Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Gasteria - cutting dry leaves

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(Zone 6b)
medusa
May 8, 2016 8:17 AM CST
Hello all!
I'm new to the forum, nice to meet you. Hurray!

I'm looking for a little advice with my gasteria.
I over-watered the plant once thinking it would be hot and the soil would dry up quickly, as it usually does. As a result (I think) one of the larger leaves had yellowed and never restored, although it's still growing back green at the base. I was wondering if it's safe to cut most of the dried leaf off, since it's half-dead and useless? Would the gasteria take that well? My aloe's leaves occasionally tend to start drying from the tip of a cut, so I'm not sure.

Additionally I was wondering about the random browning leaves within the smaller clusters. I *guess* it might be due to direct sunlight (judging by how some leaves are only partially brown... as though burnt only in places where they aren't shadowed by other leaves)... BUT that doesn't explain why those are mostly lower leaves, while the upper/outermost ones, the ones most exposed to sunlight, are perfectly green Confused Blinking

The gasteria is potted in standard soil with drainage, I keep it on a southern windowsill most of the year and sheltered behind curtains in the summer. I water my succulents whenever the soil has been properly dry for some time, which depends on the weather.

Thanks for any advice!
Thank You!
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
May 8, 2016 1:21 PM CST
Any chance of a picture? It might be easier to figure out the brown spots and what to do with them.

The Gasterias I grow tend to be a little sensitive to sun this time of year and they react a couple of different ways. The whole leaf may turn brownish or reddish, like overcast on the regular colors. Or small black spots may appear on the leaves with the greatest exposure to the sun. The first kind of reaction is entirely transient, the second is permanent (until the plant grows new leaves). I grow my Gasterias in the sun though, and you should not see those reactions indoors. Except maybe if the plant goes from some dark position behind the curtains right into day-long sun, maybe. Abrupt transitions in exposure are where the risk occurs. Indoor sun is not direct because regular window glass cuts quite a bit of the UV, making the light that passes through kinder to plants.
(Zone 6b)
medusa
May 8, 2016 2:55 PM CST
Baja_Costero said:Any chance of a picture? It might be easier to figure out the brown spots and what to do with them.

The Gasterias I grow tend to be a little sensitive to sun this time of year and they react a couple of different ways. The whole leaf may turn brownish or reddish, like overcast on the regular colors. Or small black spots may appear on the leaves with the greatest exposure to the sun. The first kind of reaction is entirely transient, the second is permanent (until the plant grows new leaves). I grow my Gasterias in the sun though, and you should not see those reactions indoors. Except maybe if the plant goes from some dark position behind the curtains right into day-long sun, maybe. Abrupt transitions in exposure are where the risk occurs. Indoor sun is not direct because regular window glass cuts quite a bit of the UV, making the light that passes through kinder to plants.


Oh, I see. Well it could be that abrupt transition you're talking about - it started happening a few months ago and I think if you're right, then it must have been the extremely sudden weather changes we get here in spring. It changes from very hot and sunny to dark and chilly in no time.

And do you know if I can chop that one permanently damaged yellow leaf off or rather not?

"Brownish overcast" describes it pretty well, I guess (ignoring the one big yellow leaf). As you can see it's pretty random, mostly the outer lower leaves. Actually, you can even see the gradient, how one leaf is part brown and part green, divided vertically. Some on the other side are also yellowish and dry, but i dunno if that's the same problem as the brown leaves or if it happened back when I over watered it. All of these leaves are growing healthy green at the base.
I just don't get why it's so weird - the top leaves are perfectly fine although they get the same amount of sunlight... Blinking Thanks for your help!

Thumb of 2016-05-08/medusa/1147a6


[Last edited by medusa - May 8, 2016 2:57 PM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
May 8, 2016 3:24 PM CST
You can chop off the leaf if you want. I have never done this to a Gasteria. Usually if there's some kind of damage (like one of those black spots I mentioned) then I just let the plant outgrow it. The lower leaves will eventually dry up and die over the life of the plant, and maybe when repotting I would attend to that.

Speaking of which, you have a whole lot of plant for the size of the pot... maybe thin out the clump (the individual plants are usually not that hard to separate once you get them out of the pot) or move it to a bigger pot. When I grow these plants I typically let them clump away for a while, then every year or two separate and remove the smaller plants, leaving the larger one to keep growing. When potbound plants start dying back on the lower leaves, it's often a sign that tells you they are outgrowing the space they're in. Or maybe it's just a part of advancing age. Smiling

Your plant looks quite healthy to me. I would not be at all concerned based on that picture. I tip my hat to you.
(Zone 6b)
medusa
May 8, 2016 4:07 PM CST
Baja_Costero said:You can chop off the leaf if you want. I have never done this to a Gasteria. Usually if there's some kind of damage (like one of those black spots I mentioned) then I just let the plant outgrow it. The lower leaves will eventually dry up and die over the life of the plant, and maybe when repotting I would attend to that.

Speaking of which, you have a whole lot of plant for the size of the pot... maybe thin out the clump (the individual plants are usually not that hard to separate once you get them out of the pot) or move it to a bigger pot. When I grow these plants I typically let them clump away for a while, then every year or two separate and remove the smaller plants, leaving the larger one to keep growing. When potbound plants start dying back on the lower leaves, it's often a sign that tells you they are outgrowing the space they're in. Or maybe it's just a part of advancing age. Smiling

Your plant looks quite healthy to me. I would not be at all concerned based on that picture. I tip my hat to you.


Alright, will do! I've had it for about two years now, so yeah I guess it's time for some re-potting Thumbs up Thanks again!
Name: 'CareBear'

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Stush2019
May 9, 2016 11:37 AM CST
Medusa,
I use a 60% grit to 20% potting soil to 20% perlite. It is fast draining and the grit gives it weight to hold the roots in and the plant upright. It was better than just potting soil. And by the way. Your plant is beautiful and well grown. The grit is purchased at Awgways as Poltry Grit (large). 50 lb. for $8.50. Smaller bags sells for almost the same.
Stush

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