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White Powder On Succulents – Causes & Treatments

Seeing white powder on your succulents can be pretty concerning, especially if there seems to be a problem with your plant. But what causes it?

In some cases, white powder on succulents indicates an illness or pest infestation. Powdery mildew and Mealy bugs can also cause this.

Here is everything that you need to know about white powder on succulents. 

4 Causes For White Powder On Succulents And How To Fix Them 

There are four major causes of white powder on succulents. These things include a natural film, a build-up of minerals, powdery mildew, and mealy bugs.

Here we will be letting you know how you can tell the difference between these causes, how to treat them, and how to prevent these problems. Here are the four causes of white powder on succulents and how to fix them. 

Your Succulent Has A Natural, Waxy Film

Some succulents will have a natural, wavy film on their leaves. This film can sometimes appear to be white and powdery, and it is called farina or epicuticular wax. This wax protects the succulent from excessive heat, sunlight, and insect damage. Some succulents that are known to have a waxy epicuticular film include but may not be limited to: 

  • Blue Atoli 
  • Dusty Rose 
  • Pollux 
  • Lauii 
  • Pachysedum 
  • Chinese Dunce Caps 
  • Graptoveria 
  • Echeveria Blume 
  • Kalanchoe 
  • Crested Echeveria 
  • Moonstones 

The plants with epicuticular wax should appear to be healthy, and the wax should be uniform throughout the leaves. 

Do You Need To Do Anything To Fix This? 

No, you need not do anything about a succulent’s farina. The presence of epicuticular wax in many succulents is considered healthy and helps protect the plant from the elements. You do not need to worry about the farina being rubbed off by your finger either, as this is not likely to damage the plant. 

Powdery Mildew 

Powdery mildew is the next potential cause for white powder on a succulent. Powdery mildew is a disease caused by excessive moisture, and it manifests as a blotchy, white powder. It will be in spots rather than uniform over the whole leaf like farina is. Powdery mildew can damage plants, so it is best to prevent this problem and treat it quickly if it occurs. 

How To Treat Powdery Mildew

Luckily, there are some fairly easy ways to treat powdery mildew in succulents. Most treatments for powdery mildew involve spraying or applying a liquid onto the mildew to wash it off. This could be a rubbing alcohol spray, soap and water with baking soda, neem oil, a milk water mixture, and even plain water. 

How To Prevent Powdery Mildew 

The best way to prevent powdery mildew is not to overwater your plants. When watering succulents, it is best to water until the soil is just damp and not soupy or excessively wet. This is because too much moisture is what causes powdery mildew. 

In addition, it is also recommended that you water your succulents at the base of the plant. This means that you should avoid getting water on the succulent’s leaves. This is because a build-up of moisture on leaves can also lead to powdery mildew. 

Mealy Bugs 

Mealybugs are a troublesome pest that can affect succulents and cause a buildup of white powder on their leaves. You will also likely see a waxy, cobweb-like substance on your succulents. Mealybugs can damage your succulents, so treating your plant as soon as possible is best. Of course, it is a good idea to take precautionary measures when it comes to mealy bugs and succulents. 

How To Get Rid Of Mealy Bugs 

The best way to get rid of mealy bugs on succulents is to use a rubbing alcohol spray. This will kill the mealy bugs and eliminate that white powdery substance. You can use neem oil or a dish soap water mixture for this as well. 

How To Prevent A Mealy Bug Infestation

Placing worm castings in the soil around your succulents is a great way to prevent a mealy bug infestation. Plus, it also makes for a great fertilizer! 

Your Succulents Are Getting Too Many Minerals 

Occasionally a white powder on your succulents can also signify that they are getting too many minerals. This may be from your tap water or from giving your succulents too much fertilizer. This usually appears as a white powder build-up on the base of leaves. 

How To Fix This Problem

Although this is not too serious of a problem, there are some things that you can do to fix this issue. First, start watering your succulents with filtered or distilled water. This will prevent your plant from getting minerals from the water. In addition, you will also want to be careful about not over-fertilizing your succulents. 

How do you get rid of white powdery mildew on succulents

The best way to get rid of white powdery mildew on succulents is to wash it off. You can wash off powdery mildew with rubbing alcohol or a mixture of dish soap, water, and baking soda. In addition, some gardeners have also successfully gotten rid of powdery mildew by washing it off with water or a milk water mixture. 

What is the white stuff on my succulent leaves

Most of the time, the white stuff on succulent leaves is just its natural epicuticular wax. This is especially true if the wax is all over the leaves and the plant appears healthy. This wax is entirely normal and healthy on succulent leaves, and there is nothing that you will need to do about it. 

The only time that white powder is a problem on succulents is if it appears to be blotchy and if the succulent appears to be unhealthy. Usually, this problem in succulents is caused by powdery mildew, mealy bugs, or a buildup of minerals. 

How do you treat white powder on leaves

The best way to treat white powder on leaves is to identify the cause and create a treatment plan. For example, you will need to treat your succulent with a spray for powdery mildew or a mealy bug infestation.

However, you will only need some slight water and fertilizer changes if a mineral buildup is causing the white powder. Of course, the presence of epicuticular wax on succulent leaves is nothing to worry about, and it does not require any treatment. 

What do you spray on powdery mildew

There are several things that you can spray on powdery mildew to get rid of it on succulents. Here are some sprays that are known to be effective: 

  • Rubbing alcohol 
  • Soap and water 
  • A soap, baking soda, and water mixture 
  • A mixture of milk and water 
  • Water 

Of the above list, rubbing alcohol, soap, and water mixtures seem to be the most effective at removing powdery mildew on succulents. 

What does powdery mildew look like

Powdery mildew on succulents usually appears as a white powdery substance that forms in spots or blotches. This is much different in appearance from the healthy epicuticular wax, which should be uniform throughout the succulent’s leaves. 

Will powdery mildew go away on its own

Most of the time, no, powdery mildew will not go away on its own. This is why you should treat powdery mildew on succulents as soon as possible. Luckily though, powdery mildew is fairly easy to treat in succulents. 

Things To Consider 

You may want to consider some different things regarding white powder on succulents. These other things to consider include some other signs of a problem in succulents and some more tips for taking care of succulents properly. Here are some other things to consider about white powder on succulents. 

What Are Some Other Signs Of A Problem On Succulents? 

Unfortunately, powdery mildew and mealy bugs are not the only things that can cause problems in succulents. Here are some other signs besides the presence of abnormal white powder that your succulent plant may have a problem with. 

  • Brown or yellowing leaves 
  • Brown spots 
  • Browning on the roots or base of the stem 
  • Rotting leaves or stems 
  • Soft to the touch 
  • Wilting 

Most of these problems in succulents are either caused by disease or inadequate care. Of course, pests can sometimes cause these kinds of problems in succulents as well. 

Some More Succulent Care Tips

Knowing how to take care of your succulents properly will ensure that they thrive and prevent problems like powdery mildew. Here are some more succulent care tips to keep your succulents healthy and strong. 

  • Only water your succulents when the soil is completely dry 
  • A little goes a long way when it comes to fertilizing succulents 
  • Make sure that your succulent pots have proper drainage
  • Make sure that your succulents get enough sunlight ( a windowsill or sunny spot should do)