Echeveria Leaves Falling Off: 9 Reasons & Solutions

Echeveria leaves falling off can be due to several different factors.

The most common reason is overwatering, which suffocates the roots and disrupts the transport of water and vital nutrients to the leaves. There are other reasons that can cause the leaves to fall off, however, and it’s important to know the possible reasons to bring your succulent back to full health.

Keep reading to discover 9 possible reasons for echeveria leaves falling off with solutions for each case.

Echeveria Origins & Basic Care

Echeveria is a large genus of succulents that are native to semi-desert areas in Central America, Mexico, and northwestern South America.

This family of plants is known for their rosette-shaped formations and fleshy leaves that come in a variety of colors and succulent types. As they are native to these arid regions, Echeverias generally prefer full sunlight exposure and well-draining soil to thrive.

An Echeveria succulent up close

Place them near a bright window or supplement their lighting with a grow light if necessary.

You’ll also need to make sure to plant your Echeveria in a pot with drain holes to avoid waterlogging and potential root rot, as this can be very difficult to deal with.

As for the soil, Echeveria prefers a well-draining soil mix, such as cactus soil mix.

This will provide your plant with the necessary support and breathability it needs to grow healthy and strong.

Echeverias, like many other succulents, are quite low-maintenance and adaptable to their surroundings.

9 Causes Of Echeveria Leaves Falling Off & What To Do

If echeverias are so hardy, you might be wondering why the leaves even fall off in the first place.

The truth is that if the leaves on your echeveria are falling off, there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

Under normal circumstances, you should only observe a few leaves falling off due to old age every one to two months or even less frequently.

1. Overwatering

Overwatering is one of the most common reasons for your echeveria’s leaves falling off.

Echeverias are succulents that naturally thrive in arid environments, and they store water in their leaves.

If the roots are saturated with water, it affects the transport of nutrients to the leaves which can cause them to turn yellow and slowly die.


If your echeveria is overwatered, all you need to do is stop watering it.

Echeverias thrive in direct sunlight and warm temperatures, so it shouldn’t take long for the soil to dry out.

If the soil is very saturated, you might want to move your echeveria to a shaded location as the leaves will be at risk of scorching due to a lack of moisture from the roots.

When the top inch or two of soil becomes dry you can water it again.

In severe cases of overwatering the roots will begin to rot.

This happens due to fungi in the soil that becomes favored in overwatered conditions, or due to dying rotting roots that suffocate due to the water.

This requires a different solution, and we’ll get into that in the next point.

2. Root Rot

If overwatered conditions are left for a long enough period of time, root rot will occur.

Root rot completely stops any nutrients or moisture from being absorbed by the roots, killing the leaves in the process and eventually the entire plant.


To treat root rot, you’ll have to remove your echeveria from the soil and gently remove the soil from around the roots with your hands.

I like to wear gloves when going this, and check the roots for signs of root rot:

  • Discolored Roots
  • Mushy Roots
  • Foul Smell

All affected roots will need to be removed with a pair of sterilized scissors, and the rest of them treated with a fungicide.

Remove as much soil as possible and repot in a suitable potting mix.

3. Underwatering

Underwatering can also cause leaves to fall off your echeveria.

Although echeverias are succulents, which means that they store a lot of water in their leaves, they can still become underwatered if neglected.

When your plant doesn’t receive enough water, it may begin to shed its older leaves to conserve moisture for newer growth.

Keep an eye on your echeveria leaves for signs of dehydration, such as shriveling or drying up.


This one is pretty easy – all you need to do is water your echeveria generously until water comes out of the drainage holes.

Monitor it over the next few weeks, and it should perk up in no time.

4. Sunlight And Temperature Fluctuations

A lot of echeverias can handle intense sunlight, but there are some varieties that prefer more shade.

Sun scorch can cause leaves to drop off, but this won’t affect every type of echeveria.

Additionally, echeverias are sensitive to both fluctuations in temperature and extreme temperatures.

Sudden temperature changes or exposure to extreme temperatures may cause leaf loss, so they should be avoided.


Keep your echeveria in a warm location with plenty of sunlight, but keep an eye on the leaves for signs of sun scorch.

If the leaves are getting scorched by the sun, simply move them to a shadier location and prune any affected leaves.

You may find that the plant will need more watering in this position as well.

5. Poor Draining Soil & Lack Of Drainage Holes

Echeverias need well-draining soil and drainage holes to prevent root rot and promote healthy growth.

If the soil remains too wet for a prolonged period, your plant’s roots and stem may start rotting, which can lead to leaves falling off.

This relates closely to overwatering, as it will be much easier to overwater if the soil does not drain properly or if water is building up in the bottom due to a lack of holes.


Choose a well-draining soil mix specifically designed for succulents to create the optimal environment for your echeveria.

6. Lack Of Nutrients

Your echeveria relies on nutrients in the soil to grow and thrive. Nitrogen, for example, is primarily responsible for leaf growth and development.

If the soil lacks essential nutrients, your plant’s growth may become stunted, and leaves may fall off.


To ensure your echeveria receives sufficient nutrients, use a slow-release fertilizer designed for succulents and follow the recommended application rates.

It’s also worth making sure your soil mix is packed full of nutrients by repotting every 1 to 2 years as needed.

7. Old Age

As echeverias mature, it’s natural for older leaves at the base of the plant to fall off and make way for new growth.

This is a normal part of the plant’s life cycle and shouldn’t cause any concern unless there’s a significant leaf loss or other signs of stress.


There aren’t any solutions to this one as it is simply a part of the natural life cycle.

It is up to you whether you remove the leaves right away or not, however.

8. Disease

Certain diseases can cause echeveria leaves to fall off.

Examples of these include root rot (as discussed before), soft rot, dry rot, powdery mildew, and leaf spot.

Certain diseases affect the roots, while others affect the leaves, but over time most diseases spread around the plant to all parts and cause significant damage.


If the roots are affected repotting and pruning damaged roots is the best method. Remaining healthy roots should be treated with a fungicide.

For diseases that affect the leaves primarily like leaf spot, prune affected leaves and treat the rest with fungicide.

Keeping the humidity lower is also a good way to lower the chances of diseases spreading.

9. Pests

Pests like mealybugs, fungus gnats, and spider mites can cause damage to your echeveria, leading to leaf loss as they feed on the sap found in the leaves.

This damages the leaves, causing them to turn yellow and brown shortly after falling off.

Certain pests can be visible to the eye, while others leave behind telltale signs like the fine webbing left often on the underside of the leaves by spider mites.

Pests can quickly spread to other plants, so it’s important to act quickly.


Small infestations can be dealt with by washing down your plant with water, but larger infestations will require insecticides.

Prevention Tips

It’s a lot easier to keep your echeveria healthy in the first place.

Here are some quick and easy tips to keep your succulent happy and prevent leaf drops.

Proper Watering Techniques

To prevent echeveria leaves from falling off, it’s essential to water your succulent correctly. Overwatering is a common cause of leaf drop and can lead to serious issues like root rot.

You should water your echeveria sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out completely between waterings.

A good rule of thumb is to water your succulent once every 7-10 days, or when the top one to two inches of soil become dry.

Optimal Sunlight and Temperature

Echeverias require plenty of sunlight to thrive.

Aim to provide your plant with at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight each day. If you start to notice signs of sun scorch, reduce this amount and opt for bright, indirect sunlight.

Keep your echeveria in a location where the temperature remains between 65-75°F (18-24°C) for optimal growth.

Improving Soil And Drainage

Using well-draining soil is crucial to keep your echeveria healthy and prevent leaf drop.

Mix potting soil with perlite or sand for optimal drainage, or use a cactus soil mix.

When selecting a container for your echeveria, choose a terracotta pot with drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.

Keeping Pests & Disease Away

Most pests and diseases are attracted or grow in overwatered conditions.

Keep humidity around your echeveria on the lower end, and avoid misting as this leaves a lot of moisture on the leaves that will attract pests or possibly grow fungi.

Use well-draining soil and water sparingly to keep the soil moist but not saturated with water.

In Summary

If multiple leaves on your echeveria are falling off it’s a good idea to figure out the source of the problem.

Issues like disease or pests are much more serious than minor issues like lack of nutrients or poor soil quality, so it’s important to address them before things get beyond repair.

If you’re interested in learning more about succulent problems, check out some of our recent guides below:

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About Me

Hi, I'm Joe! I'm the head of SEO and content management at Bloom and Bumble. I'm a huge plant lover and over the years my home has become more like an indoor rainforest. It has taken a lot of trial and error to keep my plants healthy and so I'm here to share my knowledge to the rest of the world.

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