Why Are Leaves Blow Off My Succulents?

Succulents, including that the fleshy-leaved plants we often associate with that title, as well as cactuses, respond to a lot of environmental stressors by discontinuing growing and dropping leaves, reducing their energy requirements. Heating, frost, low or higher light, improper watering and chemical jolt may all cause leaf drop, often very suddenly.

Temperature Trouble

Since most succulents are adapted to hot, arid areas where prolonged periods of heat would be the norm, they respond by dropping leaves when stressed by drought or heat. Although this is relatively normal, maintaining succulents in the colour when temperatures soar will help prevent this. Watch them closely: if they appear wilted or sunburned, transfer them or put a shade cloth over them. The opposite problem also happens: succulents don’t do well with freezes, which might blacken and burn their leaves. Sometimes these will drop away, but generally not until the plant grows new leaves to replace them, so resist the temptation to peel these protective dead leaves. “Autumn Joy” stonecrop (Sedum “Autumn Joy”) for instance, grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 11, and will tolerate a wide range of temperatures but might still drop leaves when restless.

Low Light

Succulents need enough light, especially since they are typically adapted to areas with a great deal of sun year-round. They do best in brightly lit places, and if lacking lighting, will turn light yellow or green and straggly, trying to grow toward the light. If the issue isn’t corrected, they will gradually drop leaves or perish. Low light isn’t the only issue — succulents which are moved to a new area without acclimation, or abruptly rotated at a bright place, can get a sunburn on the side which hasn’t seen sun for a short time. Make changes slowly, and wait for plants to adapt before moving on.

Chemical Burns

Shocking the process of a succulent can also cause leaf drop. When succulents contract ailments or fungal diseases, it is certainly tempting to respond immediately and forcefully, but you need to be careful. When using chemicals, always read package instructions thoroughly and don’t reapply more often than recommended by the tag. Always make sure that your succulent isn’t environmentally stressed before applying chemicals.

Unwise Watering

Succulents are famous for wanting little water, and while too little will make them wilt and don’t thrive, you should be careful about over-watering them. Giving succulents a lot of water too often will swell their leaves and, even if they don’t get an opportunity to dry out, then make them drop off the plant. Wait until dirt is nearly completely dry and the leaves seem a little limp before watering, then water thoroughly, until you observe trickles coming out of the bottom of the bud. Repeat the procedure. Always use pots with drainage holes for succulents.

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