Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: baby succulent growing from dead succulent's stem

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Haibunnies
Apr 3, 2018 3:25 PM CST
I have a succulent which I believe to be pretty much dead but there appears to be a little green baby growing out of the base of the stem. Is there any way I can help the baby to grow?
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Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Apr 4, 2018 10:58 AM CST

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By all means don't give up until it's over, but I doubt there's much you can do. The main stem looks like it is rotting, and that will most likely spread to the baby.
Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
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cwhitt
Apr 4, 2018 11:03 AM CST
But also, sometimes when a plant knows it's dying, it will send up a sprout - perhaps that is what is happening? I would not disturb the dying part - except to chop off the rotting top part of it if you want. See if the sprout continues to grow - it might even develop its own root system - in which case it can be separated from the rotting part once more established. I don't think I would water it at this point, just wait and see. Good luck! Crossing Fingers!
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Haibunnies
Apr 6, 2018 8:13 AM CST
Thanks!
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 6, 2018 8:19 AM CST
What kind of pot is that? Is it the trunk of another tree?

If so, I would take the whole thing (dying stem plus offset) out of it and put it in something drier, stat.
Keep going!

Haibunnies
Apr 6, 2018 11:40 AM CST
Yeah, it's a container that's meant to look like a tree trunk but I'm not sure what it's made out of. I think you're right to take it out of there though. When I bought it, I was told there were rocks at the bottom but when I took it out today there was actually nothing in there for drainage. :(
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Apr 6, 2018 12:50 PM CST

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Without a hole in the bottom (an exit for the water) there is no drainage in the literal sense. The hole is very important. If there's no hole, your risk of rot goes up a lot. Those rocks at the bottom do not actually serve a purpose related to drainage, and are generally best avoided.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Apr 6, 2018 1:04 PM CST
I agree. For years I heard that rocks in the bottom was the way to go, and I did it. The results weren't very good at all. That is one idea that needs to be forgotten.
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 6, 2018 1:23 PM CST
If you have an enormous container--on the order of hundreds o thousands of gallons--and have a couple feet of rocks at the bottom as well as only a few plants, it could theoretically work at least for a few seasons. But in practice none of us grow redwoods in containers so it's really a moot point. lol
Keep going!
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Apr 6, 2018 1:37 PM CST

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In all fairness, I do actually go to the effort of laying down a thin layer of chunky pumice (one rock thick) at the bottom of many pots. As a first step before I begin with the actual soil, which is 50% pumice generally, so not that different.

But that's a different concept from the usual "rocks at the bottom" I think. The water can actually pass through the pumice, not just around it. In fact that is the reason I use it, and the purpose it serves at the bottom of the pots. Over time the finer particles from the soil above will tend to fill in all the cracks, but the pumice remains in contact with the bottom of the pot until the roots dislodge it.

Haibunnies
Apr 6, 2018 2:49 PM CST
How come most pots you can buy in stores (except clay ones) have no holes at the bottom?? They should all have drainage holes.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 6, 2018 2:55 PM CST
Haibunnies said:How come most pots you can buy in stores (except clay ones) have no holes at the bottom?? They should all have drainage holes.


Because most consumers are commoners and don't realize the mistake they're making, so why bother introducing another step (the addition of drainage holes) into the production process?

It's the same reason goldfish are commonly sold with bowls or small fish tanks all the time. They are carp and actually require at least 20 gallons per fish because they should live for 20-30 years. But most people don't know that and it's easier to sell them as cheaply as possible just like it is pots without holes. The actual product itself (plants, fish, whatever) becomes a loss leader to get you to buy more of the defective products that are more profitable (containers, soils, fertilizers, etc.).
Keep going!
[Last edited by Jai_Ganesha - Apr 6, 2018 3:02 PM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Apr 6, 2018 4:42 PM CST

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Haibunnies said:How come most pots you can buy in stores (except clay ones) have no holes at the bottom?? They should all have drainage holes.


Good question. The first thing I do when looking for a new pot is check for holes. Usually you can make holes with a drill or punch if the pot is plastic.
Name: Karen
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plantmanager
Apr 6, 2018 4:48 PM CST
It's not hard to drill pots made of other materials. Just need the right drill and bits. Some things require the diamond or carbide bits.
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 6, 2018 6:10 PM CST
Baja_Costero said:

Good question. The first thing I do when looking for a new pot is check for holes. Usually you can make holes with a drill or punch if the pot is plastic.


What kind of punch?

I have also used a soldering iron, but that's relatively dangerous.
Keep going!
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Apr 6, 2018 9:16 PM CST

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I dunno, something pointy and metal that I find in the garage... like a screwdriver, a multi-tool, whatever's around. Smiling
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Apr 6, 2018 9:23 PM (+)]
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 7, 2018 6:56 AM CST
Oh, I thought you meant a tool like this which you use to put holes in cattle's ears. Those are also called punches.

Thumb of 2018-04-07/Jai_Ganesha/410f1e

I was wondering how you got it to the bottom of the pot. lol
Keep going!
Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
Plays in the water.
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cwhitt
Apr 7, 2018 10:06 AM CST
I usually just punch a couple of holes with a sharp knife, and pry open the hole a bit.
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Haibunnies
Apr 7, 2018 5:47 PM CST
plantmanager said:It's not hard to drill pots made of other materials. Just need the right drill and bits. Some things require the diamond or carbide bits.


I'm a little scared I would hurt myself if I start drilling into pots..
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 7, 2018 5:50 PM CST
Haibunnies said:

I'm a little scared I would hurt myself if I start drilling into pots..


It's a reasonable fear to have! The drill I use is actually a screwdriver that accepts drill bits. It's not the best tool for the job, but because it is lightweight and slow I have better control over it then I would some massive industrial thing.
Keep going!

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