Can Succulents Go Into Shock?: When Plants Need More Care Than You Think

Succulents can be tricky, and it’s not always easy to tell when one is going into shock because there are so many different types that react differently depending on where they live. That being said, here are some things to look for if you think your succulent might be going into shock.

What does “going into shock” mean for plants?

Succulents are plants that store water in their leaves, branches, or roots. When succulents go into shock, it means they have lost too much moisture and need more care than before to recover. It can also mean the plant is being over-watered, which will cause the same result as if there hadn’t been enough moisture.

What is Transplant Shock?

Transplant shock is the term used when a succulent starts to show signs of wilt following being transplanted. The leaves will curl or droop and are not green anymore because they need more time for their roots to establish themselves in their new home before receiving any water. It can also be caused by repotting, too much direct sunlight, or being placed in a pot that is too small for the roots.

Shock can also be caused by moving a succulent from one location to another, including outdoors and indoors, changing the soil around it, and repotting it into something with less room.

What are Common Reasons that Succulents Go Into Shock?

Succulents can go into shock for a variety of reasons, which are all worth checking on. Here are some:

  • Temperature changes (too hot or too cold)
  • Too much direct sunlight
  • Not enough water
  • Newly planted in an inappropriate potting soil/location
  • Over-watered plant and/or overwatering
  • Potting soil is too heavy or doesn’t have enough air circulation/aeration
  • Potted in a pot that’s too large for the plant and leaves no room to grow roots.

How do you know if your succulent is experiencing shock?

Again, there are several signs of plants going into shock. The leaves may droop, curl, or turn pale green and lose their distinctive mat-like appearance. Here are more:

  • If your succulent has been recently transplanted, you’ll see the same signs as if they were experiencing transplant shock.
  • Damaged leaves turning black and curling up at the edges
  • Flowers drying out or dropping off
  • Stems may wither and turn brown

Common Symptoms of Transplant Stress In Succulents

Full sun exposure can shock succulents

If you have a variety of plants in the same pot, some may be more sensitive to sun exposure than others. For instance, cactus can go into transplant shock from too much sunlight, while jade and sedum are just fine with it.

Environmental Stress conditions or wrongful caring

Some succulents are just not going to do well in certain locations, such as wet or cold. The same thing can happen with improper care. For instance, if a plant is overwatered for too long it will go into shock and stop growing altogether.

What about changes in the temperature?

Plants that don’t like cold weather will go into shock when the temperature changes. Similarly, hot-weather plants may not be able to handle a sudden drop in heat and experience transplant stress as well.

How long does it take for a succulent to recover from transplant shock?

The length of time it takes for a succulent to go into shock will depend on the specific plant. In general, they need about a week or two in order to recover from an adverse change in their environment and move forward with their growth cycle- especially if you are able to water them more often than usual.

How to Get your succulent out of shock?

For a succulent to make it out of transplant shock, the following things need to happen:

  • Don’t be afraid to water your plants more often than they used to.
  • Make sure that you’re giving them plenty of sunlight and fresh air so that they can dry off after getting water.
  • If you are moving the plant from potting soil that has heavy clay to one with lighter, more airy dirt, make sure you water it for at least a week before moving the succulent.
  • Be careful not to overwater your plants once they’re out of shock and back into their healthy state!

How to Prevent Your Succulent from getting in a shock?

If you want to safeguard your succulent from transplant shock, these are some things that can help:

  • Make sure the plant has enough water when going from one potting soil to another (at least a week).
  • Remembering not to overwater and make sure there’s plenty of sunlight. If they’re getting too much or too little, this can cause transplant shock.
  • Getting your plants from a source that you trust or make sure they have been grown in the same environment for a while before planting them.


The most important thing to do if you think your succulent is going into shock is to act quickly! Be attentive and monitor their condition. The sooner the action is taken will ensure a positive outcome.

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