Ask a Question forum: My succulents need help...

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Glenniwinks
Jan 16, 2017 4:43 PM CST
Hi All,
I purchased a succulent terrarium about 4 months ago but some of the plants now look very close to death. Does anyone know what the problem might be?

I water them once a week with a very light spritzing from a spray bottle. They don't get any direct sunlight but receive ambient light for most of the day as the terrarium sits in the middle of a well-lit room.

I think the third one (with the dead leaves towards the bottom of the plant) might just be shedding leaves, but the other two are a mystery to me. Do the pictures below give you any ideas about what might be going wrong?

Thanks for your help.
Thumb of 2017-01-16/Glenniwinks/d023a4


Thumb of 2017-01-16/Glenniwinks/129b55


Thumb of 2017-01-16/Glenniwinks/5f46bc

Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Jan 16, 2017 4:55 PM CST
That type of terrarium with no holes at the bottom is basically a death sentence for the plants inside it. While they may look great, they are very hard to water, because you have to water well (to saturate the soil) but not leave it saturated for any extended period of time (to avoid rot). Getting that rhythm just right is really hard. Even then, you're basically guaranteed that salt will build up over time, without any mechanism to flush it out of the container periodically. If you want to try to rescue the plants that are complaining, I would recommend taking them out and putting them in a container with holes. Water well, then wait until the soil dries out most of the way before watering again.

All of the plants in there would benefit from more sun. Indoor sun (that is, sun which passes through regular window glass) is not direct because the glass cuts most of the UV (which is the most damaging part of the spectrum). You cannot provide these plants too much light indoors.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jan 16, 2017 5:00 PM (+)]
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Name: tarev
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tarev
Jan 16, 2017 5:00 PM CST
Hello Glenniwinks, personally I never liked terrariums for any succulents. If it were mine, I would repot to a container with drain holes. These succulents prefers good airflow, good drainage and not too much humidity. Spritzing it with water does not help either.

You got a mixed bag of succulents there, some cacti and some tillandsias. Maybe you can leave the tillandsias there, it does not need soil actually, you can just lay it on top of the media but not planted in the media. Just make sure you remove it from the container when you water it and put it back when in the container when you have shaken off excess water.

But definitely move the succulents and cacti to separate containers. Those succulents with dried off leaves, just remove the old leaves and repot accordingly with well draining cacti mix and some pumice. I would position the succulents nearer the window, it needs light and warmth. Don't know where you are located, so just in case your area is cold, not too near the windows. Cacti are typically dormant during cold season, so best kept on dry side. Then come Spring, if your conditions outside are good, move them to part sun/shade to acclimate and it should slowly perk up much better.

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