Ask a Question forum: Mother of Thousands' Tearing Leaves, Exposed Roots, and Glass Pot

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Name: Karen Hardy
Monticello, Florida (Zone 8b)
Region: Florida Cactus and Succulents Cat Lover
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JustLearning
Dec 26, 2015 3:34 PM CST
Thumb of 2015-12-26/JustLearning/51da79
I actually have three questions if that's okay. First, this photo shows my Mother of Thousands in a 4" plastic pot, with the bottom two leaves that are tearing, like they are being cut off, and they are turning yellow. I don't know why.

Thumb of 2015-12-26/JustLearning/e3cd59
Second, This is my other Mother of Thousands that has two roots shooting out of the stalk about 2" above the soil, and I have this one planted in a glass dish with no drainage holes.

Is there a reason that the leaves of the first plant are tearing and turning yellow? What should I do about the roots on the second plant, should I put the plant deeper into the soil? Is it okay that I have it in a glass dish with no drainage holes?

I am very new to the world of Succulents and have very fast become addicted, but I don't want to harm any of my plants, and the Mother of Thousands are one of my favorites.

I live in North Florida, it was 80 degrees today, but I keep them inside. I keep plenty of light on them during the day and florescent light all night long. I only water them once a week, but I am getting conflicting stories to either water the soil, or spray the leaves. I tried to find help online, but was unsuccessful.

Please help, if you can.

Gratefully,

Just Learning
Just Learning
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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dyzzypyxxy
Dec 26, 2015 5:02 PM CST
Hi Karen, and welcome to ATP Welcome! I'm not a big grower of succulents but have grown this one before, so here's some thoughts from my experience. Hope other experts will chime in.

First, the tearing of the leaves on your first plant above looks like mechanical damage of some sort to me. The broken leaf on the left looks like it was caught on the edge of the pot, maybe in transit to the store. The newer leaves look perfectly healthy so I really wouldn't worry about that unless it continues or gets worse. Got a cat, by any chance? Somebody's been messing with that plant, maybe?

Second, the plant in the glass dish with no drainage - succulents really need drainage! With any plant you need to think about "how does this plant grow in nature?" These are more or less desert plants in nature, so will get a downpour of rain at intervals and drain then dry out completely between waterings. Their leaves are thick and juicy because they store water and nutrients. I would re-pot to a shallow pot with holes with cactus mix or other fast-draining medium. I've never seen one put out roots above the soil like that, but when my orchids do that they're looking for air to the root system.

Third thing, why are you giving these plants light all night long? Again, it's not something the plants would get in nature, right? I'm not sure if it would be harmful, but it's not needed. A few extra hours per day during the short days of winter is fine, then turn off the lights at night.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Dec 26, 2015 5:10 PM CST
I agree with everything, Elaine says. You need well draining potting media and drainage holes. I have seen lots of my jade grow roots above the soil-line. I can't tell you why they do this. 12-14 hours of light is plenty. Generally plants have to get some rest from growing. Photosynthesis is not a round-the-clock function of plant's leaves.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Karen Hardy
Monticello, Florida (Zone 8b)
Region: Florida Cactus and Succulents Cat Lover
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JustLearning
Dec 26, 2015 7:46 PM CST
Wow! I never expected to get any answers this fast. I do have a cat, but I keep a very, very close eye on him and I don't believe that he has touched either of these plants. I will definitely re pot my Mother of Thousands that is in the glass pot and put it into something that will be breathable and drain-able.

Should I cut off the leaves that are tearing and turning yellow?

Thank you dyzzypyxxy and drdawg. I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate your help and advise. :)

Sincerely,

Just Learning
Just Learning
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Dec 26, 2015 7:47 PM CST
Personally, I would not cut off any leaf until it is really "toast". Plants normally exfoliate dead/dying leaves. We cut them off because they are un-esthetic. Sighing!
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horntoad
Dec 26, 2015 8:49 PM CST
Aerial roots are not uncommon for succulents. Your plant is possibly looking for something it needs more of light, water or nutrients. If any of those things is in short supply the plant will send out aerial roots to try and find it.
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Dec 27, 2015 11:55 AM CST
Hi & welcome!

Water thoroughly, then allow to dry completely. I try to water on a day when the following couple nights won't be too cold.

Please be careful about your cat having access to Kalanchoe plants. They are toxic to cats (and dogs, and other animals.)
https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-a...
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โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Karen Hardy
Monticello, Florida (Zone 8b)
Region: Florida Cactus and Succulents Cat Lover
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JustLearning
Jan 9, 2016 7:41 AM CST
Thank you all so very much for all of your help. Thank You! I transplanted them into different pots, and they are very happy.


Thumb of 2016-01-09/JustLearning/6a0422 This is the one that has the torn leaves.

Thumb of 2016-01-09/JustLearning/e0f06f This is the one with the airial roots. You can see how happy they are. Hurray!

Here are three pictures of the plants that I have that I am slooooooly learning about and how to take care of them.



Thumb of 2016-01-09/JustLearning/216865
Thumb of 2016-01-09/JustLearning/839194
Thumb of 2016-01-09/JustLearning/869d99

I have others also, but I really love the ones that are rosettes. I am having a terrible time trying to get the watering thing right. Grumbling
Does anyone have any suggestions?

I welcome any help I can get.

Just Learning
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Jan 9, 2016 8:23 AM CST
I don't know how water-retentive your media is, so what I say is only a general rule-of-thumb.

By their very nature, succulents retain water in their stems, in their roots, and/or in their leaves. The thicker the leaf the more water-retention there is. Therefore, succulents are built to withstand drought conditions. I only have a few succulents and some of them are exactly what you have. I have very well-draining soil media. I don't water mine until that media is totally dry..........desert-like dry. That might be every two weeks in the spring and summer when the plants are growing the fastest, and perhaps every 3-4 weeks during the fall and winter, when growth slows down. My plants get extremely high amounts of natural light and the temperature never gets much below 60F, so they probably grow faster than those grown in most home-environments. But even then, I just don't water very often.

If I were a beginning (succulent) grower, what I would do is follow the above watering schedule for a while. If you see a good many of the lower leaves turning brown and falling off, I would then increase the watering a bit. It is normal for the older, lower leaves to do this, but if it seems that this exfoliation is more than normal, that's the plant's way of telling you it needs more water. What is normal exfoliation? This is something that only time and experience will answer. There comes a point where one simply "knows" that a plant looks healthy and happy as well as "know" when a plant looks stressed and unhappy.

I like what I see in your pictures. Hurray! Good luck and keep us posted.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Karen Hardy
Monticello, Florida (Zone 8b)
Region: Florida Cactus and Succulents Cat Lover
Image
JustLearning
Jan 9, 2016 3:02 PM CST
Thank you so much drdawg. I cherish and value each and every tip, suggestion, experience, and advice I can get. What kind of succulents do you grow?

I will keep sending pictures of my plant's progress, because it's here that I am getting the information that I need it keep them alive. Thumbs up

What I am trying to do now, is identify what I have so I can look each one up and find out what type of care, watering, light, medium, pots, etc.... they need. Then I plan on separating all of them to be with like kind, so it's easier to care for each one. I'm not sure how successful that will be, but I am new and still grasping at anything I can to keep them alive and looking beautiful.

Thank You! Thank you all again, and I will keep watching and sharing.

Karen
Just Learning
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 9, 2016 3:36 PM CST
Karen, have you taken a look at the Cactus and Tender Succulents forum here on ATP? All the succulent experts are there, and will surely help you to ID yours. heres the link:

http://garden.org/forums/view/cacti/
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jan 9, 2016 3:44 PM CST
I have always grown jade and aloe vera. They are like weeds and I have to sacrifice many (well over a dozen each) over the winter months. I simply don't have room for them in my greenhouses and I don't value them like my tropical plants. I have three huge jade plants outside right now (2'x2') and I will lose them all this week when the temperature plummets to 17F and then the following four days down to the mid-20's. I will have a handful of small ones stuck here and there and they'll easily double in size by the end of summer.

I only have a few other succulents and they include Echeveria, Rhipsalis, Senecia (string of pearls), Stachys (lamb's ears), Hatiora, Sempervivum (hens and chicks), and Sedum. I also have a dozen or so Epiphyllum that I have rooted from cuttings. Most of these succulents were either gifts or received in trade.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Karen Hardy
Monticello, Florida (Zone 8b)
Region: Florida Cactus and Succulents Cat Lover
Image
JustLearning
Jan 9, 2016 5:34 PM CST
Thank you Ken and Elaine.

Ken I really like theSempervivum (hens and chicks). I think I will look into these more. Smiling

Elaine, thank you for your help. Yes I have been there, but there is so much information, how do I sort through the blog to find the information that I need for my plants? I am so new to succulents and catus, as well as "All Things Plants" that I am still not sure how to go about finding what I need.

I am certain that there are answers to all of my questions, I'm just not sure how/where to go to find it. *Blush*

This question forum and the help that I have been getting is awesome. It's centralized and to the point on what I need now! I am sure that I will eventually get very comfortable with the forum, but right now, I am kind of lost when it comes to "All Things Plants". So I am really utilizing the help that I am getting through my question/post and those that have offered their knowledge, experience, suggestions and direction. Thank You!

I will continue to post and watch/read any post's that come through. Thank you both again. Thank You!
Just Learning
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jan 9, 2016 5:35 PM CST
I tip my hat to you.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Signet
South Western Ontario , Canada (Zone 6a)
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signet
Jan 10, 2016 11:43 AM CST
For your plant leaves , If they are yellowing they are probably just going to shrivel and drop off . No need for you to do anything really .....however if you like before they are yellow you can remove them Leaf cuttings laid on top of the soil will sprout roots and start growing , I often stick them in dryish medium .i.e. not very moist and definitely not wet and start new plants. Just let the leaf edge dry for a day or two before planting . For Mother of thousands though I don't generally do this as it makes plenty of babies along the edges of the leaves.
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