Succulents are one of the most resilient plant species. The variety of these plants and low maintenance have made these plants a favorite among house plant owners.
Their beautiful colors and clean appearance adds life to any indoor space without taking up too much room.
However, several things can rob the succulents away from their natural sheen. Water spots are one of the most prevalent issues that result in a dull-looking succulent.
Water spots can drastically impact your succulent’s appearance and cover up the lush colors on the leaves. Therefore, cleaning the succulents is essential if you notice water spots.
This article will discuss water spots on succulents in detail and suggest handy ways of removing them for a glowing appearance.
Water spots are marks that watering can leave behind on the plants. These spots are mainly mineral deposits that water leaves behind after evaporation.
They appear on the leaves of most plants, and succulents aren’t immune to them either.
Since water spots are mineral deposits left behind, they mainly occur when plants are watered with hard water.
Hard water has various minerals, salts, and other compounds that leave a white speckly layer behind on the surfaces of things washed by them. You’d often see water spots on your crockery or glassware for the same reason.
Limestone is the main mineral found in hard water, which causes a white cast on the plant leaves. The layer of dried limestone isn’t harmful to the plants.
However, this thin film removes the succulent’s look and drops the overall vibrancy of a space’s interior.
Now that you know what causes water spots on succulents, understanding the removal methods would be easier.
Most of these methods are mainly home remedies employing household chemicals and compounds. Hence, removing water spots from succulents won’t leave a dent in your pocket.
Moreover, your sturdy succulents won’t undergo harsh treatments from store-bought chemicals, which is a win-win.
Here are the most common, safe, accessible water spot removal methods for glossy succulents.
Treating succulents with fresh milk is one of the easiest and hassle-free water spot removal methods.
- Fresh milk
- Tissue paper
Take some fresh milk and dip a q-tip in it. Ensure the milk is at room temperature, neither too hot nor cold. Gently rub the soaked q-tip on the leaf with water spots. Don’t apply pressure or rub abrasively; otherwise, the leaves will get damaged.
Once you have cleaned the water spots on the leaf, use tissue paper to wipe the excess milk gently. Repeat every leaf without rushing it or being too harsh with your hands.
Diluted vinegar is another effective agent for fighting off the mineral deposits of hard water. The acidity of the vinegar is perfect for breaking down stubborn limestone. Consequently, the water spots fade away instantly.
- Half gallon water
- Half teaspoon vinegar
- A cotton swab or any other soft scrubbing material
Mix half a teaspoon of vinegar in half a gallon of lukewarm water. Cold water doesn’t work well and will leave additional spots on leaves.
Dip the cotton swab, pad, or soft cloth in the diluted vinegar solution and gently rub it on the affected leaves. You should see instant results as the vinegar decomposes the chalky film.
Like vinegar, lemon juice has acidic potency, which can instantly work against the limestone and decompose it.
- One quart water
- One teaspoon of lemon juice
- A soft cloth or cotton swab
The method for removing water spots from succulents using diluted lemon juice is similar to diluted vinegar. Hence, mix the mentioned water and lemon juice in a bowl and dip a soft cloth in the solution.
Rub the leaves gently with the soaked cloth, and you should observe the tenacious spots gradually disappear.
You might need to adjust the water content if the scrubbing doesn’t instantly yield results. Since lemon juice is less potent than vinegar, you might need more lemon juice.
If you don’t feel comfortable using other agents on your succulents, try plain distilled water to remove water spots.
Since distilled water has no other mineral compounds, pure water will make the mineral deposits disappear. However, this method is most effective for light spots instead of stubborn ones.
- Distilled water at a lukewarm temperature
This trick is the most straightforward one on the list. Simply dip a q-tip in distilled water and wipe the leaves with light hands. Harsh scrubbing can cause leaf damage, whereas low or high-water temperatures can instantly shock the root system, damaging the plant.
If you eat your veggies and fruits after giving them a good soap wash, you’re aware of the soap’s effectiveness in vanishing unwanted spots. The same trick can work on succulents with light water spots.
Since soaps are alkaline, they aren’t as effective as acidic compounds such as vinegar and lemon. Nonetheless, if you don’t feel comfortable using diluted acids on your succulents, here’s a great alternative.
- A teaspoon of commercial soap formulated for fruits and vegetables
- Half gallon water
- A spray bottle
- Clean water supply
Since it’s soap, the best way to effectively make this technique work is by giving your succulents a gentle bath.
Mix a teaspoon of soap in half a gallon of water to prepare a diluted soap solution. Pour the solution into a spray bottle for precise application.
Spray the solution on all the leaves with water spots. Once you have covered the entire plant, use clean water to rinse off the soapy remnants. The trick will also keep persistent pests away from the succulents.
A huge mistake that amateurs make is using dishwashing soaps or regular detergents for cleaning their house plants. However, these harsh chemicals can damage your plants and cause the leaves to turn dry.
Various individuals recommend leaf-shining products to remove water spots from succulents.
However, don’t fall into this trap, as these chemicals will dry out the leaves of your succulents. Moreover, they’ll shunt your plant’s growth and eventually cause them to die.
Now that we have discussed various water spot removal techniques, you are all set to take care of your succulents.
Nevertheless, prevention is always better than cure. Thus, instead of only removing water spots from succulents, learn how to prevent them.
The secret of preventing water spots lies in the watering routine of succulents. Beginner houseplant parents make several watering mistakes because they care too much. However, this extreme care can often backfire.
Here is the correct watering method for succulents to prevent water spots:
- Always check the bottom soil of the succulents instead of relying on the first inch. Since succulents are indigenously desert plants, they thrive in dry environments. Hence, overwatering them because the top soil is dry is a rookie mistake that causes them to die. Check the bottom soil before watering your succulents. You can dip your finger or a moisture recording meter to monitor it.
- Once you’re sure your succulents need water, start watering the soil of the succulents instead of showering on the leaves. The soil of succulents needs water because the roots absorb water droplets and pass them through the plant. This way, your succulent’s leaves won’t be exposed to excessive water, diminishing the chance of water spots.
- Whenever you’re watering your succulents, ensure it’s rainwater or spring water available in stores. Bottled water is better for plants than tap water, primarily hard water that leaves water spots behind. Moreover, bottled water or rainwater is suitable for your plant’s health.
- Avoid using soft water at every cost for your houseplants. Many amateur gardeners make this mistake which ends up killing the plant. Soft water is mainly treated for impurities and contains high content of sodium. The compound can disbalance the plant’s natural water system and make them thirsty. This way, even when you water excess soft water to the plants, they don’t absorb it and die.
Succulents are native to desert areas. Therefore, they are sturdy and resilient. However, inevitable watering mistakes can diminish their glow and the overall elasticity of the plant.
Water spots are one of those glow-sucking issues that are mainly prevalent due to the use of tap water.
The high concentration of limestone and other minerals in tap water creates a chalky layer on the leaves. These stains create a drooping look, and the charm of succulents fades away, leaving the space less bright and vivid.
Changing your watering habits can significantly impact the succulents and prevent the issue.
However, if you’re currently seeing water spots suck away the life from your interior space, try out some tricks discussed above in the article.
Hopefully, these inexpensive tricks will work in no time and liven up your space with radiant and healthy-looking succulents.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How to get rid of black spots on succulents?
Black Spots on succulents are caused by fungus. Prevention is by making sure you keep the soil moist and that you keep the plant healthy. To get rid of black spots or fungus on succulents, you can pour bleach or a weak solution of hydrogen peroxide directly on the spot.
How to fix brown spots on succulents?
You can use a spray bottle with 50% water and 50% vinegar. The vinegar should help kill anything moldy, and the water will help leach any nutrients out of the roots.
What Succulents are Safe for Leopard Geckos?
The cactus family (Cactaceae) contains over 7000 genera of succulents. They grow naturally in warm, dry climates.
In general, most succulents are safe for Leopard Geckos, but some, such as agave, are poisonous.