Common succulent problems and solutions

Succulents are loved for many reasons including the fact that they are really easy to care for. These plants are tough and they generally don’t need much care at all. That said, just like any other type of plant, succulents are not immune to disease and pests. Here are some of the common succulent problems as well as solutions to keep your plants healthy.


You may have heard of these critters before. They love all sorts of plants including various succulents. This is one of the most common succulent problems but it is also relatively easy to solve. These bugs have a white and almost silky appearance and they feed off the sap of the plant. You may notice curling and yellowing leaves. After some time, the plant will die if these bugs are not dealt with. The key is to avoid over fertilizing your plants. You can also prune the affected areas. Using a cotton bud and rubbing alcohol, you can target mealybugs one by one. If the plant is happy in colder environments, place it next to a window. This forces the bugs to the other side of the plant and makes them easier to spot. Ladybugs and other insects eat mealybugs so you could also try this natural approach. There are also insecticides available if you want to get rid of them quickly.

Spider mites

Another one of those common succulent problems is the spider mite. They also feed off the sap of the plant and they aren’t always easy to see. You may only notice them because of the appearance of something like a spider web on the plant. To avoid attracting these bugs, you should never overwater your cactus or succulent. You can pick them off the plant one by one if you spot them or you can buy insects, like ladybugs, that feed off them. Natural insecticides designed for arachnid insects are another option. If it suits you better, you could even use insecticidal soap.


You will notice scale in the form of brown spots that appear on the plant. Scale is divided into two main types: soft and armoured. Soft scale has a waxy film to protect the bug. Armoured scale have a hard coating as their protection. It’s best to treat a scale problem by pruning the infected parts of the plant before treating with the appropriate insecticide. Rubbing alcohol on a cotton bud can also be used to target these bugs one by one.

Vine weevils

These beetles love succulents and they eat the leaves of these plants. Their grubs will eat the roots which makes them one of the most devastating succulent problems. Since they are nocturnal, you will need to wait until night time to pick off any adults. You can also use sticky traps to catch them. Nematodes are great for killing off the grubs. There are also special insecticides that you can use if you prefer.


These bugs look like little grasshoppers and they feed of many plants, including various succulents. You can sometimes get rid of them by simply washing the plant in some soapy water or by using the cotton bud and rubbing alcohol method. Insecticidal soaps are also effective as is neem oil.

As you can see, there are a number of succulent problems to look out for. However, there are also many easy solutions to these problems so you don’t have to worry about your beautiful plant falling victim to these hungry critters.