Why Does My Succulent Have White Spots? (9 Reasons with Easy Fixes)

White spots on succulents can be a concern for plant enthusiasts. These spots can occur for various reasons, such as pests, sunburn, or powdery mildew.

Understanding the cause and taking appropriate measures can help maintain your succulent’s health and appearance. So, why does succulent have white spots?

In this article, I will try decode all the possible reasons for this issue, so that you can tackle it properly if need be.

Why does my succulent have white spots

Why does my succulent have white spots, and how to fix them?

A Comprehensive Guide to Identifying and Fixing White Spots on Your Succulent

Succulents are popular houseplants due to their low maintenance requirements and unique appearance. However, white spots may appear on your succulent’s leaves, causing concern.

This comprehensive guide will help you identify the cause of the white spots and provide solutions to fix them.

1. Powdery Mildew

  • Symptoms: Powdery mildew appears as a white, powdery substance on the surface of leaves and stems. It may cause the leaves to become discolored, distorted, or drop off.
  • Causes: This fungal disease thrives in warm, humid environments with poor air circulation. Overwatering and overcrowding can also contribute to its development.
  • Solution: Increase air circulation, reduce humidity, and avoid overwatering. Remove affected leaves and apply a fungicide specifically designed for powdery mildew.

2. Pests

  • Common Types: Mealybugs, scale insects, and spider mites are common pests that can cause white spots on succulents.
  • Signs: Pests leave a sticky residue called honeydew, which can attract ants and cause sooty mold. You may also notice tiny insects or webbing on your plant.
  • Control Measures: Remove pests manually or use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Apply insecticidal soap or neem oil to control infestations. Monitor your plant regularly to prevent future outbreaks.

3. Too Much Salt

  • Symptoms: Excess salt can cause white spots or a crusty buildup on the leaves and soil surface.
  • Effects: High salt levels can damage plant cells, leading to stunted growth and leaf drop.
  • Treatment: Flush the soil with water to remove excess salt. Use distilled or rainwater for watering and avoid over-fertilizing.

4. Edema

  • Causes: Edema occurs when a plant absorbs more water than it can use, causing cells to burst and leave white spots on leaves.
  • Symptoms: White or brown spots, blisters, or corky growths on leaves.
  • Treatment: Reduce the watering frequency and improve drainage. Ensure your plant receives adequate sunlight to promote healthy growth.

5. Succulent Farina: Definition, Benefits, and Management

  • Definition: Farina is a natural, powdery substance produced by some succulents to protect against sunburn, pests, and water loss.
  • Benefits: Farina acts as a sunscreen and helps prevent water loss, making it beneficial for the plant.
  • Management: Avoid touching or wiping off farina, as it does not regenerate. Handle your plant carefully to preserve its protective layer.

6. Insect Infestation

Insect Infestation
Insect Infestation
  • Common Signs: In addition to white spots, insect-infested plants may have yellowing leaves, leaf drops, or stunted growth.
  • Prevention: Regularly inspect your plant for pests, isolate new plants before adding them to your collection, and maintain proper watering and light conditions.
  • Control: Use insecticidal soap, neem oil, or rubbing alcohol to treat infestations. Remove severely affected leaves or plants to prevent the spread of pests.

7. Natural Aging

  • Signs: Older leaves may develop white spots or a papery texture as part of the natural aging process.
  • Maintenance Tips: Remove dead or dying leaves to maintain your plant’s appearance and promote new growth. Ensure your succulent receives proper care, including appropriate light, water, and nutrients.

By understanding the various causes of white spots on succulents, you can take appropriate action to maintain your plant’s health and appearance. Regular inspection and proper care will ensure your succulent thrives for years.

Why does my succulent soil have white spots?

White spots on succulent soil can be caused by the buildup of excess salt or minerals commonly found in fertilizers. To address this issue, flush the soil with water to remove excess salt and consider using distilled or rainwater for watering.

Additionally, avoid over-fertilizing your succulent to prevent further buildup of salts and minerals.

How to prevent white spots on my succulents?

Preventing white spots on your succulents involves proper care, regular inspection, and addressing potential issues early.

Here are some steps to follow:

How to prevent white spots on my succulents
prevent white spots on succulents
  • Quarantine the Plant: When introducing a new succulent to your collection, isolate it for a few weeks to ensure it doesn’t harbor pests or diseases that could spread to your other plants.
  • Provide Bright Light: Ensure your succulent receives adequate bright, indirect light to promote healthy growth and prevent conditions that encourage pests or diseases.
  • Watering: Water your succulents properly by letting the soil dry out between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot and create an environment conducive to pests and diseases.
  • Well-Drained Soil: Use a well-draining soil mix specifically for succulents to prevent soggy conditions that can lead to root rot, edema, and other issues.
  • Proper Pruning: Regularly remove dead or damaged leaves to maintain your plant’s health and appearance. This also helps prevent the spread of pests and diseases.
  • Tackling Powdery Mildew: To prevent powdery mildew, ensure good air circulation around your succulent, avoid overwatering, and reduce humidity. Remove affected leaves and apply a fungicide specifically designed for powdery mildew if you notice mildew.
  • Spray an Insecticidal Solution: Regularly inspect your succulent for pests. If you notice any, use an insecticidal soap or neem oil to control the infestation. Early detection and treatment can prevent the spread of pests and the resulting white spots.
  • Use Fertilizer Sparingly: Over-fertilizing can cause a buildup of salts and minerals, leading to white spots on your succulent. Use a balanced fertilizer specifically designed for succulents, and follow the recommended application rates and frequency.

Following these steps, you can prevent white spots on your succulents and maintain their health and appearance. Regular care and inspection are key to ensuring your plants thrive.

Can you save a moldy succulent?

You can save a moldy succulent by carefully removing the mold and addressing the underlying issue. A mixture of water, baking soda, and dish soap can gently wipe the mold off the succulent’s leaves, as they are sturdy enough to withstand this treatment.

It is also essential to improve the plant’s care, such as ensuring proper watering and lighting, to prevent mold from reoccurring.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the common pests that cause white spots on succulents?

Common pests that cause white spots on succulents include mealybugs, scale insects, and spider mites.

Are white spots on succulents contagious?

White spots caused by pests or fungal diseases like powdery mildew can be contagious and spread to other plants if not treated promptly.

Can I use household products to treat white spots on succulents?

Yes, household products like rubbing alcohol, dish soap, and baking soda can treat white spots caused by pests or mildew. For example, a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol can be used to remove mealybugs, and a mixture of water, baking soda, and dish soap can help treat powdery mildew.


In conclusion, white spots on succulents can be attributed to various factors such as pests, disease, sunburn, or mineral deposits.

To maintain a healthy succulent, it’s essential to regularly inspect the plant, provide proper care, and address any issues promptly.

Doing so ensures your succulent thrives and continues to be an attractive addition to your indoor or outdoor garden.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top