the leaves completely without damaging the stem. If the stem is infected or dead then consider cutting the complete portion of the stem.

When removing leaves with your fingers, sanitize the hands and then touch the succulents. Then just using fingers, completely pluck the dead leaves from the plant. Make sure that the leaves are completely detached from the stem without leaving anything behind.

Now that you have removed the dead leaves from the plant, but what next? What to do with these leaves? Let’s get to know about it!!

What To Do With Dead Leaves Of Succulents?

Once you have pulled off all the dead leaves from the succulents, you can throw away those dead leaves if they have fungal infections or pest attacks, or any other reason. 

If the leaves are shedding away due to natural phenomena then you can use those leaves for making organic manure for the plants. This can be the best way to utilize the dead leaves.

Why Do Succulent Leaves Die? Top 5 Reasons!!

There are various reasons for the wilting of succulent leaves. Sometimes it can be due to the biological process of the succulents to shed leaves to ensure the new growth. But sometimes it can be due to one of the following reasons.

1. Overwatering or Underwatering

Succulents are desert plants. They do great with less water but that does not mean that they do not need water at all. They need to be watered appropriately by understanding their water requirements. When you tend to overwater the succulents the leaves start to get soggy and damp and start dying. This is the sign that you are watering them too much.

When the succulent leaves get pale in color and are dried, that can be due to underwatering. Therefore you must water them correctly, for that you can use the “soak and dry” method. Before watering just check the soil by dipping your finger, if the soil is dry then it’s time to water the succulents. 

Related Article:

Can You Leave Succulents Outside In Rain?

2. Fungal Infection

Fungal infections are one of the worst nightmares for succulents. Once your succulent has caught it, it’s quite difficult for them to thrive. And this is one of the reasons why the succulents might have dead leaves. 

Frequently check the plant and look for any infections. These fungal infections are caused due to rotting, overwatering, not taking proper care of succulents.

3. Pest Attack

When pests attack the succulents they start to eat up the plant. Most of the time these pests are found on the leaves and the stems (where there are blindspots) of the plant. 

Due to the pest’s attack, leaves die off. The most common attacks are the Mealybugs. These bugs are contagious and spread quickly from one to the other plant. To avoid this inspect them once every week also look for the blindspots. 

4. Too Much Sun Exposure

Succulents do love the sun but they do not like to be exposed to the direct sun for too long. As that can cause sunburns to the plant by damaging the plant tissues. 

When they are exposed to the sun for too long, succulent leaves start to turn white and pale. That indicates the leaves are dying, in such situations make sure to trim the dead leaves and place the succulents in shade. To know more about it visit:

Related Article:

Why Are My Succulent Leaves Turning White?

5. Not Having Fast Draining Soil

Succulents do not like to sit in water for too long as that causes root rot. These plants do well in fast-draining soil, make sure that they are planted in such soil. Fast draining soil flushes away all the excess water from the soil and dries quickly, with fast-draining soil it is important to have pots that have drainage holes to help them grow healthy. When they are not planted in such type of soil, the leaves start to die.

These are the five reasons why the succulent’s leaves die. Make sure that you are taking care of all the above-mentioned reasons in order to avoid dying of succulent leaves.  

Final Thoughts On Removing Dead Leaves From Succulents

Succulents are very low maintenance plants, they do not need much care and attention. When you notice dead leaves at the bottom of the succulents you should remove them and trim the plant. Also, take care of the succulents on regular basis, keep proper water requirements, give them sun, and keep them in fast-draining soil.

I hope you found this article helpful and you have got all answers you were looking for. Share it with someone who can benefit from it, If you have any queries make sure to leave a comment below, I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Happy Planting!!

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