Need another ID/plant help!

spapaMarch 3, 2014

Got this guy around September, not sure what it is, and it seems to be going downhill. Leaves used to be a darker, more vibrant green, and have developed a texture to them that wasn't there before. I saw that the had some webbing on it when I took it down to photograph, which I removed. I've heard about a pest called spider mites that produce webs, but I don't see any bugs on the plant. Certainly would explain why it was becoming less healthy, though. Would I actually see bugs if that's what it was?

It never had the thick, fleshy leaves of jade plants I've seen, although I initially thought that's what it was. The leaves have always had a tinge of red around the edges.

I'd really appreciate any input!

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Second photo.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 9:44PM
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It looks like it is in desperate need of a drink (it's severely wrinkled). I don't believe spider mites are visible to the naked eye, but your mention of a web does concern me. I'm not sure if that's indicative of spider mites or something else entirely harmless. I hope someone else will chime in on that.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 10:25PM
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Hi Planto,

Thank you so much for your advice. I also thought it looked thirsty so have been watering it 4x as much as any of my other succulents (2x weekly this winter) and I have been reluctant to water it any more as I am afraid of rot. Even once a week has caused some of my other plants to rot in the past, so I now do once every two weeks for most of my succulents.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 10:36PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Looks very similar to my Peperomia verticillata (which makes 3-5 leaves per node, so far anyway) but it looks like your plant makes 2 leaves per node?

If the soil is very dry and the plant is wilty, that's going a little too long. If the soil is moist and the plant is wilty, that's rotting roots. Hopefully this one is just dry. Watering shouldn't be done on a schedule, just when plants are thirsty, which may be a different amount of time for each.

Using something that's not peat (and is not composed of such tiny particles) for succulents should help a lot.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 9:46AM
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Yes, mine makes two leaves per node. After reading more about spider mites here on the forum last night I decided to give it a spray with an alcohol/water mix. Once that dried out I watered it, and already today it looks a lot better, less wrinkling and more flesh in the leaves. Interestingly, I have a Portulacaria afra plant that I have the same issue with (wrinkled leaves, looks underwatered), so I did a closer inspection on that one today and found some webbing as well. I'm wondering if the mites do something that removes fluids from the plant and that's why watering more hasn't helped. Going to try the same treatment on that plant today!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:38PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Watering more isn't helping 'cause it's in a peat based mix. Likely the whole thing has dried; you may have to soak it a while to allow water to re-enter this dried mix.

Succulents do quite badly in peat based mixes like that, sorry.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:42PM
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Thank you for the input. This is one of the few I haven't replanted, since I got it after the weather got cold and was waiting until it got warm again to re-pot (the mix I use when I re-pot is a cactus mix cut in half with perlite with a little bit of diatomaceous earth). I heard it wasn't good to re-pot while plants were dormant, but maybe I'll give that a try!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 11:01PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Not sure the plant is dormant, this is a time of active growth for Crassulas, the key would be to do it dry. That is don't water it in after changing the mix. Wait a few days to a week before some watering.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 7:25AM
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Oh okay, that's good to know. I'll try that and give an update in a few weeks!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 2:35PM
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Just wanted to give a quick update -- haven't had a chance to re-pot yet, but the alcohol/water spray has been working miracles! My guess now is that spider mites were the culprit. Plant has so much more color, is getting the flesh back in its leaves and has grown about an inch since my first post. Blurry photo from my phone but hopefully you can see the difference -- in person it is quite obvious.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 1:28PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hey that's great!!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 2:44PM
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