Succulent plants add color and texture to the garden landscape. These plants are interesting, not only in their appearance but also in their stems and leaves' structure. Native to arid climates that experience little rainfall, succulents have thick fleshy stems and leaves capable of storing water. Water stress is one of the primary reasons that succulent plants experience wilting. However, there are other cultural practices that cause succulent wilt.
Water stress that causes the wilting of succulents can include too much or too little water. Although succulents store water reserves in their leaves and stems and are capable of surviving periods of drought, like most plants, too little water causes the plant's leaves to wilt, drop off and die. An under-watered succulent plant typically displays indentations in its leaves, as well as a lackluster color before wilting. Over-watering also causes wilting in succulent plants. The leaves appear limp, shriveled, and weak when the plant is receiving too much water. The best way to avoid overwatering succulents is to allow the soil to dry out in between waterings. To ensure proper drainage, provide your succulent plant with well-draining soil, such as sand or loamy mixture. When growing your plant in a container, ensure that the pot has drainage holes in the bottom.
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The ideal temperature for a succulent is between 65 and 75 °F (18 and 24 °C). In a mild Mediterranean climate, this means succulents are adaptable to outdoor growing, although it is a good idea to consider container growing. Move your containers of succulents indoors if the nighttime temperatures dip below 60 °F (15 °C). If a succulent gets too cold, the leaves of the plant begin to wilt. A deadly combination for succulent plants includes not only cold but also wet climates.
Succulents are full sun plants. Without the proper amount of sunlight, these plants lose their vigor and experience various health problems, from invasion by pests and diseases to a loss of color and wilting of stems and leaves. Plant succulents in a south-facing area of your landscape. Situate container-growing plants in a south-facing window. Make sure your succulent receives direct sunlight for half of the day, with partial shade during the heat of the day. If you notice your succulent is wilting due to lack of the sun, slowly increase the amount of the sun the plant receives. A sudden increase of light acts as a shock and can kill your succulent.
Young succulent plants are susceptible to a bacterial pathogen that causes wilting. Also called bacterial wilt (Ralstonia solanacearum), this disease causes rotting, wilting, and collapsing of a plant's succulent tissue. It is spread by insects, such as the cucumber beetle, that feed on the plants. While there is no cure for a plant affected by bacterial wilt, preventative care is available in the form of insecticides to keep beetles from spreading the disease among your garden plants.
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The ideal temperature for a succulent is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. In a mild Mediterranean climate, this means succulents are adaptable to outdoor growing, although it is a good idea to consider container growing. Move your containers of succulents indoors if the nighttime temperatures dip below 60 degrees F. If a succulent gets too cold, the leaves of the plant begin to wilt. A deadly combination for succulent plants includes not only cold, but also wet climates.
The droopy leaves on succulent plants can also be a sign of disease, improper light, or nutrient deficiency. If you determine it is low water, follow the steps above. Once the plant is perky again, start a regular watering schedule.
If you are unsure when to water, get a moisture meter. Remember, smaller containers dry out more quickly, as do plants in full sun in dry regions. In-ground plants in gritty soil will also become dehydrated faster than those in a higher percentage of loam. The type of soil is important so that excess water drains quickly but enough is retained for the plant.