black spots succulents

Here’s why your Succulents have Black Spots (Healing Guide)


Succulents, also called succulents, are not a botanical family, but a type of plant. In fact, there are nearly 12,000 species, all divided into different plant families.


They are native to very sunny regions, such as Africa, South America and the Mediterranean countries. This is why they can store water in their leaves, stems and roots, so they can withstand periods of drought.


Why does my succulent have black spots?

The three most common insect pests of succulents are mealybugs, root scales and shell scales. All arrive at infested plants, so isolate new plants for 40 days and inspect them carefully before introducing them to your collection. They can be difficult to eliminate and it may be necessary to remove the infested plant.


Root rot and stem rot, caused by a variety of fungal species, are the most common diseases. They are caused by the appearance and proliferation of microscopic fungi. The often noticeable symptoms that appear as spots, pustules, rust, blackish felting or dry or soft rots allow for quick intervention.


They will settle more easily on the wounds of plants handled carelessly.

Sometimes, but it is rarer, they can be more insidious when they attack the root system of cacti and succulents.


What are the different types of rot and how to treat them?


Sooty black mold that grows on the leaves and stems of succulents is evidence of an insect problem. This is because this easily removable substance grows on the sweet, sticky substance that is excreted by sap-sucking insects. Mites, aphids, mealy bugs and scale secrete the sticky substance, called honeydew.


Although honeydew can be easily wiped off with a damp cloth or rubbing alcohol, if left unchecked it can block succulents from receiving sufficient light, thus prohibiting the process of photosynthesis. Leaves produce less nutrients and may turn yellow.


Wipe off black mold and control insects with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil. Insects are attracted to weak plants, so ensure the succulent is grown using proper cultivation methods.



A large group of fungi in the Colletotrichum family, anthracnose occurs most frequently on succulents that grow in insufficient light, overwatered or watered with sprinklers. Identify the succulent fungal disease by the brown lesions on the leaves or crown. There may be an active pink, red or orange spore pad in the lesions. These spores are dispersed by wind and water splash.


Remove infected plants, avoid general watering and prevent spread by applying a Bordeaux mixture of slaked lime, sulfur and copper.


Stem rot

Watering succulents mixed with cool weather, or planting succulents too deeply in the soil, provides a prime breeding ground for fungi causing stem rot. Dark lesions that enlarge in size and deepen in darkness occur at the base of the stem and spread upward. The leaves of the fat plant shrivel up and the succulents may die.


Remove infected plants, improve soil drainage and avoid overwatering the fat plant. During the growing season, wait until the soil is completely dry before watering. Do not allow the succulent plant to sit in a tub of water.


Cotton root disease

Cotton root rot can affect many types of succulents and is most prevalent in areas with hot summers, soils with a pH of 7.0 to 8.5 and temperatures above 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Succulent plants infected with cotton root rot usually die, and once the succulent plant is pulled up, brown mycelial filaments are attached to the roots.


There is no known treatment for this succulent fungal disease, which can persist in the soil for several years after the plant is removed.


How to save your succulent plant in case of excess water?

First of all, make sure that the substrate of the succulent plant is well drained. The solution is relatively simple: 

  • Take your plant out of its pot
  • Take some absorbent paper (or tissues)
  • Put the plant on the paper towel
  • Wait for the paper to absorb the excess moisture
  • Put the plant back in its pot when the soil becomes barely damp
  • Stop watering for a while


Good to know: This problem of substrate not drying out appears more often in plastic pots.


How to keep your succulents healthy?

The secret of a healthy succulent plant is light. Make sure that your plant has a sufficient source of light, and if possible natural light. Don’t hesitate to decorate your windowsills! In winter, plants need to rest: place them in a bright and airy place. The temperature should be between 41° and 59°F.


Water them lightly once a month at most in autumn and not at all in winter. You really need to be light on watering. In the spring, wait until the temperatures rise to water them again. Don’t forget to turn the pot regularly so that the whole plant is under the sun and develops harmoniously. Fertilizer is not really necessary for succulents or cacti, but a good quality potting soil can make a difference.


Repotting is done in spring, and it is possible to take cuttings, especially with a rosette of succulents. Cutting is a technique to multiply your plants. It’s so easy that we go straight to the garden center!


For some varieties of succulents, it is possible to put them in the ground, but only in regions where the risk of frost is low.

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