Succulents are easy-care plants in the cacti family that thrive on neglect. With over 1,000 varieties that range in color, shape, and size, the odds are that you or someone you know is growing a succulent right now.
The ever-popular Mother-In-Law’s Tongue is succulent. So is the well-known aloe vera, agave, and donkey’s tail. Succulents can be indoor or outdoor plants, and they can melt. There are a few different reasons succulents melt and preventative steps you can take to prevent them from melting. Help prevent your treasured succulent from melting with these tips.
Why Is My Succulent Melting?
The most common reason that succulents melt is overwatering. It seems to plant owners that they are showing their plants love by watering them, but too much water is bad.
Live succulents store water in their fleshy leaves, stems, and roots. Even if their leaves seem a little thin, the plant roots may be filled with water underneath the soil where they can’t be seen.
Succulents are desert plants designed to store water so they can survive drought conditions. However, when water is given to them regularly, they have nowhere to keep it, drown, and succulent melting occurs.
There are three reasons that cause succulents to melt.1. Overwatered. Succulent newbies typically get troubled by overwatering succulents. For rainy cities, non-volunteering overwater stop many succulents lovers from building beautiful succulent gardens. Therefore, well drainage succulent soil mix, pots with drainage holes, and adaptable watering behavior are essential for all succulent growers.
2. Fungal Infection. Grown under poor ventilation and high humid environment, succulents easily get infected by fungi, especially in summer. Generally, you can see there are being like ''white powder'' on the stem and leaves ends. As the fungal infection progresses, the plant will turn yellowish-brown and black. If you ignore this potential issue and can't take action to control fungal infection spreading, you will lose many succulents.
3. Low Temperature. Succulents are native to desert regions and do not like low temperatures. The leaves of succulents store a lot of water. When the temperature goes below 40F, the volume of the water will increase after freezing, breaking the cell wall and causing the leaves to melt. Therefore, to prevent succulent melting, it is highly recommended to reduce watering frequency, move them indoors/provide warm cloth before frost.
Prevent Succulents From Melting
1. Excellent Ventilation. Make sure the area has sufficient airflow. This will prevent pests from infesting the plants.
2. Well-drained Succulent Soil. Potting soil that contains sand and perlite but very little organic matter is ideal.
3. Succulent Pot With Drainage Holes. If the pot does not have proper drainage holes, excess water cannot drain through quickly enough. The plant roots are sitting in soggy soil for too long, damaging the roots. Part of regular succulent care includes repotting them as needed into a larger container with plenty of drainage holes in the bottom.
4. Move to Indoor Before Freeze. Succulent leaves are filled with water, and if the plant is exposed to freezing temperatures, the moisture-filled cells inside the leaves expand, burst, and turn the leaves to mush.
5. For newly arrived succulent plants, especially the succulents purchased in summer, it is highly recommended to soak and clean the succulents with carbendazim powder before planting. You can apply this method to all your succulents in spring, which reduces the possibility of fungal infection in summer.
6. For succulents with few bottom leaves melted, gently remove the plant from its pot and spot check if the stem and roots are healthy. Brush off excess soil from the roots. Snip off any spots that have turned brown or black. Lay the whole succulent on in a bright airy location for three days. Re-pot in fresh soil when the roots are completely dry. Or you can use the healthy leaves to do propagation.
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When looking at succulents for sale, inspect the plant and the soil. You want to start with a healthy succulent with its roots in good, algae-free soil that is not soggy. The pot should have proper drainage holes with no roots growing out of them.
A happy, healthy succulent will live for many years and make your living space more enjoyable.