If you are a plant parent, you might have a few succulents in your house. If not, you might want to get them because they are ideal houseplants.
They are easy to grow, require little to no care, and can thrive in almost every climate.
Although succulents have sturdy leaves and thick branches, they aren’t immune to pest attacks or diseases.
One of the most common issues in succulents is the appearance of black spots.
Most of the time, these spots can be caused by a pest or fungus; however, finding the actual reason can be challenging.
If you notice black spots on your succulents, this post is just for you.
In this article, we have shared everything you need to know about black spots on succulents.
There is a list of causes, remedies, and preventions. So if you want your succulents to stay green, healthy, and live for a long time, read on.
Table of Contents
What Causes Black Spots on Succulents and How do You Treat Them?
It is essential to understand that black spots are a symptom, not a disease. So, before we get to the remedies for these black spots, let’s look at some of their common causes.
Overwatering is the most common cause of black spots on succulents. If you’ve just started taking care of indoor plants or succulents, in particular, you may not be aware that these are water-retaining plants that only need to be watered once every three weeks to a month – depending upon the type of succulent.
If the black spot appears swollen and spongey, chances are that you have overwatered the plant. The best way to check if your succulent needs water is to check if the soil seems dry.
If you see signs of overwatering on your succulents, the best thing you can do to protect them is to change their pot.
But before you do that, ensure that the roots are healthy enough to tolerate the shift.
If you find swollen roots and leaves, cut them off and plant your succulents into a new pot, preferably with a water-draining hole at the bottom.
Another method for treating overwatering is by adding dry soil to the pot.
You can also place the plant near a window or areas that get partial sunlight; this way, sunlight will help dry off excess water to save the plant.
Bug and pest attacks are another common cause of black spots. Common plant bugs that invade succulents include aphids, mealybugs, snails, and slugs.
Mealybugs and aphids feed on these plants, leaving tiny black marks on the leaves.
These bugs reproduce quickly, so it is essential to treat a black spot as soon as you see one because if you delay, you might find an army of bugs on your succulents.
Getting rid of these pesky bugs and pest attacks can be challenging since they’ve evolved to avoid being seen.
Pyrethrum sprays and organic pesticides are a great way to deal with pest attacks since you don’t have to aim directly at the bugs.
Additionally, you can also use 70% alcohol to terminate mealybugs.
The first step you should take when you spot a bug on your succulents is to isolate the affected plant; this way, you can contain a probably rapid spread.
As explained above, dealing with pests and bugs as soon as you find one is important. Bugs and pests can lay thousands of eggs in a short span of time and can damage your plants beyond repair.
Fungus and Water Warts
Fungal infections can also be a cause of black spots on your succulent. Moisture in the air can assist fungus to spreading onto more leaves and roots, eventually resulting in rot.
Additionally, fungal infections are airborne and can infect other plants as well.
These fungal infections can also lead to water warts, resulting in black scab-like spots. The most common type of plant-destroying mold is pythium fungus.
If you detect a fungal infection on your succulent, trimming the affected leaf is the easiest way to get rid of it.
However, if the fungus is at its initial stage and didn’t spread all over the leaf, you can use organic fungicides to treat it.
Fungicides should be sprayed at night when pests and bugs are least active.
If the fungus is present inside the soil, it is best to replace the soil and check for any signs of fungus on the roots.
Moisture is a leading cause of fungal spread in succulents. It is best to use draining pots and succulent-appropriate pot mix.
Additionally, avoid spraying succulents with water. Instead, water them once every week to avoid shrinking leaves and fungus.
Neem oil and black tea are DIY treatments for warts and fungus. These ingredients won’t damage the plant and will treat black spots.
Some plants need protection from scorching sunlight. Succulents are a prime example. Black spots on succulents stem and leaves can be caused by sunburn.
Although succulents thrive in sunlight, overexposure can lead to the leaves drying. Black spots from sunburn appear dry and flaky.
Sunburnt leaves alleviate the plant’s beauty, so removing or cutting them is often the quickest solution.
However, getting your plant acclimated to the sun and dealing with more heat is essential.
You should place your succulent plant under direct sunlight for 4-5 hours a few days.
Then limit the sun exposure by one hour for two days and repeat the process for two weeks. Place the plant under a shaded area during nighttime.
This method will get the plant used to sun exposure and limit sunburnt leaves; a complete remedy to treat and prevent your succulent from getting sunburnt.
Ensure that you keep your succulents in a partially shaded area and don’t overexpose them to the sun.
However, in winter, you can keep the succulents out for the whole day since the winter sun is comparatively less hot than the summer sun.
The most overlooked cause of black spots may be a chemical burn. Using chemical-rich fertilizers can result in black spots.
Chemical burns result in the yellowing of the leaves and cause black spots; these black spots spread on the leaves until they eventually decay and fall.
Highly toxic pesticides and fertilizers cause chemical burns. It is best to use organic pesticides and fertilizers to avoid chemical burns.
If you use a new fertilizer, examine how the plant reacts to it for a few days.
If black spots start appearing on the leaves, repot the plant and add new soil. In addition, stick to organic fertilizers.
How to Prevent Black Spots on Succulents
There are so many reasons and causes of black spots on succulents. Learn how to prevent them from appearing in the first place – prevention is always better than cure.
Here are some ways you can prevent black spots on succulents.
Disinfect the Gardening Tools
Improper hygiene is the leading cause of trauma and diseases in plants.
To prevent blackspots, disinfect your gardening tools; this is important because these tools act as a barrier for transferring diseases, fungi, viruses, and pests to other plants.
Additionally, use a disinfectant spray on your plants to ensure proper hygiene. Remember to remove dead leaves and flowers from the pot and wipe off any dirt lingering on the leaves.
Ensure Appropriate Watering
As succulents are water-retaining plants, they can store water for a long time.
While some succulents need watering every week, others can survive on stored water for up to a month.
It is essential to learn about the type of succulent plant and ensure appropriate watering to avoid black spots.
Inspect the Plant for Bugs and Pests
Another prevention technique is a daily inspection of your succulents.
Frequent checkups on plants can allow you to spot bugs and insects and take measures to eliminate them quickly upon first sighting.
Place in Weather-Appropriate Settings
Most succulents can survive in a hot and dry climate; however, they do need proper care during winters.
Keep your succulents near a partially shaded area outdoors. For outdoor succulents, place them near a window.
If the winter weather becomes harsh, move your succulents inside.
Succulents are a great way to add a touch of nature indoors. Black spots can take away from the beauty of these plants.
Black spots can be caused by overwatering, sunburn, chemical burns, fungus, water warts, pests, and bugs.
Follow our preventive methods discussed above to ensure your succulents thrive. If your succulents do suffer from an ailment, use our mentioned treatments to get nurse them back to good health.
Remember – proper watering, inspecting for pests, and maintaining hygiene go a long way toward your plants’ overall health.
We hope this article will help you understand the cause of black spots on your succulents and methods to care for them.