The most common problem people have when starting out with succulents is overwatering. Imagine a cactus in the wild. Where do you see it?—probably some sandy expanse, right? Succulents and cacti are typically desert plants, and as such they’re adapted to living in dry, arid environments. They are xerophilic, and aren’t used to receiving lots of water.

Overwatering can cause your plants to die pretty quickly. Too much moisture in the soil:

  • causes root rot
  • prevents plants from absorbing nutrients properly 
  • attracts garden pests, and makes your soil a great breeding ground for them
  •  promotes bacterial and fungal growth

Signs and symptoms of overwatering

  • wilting—succulents may become visibly sad and droopy looking
  • Yellowing leaves (chlorosis)
  • Edema—blisters and bumps that leave permanent scars on leaves
  • leaf drop—even healthy looking new growth may begin falling off the stems.
  • squishy stems and leaves

Continue reading “7 Tips to Stop Overwatering and Killing your Succulents and Cacti”

What happened?

A little over a month ago nearly all of the succulents on my porch started showing signs of deterioration. It started with one pot at first—my most recently acquired echeveria. I watched in dismay as the problem spread to my other succulents over the course of the next two weeks. Leaves were falling off, and my previously fat little plants were shriveling up. After a thorough inspection, there were a few of the most common issues happening at the same time. Here’s why all of my succulents nearly died:

Continue reading “Why all of my succulents almost died—and what I did to save them.”