Ask a Question forum: Succulents

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Apr 4, 2017 4:16 PM CST
My roommates succulent from a farmers market has been growing up by recently it's "leaves" have been falling off and the stem is brown and black , were told that it needs to replanted or cut off because it is still budding Please help ! (It is potted not in a garden )
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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Apr 4, 2017 4:34 PM CST
Yes, I would recommend you repot, cutt off that portion where it is already brown/black, it is going mushy. Your soil is too wet, is that container with drain holes? You may have to change your soil so no pathogens left there. Try to use cacti mix or if not available potting soil with a lot of pumice or perlite.

When you cut off that stem, cut till you see good fresh part, allow it to dry off. Apply some cinnamon as fungicide on cut end. Then you can stick back to your new soil. You can also further cut that plant into two if you want, it is too leggy already. It needs more light. You can also try and get some of the leaves, twist it off, callus it and then lay on top of soil to root.

Good luck, it still has hope to survive. Just need to callus and root in container with drain holes, wait patiently and do not overwater nor attempt any fertilizer at this point. Don't use too big containers, it has a very shallow root system. Position the plant in part sun/shade first as it makes new roots, then in a bit more sun slowly outdoors.
[Last edited by tarev - Apr 4, 2017 4:35 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse Sempervivums
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Apr 4, 2017 4:51 PM CST
Tarev has given you good advice. I'll just add that it looks like it needs a lot more light. The leaves are so far apart due to lack of proper lighting.
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Apr 4, 2017 5:00 PM CST
Yes, exactly.

My guess is the plant needs much more light, in addition to the good advice Tarev has already given you. Indoor succulents tend to require a daily dose of sun (hours a day of sun through a window would be ideal, like right by a sunny windowsill). I don't know what it's currently experiencing as far as light goes, but do be careful if you ramp up the sun (do it gradually) so the plant does not get shocked. Strong light is helpful for general health and proper form. Most indoor succulents do not thrive without bright light. For example they would find it a challenge on your dinner table unless that table is right by a window or a glass door, or under a skylight.

I'm not quite sure what your plant is (the name sometimes helps you figure out care), but I'm seeing something that suggests light may be limiting. It's called "stretching", which is what Karen mentioned. Look at the vertical distance between successive leaves along the stem. That distance (the internode) will be different depending on exposure: longer in low light, shorter in the sun. Toward the bottom of the plant it looks like the internodes were much shorter (look at the scars in the brown portion) and I'm guessing that was the original rosette which was receiving good light, which somebody cut and rooted in order to start a new plant. Anyway, keep an eye on that distance after you rescue your plant, and try to reduce it by finding a bright location.

When you consider restarting the plant as Tarev has suggested, remember there is a big difference between outdoor sun and indoor sun. Not so much in the total strength (maybe 15% difference) but in the strength of the UV component, which is mostly blocked by regular window glass, or greatly reduced anyway. The UV is the harshest part of the spectrum for most plants. So if and when you move an indoor plant outside, always provide protection from the sun at the beginning. Bright shade is ideal, maybe some morning sun, or filtered light. A plant without roots will tend to hang onto its leaves for longer (which is good of course) if you don't stress it too much while it's vulnerable.

As for succulents like this in direct (outdoor) sun: I have never seen any advantage in more than about 2-4 hours a day of sun, and I like to push my plants to the limits. If you can make sure they get that much sun on a daily basis year-round (more or less, you know), they will thrive. More than a few hours a day, especially in the summer and especially in the heat, and you start to really test their absolute tolerance.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Apr 4, 2017 5:14 PM (+)]
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Apr 5, 2017 11:23 AM CST
I make my own catus/succulent soil. Equal parts potting soil and washed sand.
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.

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