Succulents, mainly cacti, are known as super durable plants that are able to grow while neglected. However, it doesn’t mean they’re immortal! Being living things as they are, succulents need attention and care just like any other plant does. Ignoring them for too long or applying improper caring will most likely make things go sideways.
Plants being your strong suit or not, if you notice succulents demise before their time comes, there’s definitely something wrong. Read through the list below and find out possible reasons behind succulent death.
1. Excessive Watering
Symptoms: Rotting roots; abnormally plump segments; soil damp 24/7.
A common mistake committed by many plant newbies and even gardeners. Succulents do need water indeed, but keep in mind that they’re originally from dry and warm climates; which means they require less amount of water with the frequency considerably lower than most plants. To avoid such issues, water your succulents weekly a fair amount of water regarding the size. Before watering, always check to see if soil is dry enough to require another drink.
2. Improper Drainage
Symptoms: Rotting roots; wilting
Watering doesn’t end after you moisten up the soil; you know what happens if something remains wet for a prolonged while and does not dry up: it rots. That’s what will happen at the base of plant pot if the water can’t find a way out. Make sure every pot has enough draining holes (unclogged, of course) before planting.
3. Tight on Space
Symptoms: Delayed growth; roots peeking out from bottom of pot
Another common mistake people make, sometimes without even realizing it. Small pots are undeniably cute, but you don’t want to risk your plants’ life for the appearance, do you? Succulents tend to have petite roots, however you should always make they have enough room to thrive in or else you’ll end up with inadequate growth and possible plant death.
Here’s the solution to this problem: Transplant whenever a plant runs out of space. Consider how much room they need to grow comfortably, choose a pot with enough space for your little friend (and don’t forget to check for drainage holes as well!) and move the succulent carefully. These plants are usually more tender than others, so you’ll need to handle them as delicately and gently as possible. Transplanting not only will expand the space available for your succulent, but will also lead to production of more baby plants around the mother stem. Thus you’ll be able to have a good amount of babies to extend your collection!
4. Not Warm Enough
Symptoms: Inadequate growth; shedding leaves
As mentioned before, succulents belong to warm climates. This means these sun-loving and delicate beings crave plenty of sunlight and warmth; chilly environment or insufficient sunlight can be fatal to your succulents. Make sure you place them beside a sun-catching window where they can sun-bathe and thrive.
5. Running low on Nutrients
Symptoms: yellow or brown segments; delayed growth
Obviously, every living creature needs a certain mixture of nutrients (from essential to trace) not only to survive, but to thrive and be productive. It’s a big mistake to ignore what kind of soil you’re using to plant your greens at, be it succulent or whatever other plant you’re deciding to take care of. Consult local plant shop staff and get a nutrient-supplemented pack of pot soil or simply purchase a cocktail of required nutrients and enhance the strength of your pot soil.
6. Beware of Pests
Symptoms: Presence of insects or eggs; wilting and rotting
Pests- destructors of the living tissue they are, and not even succulents are immune to these harmful beings. A wide variety of pests, from meal bugs and spider mites to scales and all types of fungi can infect your succulents and harm them quite severely if left untreated. Pest infection sometimes may lead to succulent death, particularly in case of worm infection which literally ends up with the plant drilled through multiple times.
Don’t panic. There indeed are methods to keep pests and disgusting fungi rot at bay. First off– maintain good plant hygiene. Remove any rotting or dead leaves and segments from the plant and from the pot. Cut off rotten stems whole if necessary. Make sure the soil isn’t preserving water for longer than required, improper drainage is a main culprit of plant rot itself. Only use clean and chlorine-free water to nourish your plants.
If your plants are infected with fungi, spray them with proper fungicide according to manufacturer’s instructions. Infection with insects, spiders and mites can also be treated by washing your plant under a good stream of water. If the case is scales, try gently wiping the surface with non-toxic alcohol wipe. Always make sure not to expose your plants to infection sources (e.g. unpackaged compost, forest soil or used pots) and check your succulents regularly for signs of infection. Prevention is the easiest and safest route, in case of infection already occurring you’d have a higher chance of saving your plant if you notice the symptoms earlier.