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Name: Plant killer
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
bucsnation1984
Oct 17, 2021 10:44 PM CST
Hello,


I've been killing plants for about a year now, and wondering if anyone can give me pointers. This plant seems to be dying on me and I'm not sure why.....so the red plant is this one, only two months ago. The bottom photo was taken maybe a month after having it, the too two photos are cureent. Now this thing only has like four leaves left. Am I just severely dehydrating this thing? It went from being a pretty red plant, to an ugly white dead looking plant.

Thanks for any help


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South Germany (Zone 7b)
just mlem on!
Miniature Gardening Cactus and Succulents Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader
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dewayx
Oct 18, 2021 6:51 AM CST
The first one looks like it has far too little sun or has begun to rot from overwatering, the last one looks like it's about to show signs of overwatering.

How to make better?
Water less or put up in a sunnier place.
Check the soil, if it's something rick of well-decayed organic matter (humus and such) or if it has maggots down there nom nomming away at those roots... yea, change it.
Coconut compost works well too for these if you don't want to go with sand/grit/peat compost combo, just something that drains well. No damp soil for two days in a row from just one watering should happen, that's the easiest way to get elongated internodes (the space between the leaves gets larger).

But faint leaves usually means not enough sunlight.

Would help immensely if you could tell us what soil that is and what light conditions it was in so far, because so far that's just a little guess from a hobbyist.
Anyways, I would immediately repot it into more loose soil and water a bit less, definitely not water at all the first half or full week after repotting. Also I'd scrape off some if not all old soil to look for parasites, after that put it up in a shady spot for until the first watering, after which it would get a south facing window with 7+ hours of daily full sun.
get the mlems in! Don't let them get wet or stale outside, come on!
Name: Plant killer
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
bucsnation1984
Oct 18, 2021 7:18 AM CST
I actually haven't watered for about a month or possibly more. The soil just looks wet because I gave them a good soaking. I clipped all the old shriveled leaves off the bottom of this plant. I'm wondering if I'm underwatering for this plant. I'm not 100% sure, but this is the only one that looks like it's dying now. I'm using a succulent/cactus soil I bought at a gardening store. So the third photo is right after repotting. So it's drastically changed. This specific plant is in my living room tv stand right next to the sliding door. It gets indirect light for 8+ hours. I also have 4 other plants in the same room that aren't wilting away....Do you think the Miracle Gro succulent plant food pump stuff is killing it? I used it two waterings in a row to try to see if it helped, but nope. All the other plants receive the same treatment, but they don't look like they're dying away..
South Germany (Zone 7b)
just mlem on!
Miniature Gardening Cactus and Succulents Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader
Image
dewayx
Oct 18, 2021 7:45 AM CST
Feeding directly after repotting is a good way to burn off roots, for old bonsai trees that needed a lot of root pruning at least XD

Don't know if that carries over 1:1 to echeveria and similar succulents, but overfeeding is a good way to get long internodes too while killing off mature leaves too early.

The most secure way to save it is to propagate its leaves or stem and just disregarding the base.
For that you'd cut a cm below the last healthy leaf and stick it into the ground or take a leaf off and let it sprout some roots, then plonk that into some soil.
Nothing is impossible to save though, but I couldn't and would cry for help here on the forum too XD

For Bonsai: If you overfed by a large amount and don't notice soon enough (accidental use of 14-14-14 instead of 5-5-5 in the same quantity as 5-5-5, nearly triple the nutrients concentration AND going by one tree with the fertilizer twice accidentally, happened to me on a ficus americana once) then you also need to overwater by a bit and salvage what's left afterwards. If you use solid fertilizer like i do, you can repot and completely bare-root the tree and rinse the roots, but only if you notice fast enough.
In my case, everything was too late and only thing I had left was to fight reverse osmosis (trees inability to suck in water if the mineral/nutrients concentration is higher outside than inside, or even lose water through the roots) and water twice a day. The tree shot out aerial roots like crazy in search for water, i put those in separate pots which i put onto the other pot. The tree got a hard prune two times that year and the next year it was on its way to recovery. It died 2017 of root lice and ants, still not fully recovered and root system still severely weakened.

I don't know how good this carries over to echeveria either, but I guess it's an issue all plants could face and depends heavily on the fertilizer concentration and contents.

One thing that definitely doesn't carry over is to water and prune more because pruning in succulents means more like chopping things up XD

Thumb of 2021-10-18/dewayx/cca33e That's what kinda growth you can expect if you water more as response to overfeeding. Don't worry, you're not alone XD
get the mlems in! Don't let them get wet or stale outside, come on!
South Germany (Zone 7b)
just mlem on!
Miniature Gardening Cactus and Succulents Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader
Image
dewayx
Oct 18, 2021 7:54 AM CST
Oh btw...
The thread "Help with regrowing succulents" in Cactus and Succulents forum
This thread might help if you want to know how to rescue and propagate the plant using leaves :)
get the mlems in! Don't let them get wet or stale outside, come on!
Name: John
Pomona/Riverside CA (Zone 9a)
CPPgardener
Oct 18, 2021 8:11 AM CST
More sun, more sun, more sun. Indirect light just won't work for plants that want at least half a day of actual, direct, sun. Your other option is plant grow lights. Changing the watering won't do any good unless you change the light.
Succulents can be low care plants, but they MUST have at least some direct sun.
β€œThat which is, is.That which happens, happens.” Douglas Adams
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
Oct 18, 2021 8:31 AM CST

Moderator

Yes, more light. The plant needs to "see" the sun for hours a day year round. There's no way you'll get more than half a day of it indoors (except in just the right location at just the right time of year) and there's no way it will be direct indoors (regular window glass cuts a lot of the UV out) but you need to provide the absolute maximum possible amount. The more, the better. Right in front of your sunniest southerly facing window, assuming you're in the northern hemisphere.
Name: Plant killer
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
bucsnation1984
Oct 18, 2021 7:59 PM CST
Gotcha.....my only question to the direct sunlight thing iis, why is this the only plant that is struggling? All my other plants see the same amount of sunlight. Im in Los Angeles area.


Sorry for the 1000 questions, I'm a dude who really doesn't know anything about gardening. I've already killed about 7 succulents already. (They said it was easy to take care of succulents πŸ™„πŸ˜‚) I think my earlier issues were over watering. How do my other plants look? The last photo I don't get. He looks plump and healthy, but the leaves are all drooping. I lightly squeeze the leaves and they are plump and stiff. πŸ˜’πŸ˜€πŸ˜³


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Name: Plant killer
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
bucsnation1984
Oct 18, 2021 8:28 PM CST
CPPgardener said:More sun, more sun, more sun. Indirect light just won't work for plants that want at least half a day of actual, direct, sun. Your other option is plant grow lights. Changing the watering won't do any good unless you change the light.
Succulents can be low care plants, but they MUST have at least some direct sun.


The reason I'm thinking I'm underwatering is that the plant leaves were all shriveled up and crispy. They remove easily when you pull them off....

Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Oct 18, 2021 8:56 PM CST
bucsnation1984 said:

The reason I'm thinking I'm underwatering is that the plant leaves were all shriveled up and crispy. They remove easily when you pull them off....


Two things in your last posts. First, some plant simply require more light than others. Those Sansevierias in your photos will manage a lot lower light than the plant in your last photo which is showing signs of etoliation. It's possible the leaves turning down at the bottom are a response to that. They are repositioning so their surface catches more light. The real tip off is the slender growth and the increasing space between the leaves along the upper part of the stem. That's etoliation in progress, I think, and will only get worse as the plant grows unless it receives more light. It's a problem I contend with every winter when I have to move plants indoors to low light conditions.

Second. The leaves all shriveled indicate a historical problem or natural shedding of old growth as new growth above takes precedence. This is a natural phenonemon for a lot of plants and is just a part of their being living things. But they may also indicate compromised roots. That can be harder to identify since both being too wet or too dry for too long can cause the same effect. It could also be damage from some kind of soil dwelling insect. That seems less likely to me, but still possible. Hard to know. Best is usually to try and determine the moisture in the potting medium if you can. If you can determine it's really dry, then make sure it gets soaked and then let it get almost dry again before giving it water again. If the plant has developed rot, that is likely to continue at a faster rate with the water. All you can do is watch and be patient. Sometimes, when a root ball has gotten too dry it will try to repel moisture. I find that sitting the container in water and letting it soak up from the hole in the container to the surface is the best means of overcoming that kind of dryness. If your container doesn't have a drain hole, then it's likely the plant stayed to wet. Containers without drainage can be bone dry on the upper part of the root ball and soggy on the bottom. That is an effective means of compromising the roots of plant until it reaches the point of no return.
Donald
Name: Plant killer
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
bucsnation1984
Oct 18, 2021 9:23 PM CST
needrain said:
Two things in your last posts. First, some plant simply require more light than others. Those Sansevierias in your photos will manage a lot lower light than the plant in your last photo which is showing signs of etoliation. It's possible the leaves turning down at the bottom are a response to that. They are repositioning so their surface catches more light. The real tip off is the slender growth and the increasing space between the leaves along the upper part of the stem. That's etoliation in progress, I think, and will only get worse as the plant grows unless it receives more light. It's a problem I contend with every winter when I have to move plants indoors to low light conditions.

Second. The leaves all shriveled indicate a historical problem or natural shedding of old growth as new growth above takes precedence. This is a natural phenonemon for a lot of plants and is just a part of their being living things. But they may also indicate compromised roots. That can be harder to identify since both being too wet or too dry for too long can cause the same effect. It could also be damage from some kind of soil dwelling insect. That seems less likely to me, but still possible. Hard to know. Best is usually to try and determine the moisture in the potting medium if you can. If you can determine it's really dry, then make sure it gets soaked and then let it get almost dry again before giving it water again. If the plant has developed rot, that is likely to continue at a faster rate with the water. All you can do is watch and be patient. Sometimes, when a root ball has gotten too dry it will try to repel moisture. I find that sitting the container in water and letting it soak up from the hole in the container to the surface is the best means of overcoming that kind of dryness. If your container doesn't have a drain hole, then it's likely the plant stayed to wet. Containers without drainage can be bone dry on the upper part of the root ball and soggy on the bottom. That is an effective means of compromising the roots of plant until it reaches the point of no return.


Okay, so do you guys all think everything except my snake plants basically needs to be outside? Not sure I should've purchased these then. I live in an apartment. lol

I have the pots with the drain holes at the bottom...I purchased a water meter on amazon yesterday so I can be more consistent with the watering. Before I think I was watering once a week, now it's really inconsistent. I think it's been a month since last watering.

Funny you mentioned setting the plant in a container and let it soak. I literally just watched a video showing this for maintenance.

I don't think they sell that here. At least I couldn't find it on amazon. She said it's a soil wetter.

Sorry for the stupid questions. lol
Name: Plant killer
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
bucsnation1984
Oct 18, 2021 9:25 PM CST
dewayx said:Feeding directly after repotting is a good way to burn off roots, for old bonsai trees that needed a lot of root pruning at least XD

Don't know if that carries over 1:1 to echeveria and similar succulents, but overfeeding is a good way to get long internodes too while killing off mature leaves too early.

The most secure way to save it is to propagate its leaves or stem and just disregarding the base.
For that you'd cut a cm below the last healthy leaf and stick it into the ground or take a leaf off and let it sprout some roots, then plonk that into some soil.
Nothing is impossible to save though, but I couldn't and would cry for help here on the forum too XD

For Bonsai: If you overfed by a large amount and don't notice soon enough (accidental use of 14-14-14 instead of 5-5-5 in the same quantity as 5-5-5, nearly triple the nutrients concentration AND going by one tree with the fertilizer twice accidentally, happened to me on a ficus americana once) then you also need to overwater by a bit and salvage what's left afterwards. If you use solid fertilizer like i do, you can repot and completely bare-root the tree and rinse the roots, but only if you notice fast enough.
In my case, everything was too late and only thing I had left was to fight reverse osmosis (trees inability to suck in water if the mineral/nutrients concentration is higher outside than inside, or even lose water through the roots) and water twice a day. The tree shot out aerial roots like crazy in search for water, i put those in separate pots which i put onto the other pot. The tree got a hard prune two times that year and the next year it was on its way to recovery. It died 2017 of root lice and ants, still not fully recovered and root system still severely weakened.

I don't know how good this carries over to echeveria either, but I guess it's an issue all plants could face and depends heavily on the fertilizer concentration and contents.

One thing that definitely doesn't carry over is to water and prune more because pruning in succulents means more like chopping things up XD

Thumb of 2021-10-18/dewayx/cca33e That's what kinda growth you can expect if you water more as response to overfeeding. Don't worry, you're not alone XD



For my plants I've just used the Miricle Gro Indoor succulent pump stuff. Says it's 0.5-1-1

Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
Oct 18, 2021 10:00 PM CST

Moderator

Those plants don't need to be outside if they can be right inside a southerly facing window (pointing anywhere from SW to SE).

The MG products are almost always dosed way more than your plants need or will be able to use indoors. Just out of curiosity, what's the volume coming out of the pump, approximately (using a measuring spoon to get a rough estimate)? For reference, I use the regular MG granulated formula but I use it at 1/20 the recommended dose (that is 5% of what they say to use) for my outdoor plants.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Oct 18, 2021 10:17 PM CST
bucsnation1984 said:

Okay, so do you guys all think everything except my snake plants basically needs to be outside? Not sure I should've purchased these then. I live in an apartment. lol

I have the pots with the drain holes at the bottom...I purchased a water meter on amazon yesterday so I can be more consistent with the watering. Before I think I was watering once a week, now it's really inconsistent. I think it's been a month since last watering.

Funny you mentioned setting the plant in a container and let it soak. I literally just watched a video showing this for maintenance.

I don't think they sell that here. At least I couldn't find it on amazon. She said it's a soil wetter.

Sorry for the stupid questions. lol

You saw a video that's special for soaking? Never heard of that. By soaking from the bottom you just need a bowl, bucket or some other container that holds water and is deep and wide enough to set the container with the plant in. Then add water and let the plant soak it up via the drain hole. I like for the surface to be damp to touch if I'm working with something that feels really dry, but sometimes it takes too long and I'll judge it by weight or probing beneath the surface to see how high the moisture has risen in the rootball. Some people use a bamboo skewer and check the moisture that way. I can't imagine buying a special container for that. Send me the link for the video if you can. I'd like to see it Hilarious! .

Your questions aren't stupid. Except those you don't ask nodding . Most everyone here started out inexperienced at one time. Some might have started with more knowledge by being exposed by a relative or other circumstances, but a lot of posters here started from scratch. They got an apartment and looked in House Beautiful and saw the attractive plants here and there. They worked in an office and someone had left a plant there and they began the process of learning to care for it. They were gifted a plant and suddenly were the owners of something alive instead of an inanimate object sitting on a shelf or hanging on the wall that just required dusting off occasionally. There is no telling the number of dead plants in the growing history of the folks who post and share experience on this forum. I guarantee the number is huge. Even the most expert growers working with the most congenial climate have failures. Failures and death may get less, but it still happens to us all. A new appearance by an unfamiliar insect. A freak weather event. Often, an illness or a vacation or some event that causes some negligence and the plant is a goner before you get squared away. Or managing harsh winters or unforgiving summers. What happens to your plants if the heating/cooling dies and it's several weeks before it repaired/replaced? Sometimes they can make those inanimate objects pretty appealing Hilarious! Nah! Not gonna happen.
Donald
Name: Plant killer
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
bucsnation1984
Oct 18, 2021 10:47 PM CST
Baja_Costero said:Those plants don't need to be outside if they can be right inside a southerly facing window (pointing anywhere from SW to SE).

The MG products are almost always dosed way more than your plants need or will be able to use indoors. Just out of curiosity, what's the volume coming out of the pump, approximately (using a measuring spoon to get a rough estimate)? For reference, I use the regular MG granulated formula but I use it at 1/20 the recommended dose (that is 5% of what they say to use) for my outdoor plants.


Oh...so maybe that's why some reviews on amazon mentioned the succulent stuff I purchased killed all their plants. nodding Probably because of what you said, it's kinda overkill. I was using one-two pumps on those succulents. I'll check on that volume tomorrow and update you if that's okay.
Name: Plant killer
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
bucsnation1984
Oct 18, 2021 10:52 PM CST
needrain said:
You saw a video that's special for soaking? Never heard of that. By soaking from the bottom you just need a bowl, bucket or some other container that holds water and is deep and wide enough to set the container with the plant in. Then add water and let the plant soak it up via the drain hole. I like for the surface to be damp to touch if I'm working with something that feels really dry, but sometimes it takes too long and I'll judge it by weight or probing beneath the surface to see how high the moisture has risen in the rootball. Some people use a bamboo skewer and check the moisture that way. I can't imagine buying a special container for that. Send me the link for the video if you can. I'd like to see it Hilarious! .
.


Sent via private message due to me being a newb per forum rules.

In the video she soaked the succulents for 24 hours in something called soil wetter, than showed the video 24 hours later. You can see they improved after soaking in that "soil wetter" overnight. I dunno if I'm being a newb purchasing a moisture meter and if they work or not, but i'll have it tomorrow.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Image
needrain
Oct 18, 2021 11:07 PM CST
She was soaking succulents? 24 hours? That doesn't sound too good to me. I've never used a moisture meter. I think others here can give you feedback on those. I've used those gel bits once, but not on succulents and they came as a sample. They were pretty weird to use, I thought. One of the first tries caused the plant to come completely out of the container once they'd swollen up with water. Never did get the hang of it, so at one point all that I had left was worked into an inground flowerbed. They were there for a while.
The link may not work in treemail either. The restriction may apply to your user name and/or password and if it is, it won't work that way either. In any case, it hasn't shown up in my treemail. I think the wait time isn't that long until you get past being new. Seems like it was about 10 days or something like that. It's only in place to avoid spammers and they usually strike quickly and with masses of spam posts. That's how the restriction came to be, I think. Multiple forums got clogged up with multiple spam posts.
Donald
[Last edited by needrain - Oct 18, 2021 11:26 PM (+)]
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Name: Plant killer
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
bucsnation1984
Oct 20, 2021 7:07 PM CST
Hey everyone,

I know, I know. This guy again.

So I got my water meter and question. I literally soaked these things last weekend, and according to this meter, pretty much everything is dry. It also came with a watering guide, but I have no idea what these plants are called. Other than the two snake plants and I guess the cactus. So are these indeed thirsty and needing more water??


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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Oct 20, 2021 7:24 PM CST

Moderator

The meter is not something you can just put in and use and rely upon, unfortunately. I have one and got some useful information from mine, but only after I was able to calibrate it against some other independent measurement of soil moisture at depth (like the eyeball test when you're repotting and have the plant out of its pot, or poking a finger/chopstick in there a couple of inches). You can't really be sure the soil is dry when the meter says so, at least not without a couple of extra steps first.

The way the meter works is it measures conductivity, which will vary depending on the purity of the water, the composition of the soil, etc. So a reading of 5 will pretty reliably be wetter than a reading of 3 for example, at least in the same pot. In that sense it's very useful. But comparing numbers in wildly different soil mixes is probably a bad idea. I keep all my plants in more or less the same mix (which is 50% pumice, 50% organic) so I can pretty easily compare one pot to another without being concerned about conductivity artefacts.

Anyway, what the meter calls "dry" may not actually be dry if you put in a finger or judge by weight or whatever (use any other reliable way to judge soil moisture). My advice would be to use the meter when you are pretty sure the soil is going dry but not necessarily bone dry (ie. a good time to water) and use that moment to calibrate the reading to a known fact in observable reality. Whatever it says then can be used as a threshold down the road for when it's time to water. Does that make sense?
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Oct 20, 2021 7:27 PM (+)]
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Name: TJOE
Indonesia
Cactus and Succulents Bee Lover Container Gardener Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Fruit Growers Composter
Keeper of Koi Enjoys or suffers hot summers Adeniums Beekeeper
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Kaktus
Oct 20, 2021 8:23 PM CST
@bucsnation1984, I think you can not attach the link because you are a new member, try to put a bracket or a space on the dot of the website link to cheat the system logic, something like www.abc(.)com . I would like to see the video also, tx.
I think the first 2 photo of your plants called "mother in law's tongue", I don't like this species, but I like the name Grin
If they look healthy, do nothing

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