Succulent Leaves Curling Up Or Down: What’s The Deal

If you adore succulents as much as I do, you will undoubtedly keep a close check on your plants, maybe more than you should, but oh well. With that attention to detail, I’m presuming you’re here because you’ve spotted your succulent leaves curling down, curling up, or just curling at all.

Succulent leaves curling up is normally a healthy indication, especially for plants like Echeveria, however, succulent leaves curling down or inwards towards the root is a clue that something is wrong.

So, with that stated, here are a few reasons why your succulent leaves have started curling and what you can do about it now or in the future.

So, Why Are Your Succulent Leaves Curling?


Overwatering succulents is a poor idea that may create major issues for your succulent in the short and long term, but it is also a common cause of succulent leaves curling down.

Overwatering may appear to be a smart way to ensure your succulent receives proper hydration, but as the phrase goes, too much of anything can be bad.

Overwatering your succulent can lead the roots to become unable to function correctly after a while, causing the leaves to curl down or inwards. If left unchecked over an extended period of time, this can lead to decay.

What You Can Do

So, if you notice this occurring, stop watering your succulent immediately and wait until the soil has completely dried up before giving it another drink.

That being said, don’t deprive your plant of water simply because you were previously overwatering; instead, return to a more consistent watering schedule before it’s too late.

If you notice this problem early enough, the leaves on your succulent may perk back up, but it’s not a guarantee, depending on how long it went on and how far they curled.


Although overwatering is a bigger issue, underwatering your succulent can also cause its leaves to curl down. It causes harm in the same manner that the former does, by not enabling your roots to obtain enough water or nutrients, resulting in sluggish growth and finally curling leaves.

Fortunately, if you’ve been underwatering, you won’t have as much work to do because it’s far better to underwater succulents than it is to overwater them.

What You Can Do

Give your succulent a drink and maintain an ideal, regular schedule by watering thoroughly but only when the soil is entirely dry to the touch. The leaves will most likely perk back up to how they were previously or when you initially started growing.

The absence of light

One of the most prevalent causes of succulent leaves curling is a lack of light. A lack of light will result in sluggish development as well as inefficient nutrition absorption by your succulent.

Most succulents require at least 4 hours of strong sunshine every day; some require more, while some require less, depending on the succulent you are cultivating, so keep that in mind.

Just as some succulents love direct light while others prefer indirect light, you must determine what your unique succulent needs in terms of illumination and ensure that it receives the bare minimum of both.

The majority of the time, insufficient levels of light are caused by growing succulents indoors with inadequate illumination. If your growing scenario permits it, try using a South-facing window for the greatest results. If everything else fails, you should invest in a high-quality indoor grow lamp to solve this problem.

What You Can Do

If natural light cannot be introduced adequately, relocate your succulent to a location with an abundance of sunshine or indoor light, or try using a grow lamp.
Once this is resolved, your leaves should begin to return to normal, at least if it hasn’t been going on for too long.


Although you want your succulent to get a lot of light every day, putting it outside in direct sunlight or heat can result in curled leaves. This is due to your succulent not having been properly acclimated.

Going from low light to high light or heat abruptly increases the risk of your plant being stressed by the sun, which can result in sunburn and curled leaves at the absolute least.

This is especially true when cultivating a young succulent that hasn’t had time to completely mature or adjust to diverse temperatures and settings.

If you wouldn’t sit outside in the blistering hot sun for weeks if you had been indoors for a long time, don’t do the same for your succulent.


Slowly introduce light to your succulent by gradually increasing the daily quantity of light by an hour or two per week until it is completely acclimated to the new place.

Stress after transplantation

Succulent leaves curling can also be caused by transplant stress or repotting difficulties. This can happen if you injure the roots when changing pots, if you don’t use the right soil, or if you use dirt that your succulent isn’t used to.

Going up in pot size too quickly can potentially produce a variety of issues, including curled succulent leaves.

What You Can Do

When repotting your succulent, just go up one pot size to avoid having too much space, which promotes poor nutrient uptake. Try not to injure your roots during this procedure, and avoid using the incorrect soil totally.

Pot Dimensions

Now that you know that going too large in pot size when transplanting might be detrimental, you should evaluate your present container size. Curly succulent leaves can also be created by growing your succulent in a container that is too small. This will result in crowding, poor nutrient absorption, and an unhappy succulent that lacks the room it requires to develop strong and healthily.


As previously said, just increase one pot size at a time and use either the same soil as before or some excellent succulent soil this time.
The leaves should start to revert to normalcy, although this isn’t certain given how long it’s been like way.


Pests, as you are surely aware, may create a slew of issues not only for succulents but for all types of plants when they go out of control.
Aphids, for example, may drain the nutrients from your succulent leaves, causing them to curl at the very least, and can cause far more damage if left untreated.

What You Can Do

Use a high-quality neem oil spray on your succulent at least once a week until there are no more bugs on it. Depending on your scenario, you may need to spray more than once a week but do so until the pests are gone for good.

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