I recently bought a succulent as part of a gift box for a friend's birthday. I am taking care of it for a bit longer than I was expecting, and I suspect I have over-watered it. It's leaves are yellowing and dry. I will be presenting the gift on July 31st.

Firstly, is my assessment correct? The lighting in the photo is from the window where the succulent is placed. Is that enough for it? Secondly, can I salvage this succulent or should I purchase a new one for my friend?enter image description here

  • 1
    I am afraid you'll have to buy a new present for your friend. This one looks dead. How sad.
    – benn
    Jul 20, 2021 at 13:45
  • 1
    From the picture it's hard to guess what the plant is (or was!) so it's impossible to answer how much light it needed.
    – alephzero
    Jul 20, 2021 at 23:23
  • @alephzero I purchased the succulent as part of a gift box on Etsy. Unfortunately they did not provide any details about the succulent itself, only that it was about two inches tall.
    – Carina
    Jul 22, 2021 at 13:41

2 Answers 2


Whether it lives or dies, there is no way it will grow back into something that looks nice as a "gift" in ten days, so start looking for another present to give your friend!

Your guess that you overwatered it may be correct. Succulents usually take a long time (months or years) to die from underwatering, or even no watering at all. On the other hand if overwatering causes rotting, that can spread fast.

Turn the pot upside down and try to remove the plant and compost more or less intact. Then scrape away some compost to see what the roots look like.

If they are firm and white, they are probably still healthy and alive. In that case, I would cut off all the "dead" leaves, and see if the plant regrows from the roots. Don't give it any more water until it starts to regrow. Succulents store water in their roots, and that will be enough for it to start growing.

On the other hand if the roots are brown and soft, for practical purposes it is dead, so throw the plant and all the compost away, clean the pot thoroughly to get rid of any pathogens (mould and fungus spores, etc), and start again with another plant.


It's dead. Throw it away and get another gift (not plant or animal) for your friend.

  • Why not plants? :/
    – Spectra
    Jul 22, 2021 at 14:27
  • @Spectra I think the person is discouraging purchasing living things for a gift since this one did not work out.
    – Carina
    Jul 28, 2021 at 13:57

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