Succulent Plant Site | Plant FAQ

Plant FAQ

Advice and tips on cultivating succulent plants and some quick fixes when things go wrong.

Q: What is sealing or callusing a plant?

A:  Sealing a plant is usually done with a tree sealer, flowers of sulphur or some crushed charcoal and then allowing the plant to 'dry' before potting or watering from the top.  Some people allow the plant to callus without any help from chemicals by just letting a natural 'skin' develop over the cut or damaged area.  To callus a plant naturally place it in a shaded,cool dry area and leave for a day or two, some plants callus with ease while others take a little longer.  This is done to cuttings or damaged plants to prevent them from rotting.

Q: I left my plant to long in the sun, it now has a reddish tinge and some of the leaves have gone white in colour.  What happened and what do I do?

A:   Your plant, like skin, has not gotten used to the full sun and it has been scorched.  If there is just a pinkish tinge to your plant place it into a place where the light is less intense.  If the plant has been burnt severly and the leaves have turned whitish in colour you should, if possible, remove the damage area with a stetrilised knife and treat with flowers of sulphur.  It would be beneficial to treat the plant with a fungicide.

Q:  My plants are rotting, what am I doing wrong?

A:  You may be overwatering your plants, your soil may be waterlogged causing the roots to rot, poor air circulation or you are handling your plants to rougthly.  The solution is simple, less water, use a soil that drains more freely, increase ventilation and air circulation and handle your plants more carefully.  Your plants may be infected by root mealy bug, treat as described in the root mealy bug pest section.

Q:  My plants are going thin at the top, why is it doing this? (Etiolation)

A:  This is caused by a lack of light, this is known as etiolation.  You can cut the thin tip off and hope the plant will branch or you can gradually increase the light until the plant starts to thicken but this leaves a weak spot in the plant which may cause the plant to break later in its life.  This usually happens to cacti, especially ceroids.

Q:  My plants are going yellow, why? (Chlorosis)

A:  Your plants have a trace element deficiency or check for a root mealy bug infestation, they may have damaged the roots thus preventing the nutrients from reaching the main plant body.  Fertilize the plant regularly with a good fertilizer that contains all the trace elements.

Q:  I overwatered my plant and it burst, what do I do?

A:  The image Overwatered mesembshows an over-watered mesemb.  When the plants are over-watered and they burst they usually die from a fungal infection.  The best thing to do is treat the plant with a fungicide and treat the open areas with flowers of sulfur or sprinkle some crushed charcoal on the burst areas.  Keep the plant dry for a few days or weeks.




Q:  I left my plant outside and it was damaged by frost, what do I do?

A:  Remove the damaged areas with a clean sharp knife and seal the wounds then treat with a fungicide and move plant to a warmer spot.


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