What to do When Succulent Leaves are Splitting?
The first succulent that you brought home became your companion that day. You couldn’t keep your eyes off the cute little succulent.
Some years later, what started out as a single plant show is now a huge collection of exotic cacti and rare succulents. So as the variety of plants in the garden has grown, growing pains have come along with it.
If you are not battling with mealy bugs, then either you are etiolating your succulents or your plants collapse under the pressure of root rot. No matter what the case may be, growing succulents is an adventurous journey.
It is ironic that splitting leaves are a sign of too much care in the case of succulent leaves – even for a single leaf.
The one side effect you definitely want to drastically cut back on is split leaves. So, figure out what maintenance regimen you’ll need to modify and how to make further progress in the recovery process.
Why Succulent Leaves Are Splitting?
Plants require watering as one of their maintenance routines, and there is no doubt about the importance. But if the water is too much, the leaves will split.
This plant’s adaptations allow it to survive in conditions where there is limited water. Their transpiration rates are much lower than those of your standard plants; therefore, any water that reaches their leaves is progressively stored to use in the future.
Because succulent plants have no way of getting rid of extra water, there will always be an excess. However, because it is abundant here, there is no way for them to deal with the excess water. Water can only be stored. As it builds up in the leaves, it causes greater turgor pressure leading to splits.
If succulent plants are in a potting mix that has poor drainage the leaves will split.
Whatever the case, it is certain that the aesthetic value of this plant is rapidly diminishing. Here are some ways to preserve it.
What to do When Succulent leaves are Splitting?
You have probably already noticed from the list above that reducing the watering frequency is a worthwhile step to take if succulent leaves are splitting.
Even though it might have helped, it might not have had the desired effect. The plant already took up more water than it could use up. Although spreading it out over time, adding it more can still prove detrimental based on the type of soil and the amount of water present.
However, even if you have the correct soil mixture, the fact remains that the plant has excess water. It’s impossible to tell in advance whether or not this water has already been used by the time you decide to rewater the plant.
These are some more effective tips you can apply in your campaign against leaf splitting.
In case you have the right potting mix (good drainage), completely stop irrigating your plants for a few weeks. The dry part of well-draining soil mix during this period should be as large as your finger. Test it by dipping your finger in the pot. Continually test the moisture level of the soil toward the bottom.
Plants with a poor drainage system are advised to be removed from their current place and then deprived of all the wet soil. Place the plant somewhere dry with adequate light (away from direct sunlight) for one or two weeks. After that, you can replant it, this time using potting soil with good drainage. Keep watering at a minimum and space out the sessions for a week before you begin watering.
How to Never Have Splitting Succulent Leaves?
You can deal with splitting succulent leaves in a proactive manner. Take note of the following:
In order to eliminate any possible chances of excess water, it is imperative to choose a mix that drains well. Go for commercial potting mixes since they are more likely to be successful. Just purchase commercial cactus and succulent mixes and start growing.
If that doesn’t work, you can always make your own mixture by mixing equal quantities of potting soil, coarse sand, pumice and perlite. Additionally, you can improve drainage by planting your succulents in pots that are similar in size to them – but leave enough space around the pots’ outer edges.
It will be necessary to repot them as they grow to maintain the current set up.
Plants require different amounts of water at different stages of development. They require a lot of water when growing, and this has to be alternated with periods of no watering to allow the soil to partially dry out.
Dormant plants require a limited amount of water during this stage and therefore potting soil should be as dry as possible during this stage. During the potting process, at least half of the potting soil should be dry.
This is determined by the stage of growth and development as described previously. The top soil determines the timing of watering at both stages.
It is recommended that the top portion of the mixture be dry if the succulent is in the growth stage. This dryness should continue 2-3 inches down the pot when the succulent is in the growth stage. You can measure this by using a finger. Just dip it into the soil mix, looking for any moisture. If it is, do not water the plants until they have completely dried.
Please give these tips a try and let us know how things went. Did your succulents recover nicely from splitting leaves or did it ultimately end up dead? If you have any suggestions or concerns, please let our readership know below. A concern or suggestion is no bad thing, and if your succulents are not growing good, there are probably others who have the same problem.
Thank you for taking the time to read our article! If you haven’t already, give the snake plant article a try too, a lot of people enjoyed that one especially. Have a great time planting!