Cactus and Succulents forum: Help! Anyone know what's happening to my plant?

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Jan 28, 2018 5:23 AM CST

Can anyone help? I bought this succulent plant a few months ago but lately it doesn't look so healthy. When you press down lightly on the leaves, they don't feel as plump and are a lot more flaccid than when first bought; it sort of feels like the leaves are slowly shrivelling away. You can also see in the photo here that some of the leaves near the base are starting to turn yellow and dry.

Thumb of 2018-01-28/foxtrot9/691030
(Please click on image to enlarge)

Does anyone have an idea what I'm doing wrong in terms of plant care? I give them droplets of water once a month or so, and make sure to drain the water from the pot properly afterwards. The plant's left by the window most of the time and get direct sunlight whenever possible (but, this being England, we don't get much sunlight - especially this time of year - anyway!) Wondering if I'm over/underwatering them?

I don't generally have issues with my plants but this is my first succulent. Appreciate any insights anyone can offer. Thanks!

Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
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Jan 28, 2018 7:09 AM CST
Hi & welcome! It looks like a Haworthia, which is a much more thirsty plant than some other succulents. Luckily, tons of direct sun is not necessary to keep this plant looking normal and growing healthily, so that part sounds good but it looks like the roots have run out of room to grow. And without some space at the surface, it will be difficult for offsets to form.

It sounds like it's getting thirsty. When you water, thoroughly moisten the soil. When the soil is dry, water again, there is no benefit from extended periods of dry soil for this plant.

If you are concerned about overwatering, using an unglazed clay pot will allow roots to access much more oxygen, but once the roots get established, it won't slide out easily, roots get attached to the porous surface of a clay pot.
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[Last edited by purpleinopp - Jan 28, 2018 7:09 AM (+)]
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Jan 28, 2018 9:32 AM CST
Thank you! That was very helpful!!
Name: Baja
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Jan 28, 2018 11:09 AM CST


It is normal for leaves at the bottom of the rosette to turn yellow or brown before they die. As new leaves are being generated at the center of the rosette, older ones are becoming senescent at the bottom. Sometimes this process can be accelerated by underwatering or the other conditions the plant is growing in, but I see no cause for alarm in the picture.

Your plant will enjoy a larger pot (say double the width of its current one, but not much deeper) perhaps come spring when it's warmer and brighter. Tiffany's advice about a clay pot could be useful. Be sure to use soil with excellent drainage (say 50% pumice, perlite or equivalent) and be sure not to water for a week after repotting.

For what it's worth, indoor sun is not direct because regular window glass cuts out a lot of the harmful UV rays. So your plant can never have too much indoor sun because it's much kinder than the outdoor type. This time of year, the more light the better, when you're looking for a bright place to perch your succulent.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jan 28, 2018 11:48 AM (+)]
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Feb 3, 2018 9:50 AM CST
You need to loosen those roots and spread them out in a larger container.

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