Why your Succulent Leaves Has Holes(Causes, Prevention, And Treatment)

Many Succulent growers often experience the appearance of holes in their succulent leaves. If you have suffered from the same problem and wanting to get rid of succulent leaves holes, this post is for you.

5 significant reasons why your succulent leaves have holes in them are:

  1. Insects and pests
  2. Overwatering the plant
  3. Not enough space between two plants
  4. Abrasions
  5. Not enough sunlight

Whatever the reason may be for the holes to appear in your succulent leaves, you should put extra effort and mind to treat the problems. In this blog, we will explore the causes, the severity of the problem, and how to get rid of the holes. This blog will also extensively discuss ways you could possibly avoid them in the first place.

Causes, Prevention, and Treatment For Succulent Leaves’ Holes?

Like every other plant anywhere globally, sometimes succulent suffer from different types of problems. The succulent owners often find holes in their leaves, which makes the succulent plant unattractive and leads to dying quickly within the following few weeks, if it is not treated instantly. Here are the reasons why you might have holes in your succulent leaves:

1. Insects and Pests

The breeding of insects and pests like grease mite, snout weevil, etc., in the succulent, could lead to holes appearing in its leaves. If not taken care of from the very start, this can become a serious problem, as it would lead the plant to rot.

How can you prevent Insects and Pest on your Succulents?

  1. Remove the dead leaves and keep the plant clean.
    • The insects find it easier to breed in dead leaves. So always, remember to remove the dead leaves and keep the plant clean.
  2. Don’t put products having pests into the compost pile.
    • If you prepare the compost yourself by using waste materials like leftover food and skin of vegetables, always make sure that the products you are putting into the compost pile do not have pests in them.
  3. Clean pest infected soil or replant succulents in a new planter.
    • You must avoid placing pest-infected succulent leaves in the compost pile because insects will only find it easier to breed in a heap. Throw away the infected leaves, clean the soil, or re-plant the succulent in an entirely new planter without reusing old infected soil.
  4. Check the leaves of your succulent every once in a while.
    • As a preventive measure, check the leaves of your succulent every once in a while. It will help you get rid of any kind of insects before they make it their breeding ground.

How to treat your Pest infected Succulent ?

If you are confident that the root of all the causes is, in fact, insects and pests, then below mentioned steps can help you save your plant.

  1. Separate the infected plant from the good ones.
    • Isolating the infected plants will save other plants and allows you to treat the infected ones properly.
  2. Using Pesticides or mild Insecticides.
    • Pesticides or mild Insecticides are the best way to treat infected plants. First, you will require removing the leaves that cannot be saved or all the leaves with holes. Once all the infected leaves are removed, spray the remaining plant with mild pesticides to avoid further infections.

2. Over-watering Your Succulents

One of the many reasons your succulent could have holes before its leaves completely dies down is too much watering. It happens mostly during the winter season when the soil cannot absorb as much water as they do in summer. Over-watering also invites bugs and pests on succulents which is another main reason for holes in their leaves.

How can you prevent over-watering your succulents?

  1. Make a routine to water your succulents.
    • Always maintain a routine to water your succulents once every few days. Your succulent will give you signs on when it needs water and when to leave it alone.
  2. If your succulents are getting mushy, stop watering.
    • This is the most evident sign that your succulent is overwatered. and you should let the soil completely dry out before watering again.
  3. Have proper soil that drains fast.
    • Soil that retains moisture for longer periods is not at all suitable for your plants and you should definitely use a soil mix that drains fast.

How to treat your over-watered succulents?

  1. Let the plant completely dry out.
    • Sometimes Succulent’s roots may absorb more water than their body could retain. It leads to leaves have holes. Letting them completely dry out is what can help them recover faster.
  2. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight.
    • An over-watered plant is in a vulnerable state and putting it under direct sunlight in hope of drying it out fast might prove dangerous to its health and may result in sunburn.

This condition is not worrisome, as you can always monitor your watering routine. Therefore, once you figure out the amount of water and frequency, you will no longer have the problem of holed leaves.

3. Not enough space between two plants

Believe it or not, even though succulents are tiny plants, they need their own space to grow. Many people prefer putting two or three succulents in a big planter because it saves space and money. However, this could cause more harm than good.

The spikes and thorns from one succulent(Like Cactus) could poke into another succulent plant and cause holes to appear in the leaves. Not many people know about this, but less spacing between two succulents is one of the main problems of holes in the leaves.

How can you avoid leaves hole in this situation?

  1. The type of succulent you put together
    • It depends on the kind of succulent you own. Some succulents’ leaves get bigger or longer than the others. If you think your succulents’ leaves would not get much more prominent, you can plant two succulents in one pot, putting enough spaces between the two of them.
  2. Limiting one plant to one pot
    • If the leaves are at risk of getting more extensive and more prolonged, limiting one plant to each pot is safe. The spacing will keep the leaves safe from getting holes and allow them to have more space to grow appropriately and roots to become stronger.

It might not be as worrisome as other problems, but it is always good to provide good spacing between two plants.

4. Abrasions

One of the other common reasons, even though not extremely serious, for holes appearing in your succulents leaves is abrasion from your nails. You would not even notice that, unintentionally, how many times a day your fingers scratch the surface of the leaves. These scratches often happen due to abrasions from long nails, rings on the fingers.

How can you prevent abrasions on your succulent leaves?

  1. Keep an eye on your pets.
    • Pets like cats, birds, and dogs can cause abrasions by them biting onto the leaves thinking it is edible or a toy to play with.
  2. Too close to the walls
    •  If your succulent is too close to the wall, the wall’s rough surface could also cause abrasions, leading to holes in the leaves.
  3. Be extremely careful while handling your plants.
    • Be mindful not to wear long enamel nails while you are taking care of it, or keep the planter out of reach from your pets.
  4. Stop touching it frequently
    • If you love wearing long enamel nails or rings, limit touching the leaves of the succulents.

How to treat the abrasions?

  1. Let it heal on its own:
    • This is not a problem that you should worry about, succulents are hardy plants and can come back from near-death situations. These abrasions will get healed with time on their own. However, a little care goes a long way, so it is important that as a succulent owner you should avoid anything that might cause abrasions.

5. Not enough sunlight

Like many other people, if you are fond of placing succulents in your room, make sure that it receives enough sunlight.

How much sunlight is enough for succulents? Depending on the type of succulent you own, the amount of sunlight it requires may differ. However, on average most of the succulents require at least 5-6 hours of daylight.

If you have a new baby succulent, you might want to limit its exposure to the sun; however, as it grows, keep in mind to expose it to the sun for a more extended period.

Nevertheless, unlike cacti, succulents are semi-desert plants, which means too much intense heat would cause them to have problems like sunburn, holes in the leaves, or scarring.

What are some other problems apart from holes that succulent could have?

Apart from experiencing holes in the leaves, succulents could also suffer from other issues such as their leaves falling off unnaturally, the color of the leaves turning yellow, black spots on the leaves, patchy leaves, etc.

There could be various reasons why these problems are happening. Leaves could fall off unnaturally due to extreme heat. To avoid it, you could keep the succulents in a shaded area, where it receives sunlight for at least a few hours daily.

Yellow leaves and black spots in succulent leaves.

The leaves turning yellow can be caused by either overwatering or underwatering. So keep an eye on your watering routine to figure out what the problem is. Manage the watering practice accordingly, and you should not face any such issues again.

The cause of black spots is mainly because of fungus infection. It mostly happens in coastal areas, so it is essential to keep the soil and leaves dry and in a place with good air circulation.

Know when to get rid of certain plants before it rots other plants.

Unfortunately, if you see your succulent leaves getting patchy over time, you cannot treat it. This happens when bacteria infect the root. You must discard the entire plant in such cases to avoid spreading the bacteria to other plants. Even though succulents can survive in most conditions, they are still prone to diseases.

 Depending on the environment and weather, the owners should adequately care for the plant and help it grow. They may face issues now and then, but it should not discourage anyone from owning succulent plants altogether.

Learn even more about succulents!

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