Calico Kitten plant with brown stems

5 Reasons Why Calico Kitten Succulent Is Dying!

Is Your Calico Kitten succulent dying?  Despite being a relatively low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plant, Calico Kitten (Crassula Pellucida ‘Variegata’, also known as Crassula Marginalis Rubra ‘Variegata’ ) can succumb to less than ideal environmental conditions or pests and diseases.

If your Calico Kitten is not looking as healthy as it should, this guide will help you identify common culprits and provide you with steps to take to help to ensure a healthier life for your beloved plant.

Here are the top 5 reasons why your Calico Kitten succulent might be dying.

Incorrect Watering

If you have overwatered your plant, your Calico Kitten may have brown, mushy leaves or a stem that is turning brown and spongy. The best thing to do in this case is to repot the plant in a dry, well-draining succulent potting mix. If you notice root rot while repotting, remove any rotten roots at the same time. Only water your plant whenever the soil feels completely dry to the touch and ensure the plant is in a pot with drainage holes so excess water can flow out of the pot.

Calico Kitten plants are very sensitive to over-watering, resulting in root rot. If in doubt, err on the side of less frequent watering. Root rot is more difficult for your plant to recover from than underwatering.

If you have underwatered your Calico Kitten, your plant may have shriveled, dry leaves. To remedy this, water the plant thoroughly by soaking the entire pot in water for a few minutes. Remove the pot from the water and allow it to drain thoroughly. Water your plant whenever the soil feels completely dry. In summer, this may be once a week and longer in cooler seasons.

Positioned Incorrectly For Optimal Light

To grow and flourish, Calico Kittens require bright, indirect sunlight. Place them close to a window that gets plenty of light if you’re growing them indoors, but keep them out of direct sunlight if possible. Too much direct sunlight can result in sunburned leaves. Calico Kitten plants can tolerate some direct sunlight but they need to be gradually acclimatised to it.

If planting outdoors, place it in an area with bright light that does not get direct sunlight.

You can also supplement your plant’s natural light with artificial lighting. Fluorescent lights are a good option for Calico Kitten plants. Place the grow light about 12 inches from the plant and leave it on for 12-14 hours per day.

Wrong or Old Soil

Like most succulents, Calico Kitten plants require well-draining soil that is on the dry side to prevent root rot from occurring. Use a cactus potting mix blended with perlite for better drainage. You can even add coarse sand to your potting mix in a 2:1 ratio to further aid the drainage ability of the soil.


Calico Kitten plants are prone to mealybug and aphid infestations. Any aphid or mealybug infestation should be treated with a spray insecticide.

Fertilizing Incorrectly

To ensure your calico kitten plant gets the nutrients it needs, examine the amount of fertilizer you’re using. Too much could be potentially harmful, so use only what’s recommended on the package.

You should only fertilize your Calico Kitten plant during its growing season of spring to fall with a succulent-specific fertilizer. Do not fertilize in winter, which is the plant’s dormant phase.

Full Care Guide For Calico Kitten Plants

For a comprehensive guide to looking after your Calico Kitten plant, check out our Everything You Need to Know About Caring For Your Calico Kitten Plant article.

Everything You Need to Know About Caring For Your Calico Kitten Plant

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