How to Revive a Dying Zebra Succulent

How to Revive a Dying Zebra Succulent

The most common cause of a fading zebra succulent is overwatering, which causes the leaves to turn brown or yellow and appear to be withering. Zebra succulents can turn white from too much direct sunshine. Too little watering results in browning of the leaf tips and wilting of the lower leaves.

Zebra succulents (Haworthiopsis fasciata) need to be placed in bright, indirect light and given conditions that closely resemble those of their natural habitat in order to survive. This includes having soil that is grit-like and well-draining.

Due of their adaptations to withstand drought conditions, zebra plants more frequently die from overwatering than from underwatering.

To find out how to save your dying zebra plant, continue reading.

Zebra Plant Leaves Turning Yellow, Brown and Soft

  • Symptoms. The zebra succulent has soft, mushy leaves that turn yellow, brown, or even black with time.
  • Causes. Overwatering, soils that take a long time to drain, pots with poor drainage, or saucers and trays under pots prevent water from draining away from the roots.

Native to South Africa, zebra plants are drought-resistant succulents that thrive in rocky, well-draining soil with little water retention and strong indirect light.

Zebra succulents become brown or yellow, develop mushy leaves, and look to be dying if the soil is wet, saturated, or even merely excessively moist around the roots for an extended period of time.

Zebra succulents should be planted in grittier soil and watered only after the earth has completely dried up in order to mimic some of the growing conditions seen in their original environment.

The zebra succulent cannot take excessive moisture around the roots, which is caused by frequent watering or putting it in regular potting soil that tends to stay damp for an extended period of time.

Overwatering causes the earliest signs of stress in the form of yellow, brown, and mushy leaves.

As a result, water stress causes the aloe vera leaves to turn yellow, brown, or translucent with mushy leaves.

Zebra succulents can undergo a condition of dormancy in the summer if the temperatures are particularly high, which can emphasize this.

Zebra succulents have a summer dormancy in which they stop growing as a means of survival in hot and dry areas.

Because there is less need for moisture, there is a greater chance that over watering will cause the leaves to turn brown or yellow.

In order to prevent the soil from becoming soggy, it’s crucial that your zebra succulent is in a pot with drainage at the bottom that allows any excess water to drain away.

Notably, attractive outer pots and saucer trays can also prevent water from properly evaporating from the pot’s base, which can result in yellow or brown leaves or probable root rot.

How to Revive Yellow and Brown Zebra Succulent

  • Restrict the irrigation. Zebra succulents should only be watered once a week at most, so any more than that is overwatering. Only water zebra succulents after the dirt in the pot has totally dried out. Generally speaking, this entails watering once every 14 days or so, but the actual frequency depends on your temperature, the season, the soil’s ability to retain moisture, and the size of the pot.
  • If the potting soil is still damp, replace it. Even though you water zebra succulents at the proper intervals, if the soil is difficult to drain or remains wet for an extended period of time, the leaves may still turn brown or yellow and appear to be dying. Replace the soil with specially formulated succulent and cactus soil, which replicates the well-draining, grit-rich soil profile of the zebra succulent’s natural habitat and is available at garden centers and on Amazon.
  • In pots and other containers with drainage holes in the bottom, plant zebra succulents. Drainage holes allow excess water to escape the bottom of the pot after watering, allowing the soil to dry out correctly and preventing root rot, which would otherwise kill the zebra plant.
  • Zebra succulents should be planted in pots that are appropriate for their size. Larger pots have more soil in them, which means they can hold more moisture. Because of this, the pot dries out much more slowly than a smaller container, which increases the possibility that the zebra plants will develop root rot and die. For the zebra succulent to maintain the ideal moisture balance, smaller pots that are proportional to the size of the plant dry out at a rate that is suitable.
  • Regularly empty the outer pots, trays, and saucers. In the house, following a round of watering, saucers, trays, and attractive outer pots are frequently used to stop extra water from pouring from the soil. To avoid your zebra succulent from dying from water stress, make sure to frequently dump anything underneath your container that may retain water.

Feel the dirt at the bottom through the drainage hole to determine whether the potting soil is dry. Refrain from watering for a few days if the soil is still damp. This is the ideal time to water your zebra succulent if the soil is dry.

The zebra plant is kept healthy by watering when the soil dries out because this mimics the soil’s natural cycle of moisture conditions.

Make sure that no roots or compacted soil are obstructing the drainage holes, which could cause drainage to slow down.

Your zebra plant has a chance to recover from its appearance of death if the soil has completely dried up around the roots of the zebra succulent and you are watering according to best practices or replacing the soil with gritty succulent soil.

In the ensuing two weeks, you should start to see changes in the state of your zebra succulent.

The yellowing or browning of zebra succulent leaves is frequently only a symptom of stress brought on by overwatering, but if the leaves begin to turn black, this may be an indication of root rot, which is much more difficult for the plant to recover from.

I would advise trying to separate the healthy offsets from the unhealthy black part of the plant for multiplication if the zebra succulent has any growing in the pot.

(Read my post to learn the best methods for watering zebra succulents to find out whether zebra succulents need watering more frequently or less frequently according on the time of year.)

Zebra Succulent Turning Red, Yellow or White

Zebra Succulent Turning Red, Yellow or White

In their native environment, zebra succulents naturally thrive in shaded regions rather than in full sunlight.

This is why zebra succulents make great indoor plants since they are so adept at adjusting to the circumstances inside.

Zebra succulents flourish in bright, indirect light, which gives the leaves of the plants a vibrant, dark green hue.

However, if you set your zebra succulent in direct sunlight, it can exhibit stress symptoms like becoming red and then white, which is an indication the plant is attempting to handle too much light.

Zebra succulents can occasionally turn yellow from too much sun and dryness.

Move a sun-damaged zebra plant to a perfect bright area with indirect light to help it recover.

If placed in ideal circumstances, the zebra plant may frequently recover from too much sun and its leaves can return to their distinctive dark green with white stripes.

Zebra Succulent with Brown Tips and Brown Lower Leaves

Zebra Succulent with Brown Tips and Brown Lower Leaves

A zebra succulent is suffering from drought stress if the tips of the leaves are turning brown and the base leaves feel dry and crispy.

Although zebra succulents are drought tolerant and do well in dry conditions, they can still experience drought stress from inadequate hydration.

The phrase “succulents don’t need much water” is frequently used, however it might be taken to suggest that plants like the zebra plant shouldn’t be given a lot of water when in fact they need a generous soak such that extra water drips from the bottom of the pot.

Zebra plants do need a good soak, but to mimic the watering conditions in their natural habitat, they should only be watered when the soil has entirely dried out.

When plants are watered too sparingly, the top inch of soil is barely moistened, and the water does not effectively penetrate the soil to the roots, where it is needed.

Due to this, the zebra plant experiences drought stress, which results in the browning of the leaf tips and the drying out and withering of the lower leaves.

The soil and leaves of your zebra succulent can soon dry out and turn brown with a dying appearance if there is too much wind, air currents from air conditioning, draughts, forced air, or conventional currents from sources of heat.

(Read my article, Zebra succulent with brown leaf tips, for additional information.)

How to Revive Zebra Succulents with Brown Leaf Tips and Brown Lower Leaves

  • The soil of zebra succulents has to be irrigated once it has dried out. When the dirt at the bottom of the pot feels dry, check the time it takes for it to dry out and then water thoroughly. This can assist in determining the ideal watering plan for zebra succulents so that they do not experience drought stress, over watering, or possibly root rot.
  • Always give zebra succulents a deep soak so that any extra water drips out the bottom of the pot. The easiest way to make sure you have applied enough water to adequately penetrate the soil and let the roots to absorb the hydration they need is to do this.
  • Make sure the zebra succulent is not in an area with strong air currents or drafts because they can dry up the soil and the foliage. Zebra succulents should be placed away from strong air currents and in bright, indirect light.

The zebra succulent can recover from its drought stress and appear to be dying by receiving regular, thorough soaks of water and being placed away from air currents.

The zebra plant should start to recover after two or three cycles of watering. If any dried, crispy leaves at the plant’s base readily come off, remove them to enhance the plant’s appearance.

(Read my post on how to cultivate and take care of zebra succulents for a complete list of best practices.)

Key Takeaways:

  • The most common causes of a dying zebra plant are overwatering and slow-draining, moist soils, which make the leaves turn brown or yellow as a sign of stress. If zebra plants are exposed to too much sunshine, they will turn white. Due to dry stress, the leaf tips turn brown and the lower leaves begin to die.
  • Reduce the frequency of zebra plant waterings so that the soil has a chance to dry up. Plant zebra succulents in pots with drainage holes on the bottom so that any extra water may drain. The soil should drain well. In order to prevent root rot, periodically empty saucers, trays, and outer pots.
  • Zebra succulents should be located in a bright, indirect area. Overexposure to the sun may result in leaves that turn red, white, or even yellow.
  • To prevent drought stress and to revitalize the plant, give zebra succulents a generous soak of water and place them in quiet parts of the home.


Why is my zebra plant drying out?

You should keep your Zebra plant in a humid atmosphere. Incorporate a pebble tray, mist frequently, or put a humidifier close by. The frequent temperature changes caused by heaters or air conditioners might also result in dry areas or dry leaf edges. Verify that your plant is not near any open vents or in a drafty place.