We all know that succulents are low maintenance and make for a sturdy houseplant, and succulent care is easy once you learn the proper way. Plus, they are really cute, making them look great on either a sunny windowsill or side table. So it is kind of disappointing seeing them slowly lose their leaves and cannot even tell what you might be doing wrong.
Luckily, there are just a few tricks that you need to be aware of to easily identify the problem and save your succulents to continue giving them a long and happy life!
What causes Leaf Loss?
Unlike any other houseplants, succulents are very easy to nurse back to health. You just first need to be able to diagnose the root cause of the issue, so you'll be able to correct it.
So what exactly causes succulent to drop leaves? There are actually a few reasons why, but the most common ones that you will mostly encounter are related to your watering routine, light exposure, its surrounding temperature, and as well as how much you are feeding them. And all can easily be diagnosed by taking a good look at what their leaves look like before they drop.
So take a close look at your succulent leaves and compare them with the list below.
1. Lack of Light Exposure
Light deprivation also has its own effect on your succulents' overall well-being. Compared to the overexposed ones, succulents that are grown under low light conditions for long periods of time will either lead to stretch out or grow sideways in search of light or even trigger them into dropping leaves.
Good thing there's an easy fix for this! Just allow your succulents to slowly acclimate to an area where they can get stronger or brighter sunlight. Doing this will not only ensure that your succulents will get all the light they need per day but also prevent them from getting burned or sunspots due to a sudden change in their environment.
For starters, give your succulent about an hour of exposure first or morning sunlight, and once your plant has fully adjusted to its new spot, it should stop dropping leaves. You can also consider using a grow light to supplement your succulent’s light requirements per day to prevent any issues and to keep them happy.
Although these fixes can't undo some of the damages that happened to your plant to make it look as compact as before, you can, however, propagate the leaves that were dropped by your plant to grow new ones.
Watering is also one of the vital ways of growing healthy succulents, but you need to know the proper way in doing it to make sure that you are not giving them more than what they could handle. This can be achieved by giving them a good soak of water once every week or two or when their soil feels completely dry to the touch before in between waterings.
To give you a clearer idea, aside from leaf loss, you'll know that you are already drowning your succulent if its leaves start to feel mushy, soggy when touched, and looks lighter in color or turn translucent compared to a healthy one. In other words, your plant will generally look "sick" in appearance.
You will need to make sure as well that you are using a well-draining potting mix for your succulents to prevent them from sitting in wet soil for too long. Doing this will also lower the risk of your succulents having root rot problems.
So once overwatering is suspected or your plant is showing you the signals described above, hold back with your watering right away before it's too late. Repot if needed to a different pot and make sure you use a fresh new soil mix that drains well.
To learn more about overwatered succulents and as well get detailed information on how to save them, click here.
Overfertilization will also lead your succulents to start their leaves to drop off. Not only that, their growth will be decreased as well (rather than encouraging them), burn their root system, and weaken the plant, making them vulnerable to pests and diseases.
In preventing any further damage to occur to your plant, remove any white crust you see laying on the top of their soil carefully. This is actually excess salt from the fertilizer, which can harm and burn them if ignored.
You can also water your succulent in trying to remove any excess fertilizer out from its soil. Do this once or twice to completely remove them and allow the water to drain out in between. And make sure to only feed your succulents not more than once every month when they are actively growing.
For more information about Fertilizers, click here.
4. Extreme Temperatures
Extreme weather conditions also cause the succulent to drop leaves. It's actually one of their normal responses, especially when the temperature becomes too hot for them.
So before your plant becomes unsalvageable, provide them with some protection like covering them using a shade cloth when it gets too hot or moving them to a less sunny spot. In freezing temperatures, on the other hand, it is highly recommended to bring them inside your home than just protect them with any plant covers.
You can also try winterizing your succulents. Check out this blog for a proper guide in preparing your plants for Winter.
Will the Leaves Grow Back?
Sadly, once a leaf is dropped from a succulent, a new one will not grow in its place. Compared to other houseplants, succulents can only grow leaves from their head. But this doesn't mean that you are stuck with a plant that has empty spots on its stem because chances are, offshoots or another head will appear to fill out the bald spots on the stem. And as an outcome, the baldness will barely be noticed in no time, as your succulent will look fuller.
But in case you can't wait for the empty spots to fill up on their own and want a quick way to have your succulent return to its aesthetic look, you can always have it propagating either through cuttings or leaves.
To get detailed information about succulent propagation, click here.
Yes, it might be a bit alarming to find fallen leaves around your succulent, but they can always be saved with just small adjustments in its care. And hopefully, all the information mentioned above will help you continue to have those gorgeous flowering succulent plants you love so much!
See more about How to treat succulent fungus naturally
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