Too much water or not enough?

gumbomikeJune 7, 2010

My birdbath isn't doing too well right now but I don't know if im over watering or under watering. I typically wait until the soil is bone dry before I water it. here are some photos. tell me what you think.

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Your soil doesn't look right, it need probably 40% more pumice. Too much water in the Spring the leaves drop. Too much organic matter. Are you using the organic matter for a top dressing? Norma

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 10:14PM
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the soil is just a standard cactus and succulent mix. there is no top dressing.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 10:27PM
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I agree... toss out soil, or add a LOT more pumice to it, then top dress it with gravel or something nicer, then water a lot more. Your Echeveria is shriveled from dehydration... BUT... if it's super hot and dry where you are, I would move it into some shade before you rewater it, or it may just rot... best yet, take it out of the soil and look at its roots and be sure they look OK... if not too many roots (or none), best to put it in some shade and wait on the watering. The pleiospilos are really prone to rotting in watered when hot and dry, so careful with that one, too.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 10:54PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

You've been given some of the best advice there is.. Standard soil, sadly, isn't good enough. It has way too much organic material.

Does this bird bath have drainage holes?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 11:48PM
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I just realized the most important thing, I don't think a birdbath is deep enough to raise plants unless it is 6" deep, that could be the real problem? Now that I know is is a bird bath, yes it should have holes, good catch. I'm sorry my mistake I should have read more carefully. JOJO you saved those plants, thank you. Norma

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 12:15AM
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The birdbath is only about 2" deep. It has (2) 1/4" drain holes. The soil drains rather quickly. I've been watering once a week and the soil is usually completely dry in 2 days. I am in Southern Califorina (Riverside). It is rather dry here and it is starting to get hot.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 12:39AM
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Well I think Jo jo and I solved the problem, yes you have drain holes but not large enough and you need at least four. All of my cheap plastic pots have at leave four holes and larger. 1/4 inch holes will plug up with your mix. 2" pot will not do the job. The Echevieria should not have water until they have roots. Use the bird bath for tiny ground cover that is shallow rooted, add 4" deep x 3/5" pots on top and let them sit. Get a beginner book on how to grow succulents. I know where you live and it's is hotter than blazes, I'm being polite. It used to be grape field and orange groves out there. I just hope we have been of help to you, and the plants, Norma

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 12:46PM
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rjj1(Norman OK Zone7)

To me watering is the issue, not the pot depth. I have many plants in pots more shallow than that. Lately it has been topping out in the upper 90's here and I'm watered very day. One of my grow areas has been hitting 100+ because of the concrete the benches sit on.

This plant is growing and putting on leaves and only having about 3/8" of an inch of soil and about 1/4 of an inch of gravel over the roots. It get watered once a day. When we start hitting 110 + around that bench in July, it will need more shade.

Bonsai would not have been a reality if things could not be grown in shallow pots. Most bonsai are less drought tolerant than the plants posted on this forum.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 1:42PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

I am not in Riverside, I'm coastal, in Sunset 23 on the edge of 24. I put all my echeveria/graptopetalum/crassula containers in morning sun and afternoon shade. The plants are so much all happier. And you are way hotter there...

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 2:21PM
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