Succulents

Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by Nicole0426, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. Nicole0426

    Nicole0426 Active Member

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    I have a few succulents that I am trying to grow. For some reason I don't do well growing them. I can start them no problem by either leaf or cutting but actually keeping them alive is another story... I have an echivaria (newly rooted) that is wrinkled and has squishy leaves. I have another succulent (not sure on ID) and it is starting to get wrinkly also. Both were sitting on a west window sill. Is it possible they are getting too much light? It is winter here. Could they be getting too chilled? I am so at a loss. I would love to learn what succulents need to thrive! Please help!!

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    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2016
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Watering regime? Soil mix? I don't think these would be getting too much light in a west-facing window. Cold temperature will slow growth, but likely not harm these.
     
  3. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Daniel that your problems are related to either incorrect watering or wrong soil mix, or both.

    The soil for succulents must drain very well. You can make your own mix or use a ready cactus mix. Soil in a big pot naturally will stay moist for longer time than in a small one, so use pots as small as possible. The pots that you currently have are much too big, especially the one with Echeveria.

    Water infrequently but don't allow the soil to become ash-dry. The best way to water is to place the pot into a saucer filled with about 1 cm of water, for no longer than an hour, and let it to be absorbed by the soil in the pot by way of capillary action. Add water to the saucer if it gets absorbed too quickly. Discard unused water before placing the pot back there. This way you avoid over-watering and at the same time prevent washing out nutrients from the soil.

    Don't fertilize. And let us know how you are doing in a few months or so.
     
  4. Nicole0426

    Nicole0426 Active Member

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    I will try that! Both are in succulent soil. I get stumped with my succulents in terracotta pots because they typically completely dry out within 1 day. But I know watering them daily would be too much. Any suggestions on that?
     
  5. Nicole0426

    Nicole0426 Active Member

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    Also, actually they're in a south facing window. Not west. Does that make a difference?
     
  6. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Watering daily??!! Well, it explains everything. Looks like your plants are placed somewhere very close to the heat source! With daily watering constantly wet at the root level, and in excessively dry and hot environment at the top. Nothing could be worse!
     
  7. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Echeveria - Wikipedia

    I don't know how much and how often it rains in semi-desert areas, but I can imagine it is far, very far from daily. Keep it in mind when trying to find out how often to water. Once in two weeks maybe? Maybe even less often? I can't say, it is up to you to find out by observing how your plant is doing.
    And keep it far from the heat source (or vice versa)!
    A plant doesn't change its characteristics only because it is in a pot and not in its natural environment any more.

    By the way, what is this white stuff in the pot with Echeveria ?
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
  8. Nicole0426

    Nicole0426 Active Member

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    We do have baseboard heat and the window is directly above the heater! I have not been watering daily but it almost seems like it needs water daily because the soil dries so fast! The soil is bone dry only after one day. I water once a week usually and they are wrinkly so it made me think they needed more water? The white stuff is sand. Do you have a suggestion on where I should place my succulents? I moved them to my desk that is near the south window but not as close to the heater.
     
  9. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    I think it is a good solution for as long as the heater is on. At spring, when the heater is no longer working, if your plants will not be exposed to strong afternoon sun there, you could put them back on the window sill.

    To prevent soil from getting too dry too quickly I would put the pots into another, little bigger containers. The layer of air in-between will insulate the pot from what looks like very warm and dry air in the room.
    Again, don't water too often, allow the soil to dry between watering, but don't allow it to dry out completely. You can judge the dryness by the weight of the pot. The drier the soil the lighter the pot.

    All this should help, unless there is something wrong with the roots.
    Don't expect to see improvement in a day or two, but you should be able to see it in a month or so.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  10. Nicole0426

    Nicole0426 Active Member

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    Okay, thank you so much! I will definitely try those things.
     

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