Factors determining succulent growth
Succulents are tough-built plants, they can endure a lot of carelessness and adverse situations, and still, survive and bloom. But, that doesn’t mean they are eternal, they also face conditions that can push them to their end. And, being a gardener, one needs to be aware of the factors that affect succulent growth.
But, first, we should be aware of them, how they come into effect? How they haunt your succulents? How they turn from a mere issue into a catastrophe? And, how it could be averted or at least reduced to minimal loss.
These are the questions, we should be able to answer if we want the healthy growth of our succulents. Because, sooner or later, some problems can grow in our succulents too. And therefore, first, we need to learn about the factors that can be the reason behind a problematic situation.
Most succulents do not need watering more than once a week in summers, as water should be added to succulents when the soil is bone dry. In winters, which are the dormant time for most of the varieties, the watering percentage must be halved down to the regular. They have the ability to thrive in arid climates and regions. They can store the moisture in their water-storing cells in stem or leaves.
Over watering Succulent
When a person does not follow the watering protocols and supplies water frequently. Treating the succulents like other plants, it leads to a sick plant with extensively swelled up leaves.
The leaves and stem of most of the succulents are capable of absorbing excess moisture in their water balloons. However, when we supply them with excess, their balloons burst, and the cell structures get severely damaged. Which may result in the rotting of leaves and stems, & deteriorated succulent growth.
This is the primary reason behind a succulent’s untimely death, and this is because over-watering disturbs the original nature of the succulents. But, when they get supplied with a regular dosage of excess water, their water-storing cells rupture with pressure.
Succulent suffering from the situation of over-watering, starting showing its adverse effects slowly, leaves of the plant will discolor, have a lighter color than the healthy leaves, or will look bit translucent. They will feel soft and squishy to the touch, as if they are topped with water under a thin layering of leafy material, and will burst if pressed hard.
It also makes their leaves weak, and many of the times, they drop off readily, even when lightly touched. Whether it’s over-watering or under-watering, usually bottom ones get affected first. And then the ill effects may extend to roots and other parts of the plant, hampering the succulent growth.
However, they are some ways to control and roll back the damage by cutting off the damaged parts and saving the fresh ones by limiting the spread. But if the damage has crossed the limit, propagation through some part of un-affected leaves is the only option left.
Under watering succulents
Although succulents can deal with drought situations and go for a long time without water. Succulents fed with extremely-low amounts of water can develop dry conditions, their leaves shrivel, flatten up, go dry. You can get that feel that by touching them, that the water reservoir inside them is over.
If the low-watering situation worsens, leaves may dry up completely, and this mostly starts from the bottom ones. In that case, you can remove the dead leaves from the plant and bring it back to life by a regular dosage of watering. And, you should know how often should you water for better succulent growth.
Sunlight for succulent growth
Most of the succulents belong to the semi-desert areas, where they get enough sunlight. Sunlight is essential for succulent growth; they make their food from it. For sure, you must have heard about the photosynthesis process. Sunlight also brings vividness to the leaves of succulents. They attain different colors and shade according to the species, which sets them apart from the others.
Lack of Sunlight for Succulents
You must have seen a succulent having elongated or stretched leaves; it is the sign that it is asking for more sunlight. It means they are not getting their daily sunlight dosage. And, due to which their leaves stretch out to look for more sunlight. Quite the same as what roots do in search of the water sources for succulent growth.
For that, it is advisable to move your succulents to a location where they can get 4-5 hours of morning sunlight, if you have planted them in containers. And if you have an outdoor garden with succulents planted in the ground. You can decide before planting which direction to choose so that they can get proper sunlight. And, in case you left out at the time of planting, surely you can re-pot them later.
Excess of Sunlight/Sunburn
Sunburn hampers succulent growth with making leaves with brownish and scorched edges. And, if the condition worsens, they may dry up also. Is it because of an excess supply of sunlight? It may sound weird, as to how they can have a sunburn. As, they belong to semi-deserts where they receive enough sunlight. So, the thing is, most of them are low-lying varieties and in natural habitat grown under a shade of a larger plant. It saves them from direct and excess heat of the afternoon and allows them to enjoy the morning rays also.
We need to do the same if we want to save them from sunburn. Move your pots for morning sunlight and bring them back to shade in the afternoon. With succulents in outdoor gardens, you can have a large plant beside them that blocks the afternoon rays while allowing the morning ones. And if that is not possible, you can go for the artificial shade from an umbrella or a fixed structure.
Temperature & weather
Succulents are susceptible to temperature changes. A sudden up and down in the mercury level, and your succulent growth can deteriorate. There is an optimum temperature range for the succulents, the upper or lower side of which is harmful to them. Like some areas have large temperature variations in their day and night time. That is, the day is sunny and bright, while, night are freezing with a chilly wind blowing across. It may harm your succulent, and with no safety, their health may deteriorate.
The effect of this temperature dropping can be managed by moving your succulents into safety cover in the night-time. There are some varieties that are not okay with the chilly weather. Indoors, you can regulate the temperature to optimum in the night time. And next, you can put them back in the sunny location.
In total, the thing you need to do is assimilate your succulents to the temperature irregularities slowly and steadily. And this you can do by moving them in the night as discussed before or by putting them in a structure. That saves them from the freezing wind blowing across. Temperature droppings also happen in monsoon season, when sunlight is less and humidity is o the higher side. You can let them soak the sun rays, but saving them from excess water and moisture by growing them on a raised soil bed. And of course, for container plants, you have always got the option to change the location easily.
Pests & Diseases hamper succulent growth
A white fungus on the top of your succulent or some cottony bugs, eating up leaves, giving it a deformed structure. Like other plants, succulents also get affected by pests and diseases mealy-bugs, gnats, white sponge, rotting, etc. These pests and diseases can eat up your plant and degrade succulent growth. And then, you are left with no option but to propagate it if you could find a healthy part in it, or to bring a new sapling.
One should always do a regular check of succulents to negate these problems even before they spread. But, in case their spread is over-looked, you can opt for disinfectants, insecticides, rubbing alcohol, etc. as per your requirement, to get rid of them. Also, there are some more methods like exposing your plants to sunlight, etc. which could save your plant. But for sure, you should prevent your succulent from these nasty situations.
Final takeaway on succulent growth
A go-through this blog must have introduced you to the situations that may play the spoilsport for your succulent growth. And, after being aware of the reasons that affect the succulents. You will be able to tackle the situation much comfortably. This article will help you take good care of your succulents and discover new things about them!