Help! Succulents not looking good after gritty mix transfer (pics

tcleigh(6)April 2, 2012

Hello all--

I recently transferred two kinds of jade and one flapjack plant to the gritty mix from standard potting soil which they had been in for at least a year. I thought they would be so happy but they're not looking good--floppy leaves and just wimpy in general. I'm attaching pics in the hope that someone can help me.

How much should I be watering these succulents in the gritty mix? I don't want to overdo it, but I assume I'll have to water at least twice as often as I was with the potting soil.

Any other tips about caring for these plants in the gritty mix would be greatly appreciated!


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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

When did you re-pot? When did you last water?

When you water, thoroughly drench the entire soil mix.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 12:16PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

How often you should water sort of depends on the size of the soil mass & how well colonized it is with roots. If you bare-rooted & just recently repotted, once per week seems about right. I have a lot of succulents at work & they get watered on Mondays.

How did you make the soil? what did you fertilize with? how often are you watering?


    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 1:18PM
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They evetually will be happy, but for starters, you did the repot a bit early, which is hard on the plants. And yes, make sure you are wetting ALL of the mix; I have to reapply my runout water with a turkey baster to assure a thorough wetting.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 5:08PM
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thanks for the help, everyone!

I repotted about a week and a half ago and I watered it thoroughly then and again about 3 days later and again yesterday.

I removed all three from the standard miracle grow potting soil that had become compacted and spent about 10 mins on each one working out all the soil remnants before placing them in the gritty mix. i hope i didn't expose fhe roots for too long. I've been watering it every 3 or 4 days just because its aspect is worrying me but maybe i should cut back? I havent fertilized it since i transplanted.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 8:42PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Use the wooden dowel 'tell' to determine when to water.

Did you add anything else to the soil that was soluble when you made it? What kind of grit did you use? Were the soil ingredients screened? Were the plants in dire straits before repotting? Something is definitely fishy. Usually succulents aren't as affected as most plants if the roots dry a little during the repot. Hmmmm ....


    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 10:14PM
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Assuming you do have a very sharp draining soil as strongly suggested for the jade plant and as sharp for flap jacks some ideas would be a little different but both these plants have the same principles

Jades do make good easy and sometimes fast recoveries as there almost indestructible. As suggested make sure the sifted soil is also very fast and sharp draining. Adding more time over a couple weeks to a month transition the jade from more indirect sun or partly shaded toward more time in direct sun and higher temps. During the initial weeks bring both plants inside if temps are to be lower 50's

Weekly watering is one persons normal for there jades and would be a very good idea for you for the recovery time and perhaps this whole growing season but any jade as any Crassula can survive several weeks with out water.

Let the plant recover soon you should be able to know when to flush the container with water by the leaves of the jade Generally if the foliage starts to look wrinkly then water if plump then hold back on watering. Like most a good goal is to not see any wrinkling at all on jades.

I'm not at all certain why a wooden dowel is being suggested to figure out when to water or not water a succulent plant of any type. Of the succulents I have that grow in the sharp enough media for them to grow well in a wooden dowel wouldn't even make it into the container with out risking disturbing the roots or the media it's self.

There are (in my opinion) much better tells for watering succulent plants than a wooden stick knocking things out and about a container that I'm trying to keep in.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 12:39AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Use a shish-kabob skewer...they're very slender, and hardly disturb the plant at all.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 5:42AM
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thanks, I'll give the skewer method a try.

al--i'm not sure what you mean by "soil". i used regular gran-i-grit with turface and fir bark. i did screen the gran-i-grit before use. the fir bark was pre-washed.

the plants were doing fine before repotting. im guesing they are just in shock still? the flapjack plant seems to be doing the worst, completely floppy leaves. i watered it again this morning.

should i remove them all from the direct afternoon sunlight they receive until they recover?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 9:47AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Good grief, yes remove them from direct sun!!!
After a re-potting, always protect plants from direct sun and wind until their roots are back "online."


    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 12:31PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

..... and I'm guessing that you probably should be watering about every 5-10 days (terra cotta), and up to 2 weeks for plants in containers with non permeable walls.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 3:42PM
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thanks, guys!

and, yes, i had removed them from direct light for several days after i repotted but i thought that after a while the light would do them some good. maybe it was too early, though. i've now removed them to a low to medium light location to see if they respond.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 4:10PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Very good!
Outdoor shade is brighter than sunny indoor window-sills, so there's plenty of light
for the recovery period. Within a couple days of watering, those Jade leaves ought to
plump back up (mostly, if not completely).

Update us!


    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 4:54PM
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