Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Donkey's Tail succulent

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krystenr1
Jul 12, 2017 8:30 AM CST
My donkey tail succulent is losing a lot of its little leaves lately, and many are turning yellow. I rarely ever water it and the soil is very dry (maybe I should give it a little drizzle?). I was worried it isn't getting adequate sunlight (it spends its days indoors in an east-facing window with a few hours of direct sunlight a day), so I've moved it outside at my new house for consistent direct sunlight in 90 degree ish Southern California weather we are having this summer. Should I be worried, or is this normal?


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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jul 12, 2017 8:40 AM CST

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More water. Water well (until the soil is saturated) and then wait until the soil is going dry to water again. And less sun. This plant does very well outside in mostly shade, it's not a sun-loving plant compared to most succulents.
Georgia (Zone 8a)
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Hamwild
Jul 12, 2017 11:52 AM CST
Mine has been doing that also, but it stays consistently moist. Confused
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jul 12, 2017 12:01 PM CST
My Sedum morganianum is outdoors but in a part shady spot. I have been spritzing the vine itself and watering often, but still allowed to dry, anyways it is just too dry outside over here especially due to our ongoing bouts with heat wave. I have noticed improvement, on the vine parts where some leaves have fallen off, new ones are forming. I only do this vine spritzing during summer time.

So I would suggest, move your plant in a part shade spot outdoors preferably where it gets morning sun till noon, since the hotter temps are in the afternoons. Step up a bit watering during this summer. It is good growing it outdoors, they do active gas exchange at night when their stomates are open.

[Last edited by tarev - Jul 12, 2017 12:01 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Jul 12, 2017 3:06 PM CST
I have mine in a greenhouse, so lots of bright light and twice a week water. It's now growing nice and green. It turned yellow when I had it in the house where the light wasn't bright enough. If leaves fall off, toss them back in the pot and they will root and start new hanging pieces.
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krystenr1
Jul 21, 2017 10:39 AM CST
I think I neglected it too much. I followed everyone's advice and gave it a nice drink and moved it to a shady spot outdoors, but I think it might be beyond help. Here it is now. What do you guys think?
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
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Baja_Costero
Jul 21, 2017 11:14 AM CST

Moderator

Don't give up yet! Smiling
Los Angeles
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krystenr1
Jul 21, 2017 11:44 AM CST
Baja_Costero said:Don't give up yet! Smiling


Okay, I won't! How often should I water at this point? I'm getting conflicting suggestions from friends and here.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Jul 21, 2017 12:00 PM CST
krystenr1, I see a lot of hope for your plant! It is quite typical for this plant to drop the lower, older leaves too. Since you just corrected part of its growing culture, it will eventually adjust. Remember too that they are slow growing plants, so your patience is essential. In your photo, I also see new growth, so the plant is starting to do better.

As to how often to water, water only as needed. Stick a bamboo skewer into the soil, if it comes out wet, delay watering. Also when you water, do it early part of the day, before the blazing heat of the sun is in full force.

With most succulents too, once temps starts to hit a very dry 90F and higher, they sort of shut down a bit, so less active growing, till the ambient conditions returns to a more favorable 70F to 85F daytime range. That is why putting them in shade during the hottest time of the day helps them to cope with the summer heat.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
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Baja_Costero
Jul 21, 2017 12:08 PM CST

Moderator

Cross posted! Smiling

Water when the soil is going dry at depth. That will depend on the local conditions (light/temperature/humidity/airflow). Any specific answer to that question would basically be problematic because (a) it will most likely change with the passage of the seasons or swings in the weather, and (b) it would be based on somebody else's plant on somebody's else's patio in somebody else's soil... different enough to matter.

I water my succulents about once a week but they are all in rocky soil (half pumice), all in some sun (or filtered light), and our climate is exceptionally mild. (Our summer high to date is 76F.) You might water more often when it's hot and dry, or less often when it's cool or cloudy. Basically the only way to know is to check the soil yourself, and based on that observation tweak the watering interval, until the plant looks better again. Which realistically will probably not be until temps cool down a bit where you are.
Los Angeles
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krystenr1
Jul 21, 2017 2:59 PM CST
Thanks to you both! Very helpful tips!

Debkrm27
Apr 8, 2018 8:32 PM CST
I have a donkey tail plant that was left outside over winter. Is there any hope to bringing it back to life?
Los Angeles
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krystenr1
Apr 9, 2018 7:53 AM CST
Show us a picture! This plant from July of last year was fully revived and is living very happily after I followed everyone's tips here. I don't know where you live and what winter is like for you, but I found his plant to be very resilient!
Los Angeles
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krystenr1
Apr 17, 2018 6:32 PM CST
Here's a picture of mine which was initially quite unhappy, but now thriving!


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Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Houseplants Cactus and Succulents Annuals
Foliage Fan Birds Critters Allowed Hummingbirder Butterflies Bee Lover
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Hamwild
Apr 17, 2018 6:42 PM CST
WOW!
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Sempervivums
Salvias Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Art Plumerias Seller of Garden Stuff Bookworm
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plantmanager
Apr 17, 2018 7:11 PM CST
It really looks great, Krysten!
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Los Angeles
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krystenr1
Apr 20, 2018 9:37 AM CST
Thanks!!

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