Why Is My Succulent Plant Turning Yellow Or Changing Colors?

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If you are reading this because you’re wondering why your aloe, agave, or cactus is turning yellow jump below to read my answer.  

If you are wondering why your succulent is changing colors or losing its color read on.  

Losing/Changing Color

Many succulents, including Jade, need bright sunlight all day in order to maintain their bright colors.  If your succulent is indoors or growing in the shade, its color will slowly revert to a green color.  

Just to be clear, your plant is still very healthy. Here are a few ways to keep your succulents looking vibrant and bright all year:


Succulents love sunlight.  If you have a plant that is losing its color, try giving it some more sunlight or artificial light from a grow light.  You might just find its vibrant color restored.


As I hinted above, an indoor succulent that is properly watered will slowly revert to green (lame but true!).  I’ve discovered that if you stress your plant a little by not watering for a few weeks, you’ll likely cause the succulent to “blush” or change colors.

If you have a succulent that has faded in color, try letting the soil dry out for a little longer than normal and see what happens!


Most succulents enjoy mild 70 degree (fahrenheit) weather (just like us!).  You can get a succulent to change colors by exposing it to cold weather (above 40 degrees).  

Cold weather will stress the succulent and its colors will become brighter and more vibrant.    

Turning Yellow

If your plants leaves are turning yellow, you might be over-watering or under-watering.  


An early sign of over-watering is that your plant’s leaves fall off super easy. Another sign includes yellowing leaves that may feel soft or mushy. Your soil is likely very wet (even after many days of not watering).

Over-watering will cause some major, if not fatal, damage if not taken care of right away.  If your plant only has a few yellow leaves, you will most likely be able to correct the problem by watering correctly.  Check out my “How To Water Succulents” guide for more information.

If your plant has started to turn yellow and drop leaves, act quickly!  Here are some tips to remedy the situation:

  • Start by repotting your plant.  Remove it from the wet soil ang gently shake soil from the roots.  
  • Repot the plant in the appropriate, well-draining soil.  Make sure the container has a good drainage hole.
  • Make sure the plant sits without water for two to three days before watering again.        

If over-watering is not the cause, your plant may be suffering from not enough water.


An under-watered succulent will look wrinkled and start to shrivel up. If it’s not completely shriveled, you should be able to save your plant. Give it a very thorough watering by allowing the soil to get completely soaked. You should notice improvement after a few normal watering cycles.

If you have ruled out watering issues and your plant is losing color, it’s most likely a lighting issue as described above. Is your succulent having issues? Let me know in the comments below.

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  • Janie says:

    Nice article! In my case, the amount of light plays a huge role on whether my succulents lose color or not. I’d say light is the biggest deciding factor on what the color of your succulent is.

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