Ask a Question forum: Help with a potentially sick (long and thin) succulent

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Moonrabbit
Sep 22, 2016 8:52 AM CST
Posted this in cactus/succulent forum and was asked by moderator to repost here.

Several months ago, my family and I visited a local garden shop and bought a number of succulents. My son found a small piece of a succulent on the ground and brought it home with him. We potted it, and it has grown substantially (see picture). The problem is that it has grown a very long and thin stem such that it falls over without support. I do not know the plant's species but doubt that this growth is normal. I cannot believe the elongation is due to light deprivation. The succulent is placed by a south facing window that gets the most light in our home. We have many other plants, including other cacti and succulents, situated by the window, and these have not been experiencing any growth-related problems.

Can anyone identify what the problem might be? My only other thought is that the clipping came from a branch and that it will continue to grow as a branch (long and thin) rather than replicate the main form of the plant it came from.

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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Sep 22, 2016 11:47 AM CST
Did you see mother plant. I think of 2 possibilities. Not enough lite for variety. Or its for hanging pot. In which case id start a few more.from same plant.in same pot. And hang her up. 😎😎😎 Welcome! I tip my hat to you.
Name: woofie
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woofie
Sep 22, 2016 12:28 PM CST
Just throwing out a couple of things I noticed from the photos. It appears to be trying to form new roots above ground. Is it planted deeply enough? And it looks like there are some other plants in the pot with it? Perhaps it would be happier in it's own pot. No idea if any of this is relevant. Shrug!
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Name: Greene
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greene
Sep 22, 2016 12:33 PM CST
I agree I agree with Philip and woofie.
May I ask please what type of soil is it planted in? To my eye the soil looks very wet and dense; perhaps change to a different type of soil and maybe allow the soil to dry between watering?
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
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Calif_Sue
Sep 22, 2016 12:46 PM CST

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Yes, too wet and/or dense of soil is the first thing I noticed. Maybe repot into a cactus type mix for better drainage. It's leaning toward the light. You don't say where you live but could it be something you can grow outdoors rather than inside? At least most of the year?
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Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
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plantcollector
Sep 22, 2016 2:52 PM CST
Could it be a type of baby sunrose. If so it would hang down
Name: tarev
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tarev
Sep 22, 2016 4:03 PM CST
Hello Moonrabbit, I think it is a succulent type that is not the upright growing variety but more of a trailing one. It is also seeking more light as it trails down. Just cannot remember the name of one of my succulents before that has similar growth habit. I do agree as well that the container seems too big and media is too wet so maybe try to reduce container size so dry out time will be faster.

Moonrabbit
Sep 23, 2016 2:56 AM CST
Thanks all. For those who commented on soil, yes it is normal potting mix and holds more water than it should. I have not had time to get cactus mix and repot the plant but have been monitoring the water level and do not think this is a problem. The "roots" Woofie mentioned are actually the remains of dropped leaves. As the plant has grown longer, it has dropped leaves toward the base. No other plants in the pot.

In doing a bit more reading, it looks a bit like ghost plant, which appears to be able to trail.

If it is a light problem, is there an artificial (UV?) light I could buy to help? As I said, I have several succulents growing in the same area (same soil) with no problems at all.
Name: sy
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syzone8aUK
Sep 23, 2016 3:45 AM CST
Hi moonrabit, you might want to place some stones in the pot so the leaves aren't touching the soil.
I personally don't have any lights setup for my plants but there are quite a few! T5 growlights seems to be popular with indoor succulents, I have run out of room on windows, So lights might be my only option for new plants.

Edit: forgot to add if you do go for lights be sure to get the right spectrum 6500k daylight
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[Last edited by syzone8aUK - Sep 23, 2016 3:52 AM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Sep 23, 2016 11:44 AM CST
Hi Moonrabbit, you can mix in more perlite or pumice in your potting soil, so you can make it more porous.

I have finally been able to check my old succulent photos, your plant reminds me of my old Crassula capitella 'Campfire'. Just showing it here to give you an idea how some trailing succulents grow. Quite a fun plant to have as it changes color hues when it gets cold stressed, so it really enjoys being outdoors, and in my area with some shade during our hot summer days:
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[Last edited by tarev - Sep 23, 2016 11:44 AM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
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WillC
Sep 24, 2016 7:31 AM CST
Your plant is a type of Sedum. The pot is way too big to root such a tiny cutting. The soil is too heavy. It is not getting enough light.

Carefully unpot it and move whatever tiny roots you can find into a 2" pot filled with a porous Cactus potting mix. Then, move it to your sunniest windowsill. Water it only when the potting mix is dry half down into the pot.
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Moonrabbit
Sep 26, 2016 4:43 AM CST
Thanks all for your help. Based on your responses and pics, I assume that I have a form of trailing succulent. I repotted it in cactus mix with a layer of stone on top. Ordered a 6400K growlight that should arrive on Wednesday. Am attaching pics of new-and-improved succulent, one including some of my other succulents in background for reference.


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Name: sy
Northern Ireland (Zone 8a)
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syzone8aUK
Sep 27, 2016 2:36 AM CST
Lookin good moonrabit! Like your xmas cactus on the left! That's schlumbergera truncata, don't know what the plant on the right is! You can start threads in the plant id forum.. its great! Knowing what you have makes it abit easier to care for them Thumbs up
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madcratebuilder
Sep 27, 2016 8:38 AM CST
Your plants are going to love that T5HO.
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