What's wrong with my plant? - Knowledgebase Question

Question by suculento
September 4, 2017
Hi, I have this plant (I believe it's a succulent, do you know which one?), and it is always like this. What is wrong with it? How often should I water it and how much? Where should I place it? Thanks a bunch!
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Answer from PlatyParty99
September 4, 2017


Your plant looks like an Echeveria "Perle von Nurnberg"-- It is very etiolated, which means it is stretching itself to find more light necessary for photosynthesis. This stretching is irreversible, but can be corrected (if you want; it's not necessary for the plant's survival) by "beheading" it (cutting off the top portion of the plant), pulling off some of the bottom-most leaves, letting the cut callous over for several days, and replanting the top part in a new pot of dry soil. Do not water it for about a week. Then very gently tug on the plant- if you feel resistance, the plant has grown roots, and is ready to be watered. If it pulls out of the soil, wait until it grows roots to water it. Make sure to move it into adequate lighting, doing so gradually as to avoid burning the leaves.
The base of the plant will continue to live. Remove some leaves, and new baby plants will begin to grow out of the trunk where the leaves used to be.
You may choose to cut the trunk into several segments, planting each the same way as described above.

It looks like the plant could use more water. To water most succulents, keep adding water to the pot until it starts dripping from the bottom (make sure your pot has drainage holes!) Let the water drip freely out of the pot- I suggest not putting a tray under the pot to catch the water while it's still dripping.

Bottom line, to keep your plant looking its best, give it more sun and more water. I strongly suggest starting a couple leaf propagations (you can look this up, there's a lot of info on this online) just in case the plant's health goes downhill in your process of trial and error. I believe trial and error is the best way to learn how to take care of plants. :)
Best of luck! A Perle von Nurnberg was my very first succulent. These lil guys are tough as nails! :D
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A comment from suculento
September 4, 2017
@PlatyParty99 thank you so much! That's a very comprehensive answer and will be more than enough to get right on track with the caring of my little Perle von Nurnberg :)

Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Answer from WillC
September 4, 2017


The lower leaf shriveling has been caused by inadequate moisture around the roots. It appears to be in an unusual potting mix that may not be retaining water very well. I suggest either watering more frequently or changing to a more standard potting mix.

A comment from suculento
September 4, 2017
@WillC I was indeed watering not frequently enough, so your recommendations are very welcome! Will start paying more attention to it, and also the potting mix.

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