How To Save My Overwatered Lithops?

Last Updated on February 15, 2022 by Real Men Sow

Lithops are succulents that don’t like to be overwatered. Because they store water, the leaves can appear bluish. Lithops that appear yellow or shriveled indicate that the problem is often caused by overwatering.

Overwatering lithops can cause yellowing, mushy stems, and rotting roots. Take your lithops out of their container and cut the roots that are damaged. Then, treat the healthy roots with the fungicide. Use a new potting mixture to repot the lithops and keep it from getting too watered.

You can save your overwatered Lithops by following these steps:

  1. Remove the overwatered lithops
  2. Take out the damaged roots
  3. After cleaning, rinse the roots with water then dry them.
  4. The healthy part of your root system should be cleaned
  5. Use a new soil mixture and container to repot
  6. Move forward with your watering habits.

Underwatered VS. Overwatered Lithops

Lithops are a variety of succulents meaning they require less water than other house plants because they are succulents. Its large leaves can store enough water to sustain your plant for several months. It is less likely to underwater your Lithops and more likely to drown it.

It is possible to overwater your Lithops which can cause serious problems for your plant. Your Lithops may not need water during certain seasons. Overwatering can cause root rot and split open. If it continues, it will eventually kill your succulents. To ensure that your Lithops live in your home as long as possible, it is essential to know how to properly care for them.

Signs You are Overwatering Your Lithops

Yellow and Mushy Appearance

Your succulent is overwatered when its suffering from yellowing leaves. Lithops come as a range of colors and often resemble rocks. Healthy Lithops look strong and firm but if you start having yellow and mushy leaves, it means you’ve overwatered them.

Feeling the leaves can help you determine if they are mushy or yellow because they’ll feel swollen and mushy between your fingers. Lithops will be damaged if they are not allowed to dry between waterings because it will continue sucking water from the roots to the leaves. It results in yellow, mushy, and sickly-looking leaves.

Brown Spots on Overwatered Lithops

Edema is a condition that causes brown spots to appear on leaves and is more common with succulents. Because succulents are part of the cactus group, they require less water. Edema occurs when the Lithops root system absorbs more water than it can store in their leaves. The roots will continue to drink water, so the leaves won’t have to leave the room. This causes the membranes of the leaves to burst and creates brown spots in your Lithops.


Overwatering can cause Lithops to split in two ways. The first way would have excess water bursting out of the leaves and  would look almost like a jagged cut. Second, is where new leaves are pushed up from the root system. These new leaves will replace the old leaves, which will shrivel and eventually die when they arrive.

Both forms of splitting can be caused by too much water. It is important to not water the plant for long periods in either case. If a leaf is split randomly, do not water it until the leaf has healed but it won’t look as plump. As the new leaves grow, they will absorb nutrients from the older leaves. If the roots are also receiving water, the old leaves won’t be able to shrivel around new leaves.

Root Rot of Overwatered Lithops

Root Rot occurs when soil is not allowed to dry completely and moisture causes disease. Lithops require a lot of gravel-rich soil in order to drain well.

Root Rot is a common problem and it’s best to fix it immediately. These steps will help your Lithops recover after Root Rot.

  1. Feel the soil if it’s wet and feels waterlogged.
  2. Take a look at the roots of your Lithops. Roots that are brown and mushy are rotten.
  3. Use your fingers to remove rotten roots.
  4. Use a bleach/water solution to disinfect healthy roots.
  5. Let roots dry overnight.
  6. To reduce the risk of reinfection, you can repot your plants once they are dry.

Absence of Roots

It is discouraging to examine your Lithops roots for rotten roots. However, what if you examine your roots for rot, and find no roots whatsoever. This is what happens to succulents when they get too much water. However, it does not necessarily mean that the game is over.

What Happens To Overwatered Lithops’ Roots?

Lithops’ roots can become brittle if left in water too long. This is a sign that your Lithops need to be repotted in a pot that has better drainage. Succulents require little water and a lot of drainage in the pot. Lithops roots, which are delicate and require lots of space to grow, need extra attention.

Choose a pot that has enough space for roots to spread out and grow. To prevent soil problems in the future, use a cactus soil containing a lot of light rock and some fine soil.

Your Lithops is Dying

You can’t always fix everything and the Lithops will continue to deteriorate. You can do extensive research about Lithops to learn how to care for them and then try again with a different plant. These plants are so beautiful and unique that they are worth keeping in your home.

How to Save Overwatered Lithops

Step One: Examine the plant

You’ll have to find the source before anything else. To understand the condition of your plant’s leaves, soil, roots, and other factors, take a close look at it. You can then take the necessary steps in order to save your Lithops.

Step Two: Remove Damaged Roots

Get your Lithops out of the pot, and throw the pot away. Remove as much soil as you can from the roots. You can recycle any unused potting soil but make sure you take out any brown or mushy roots. Then clean the healthy roots.

Step Three: Allow Roots to Dry

Place your Lithops where they can dry for several hours.

Step Four: Propagate

You can divide your Lithops if it has split due to overwatering. Divide the plant into head sections before repotting to make a second one. Each plant should be immediately repotted in its own pot.

Step Five: Repot

Make sure you have good drainage when you buy a new pot. You can either buy a well-draining potting mix from a retailer or make your own. Gently repot the Lithops in the well-draining potting mix and new pot. Skip the next step if it is spring or winter, or the leaves seem really full. If you are in the growing season and your plants look dry, they will need water to soak through their leaves until it dries at the bottom. For future tracking, insert a moisture meter.

The Correct Way to Water Your Lithops

Watering Rules

  1. Only water your Lithops in the spring and autumn. Avoid watering in winter or spring.
  2. Wait until the soil is dry and the leaves are slightly dry to the touch.
  3. Water the roots/soil and not the leaves.
  4. For best results, use rainwater or filtered water.
  5. It is important that the pot drains well.
  6. Your Lithops will be splitting so don’t water them. The old leaves must be removed from the plant’s water supply.
  7. Don’t water if you aren’t sure if water is right for you.

Watering Frequency

It is time to have a drink when the soil has dried and the leaves are slightly shriveled. Some Lithops need watering only a few times per year. Others need water every two weeks during the growth season. Your Lithops should not be watered in the winter or spring.

Quality of Water

Tap water can contain minerals that are harmful to your Lithops’ health. Water should be filtered and at room temperature. It is best to water with room temperature water to prevent any temperature shock.

Quantity of Water

Give your Lithops a drink when it’s time to water them. Succulents love bottom watering because it encourages fragile roots to stretch and doesn’t pose a risk when watering leaves.

You should water from the bottom until you can see some moisture at the top of the soil. Some water will eventually drain out. It is better to get rid of excess water to stop the Lithops from trying to take it up.

How to Prevent Overwatered Lithops

Change the Watering Schedule

Lithops only require water for half of the year. Lithops grow in the summer and autumn so they only need water during those times. It is not a good idea to water them in winter or spring, when they aren’t blooming or growing. They will go dormant in those seasons and won’t need any water from you.

Your Lithops should be watered by the start of the summer season. Some plants only require water once a month, while others may only need it once a year. Others might only require watering once a year.

When the soil is extremely dry and your leaves are a little shriveled and shrunken, water your Lithops. A moisture meter can also be used.

Examine the Pot’s Drainage

It is important to ensure that your Lithops have good drainage in order to live a long and healthy life. It is best to have at least three drainage holes on the bottom of your pot. This allows water to drain without damaging the pot’s structure.

A well-draining potting mixture will improve the drainage of your plants. To improve drainage, combine one part potting soil and one part roughage (such small pebbles or sand). Lithops roots can be fragile so make sure to use well-draining soil. This is a great way to use river sand.

Avoid Watering at Night

Overwatering during the night can cause your plants to become more thirsty than they are during the day. Lithops can take in water even if they don’t need it, which can cause ruptured membranes.

Lithops sleep at night, so if you give water to them at that time it can disrupt their routine. They require very little water so it is important to give it to them when it is most convenient for them.

Use a Moisture Meter

The moisture meters are a great tool to ensure that you don’t wait to water your plants until they are ready. The moisture meter can be inserted into the soil to read the moisture level. This eliminates the guesswork of sticking your finger into the soil to check how dry it is. Do not water if the meter doesn’t read dry.

Remember that Lithops don’t need water in the winter or spring. Keep your plants healthy, even if you have a dry moisture meter. It will be time for watering again in the early summer, so the meter is a great tool to help you establish a watering schedule.

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.