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Oct 23, 2017 11:42 AM CST
My succulent has started rapidly losing its leaves at the bottom of the stem. As I am a novice, I am just wondering if this is normal? Is my succulent defficiant in something?
Oct 23, 2017 12:18 PM CST
|Yes, it is basically normal, within limits. The plant is losing older leaves from the bottom of the rosette as it generates new ones at the top. Over time the stem will continue to elongate. Eventually it will become unstable and fall over. In nature or in the ground it might continue growing sideways. In containers the best solution is usually to behead the plant at that point and restart the rosette at soil level. That is likely years away, but something to be aware of.
The size of the rosette is more important than the amount of naked stem, if you're trying to assess the health and vigor of your plant. What you will typically see under drought conditions is the desiccation and loss of lower leaves as the plant relies upon its water reserves to survive. The rosette will become visibly smaller when conditions are too dry (for example when the plant is being ignored for weeks on end).
The best way to minimize stem growth and prolong the stable lifespan of your plant is to provide strong light. This is especially important during the darker and shorter days of late fall and early winter. One of the most predictable consequences of low light is stemmy growth.
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