Have you ever gotten a darling little succulent plant only to have it look terrible a few months later? Maybe it has suddenly taken on a translucent hue or even turned a bright orange color. Or maybe that little darling has grown into a gawky, leggy teenager. And now you don't know if there is any hope of getting back that adorable wee one. Lets take a look at the common problems that succulents have and maybe we can help yours.
Problems and Solutions
Problem: Your succulent has a translucent hue and looks kind of ill.
Solution: Its drowning! No, not literally but it IS getting overwatered. Or sometimes the problem can lie in the soil. Succulents like well draining, sandy soil with pumice, or perlite. So buy some cuctus or succulent potting soil and re-pot it. Or just lay off on the water.
Problem: Your succulent has turned an orangy, brownish color.
Solution: It has a sunburn! Succulents (especially babies), do not like to bake in the hot sun. If they get moved suddenly to full sun you may notice it start to change color and get a scorched appearance. So move it out of the hot sun and then start to ease that baby into it. Gradually increase the amount of sun it gets until it can tolerate it. But still, overall they seem to do better with part sun/ part shade.
Problem: Your succulent has suddenly grown long and leggy.
Solution: It is looking for more sunshine! If placed in too dark of a place, succulents will try to get to more sunlight and suddenly they grow tall and not so cute anymore. So first lets start over and repot it. So pull it apart cut the top off of the plant and discard the rest. Plant only the top and then move it to a sunnier location. Soon that top will grow new roots and take off again.
Problem: Your succulent has little tiny bugs EVERWHERE!
Solution: They are Mealybugs. They are very common if you are overfertalizing, overwatering or your soil is not well draining. Move infected plants away from other succulents and spray with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. You may have to do a number of treatments before they are completrly gone. Then repot in fresh soil to be sure there aren't any more eggs.
Maybe you have just gotten your very first succulent and you haven't experienced any of the above problems but you want the low-down on how to care for them. Whether you’ve been gifted a Jade plant or you picked up a Echeveria at the store, it’s important to learn how to care for them. Read on to find out how to keep your plants healthy and happy.
Learning the basics
1) Make Sure Your Succulents Get Enough Light
Succulents love light and need about six hours of sun per day, depending on the type. Newly planted succulents can scorch in direct sunlight, so you may need to gradually introduce them to full sun or provide shade with a sheer curtain. 2) Rotate Succulents Frequently Succulents love direct sun, but if yours is sitting in the same exact spot day after day, it's likely that only one side is getting enough light. Succulents will lean towards the sun, so rotating them often will help them stand up straight.
3) Water Correctly
Succulents need more energy when they're in a period of growth. During the spring and summer, the plants will drink up much more water than when they're resting in the fall and winter. An easy way to know if you need to water is by testing the soil with a finger—when the top 1.25 inches are dry, grab your watering can. Overwatering can kill your succulent, so make sure you let the soil dry between watering.
4) Choose a container with the right drainage
Succulents don’t like to sit in soggy soil, so drainage is important to prevent root rot. Your container should have a drainage hole to allow excess water to escape. Terra-cotta pots are ideal for beginners.
5) Plant Succulents in the Right Soil
Succulents need soil that drains, so regular potting soil—or dirt from your yard—won’t do. Choose cactus soil or mix potting soil with sand, pumice, or perlite. Succulent roots are very fragile so be gentle when repotting.
6) Get Rid of Bugs
Pests shouldn’t be a problem for indoor succulents, but occasionally you may have to deal with bugs. Gnats are attracted to succulents that are planted in soil that is too wet and doesn’t have proper drainage. To get rid of eggs and larvae, spray the soil with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. Mealybugs are another common one and are treated the same.
7) Fertilize Succulents in the Summer
Succulents don’t need much fertilizer, but you can give them light feedings during the spring and summer growing season. Be careful not to overfertilize—this can cause your succulent to grow too quickly and become weak.
Speaking of Mealybugs.... I just had a bad case of them on my Angelina and Blue Spruce Sedum plants that I left outside in a pot over the winter. This spring, I kept waiting for them to take off and look beautiful again but both pots just had an unhealthy look to them. Upon closer inspection, I noticed the bugs.
(Zoom in to see these to see these little creeps!)
Yuck.. I have had this problem before and have successfully gotten rid of them with the Alcohol/ water treatment (above) but this time I decided to just start over.
First I disposed of the old plants and sprayed out the planter. Then I added fresh potting soil, sand and perlite to the pot. Then I went hunting in my own beds for some sedum and hens & chicks. I also bought some other succulents to add. The one pictured was so crowded when I bought it that I divided into 3 clumps.Then I arranged the succulents into both planters. I can't wait to watch them fill in!
Anyway, that is all for now! Happy growing!