Echeveria help

riveratnight(9)July 24, 2014

For some reason, while I mostly do alright with plants in general (including cacti), there are a few kinds of plants I always struggle with. Every time I had non-cactus succulents as a kid, I managed to kill them. I'm not sure how or why. I do the same thing with rosemary and lavender, even though I can grow other herbs fine. I think I just have a black thumb with certain plants, but I at least want to try to grow these guys so they thrive!

I have a long window box planter that I have planted some echeveria in. It's not getting enough light - I know that's part of the problem, and I'm going to move the planter into the shared yard of my apartment building so it can get direct, unfiltered sunlight most of the day. I'm hoping that will solve some of the issues.

But here's the main problem: I have two Echeveria affinis, some blueish echeveria of the hens and chicks variety, and a clump of Echeveria secunda. The E. affinis is mostly doing fine - it leans toward the window and wants more light, but the leaves look healthy, it's not etiolating (yet), one of them has a couple of slightly mushy leaves toward the bottom but otherwise they both look fine. The two blue echeveria (not sure of species) etiolated, but have since recovered and are shooting out pups at the base of their stems like crazy. I think once those four plants are in direct sunlight, they will be fine.

But the E. secunda clump is losing rosettes. The lower leaves on all the rosettes have shriveled and lost their color, and two of the nine rosettes in the clump have bleached out entirely and died.

Is this just a sunlight problem? They're in the standard Miracle Gro cacti and succulent mix, since they're some of the first plants I got and I didn't really know about amending soil yet. I'm hesitant to re-pot them in the middle of summer, but should I put them in a sandier mix with some perlite? I'm watering once or twice a week, depending on how dry the soil is. Is this too much? Not enough? Should I pull up the clump and check for rot? Should I try to break it up (I have trouble getting water down at the base and checking for soil dryness)? Basically I have absolutely no idea how to proceed, other than moving it outside.

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be careful moving it outside into full sun from the shade. it will burn the leaves after just a day or two. either cover it or move it back and forth for a week to ten days slowly allowing more light. once or twice a week is far too often. let the soil dry, all the way between waterings. pictures would be helpful.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 4:52PM
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I was planning on moving back and forth. I will be sure to do that.

How often should it be watered? It's hot here, and the soil feels pretty dry to me, but if I should water less, I will do so.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 4:47AM
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