Why is Succulent Turning White at Base? (6 Reasons with Easy Solutions)

If you ask any gardener what their favorite plant is, there’s a good chance they’ll say succulents. And it’s no wonder because succulents are low-maintenance, drought resistant, and come in a huge variety of shapes and colors.

Plus, they’re pretty tough– even if you neglect them for a while, they’ll still be alive when you return. While the thick leaves help protect the plant from the harsh sun, they can also be susceptible to sunburn. When this happens, the leaves will turn white. 

But, do you know why is your succulent turning white at base? Well, there can be multiple reasons for that.

Sunburned succulents turn white due to damage to the chloroplasts in their leaves. Chloroplasts are organelles responsible for photosynthesis, which is how plants make food.

Succulent Turning White
Succulent Turning White

Why is my succulent turning white?

If your succulent is turning white, it could be due to several reasons. Not enough sunlight can cause your plant to etiolate or become leggy and pale. Sunburn can also cause leaves to turn white or brown.

Pests can also cause discoloration, as well as underwatering or overwatering. If you think you might have a fungus problem, check your plant’s roots for signs of rot. Finally, bad soil can also affect the health of your plant.

Why is my succulent turning white
Why is my succulent turning white?

Fungus Problem (Powdery Mildew)

If you’re noticing that your succulent leaves are turning white, it’s likely due to a fungus problem known as powdery mildew. This is a common issue in succulents, especially during the warmer months when there is more moisture in the air.

Powdery mildew is caused by a fungus that thrives in moist environments. The fungus produces a white powdery substance on the plant’s leaves, which can eventually lead to leaf drops. 


The best way to prevent powdery mildew is to keep your succulent in an area with good airflow and minimal humidity. If you notice the beginnings of powdery mildew, you can try treating it with a fungicide. You can also spray your plants with neem oil, an organic fungicide that will kill the powdery mildew and keep your succulents healthy.


Succulents are susceptible to sunburn. If your succulent is turning white, it’s likely because it’s been exposed to too much direct sunlight.

While a little bit of sun is necessary for photosynthesis, too much sun will cause the leaves of your succulent to turn white. This is because the water in the leaves evaporates faster than the plant can replace it, causing the leaves to become dehydrated and eventually die.


If you notice that your succulent is starting to turn white, move it to a location with less direct sunlight. You may also need to increase the watering frequency to help the plant recover.

Not Enough Sunlight

Your succulent might also turn white because it’s not getting enough sunlight. This is a common problem for succulents that are grown indoors. If succulents are exposed to lesser sunlight, they may experience stunted growth, etiolation, or death.

However, some species of succulents are more tolerant of low light conditions than others. With proper care, most succulents will adapt and continue to grow healthy under reduced lighting.


The best way to fix it is to move your plant to a spot that gets more light. If you can’t move your plant, you can try increasing the amount of light it gets by using a grow light. Be sure to keep an eye on your plant, though, because too much light can also be harmful.


If your succulent is turning white, it’s likely due to either underwatering or overwatering. When a succulent doesn’t have enough water, the leaves will start to turn white and eventually shrivel up. The plant is trying to conserve water by closing off its pores. 

On the other hand, if your succulent is getting too much water, the leaves will also turn white due to root rot. The best way to tell if your plant is overwatered is to check the soil. You’re probably giving it too much water if it’s soggy or feels wet. In general, succulents like to be dry more than they like to be wet. So, if you’re unsure, it’s better to err on the side of underwatering rather than overwatering.


If you think your succulent is turning white because it’s overwatered, you should first stop watering it. Let the soil dry out completely, and then water it again. If you continue to water it too much, the roots will rot, and the plant will die.

If you think your succulent is turning white because it’s underwatered, the first thing you should do is start watering it more often. Let the soil dry out between watering so the roots can get air. If you continue underwatering your plant, the leaves will start to drop off.


A pest infestation is one of the most likely culprits that turn succulent white. Succulents are susceptible to several pests, including aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects. These pests can cause your succulent to turn white by sucking the sap out of the plant. This can weaken the plant and make it more susceptible to disease.


 If you suspect that your succulent is infested with pests, you can do a few things to treat the problem. You can try using an insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to eliminate the pests. You can also try using a natural predator like ladybugs or green lacewings.

Bad Soil

One of the most common reasons that your succulent may turn white is bad soil. If the soil is not well-draining, it can cause the plant’s roots to rot, which can lead to several problems, including discoloration of the leaves. 

Why is my succulent turning white
Why is my succulent turning white?


Luckily, there are a few easy ways to turn bad soil into good soil for your succulent. To start, you’ll need to add some organic matter to the soil. You can add compost or dry leaves as compost, manure, or even dead leaves.

Once you’ve added organic matter to the soil, you’ll need to make sure the soil is well-drained. To do this, add some extra holes to the bottom of your pot. 

Finally, you’ll need to give your succulent some extra TLC. This means ensuring it gets enough sunlight and water. If you follow these simple steps, your succulent should be back to its healthy self in no time!

Frequently Asked Questions (fAQs)

What does an overwatered succulent look like?

If you’ve ever noticed your succulent turning white, you may wonder why this is happening. While it may be alarming at first, there are a few reasons why this may be occurring.

First, succulents can store water in their leaves, and when they are stressed or don’t have enough water, they will start to lose their color. Second, sun exposure can also cause succulents to turn white.

How do you tell a succulent is dying?

Drought, overwatering, poor drainage, and extreme temperatures are all common causes of succulent death. So, how can you tell if your plant is on the verge of dying? Look for these five signs: wilting leaves, discolored leaves, mushy leaves, rotting roots, and stunted growth. If you see one or more of these signs, take action immediately to save your plant.

Why is my succulent white and fuzzy?

If you’ve ever found your succulent growing white and fuzzy, you’re probably wondering why. Here’s the answer: your plant is most likely suffering from powdery mildew, a fungal infection. Don’t worry, though – there are a few things you can do to save it.

How do I know if my succulent has root rot?

Chalk is a problem for many succulents and cacti. It can cause the leaves to turn white and eventually die. There are several reasons succulents get chalky, but the most common is watering with hard water. Hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium, which can build up on the leaves of succulents and cacti, causing them to turn white.

Can you bring a succulent back to life?

Succulents are one of the most popular houseplants and the most demanding. If you’re lucky enough to have a friend or family member with a succulent that’s about to bloom, you might be able to save it. Here’s how to bring a succulent back to life.

Wrap Up

If your succulent is turning white, it is likely because of too much sun exposure. If you live in an area with a lot of sun light, place your succulent in a spot that gets partial sun at most.

Also, be sure to check the soil moisture and water accordingly. Too much or too little water can also cause of succulent turning white. Following these tips can help ensure that your succulent stay healthy and green.

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