What causes root rotting are the pathogens that live in wet soil. Preventative Measure for Rotting Succulents . But the reality is that water alone does not cause rotting. In the case of succulents, the roots turn black or brown, soft and mushy, and may even emit a foul smell like that of decaying vegetables (1). Treating succulent root rot by rubbing alcohol. Don’t worry you are not cursed: you are probably just overwatering your plant, causing succulent root rot. Y ou hear it all the time “succulents are impossible to kill!” … but you have definitely had some succulents turn brown, mushy and die on you. This method has been suggested by some amateur gardeners; it would consist in rubbing alcohol on the damaged roots and parts of the plant to stop the root rot from growing. So, after separating the good from the bad, your care routine should incorporate the following to keep rotting at bay. What is Root Rot? Determining the cause of root rot will help you to recognize what may have gone wrong in caring for your succulents and cacti. The belief that water causes the rotting in succulent stems from the idea that succulents planted in wet soil would rot. Root rot is a disease all plants are susceptible to, particularly if the soil is wetter than it should. Root rot is a collection of diseases that can have many causes including fungus, bacteria, and overwatering. It will be utterly useless for you to eliminate rotting parts and propagate a new succulent plant, and still end up with the same problem. A Well-Draining Potting Mix