5 Solid Steps to Saving Overwatered Succulents

save overwatered succulents

Succulents are great for decorative purposes because they are adorable and also take very little maintenance.

Even if you have been taking good care of your succulents, you may find that the leaves are falling off and the leaves look somewhat squishy and translucent.

Don’t be depressed!

This happens more commonly than you think it does, and while it is great to figure out the problem, you will be pleased to know that there are many ways of saving overwatered succulents from this situation.

An Overview of Steps to Saving Overwatered Succulents

  1. Use well-drained pots and soil, only water after the soil is dry.
  2. If you find any signs of overwatered, stop watering it!
  3. Check on roots to find out where the problem lies.
  4. Remove all and every rotten leaf and stems, cut it till you see no more of it.
  5. Re-root it on proper soil and water it right.

Related post: DIY your own potting soil mix

Signs of Overwatered Succulents

Succulents store extra water in leaves, roots, or stems to survive long periods of high temperatures and no rainfall. If you give them more water than it can handle. It will swell up their tissues and can actually split open.

The sooner you realize these signs, the better your chances of saving overwatered succulents.

Sign 1: Excessive Growth

Overwatering cause excessive growth

The excessive growth is the easiest problem to find. If there is overwatering in the growing season, the spacing of the fleshy leaves will be longer and the stem will swell up.

The little cute becomes a giant!

This problem was caused by a mismatch between the amount of water and the sunlight. When the water absorbed by the succulents can’t be consumed by photosynthesis, it is stored in the stem (the leaves are filled with water at this time), and the vacuole of the stems allows the succulents to be used to construct the stems. The cells of the department, which led to the length of the stem.

Overwatering also causes the roots of succulents to breathe difficultly. The whole plant is in a state of suffocation. In the absence of oxygen, the level of life activity of succulents is greatly reduced, and photosynthesis is also slowed down. The organic matter produced will also be preferentially supplied to the stem portion, which will inevitably result in the length of the stem.

Sign 2: Leaf Discoloration

Overwatering cause leaf discoloration

Another prevalent sign of an overwatered is discoloration. You will simply find that the colors of the leaves have started to change and they look more translucent than they used to.

This happens because the excess water creates pressure and bursts the walls of the storage compartment in the leaves. Since the water overflows from the specialized storage structure, they run through the leaves and dilute the original color, which makes the leaves squishy and they begin to spoil.

Stop Watering

Just stop watering as soon as there is a little over-watering sign! Move the plant to a ventilated place where the flowing air can take the water out of the pot more quickly. But don’t place it in direct sunlight, especially in hot weather, to prevent the roots from being “cooked” during the evaporation of water.

If you are accidentally overwatering, you can gently cover the surface of the pot by hand. Try to tilt the pot to see if it can come out of the water. Be sure to pour out the excess water in the pot.

In most cases, this problem can be avoided according to the Watering Succulents Guide.

Check The Roots

It’s almost impossible to find these signs early. If you find these signals, you’d better check the roots and repot it.

While it may seem intimidating, don’t be afraid to take your succulents out of its soil and check for any damage. Although the roots are the most critical part of the plant, because of their versatility and importance, succulents are more durable than others when being dug out of the soil.

If you have already overwatered your cactus but see no outwardly changes, just taking it out of the container can solve your problem. Make sure to keep the soil and the root balls intact but squeeze out the excess water. You can leave the root ball outside for two to three days so that it dries out and then return it to your container again.

Saving Overwatered Succulents With Stem Rot

Stem Rot looks like

Stem rotted succulents

A rotting succulent will have black leaves starting from the bottom. The stems would appear either black or brown, and mushy. If left on its own, the succulents will continue to rot and you will be left with a plant that has dissolved and turned into a mushy mess.

Treating Rotted Succulents

When you are dealing with a rotted succulent, the first and most crucial step is to find out where the rot is, whether in the leaves, stems or root.

No matter where you see the decay, you must:

  1. Separate the rotted tissue from the healthy plant. Use a sharp knife dipped in alcohol, and excise the rotten tissue until you see only healthy tissue.
  2. Tear away from each and every part of the succulent that has shown signs of rotting.
  3. Discard the used soil.
  4. Discard all infected materials.
  5. Disinfect the tools.

Cutting the rotten tissues to saving overwatered succulents

Having unhealthy materials in close contact with the healthy plant tissue is what will bring doom. After you have cut the part of the stem that has rotted, place the treated plant in a place with bright light and good air circulation, let the wounds heal, and then try to re-rooting in the well-draining mix.


Succulents can grow from stem propagation, even leaf propagation. If there are any healthy tissues remaining, simply put, they can grow from their tissues. Even after you have cut a good chunk of your succulent to make sure that all signs of rot are gone, you can still make it work.

This way, you can save overwatered succulents!

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