Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Succulent lost will to live!

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Simonetta123
Jan 28, 2018 10:45 AM CST
How can I safe my little succulent? I forgot to water him for a month and now he looks like this and just doesn't recover. Any tips?
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Jan 28, 2018 11:37 AM CST
I personally would cut off the circled areas, let them dry out for 2-3 days, then place them on a shallow pot of growing medium. Every few days, spritz it with water and wait for roots and plantlets.

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You can also do this with individual leaves but I prefer to use whole sections of stem because it makes for a fuller effect faster.
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jan 28, 2018 12:02 PM CST

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These plants can look very different depending on the growing regime. The more regular the water, the fuller the rosettes. When water is withheld, they drop leaves and shrink up, leaving naked stem behind. My own plants tend to be somewhere in the middle because I don't go to any great lengths to spoil them. You can take care of your plant for a while and it will gradually grow fuller rosettes, but the naked parts of those stems will stay naked.

If you want to start a new plant (probably best done in spring, not right now) you can cut the rosettes off the ends with about half an inch of stem attached, then plant them in a new pot with just that stem at the end buried. I typically pack lots of cuttings into one pot for the fastest results. For insurance in case something goes wrong, don't get rid of the mother plant.

A few guidelines for best results when starting plants from cuttings. Wait a couple of days after making the cut to pot up the cuttings. Use a pot which is wider than tall, with holes at the bottom. Use fast draining soil (say 50% pumice, perlite or equivalent) or you can sometimes buy a mix formulated specially for cacti. Provide strong light. This time of year (indoors I presume) light is in short supply so you want to find a bright spot near a sunny window.

Water well when the soil is dry or almost dry at depth, but not sooner. Do not water immediately after potting up the cuttings (wait a week or so) and be careful not to leave the soil saturated during the early period when the cuttings have no roots and cannot take up water. The only way water will leave the container during that period is by evaporation, which will be slower in cool, dim, humid conditions and faster in warm, dry, bright conditions.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jan 28, 2018 12:07 PM (+)]
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Jan 28, 2018 12:05 PM CST
Baja_Costero said:(probably best done in spring, not right now)


That's a good point. I do it all year long but it's not the safest thing (for the plant/cuttings).
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Jan 28, 2018 12:47 PM CST
I do the same thing Baja recommended. Any time small pieces break off or fall off, I toss them up in the top of the pot and they generally root themselves and help make the pot look more full.
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Simonetta123
Feb 3, 2018 11:55 AM CST
Thanks so much for the great advice!
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