Updated August 2023
There is no doubt that succulents are one of the easiest plants to take care of. They can thrive in neglect, comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes, making them the ideal plant to take care of, especially when you're a busy office worker who is always on the go.
However, just like any other houseplants, succulents can have problems as well, especially when there's a change in their growing environment. And there's nothing more annoying and frustrating than fungus issues. They are absolutely the worst. They can come out of nowhere, and at the same time, destroy your succulents in just a blink of an eye!
But worry not! In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know, including how to recognize and treat them. Read on to learn more.
Powdery mildew is one of the easiest to identify among fungi. It tends to grow superficially, or epiphytically, on plant surfaces and has symptoms that are quite peculiar.
Photo credit: prackmatic from Reddit.com
When a succulent is infected by powdery mildew, it will most likely look like it has been dusted with a classic white or grayish, powdery coating. It usually starts as circular, powdery white spots on the leaves and stems. And as the infection progresses, the spots will turn yellow-brown and eventually black. The plant will also begin to have twisted and distorted leaves before it actually wilts and dies.
A lenient case of Powdery Mildew may go away on its own. But if you are wondering, a very effective fungicide for this kind of fungus is Copper. Just make sure to follow the label instructions carefully, as too much copper will be detrimental to the plant and the soil.
You can also try mixing one tablespoon baking soda and one-half teaspoon of liquid, non-detergent soap with a gallon of water, and spray the mixture liberally on the affected leaves.
- Make sure that your plant is well-watered before applying, and do not apply this treatment during daylight hours
- Baking soda can cause sunburn. It's best to test 1 or 2 leaves first to prevent problems.
[Sooty Mold]Sooty Mold (also known as Black Mold)
Sooty or Black Mold is the least damaging fungi to succulents. The presence of this fungus usually means that the plant has become infected by a sap-sucking pest, like mealybugs, aphids, whiteflies, and scale, and will show signs like black or dark brown, superficial fungal growth on the aerial parts of plants, particularly the upper leaf surfaces.
Photo credit: erratic_beetle from Reddit.com
In the early evening, spray the affected leaves of your plant with a solution of either horticultural oil or neem oil. Neem oil is less toxic and as well as an effective fungicide to breakdown sooty mold from your plant, especially heavy infested ones.
[Grey Mold]Grey Mold (also known as Botrytis Cinerea)
This fungus can easily be identified by its early symptoms of circular, gray-brown spots on surfaces of leaves and stems, which will grow fuzzy with mold as the infection advances. It is the kind of fungus that thrives in a moist, shady environment with poor airflow and can spread when the temperature starts to cool down and wet, usually in the early Spring or Summer.
In the early sign of plant infected by Grey Mold, Dishwashing Soap is one of the popular homemade fungicides. Just make sure that it doesn’t have greasers or bleach. For plants with a serious grey mold infection, the affected areas will need to be cut. Watering from the top should also be avoided.
Outdoor and indoor succulents can be infected by fungal leaf spots but are actually harmless. What makes it irritating is when the fungus gets too comfortable with your plant, the spot that started small will grow begins to look more like a blotch, which will most likely eventually ruin your plant.
There are several safe and convenient treatments you can do with a succulent infected by Leaf Spots. You can either use an all-purpose fungicide or simply spray your succulent with a mild solution of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), using ½ teaspoon per gallon of water.
Fusarium Wilt is an incurable soil-borne fungus. It enters the plant through the roots and begins reproducing in the vascular tissues, preventing it from taking up water, which causes heavy stress, wilting, yellowing, and most likely, death.
Sadly, there's no known treatment yet for a plant that got infected by fusarium wilt. The most recommended way to deal with this fungus to remove and dispose of the affected plant right away. Removal of fusarium-infected soil is also a must. This will help prevent the fungus from spreading.
Anthracnose is a group of fungal diseases caused by fungi in the genus Colletotrichum. This kind of fungus is characterized by circular, pale, sunken, or brownish spots, which will lead the plant tissues to dry up and become stiff like bark.
Once your succulent got infected by this fungus, the only way to save it is the removal of the affected leaves. Furthermore, it is best to replace the soil and pot of the contaminated plant, as well as make sure that your tools are perfectly clean to avoid this fungal disease from spreading.
To destroy any fungal bodies left and also for control, you may use fungicides that contain chlorothalonil, copper sprays with copper diammonia diacetate, propiconazole, and systemic fungicide thiophanate-methyl.
Root and Crown Rots
Root and Crown rots are one of the most difficult to be identified compared to other fungal diseases. They do not have any specific symptoms that may help you determine that your succulent is infected by one.
But to give you an idea, a plant with root rot will start to wilt, as the leaves turn brown, and eventually fall over as the stems begin to rot. Under the soil, the roots will turn brown and will easily break off if the soil is gently teased away.
Succulent root rot.
And if the root crown is also infected, fine feeder roots usually remain a healthy white to a tan color and can hold the root ball together well. But as soon as the soil is washed away from the plant, brown spots are visible on the cortex on the roots, as well as the root crown or base of the stem.
Sad to say, root and crown rot does not respond well to treatment. This, however, can be avoided by reducing moisture. To do this, simply make sure to use a well-draining and by providing just the right amount of water to your succulents. Just enough to fulfill your plant's needs. Additionally, mulch greater than 4-inches should be removed, this will help prevent your plant from sitting in overly wet soil.
Watch this video to see some of the tips in action!
See more about ROOT ROT TREATMENT FOR SUCCULENTS
If you found this article interesting, share it with your succulent loving friends!
And get a free plant when your friends make an order. Sign up here!
Find out more other Types of Succulents Care Guide.