Zebra Succulent Dying: How to Save It?

The most common cause of a dying zebra succulent is overwatering, which makes the leaves brown or yellow and causes them to droop and die. Zebra succulents can turn white if they are exposed to too much direct sunshine. 

Watering too gently causes the lower leaves to die back and the leaf tips to turn brown.

It’s crucial to recreate the circumstances of their original environment for dying zebra succulents by using gritty, well-draining soils, watering when the soil has dried up, and placing zebra succulents in bright, indirect light.

How To Save Dying Zebra Succulent?

In this article, before we find various reasons for a zebra succulent dying and how to save it, let’s first know something about this fascinating zebra plant: 

Zebra plants or Haworthias 


  • Zebra plants or Haworthias are delicate succulent houseplants often confused with Aloes and Gasteria plants as they are all Asphodeloideae family members. Haworthias are generally always small and slow-growing plants, unlike Aloes.
  • Zebra plants are drought-resistant succulents native to South Africa, where they grow in gritty, well-draining soil with little water retention and in bright, indirect sunshine with infrequent rainfall.
  • They don’t require much attention or maintenance, and they can go for weeks without water if necessary. They also look great in strange pots or with unusual soil combinations.
  • There are many different varieties of Haworthia to choose from when it comes to selecting one.
  • H. limifolia has ridged, chunky, firm-shaped leaves that are normally more triangular. The leaves have noticeable solid ridges that run the length of them.
  • H. attenuata and H. fasciata, both known as the Zebra Cactus, are two of the most popular varieties. The white tubercles that resemble warts cover the backs of the leaves in a striped pattern that mimics a Zebra stripe pattern.
  • Flowers will bloom on all healthy plants eventually, usually a few weeks after the “longest day” of the year, which is in the summer. 
  • The flowers aren’t particularly exciting, but because Haworthia is a slow-growing, compact plant with little visual activity throughout the year, the flowering season can be a welcome treat to indicate that your plant is “alive” and thriving.
  • Due to their ability to survive drought conditions, overwatering rather than underwatering is more typically the cause of a dying zebra plant.

What to do for a zebra succulent dying and how to save it:

Zebra Plant Leaves Turning Yellow, Brown and Soft

Signs: The leaves of the zebra succulent turn yellow, brown, or even black, and have a soft, mushy texture.

Reasons: Watering too frequently, using slow-draining soils, using pots with poor drainage, or using saucers and trays underneath pots to prevent water from draining around the roots.

If the soil is soggy, waterlogged, or simply too moist around the roots for too long from overwatering, zebra succulents turn brown or yellow with mushy leaves and a withering appearance.

It’s crucial to reproduce some of the growing circumstances in their native environment when cultivating zebra succulents, such as putting them in gritty soil and watering only when the soil has completely dried up.

Watering your zebra succulent too frequently, or placing it in conventional potting soil that stays damp for too long, results in too much moisture around the roots for this drought-tolerant plant to handle.

The first indicators of stress from overwatering are yellow, brown, and mushy leaves.

Water stress causes the leaves to turn yellow, brown, or translucent, with mushy leaves.

This is exacerbated by the fact that zebra succulents can go into a dormant state in the summer if the temperatures are extremely hot.

In hot and dry areas, a summer hibernation in which the zebra succulents stop developing is a survival mechanism to conserve water supplies.

This lowers the demand for moisture, putting the leaves at danger of turning yellow or brown as a result of repeated watering.

Your zebra succulent should also be in a pot with drainage in the bottom to allow excess water to drain out the bottom and keep the soil from becoming saturated.

Note that saucers, trays, and decorative outside pots can prevent water from draining correctly from the base of the pot, resulting in yellow or brown leaves or probable root rot.

How to Save Yellow and Brown Zebra Succulent?

Reduce the amount of water you use. You’re watering zebra succulents too much if you’re watering them more than once a week. Only water zebra succulents when the dirt in the pot has totally dried out. 

Watering once every 14 days or so is important, although the actual frequency depends on your environment, the time of year, the soil’s ability to retain moisture, and the size of the pot.

If the potting soil remains soggy, replace it. Even if you water your zebra succulents on a regular basis, if the soil is sluggish draining or stays damp for too long, the leaves will turn brown or yellow and die. 

Replace the soil with specially formulated succulent and cactus soil.

Succulents with zebra stripes should be planted in pots or containers with drainage holes in the bottom. After watering, drainage holes allow excess water to drain from the bottom of the pot, allowing the soil to dry out correctly and preventing root rot in the zebra plant.

Succulents in zebra print should be planted in pots that are appropriate to their size. Larger pots hold more soil, which means they may hold more moisture. 

This allows the pot to dry out much more slowly than a smaller pot, increasing the risk of root rot and death of the zebra plants. Smaller pots that are proportional to the size of the plant dry out at a rate that is suitable for the zebra succulent’s optimal moisture balance.

Regularly empty saucers, trays, and outside pots. Saucers, trays, and attractive outer pots are frequently used in the house to prevent excess water from overflowing from the soil after a watering session. 

To avoid your zebra succulent dying from water stress, make sure you drain anything underneath your container that may retain water on a frequent basis.

Feel the soil at the bottom of the drainage hole to determine whether the potting soil is dry. If the soil is still wet, wait a few days before watering. This is the ideal time to water your zebra succulent if the soil is dry.

When the soil dries out, water replaces it, replicating the natural cycle of moisture conditions in the zebra plant’s native environment and keeping it healthy.

Ensure that no roots or compacted dirt are blocking drainage holes, which could cause drainage to be slowed.

Your zebra succulent has a chance to recover from its dying appearance if the soil around the roots has dried fully and you are watering according to best practices or changing the soil with gritty succulent soil.

In two weeks, you can notice a difference in the condition of your zebra succulent.

When the leaves of zebra succulents turn yellow or brown, it’s usually a symptom of stress from overwatering, but if they turn black, it’s a sign of root rot, which is far more difficult to recover from.

If there are healthy offsets developing in the pot, try to separate them from the sick black part of the plant for propagation.

Depending on the time of year, zebra succulents may require more or less watering. 

Zebra Succulent Turning Red, Yellow or White

Signs: Leaves turn red, yellow, or even white (rather than dark green) without becoming mushy like a zebra succulent that has been overwatered.

Reasons: Too much exposure to the sun. Bright, indirect light is ideal for zebra succulents.

In their natural habitat, zebra succulents prefer to thrive in the shade rather than in the sunshine.

As a result, zebra succulents are ideal house plants since they can quickly adapt to indoor settings.

Zebra succulents thrive in bright, indirect light, which gives them foliage a healthy, dark green hue.

However, if you set your zebra succulent in direct sunlight, it may display indications of stress, such as turning red and finally white, which is a sign that the plant is straining to cope with too much light.

Too much sun and dehydration can cause zebra succulents to turn yellow.

Move a sun-damaged zebra plant to a bright, indirect-light environment to help it recover.

If the zebra plant is located in ideal conditions, it may often recover from excessive sun and the leaves will return to their distinctive dark green with white stripes.

Zebra Succulent with Brown Tips and Brown Lower Leaves

Signs: Zebra plants’ lower leaves can turn brown and crispy rather than mushy, and their tips can turn brown and crispy.

Reasons: Drought stress can be caused by not watering, watering too lightly, or having too much airflow.

Drought stress can be identified by the tips of the leaves becoming brown and the leaves at the base of your zebra succulent feeling dry and crispy.

Although zebra succulents are drought resistant and flourish in dry settings, they can still suffer from drought stress if they are not properly watered.

Although “succulents do not require much water,” zebra succulents require a generous soak, with excess water draining from the pot’s base.

While zebra plants need a good bath, they should only be watered when the soil has entirely dried out to mimic the watering conditions in their natural habitat.

Watering too lightly merely moistens the top inch of soil, and the water does not penetrate the soil well enough to reach the roots, where it is needed.

The zebra plant suffers drought stress as a result, with the leaf tips turning brown and the lower leaves drying out and dying back.

Strong wind, draughts, forced air, or air from a.c. or heat sources can all cause your zebra succulent’s soil and leaves to dry up quickly, turning the leaf tips brown and dying.

How to Save Zebra Succulents with Brown Leaf Tips and Brown Lower Leaves?

When the soil has dried out, water the zebra succulents. Feel the soil in the bottom of the pot to see how long it takes for it to dry out, then water well. This can assist in determining the best watering schedule for zebra succulents so that they do not suffer from drought stress, overwatering, or root rot.

Always give zebra succulents a good soak so that the excess water drains out the bottom of the pot. This is the most effective technique to guarantee that you have used enough water to effectively permeate the soil and let the roots absorb the moisture they require.

Make sure the zebra succulent isn’t in a room with a lot of draughts or air currents because they can dry up the soil and leaves. Keep zebra succulents away from strong air currents and in bright, indirect light.

The zebra succulent can be revived from its drought stress and fading appearance by watering it as needed with a good soak and placing it in a place away from air currents.

The zebra plant should recover after two or three watering rounds. Remove any dried, crispy leaves from the plant’s base that are easily pulled off to improve the plant’s appearance.

Care for a Zebra Succulent


Haworthias are adaptable plants that can tolerate a wide range of light conditions, but not direct sunshine or severe shade. All Haworthia leaves get an unsightly red, purple, or brown colour when exposed to direct sunshine. If the damage isn’t too severe, move to a shaded area and the colorings will fade over time.

Deep shadow, on the other hand, tends to weaken the plant over time. You may notice the plant turning excessively light green, losing its marks, or growing lanky instead of a compact. If you observe this, you’ll need additional light.


Watering While a surviving plant can get by with once a month watering, a healthy plant will need to be watered at least once a fortnight, if not once a week in really hot weather.

In any case, water well, then wait until the soil has dried up completely before watering again. These plants can withstand being submerged for long periods of time, but if they are overwatered, they will decay soon.

Make every effort to keep water out of the crown or rosette of the plant; in cold weather, this will increase rotting.


Between Spring and Autumn/Fall, the average interior temperature rises. Because this plant likes to relax during the winter, the natural colder temperatures found in an unheated or guest room are ideal. It dislikes being too cold and prefers temperatures of at least 4°C (40°F).


Because Haworthias rarely expand their pots quickly, repotting is only necessary infrequently and usually only when offsets have completely filled the pot. 

You’ll have to repot the clump if it works itself free, becomes unstable, and starts tumbling out of the container, so you’ll have to repot it. Use regular house plant or cactus compost, with grit or perlite added for drainage.

You can possibly utilise the existing pot / container if you divide the plant and remove a few offsets to lower the overall size of the clump. If not, simply choose a pot that is somewhat larger than the previous one.


Feed your Haworthia only once in a while, and make sure it’s a weak solution. It’s probably enough to feed them two or three times a year. Plants that produce a lot of offset around their base may benefit from a bit of additional feed, but don’t overfeed them because they’re not big eaters.


You can separate the offsets from the parent while repotting your Haworthia. Cut as near to the parent plant as possible with a sharp knife, making sure that the offset has some roots. Sometimes a knife isn’t even required because the offset is loose, like a wobbly tooth, and will just come away with a gentle tug. Just be careful not to be too aggressive!

Allow for a day for the offset to dry slightly before adding it to the compost pile. This reduces the risk of the raw “wound” rotting. Then, using a basic potting or cactus compost mix, plant up in a small container. Keep warm by drinking water.

Do this at the end of Spring or early Summer, when the weather is both warmer and lighter.

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