4. They Don’t Get Enough (Or Maybe Too Much) Warmth, Sun, Or Light
If your succulents do not receive the light they need, they will begin to look spindly. Heat, light, and warmth are essential to a succulent’s health.
If you notice that your plant is straining toward any source of light, plus there’s a significantly wider space between the leaves, you know it needs some sun-lovin’. Your succulents will be much weaker if they do not receive enough light.
Additionally, succulents can suffer from sunburn! You might notice brown and white spots in addition to their wilting appearance.
Maybe you can ask a follow-up question….
How Much Light Do Succulents Need?
It really depends on whether you have an indoor or an outdoor succulent, as well as whether it prefers full sun, shade, or lower light.
Generally, succulents thrive in hot and arid climates. However, you shouldn’t assume that ALL succulents can live in this environment. Always check the Hardiness Zone Map.
In addition to bright colors, outdoor succulent plants require at least four hours of sunlight per day. Don’t put your children in too much direct or intense heat because they may get sunburned and develop permanent scarring.
For indoor succulents, light is also necessary, but not as much as for outdoor ones. They are best placed near the window, where light can be absorbed throughout the day.
When you have a newly transplanted or propagated plant as well as a baby succulent, avoid placing them in direct sunlight since they are still weak and underdeveloped. It is best to wait for them to mature.
What Happens If They Don’t Get Enough Light?
When succulents don’t get enough light, they tend to elongate and chase after a light source. As they stretch out, they become weak and leggy.
Below are a few examples of indoor and outdoor succulents and their light requirements.
Full Sun Outdoor Succulents
- Hens and chicks
- Paddle plant or Kalanchoe luciae
- Ghost plant or Graptopetalum paraguayense
- Blue chalkstick or Senecio serpens
Shade Outdoor Succulents
- Fox tail agave or Agave attentuata
- Night blooming cereus or Epiphyllum
- String of pearls or Curio rowleyanus
- String of bananas plant or Curio radicans
- Jade plant or Crassula ovata
- Fairy crassula or Crassula multicava
- Mistletoe cactus or Rhipsalis
Direct Sun (Indoor Succulents)
- Pincushion cactus or Mammillaria
- Spider cactus or Gymnocalycium denudatum)
- Burro’s tail or Sedum morganianum
- Ponytail palm or Beaucarnea recurvata
- Bunny ears cactus or Opuntia microdasys
- Tiger jaws Faucaria tigrina
Filtered Sun/ Indirect Sun (Indoor Succulents)
- Zebra plant or Haworthia attenuata
- Christmas cactus or Schlumbergera buckleyi
- Bear Paws or Cotyledon Tomentosa
- Cylindrical Snake Plant or Sansevieria cylindrica
- Snake Plant or Sansevieria trifasciata
- Gollum Jade or Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’
Plants need exposure to sunlight, so place them where they will get more. When you have a succulent indoors, avoid placing it near too much shade, including the cooling vents. This doesn’t pose a problem for outdoor succulents.
If moving indoors to outdoors, let your plant adjust gradually. Succulents don’t like sudden and drastic changes; they may suffer sun damage if you don’t let them acclimate first.
If it’s not possible to expose your succulents to sunlight inside, you can also use a grow light.
The right lighting condition is also just as important for succulents as watering. Too much or too little of anything certainly isn’t good.
5. Your Succulents Are Compacted And Crammed Together In A Small Pot
Succulents bundled together in a small pot can be quite pleasing to the eye. Unfortunately, this situation won’t work for them since they require a root zone.
Many succulent varieties have thick roots, filling the pot with their leaves and flowers.
Your succulents’ growth will be stunted if they do not have enough root zone and are compacted together.
It’s possible they won’t even grow at all! These babies don’t like to be smothered at all, and if you leave them there too long, they’ll die on you.
Let your succulents breathe and fill out naturally. Don’t overcrowd them in a small pot.
If your aesthetic calls for small pots, simply move your other succulents between a couple of small pots so they are not crowded together.
Provide your succulents with at least two to three inches of space between them. This will allow them to grow to their full potential.
The roots of your succulents should be your main concern.
6. The Pot Or Container That Your Succulent Is Planted In Has Poor Drainage Or Is Too Deep
Most succulent owners try to avoid rot. What’s the reason?
Because most of the time when a plant starts to rot, it can’t be saved.
Even if you follow a precise watering schedule, potted plants won’t do well if the drainage system is inadequate.
Water will just pool in the pot; too much water combined with organic matter from the soil is a recipe for disaster.
Decorative containers and pots may be quite appealing to you, but it’s important not to rely solely on their appearance to take care of your plants.
The roots of a succulent will not be able to absorb your water if it’s too deep in the pot, on the other hand.
As a result, the water will simply drain or sink to the bottom of the tank.
Choosing The Right Pot For Your Succulents
When you put your plants in unusual pots, be sure that you provide enough holes, otherwise they may rot. Choose pots with decent drainage to prevent rotting.
My favorite pot for succulents are unglazed terracotta pots. Terracotta pots are heavy as well.
But they are very permeable, and that makes them better for insulation than any other pots I’ve had.
Since water dries quickly in terracotta pots, you might need to water your succulent more frequently in warmer weather.
Choosing a pot that is proportional to your succulent’s size is also important. A good estimate is about 5-10% larger than the plant’s surface area.
7. Insects And Pests Love Your Succulents Too Much
Succulents attract pests, so if you notice raised spots on your plant and white cottony coverings all over it, it’s most likely that mealy bugs are present.
There are also scales, another insect that loves to feast on the sap of your succulent plants. The leaves of a succulent can be infected with diseases if you observe brown bumps. Scales are one sign that your succulents may have scales.
Sucking on a plant’s flowers and leaves is a favorite activity of plant lice, greenflies, and aphids. They leave behind some honeydew on the plant, which can promote the development of black sooty mold.
There are also spider mites. These little red guys love to feed on the sap from your succulents. This will then make the plant lighter and lighter until it turns silvery.
You can be sure that they will eventually destroy your babies.
Additionally, there are the fungal gnats that are similar to mosquitoes and enjoy moist environments.
If your succulents are always moist, they will use your plant as a breeding ground.
How To Get Rid Of Common Pests On Succulents
The best way to prevent pest infestations is to maintain good plant hygiene. You should only use clean water to water your plants, and make sure you remove rotting and dead leaves. Do not allow stagnant water to accumulate on your plants.
How can you protect your plant if it is already infected?
The soil should be cleaned of mealybugs, and these insects should be rinsed away. If necessary, spray soapy water over the leaves, and then allow the plant to dry out for a few days. Repot your plant as well if necessary.
Use a cotton swab to rub diluted alcohol or soap water on the area if your succulent is infested with scales.
If the infestation is not severe, you can also use neem oil. You can dilute a tablespoon of the oil in eight cups of water, and you should use it at night to avoid burning your plant.
It is also recommended to spritz soapy water on the aphids, as well as diluted neem oil or soapy water with vegetable oil.
Spider mites can also be removed by the same method as mealy bugs. In addition, you can directly spritz rubbing alcohol on the plant.
The last but not least, I personally prefer cinnamon powder when dealing with fungus gnats. You can use cinnamon to fight gnats. I just spread the cinnamon over my potting mix, then I’m ready to go.
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