Can this jade be saved?

SnailLover(5a MI)May 18, 2012

This poor plant was fine until I repotted it. Then its branches started drooping all the time. I was watering it once a week, figured that was too much, so I cut back to once every 2 weeks. Then it got even more droopy and the trunk started to fall over as well. I had to tie the branches together and prop it against the wall. It produces new leaves, but the old leaves fall off easily and they appear wrinkly and folded. This poor plant was fine until I repotted it. Then its branches started drooping all the time. I was watering it once a week, figured that was too much, so I cut back to once every 2 weeks. Then it got even more droopy and the trunk started to fall over as well. I had to tie the branches together and prop it against the wall. It produces new leaves, but the old leaves fall off easily and they appear wrinkly and folded.

I began to think the soil was the problem (I'd stupidly used a citrus/palm potting soil instead of a succulent soil). So I recently repotted it again with a mix of 25% regular potting soil and 75% sandy/gravelly soil that I dug from behind my house (unable to find succulent soil in the stores!)

Here is a photo taken just after the repotting. I had to tie the poor thing up and attach it to a shelf to keep it from falling over. Does anyone know what the problem was, and am I doing the right things to rectify it?

[IMG]http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x25/gpigs3/2012_05170005.jpg[/IMG]

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SnailLover(5a MI)

No idea how to attach this image, sorry.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 1:15AM
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SnailLover(5a MI)

Finally figured it out!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 1:23AM
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Microthrix(9)

Is that the current soil? Cause it still looks like it holds to much moisture

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 1:27AM
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SnailLover(5a MI)

Yeah. It's wet because I just watered it after repotting. I had to pat the wet soil around the base to keep it from toppling over. (I know, it's a mess.)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 1:31AM
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Microthrix(9)

I suggest not watering right after repoting because roots may have been damaged and what-not and the need time to regrow ... i usually dont water for about a week to 10 days

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 2:34AM
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SnailLover(5a MI)

Okay I'll remember that for next time and will lay off watering it for awhile. So do you or anyone think this jade can be saved? Will it ever straighten up without support? It lost a lot of leaves from the transport and repotting.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:06AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

It needs a well-draining soil.
I'd remove it, let the roots dry for a few hours, and then re-pot into a dry, porous mix.
Then, 3 - 5 days later, I would water.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 11:11AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Snaillover,

Micro is correct in suggesting not watering in newly potted succulents, it's a better start for the plant. Just so you know, instead of watering it in (for future) one can just firm it in w/ one's hands & fingers after giving the whole thing a good bang against the table or the floor to help settle it in. Also, you could always use a couple of big rocks around its base to hold it securely in place 'til the roots re-establish.

That's very peaty looking mix, not sure the sandy soil will help more than it harms. Can you find perlite locally, maybe mix it 50% into what you've got.

What condition did you find the roots to be in? I don't recall you saying. I suspect the roots could be rotting, making the plant unstable at its base.

I'd try not watering but every 3 wks. If unsure, stick a pencil way own in the mix, if it comes up clean, it's OK to water, if it comes out w/ mix on it, there's still some moisture in there.

It's a very nice Hobbit or Gollum, I hope you can save it. if it were mine, I might even cut off a branch & root that separately.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 11:18AM
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SnailLover(5a MI)

Thanks for all the feedback. About the roots: They were pretty nonexistent when I repotted it--obviously the reason it kept toppling over. Here is a better photo of the new soil. It's actually quite sandy, but I can get something else if necessary. You can see all the leaves that broke off. Yeah I screwed up by watering it after repotting. I can pull it out and air dry the soil but I just hate to bang it around further. It's getting sun and is drying out nicely.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 11:44AM
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sutremaine(UK S.Wales 9)

If it doesn't have any roots you can probably just wiggle it straight out of the soil.

Succulent soil from the store is pretty much gritty sandy compost anyway, so not being able to find it isn't a problem. Can you find any 'tropical' mixes, or orchid mixes?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:35PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The soil is still composed of too fine a particulate and will compact and drain poorly over time.
I recommend a porous, gritty mix. An "Orchid Mix" with coarse Perlite added could work in a pinch.
Fine sand should be avoided entirely - Pumice or lava rock would be wonderful in the mix.

Oh, and this is a nice Crassula ovata 'Hobbit' for anyone interested in nomenclature.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 3:47PM
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SnailLover(5a MI)

Thanks for the advice. I'll look for some better soil. I didn't check the nurseries yet, I'm sure they'll have it. Good to know what kind it is. Will it regrow the leaves that fell off?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 5:24PM
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Microthrix(9)

I dont think it will regrow the fallen leaves but they would eventually fall off anyway

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 10:52PM
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sutremaine(UK S.Wales 9)

The leaves are still there, they're just really really short now. They won't regenerate. Any leaves that come from that area will be part of a new branch, not a single leaf by itself. It's easier to get a new plant from an old leaf than it is to get new leaves from an old part of the plant. ...Unless you get the knife out, anyway.

Since the loss of those few leaves makes the ones remaining stick out like sore thumbs, it's a great time to pull them off and make some backup plants. : )

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 11:26PM
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Microthrix(9)

I think it looks better with a more visible trunk anyway

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 2:51AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Bare spots on the trunk or branches will backbud is given sufficient light.
Otherwise, plucking and pruning will create new leaves and branches much more reliably.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 10:51AM
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SnailLover(5a MI)

I'm happy to report that the jade is doing better. It is standing on its own now and looking firmer. :)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 9:58PM
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Microthrix(9)

Yay! Good job :P

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 12:09AM
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