S.O.S Part 1: Saving your Succulents
To pass the time while many of us have spent our summer in quarantine due to COVID-19, you may have picked up a few new hobbies or passions along the way. If you’re anything like me, I’ve spent my time adding new additions to my home garden. While I’ve been an experienced plant owner for quite some time, I remember the days of losing a few plants due to miscare or a general lack of knowledge on what they needed to thrive and be healthy. If any of you relate to my past experiences, then this up-and-coming series is perfect for you! I’ve decided to create a step-by-step emergency guide on what to do if you notice any odd changes in your Potted Pals.
In today’s guide, I will be covering various ways to save your succulents in a few common situations that you may encounter.
For one, an overwatered succulent is easy to spot. Its leaves will be mushy and a bit see-through (you can literally see the water squishing around inside). Other signs of an overwatered succulent include darkening leaves, which will eventually fall off into the soil below. Luckily, this is fixable---if the roots and stems are not completely rotten. To fix this, you will need to remove the succulent and its roots from the overly wet soil that it has been residing in. Allowing the plant to dry out in a sunny area (but not in direct sunlight) for two to three days is the next step to removing excess water. After this drying period, the succulent can be placed back into some fresh soil, which will need to be watered again in about a week’s time--but not immediately.
Likewise with an overly-watered succulent, a dry one is quite noticeable. In this case, its leaves and stems would be shriveled, small, and relatively hard. When close to its death due to underwatering, its leaves will become a yellow color, and in a crumpled and flat state. To save it, watering the soil until it isn’t dry and brittle anymore is the key---this is usually the standard watering tip for succulents as it is. A change in environment may also be necessary; make sure that your succulent hasn’t been in direct light for a consistent amount of time, as this will evaporate its water supply and damage its leaves even more.
While this may seem like a seemingly irreversible issue, there are a few solutions to a bug infestation. Seeing that it is likely that the insects have already laid their eggs among the soil and roots of the plant, you can either remove the eggs physically or invest in an insecticide spray. During this step, the succulent will need to be placed in some new, sterilized compost or soil, and separated from any other plants that you may have.
Stay tuned for SOS part 2 Potted Pals lovers!
by Jalisa Redding