The cause of succulents dropping leaves?

Discuss and ask questions about all matters related to caring for your cacti and succulents. Discuss soil, repotting, lighting, fertilizing, watering, etc.
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Danielle
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:52 am

The cause of succulents dropping leaves?

Post by Danielle » Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:11 pm

How do you all differentiate between the cause of succulents dropping leaves? Or other issues. I’ve gotten pretty good at pest management, although I’m sure that can be a factor, but now my only work in progress is learning when to water. Some of my plants will drop lower leaves. Sometimes the leaves yellow first, which makes me think too much water...sometimes the leaves just dry up and drop, which makes me think not enough. I wait until the soil is dry throughout, unless I see definitive signs of thirst, like wrinkling leaves. Most plants seem to drop the leaves that are under other growth, therefore not contributing much to sun absorption. I’m just curious what others use to identify their difference, as everything I read says all these things can be either under or over watering.
Kevin
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:25 am

Re: The cause of succulents dropping leaves?

Post by Kevin » Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:12 pm

The lower leaves dry up and fall off naturally, as those leaves mature, to give the energy to the new growth instead. When the leaves just fall off without drying or dying first, or with just a slight bump, that is when you usually have an issue.

As for watering, for most succulents only water when the soil is dry all the way through. If you're having a problem telling you can poke a wooden skewer to the bottom (but watch out for the roots so you don't damage them) and if it comes out clean the soil is dry, or get a moisture meter.
Liz
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:19 am

Re: The cause of succulents dropping leaves?

Post by Liz » Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:13 pm

I just assume the lower old leaves dry up and drop off when the plant matures. I feel like that’s true in some cases, and maybe with others it’s something else. So hard to know with different varieties having different needs and whatnot.

One of my watering methods is to determine the weight of a dry, thirsty plant vs a well watered one. This way is almost foolproof for me, may take a bit of time to familiarize yourself if you have many plants but worth it!
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