Why Is My Succulent Turning White? | You Must Know The Reason!!

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why is my succulent turning white

Succulents are one of the most popular house plants. They are very easy to care for and that is the reason that they are very popular among the growers. A few years back when I was a beginner I had a few succulents and one of them started to turn white. 

I had no idea what was the reason for it. I did some research and spoke to a few experts and then I got my answers. Before getting into the details let’s quickly answer the question why is my succulent turning white?  

Succulents mainly turn white due to sunburn. When the succulents are kept under the sun for too long or in extreme heat then that causes the succulents to change the color of their leaves to white.  Other reasons for this can be powdery mildew or pest attacks.

Although this depends on the type of succulents you own, succulents love the sun. If your succulents are turning white then it just might be that you are exposing them way too much. 

Signs of sunburned succulents

Succulents usually communicate with us by giving a few signs that not everything is well. Usually, succulents start to grow white patches on the leaves and the stems and discoloration of the plant. If you identify these signs as early as possible then that can prevent the aftereffect of the sunburn to the succulents. 

When the succulents grow white patches and sunburn progresses to the next step then the white patches will soon turn brown and cause severe sunburn. Once the plant has sunburn it cannot get back to normal. The plant will outgrow the leaves and eventually will get rid of them. 

Once the succulents get a sunburn it is impossible for them to perform photosynthesis. As that damages the inner tissues of the plant and will make that part of the plant almost of no use. If the succulents have extreme sunburns then it is not possible to save them, so it is very essential to identify the signs of the sunburn as early as possible.

How to Save Sunburned succulents?

Sunburned succulents cannot return to their original color but as I have mentioned earlier it is important to identify the signs early. That will help us to take the required action and will avoid further damage to the plant.

Once you identify the white patches on the succulents then make sure to take action immediately. If you have placed the succulents outdoor then bring the plant inside. If that is not possible for you then place the succulents in a shade or cover the plant with the cloth so that it will just get the shade of the sun. 

Other Reasons For Succulent Leaves Turning White

Not just sunburn can make succulent leaves white but there can be other possibilities too. Here are a few of the reasons that can cause the succulent leaves to turn white.

1. Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a type of fungus that can cause damage and will eventually eat up all of your plants. Often people get confused with powdery mildew to farina. Farina is the coating that plant creates to prevent the sunburn and extensive heat. 

This fungus can be identified when the succulent leaves start to turn whitish-yellow color and has brown spots on the stems. If this is the case then that is not due to sunburn it is a fungal infection. Well, the good news is that unlike sunburns we can get back the original color of succulents and can cure the plant. 

Although fungal infections will not kill the plants but will damage the plant and cause loss of nutrients. There are a few remedies for curing it and if you want to know more about powdery mildew make sure to visit:

What is the white powder on my succulents?


To cure powdery mildew apply or spray neem oil during the night as it has the best results. It kills infection within 24 hours and is completely organic. 

2. Infestation or Pests

If a succulent is having white spots on the leaves or dots then there is a high chance that the plant has been attacked by the mealy bugs. These are so tiny bugs that can eat up the plant and can further damage the succulents.

These mealybugs can spread very quickly from one plant to another if it is placed just beside. Another type of insect that can make leaves look white is spider mites. These can also damage the succulents and will stop the healthy growth of the succulents. 

It is important to spot the pest especially mealybugs just before they start to infect the whole plant. They can completely destroy your succulent collection as they will spread from one plant to another very easily. If you want to know more about getting rid of mealy bugs make sure to visit:

How to get rid of mealybugs?


To get rid of mealybugs firstly separate the plant and rub the alcohol (isopropyl) on the infected area or you can use neem oil too for this purpose. Spray pesticides regularly on your plants to avoid the mealy bugs.

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3. Overwatering or Underwatering

Watering is the most important factor in the succulent’s healthy growth. If you are not able to give the perfect amount of water to the plant then that can create problems with succulents. 

When the succulents are overwatered or underwatered then that can make the leaves turn a pale and yellow color and in some cases, leaves can be whitish-yellow too. This can harm the succulents and can damage the roots and invite fungus. Therefore it is very important to water the succulents correctly.


Water the succulents once a week that will be sufficient. The other way to water the succulent is to water when the soil is completely dry. 

Frequently Asked Question:

Why does my succulent look pale?

Succulent leaves start to look pale and colorless if they are not getting enough sunlight. This is the most common reason why they start to look pale. 

Keep the succulents in a place where they get good sun throughout the day and make sure that the whole plant gets light. Otherwise, the succulents may start to grow leggy and may stretch in search of light. 

If the problem persists then consider buying good grow lights they might help the plant to grow properly. But before buying the grow lights make sure that you have given sunlight and waited for a few days. Just by giving sun succulents should start to gain their natural color.

Final Thoughts

There may be one of the above reasons why succulent leaves are turning white. Take care and identify the signals and act immediately to help succulents so that they can thrive.

Succulents are very low maintenance plants that do not need much care and attention. So it is very important to identify the signals they give whenever they are in trouble. It is their way to communicate with you and ask for your attention. 

Finally, I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any queries make sure to leave a comment. I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Happy Planting!!

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