Why are leaves falling off my succulents?

Updated February 21, 2017

Succulents are hardy perennial plants that have the ability to store moisture in their leaves, stems or underground roots, tubers, bulbs or rhizomes. Sun-loving succulents are ideal plants, requiring very little care or maintenance. By providing a few basic requirements, succulents are easy to grow and will remain happy and healthy for many years.

Light requirements

Succulents require bright light. Most varieties do best in full sunshine in an outdoor location. If they are not in full sun, bright filtered light is required. When succulents do not receive sufficient light, leaves may turn yellow or fall from the plant. Succulents grown indoors do best when placed in a south-facing window.


Sedums, cactus and other succulents require very little water. Allow the roots to dry out completely between watering. Roots that are constantly wet will rot and can result in the death of the plant. Over watering is evidenced by dropping leaves and stems or yellowed or discoloured leaves.


Sedum, cactus and other succulents require light, porous soil to survive. They cannot flourish in compacted clay or densely packed potting soil. Their roots need to breathe. Poor, slow-draining soil will cause leaves to drop or turn yellow and may lead to the death of the plant.

Growing temperature

Avoid placing indoor growing succulents in areas where they are subject to either hot or cold drafts. Keep them away from radiators, heating vents or locations where they receive a cold draft from doors, windows or air-conditioners. Dramatic fluctuations in temperature will cause leaves to drop or discolour.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

A passionate writer for more than 30 years, Marlene Affeld writes of her love of all things natural. Affeld's passion for the environment inspires her to write informative articles to assist others in living a green lifestyle. She writes for a prominent website as a nature travel writer and contributes articles to other online outlets covering wildlife, travel destinations and the beauty of nature.