Succulent Leaves Splitting? Don’t Panic, Just Do This

We’ve all been there – you bring home an adorable little succulent, ecstatic to welcome this new plant baby into your life. You lovingly care for it, giving it the perfect amount of sunlight and water. But then, disaster strikes – the once plump, healthy leaves start cracking and splitting apart! What gives?

Don’t panic, plant parent. Splitting succulent leaves are actually a super common issue with a simple explanation and an easy fix. Keep reading to find out what’s causing the cracks and how to heal those sad, split leaves.

succulent leaves splitting

The Culprit: Too Much Water!

You’d think succulents would be grateful for extra hydration since they’re desert natives. But the truth is, overwatering is the number one reason succulent leaves burst open like that.

See, succulents are designed to store water in their thick leaves and stems during dry spells. But there’s only so much liquid they can hold. When you give them more water than they can handle, the inner leaf tissues swell up with nowhere to go, causing the outer layers to rip apart. Ouch!

Other times, the soil might stay sopping wet for too long, essentially waterlogging and drowning the poor plant. Either way, those split leaves are a cry for help from your overwatered succulent.

So, What’s a Plant Parent to Do?

If you spot cracked or splitting succulent leaves, stop watering immediately and let the soil dry out completely for about a week. Stick your finger down into the dirt – if it’s bone dry after 7 days, your plant is ready for a drink. But go easy! Give it just enough water to moisten the top 2 inches of soil, then let it dry out again before watering.

For extreme cases where the soil stays damp for over a week, you may need to repot your succulent in fresh, well-draining cactus/succulent soil. Let the bare roots air out for a few days first to help any rot dry up.

With the right soil and careful watering, those split leaves should plump back up in no time! Just remember – when it comes to succulents, drought is better than a downpour.

Preventing Future Splits

Of course, avoiding the splitting issue altogether is ideal. A few simple tips:

  • Use a fast-draining cactus/succulent soil mix or make your own with potting soil, perlite and gravel.
  • Pick a pot with a drainage hole so excess moisture can escape.
  • Size up to a slightly larger pot only when absolutely needed – succulents prefer being rootbound.
  • Let the soil dry out completely between waterings during the growing season.
  • Cut off watering almost entirely during the winter dormant period.

With a little experience, you’ll get the hang of how often to water each variety without overdoing it. And your succulents will reward you with thick, healthy, split-free leaves!

So don’t let those cracked leaves get you down. Just pull up a stool, take a seat, and get reacquainted with your thirsty little buddies. A little hydration rehab is all they need to get their sexy plump look back!