When I first started growing succulents, I had no idea what to do with fallen leaves piling up in the pot. Should I remove them or leave them as it is…I had no clue. I then went on to do some research and I am sharing everything I came to know regarding this topic. So,
What to do with fallen succulent leaves? Succulents are easily multiplied by propagation which can be done via using leaves & stem cuttings of the existing plant. As long as the fallen leaves are in healthy condition & have their base intact, they can be propagated to produce newer succulents.
What to do with other fallen leaves piling up?
Get rid of the excess leaves piling up at the bottom of the succulent on a weekly basis.
- Excess accumulation of fallen leaves in the soil leads to the manifestation of fungal gnats which can infect the succulent.
Why Succulent Leaves Fall in the First Place?
Shedding off leaves by succulents is perfectly normal provided the leaves and the plant are not showing any signs of concern. However other common Reasons for leaf falling include:
- Overexposure or underexposure to sun
- Temperature shock or any shock owing to Sudden Change of Position
- Undersized container
Best Practises to Prevent leaves from Falling Off
- Always grow succulents in a drainage friendly soil preferably of the cactus mix.
- Use a pot that is fewer inches deeper than the roots as providing ample breathing space is important. If the roots cannot spread out, it will lead to stunted growth and the succulent will shed off leaves and branches on regular intervals for less usage of limited resources.
- Only Water the succulents when the soil feels dry. Succulents are sensitive to overwatering. When in doubt do not water. Change the watering schedule as per the time of the year.
- Place the succulents near a window or balcony that gets indirect sun throughout the day.
- Most succulents are not frosting tolerant. In case your place gets really cold(Below 12 degrees Celcius) you should bring your plants inside.
What is Propagation?
Propagation is the process of growing newer plants from the seeds, stem cuttings, leaves of an existing plant. The process can vary a bit from plant to plant but for succulents, it is extremely easy.
3 Reasons why you should do Propagation with Fallen leaves
- Even though succulents are low maintenance hardy plants, it is always a great idea to grow daughter plants from the mother one. It is always better to be safe than be sorry.
- You can never have too many succulents as they are great for improving the air quality inside the house. They act as natural air purifiers and provides the inside with a soothing touch of greenery.
- Succulents act as great gifts as it is something unique and not many people will think about gifting plants to others. You can always propagate from your existing plants and can have a ready-made stock of gifts. Tie a fancy ribbon or decorate the pot as you wish on such occasions.
Why You Should Only Use Undamaged Leaves for Propagation?
It is important that the leaf you wanna use for propagation ticks off the following criteria:
- They need to have the base intact(The end is not damaged)
- The leaf looks totally healthy and has no signs of infection
The nutrient and water stored inside these leaves will contribute to the growth of roots and hence of the new plant. So you need to ensure that it is not damaged anyhow. Newer growths do not happen successfully from damaged leaf parts so always choose the best ones.
How to Propagate Succulents from Leaves?
- Collect the healthy-looking, undamaged leaves in one place
- Let them heal or callus over for 2 to 3 days in a shaded place that gets indirect sunlight
- Prepare a new pot with cactus mix soil facilitating superior drainage
- Place the leaves on the potting soil and leave them undisturbed for a few days. You can tuck the leaves a little bit into the soil or just place them gently on the topsoil.
- Mist the soil from time to time when it feels dry. Never drench the soil with water because there are no roots developed yet so no water absorption will occur.
- Keep it beside a window that gets filtered sun throughout the day
- If things go right, Within (3 to 5) weeks, roots and new growths will emerge from the leaves you have planted.
Will all the Propagated leaves develop into newer Succulents?
Absolutely not. Many leaves will end up dying without showing any new growth. Some may develop roots but it can cease to grow thereafter. Others may successfully produce roots and go onto forming fully healthy succulents. So it is important that you propagate multiple leaves at the same time as there is no clear cut success rate.
- However as long as those leaves that did not facilitate new growth, do not dry up or rot, they still have a chance, so dont toss them out of the pot yet.
- Some leaves may need more time for newer growth than others.
“Should I pull Dead Leaves off Succulents?”
In case the leaves are looking dry, worn-out, or infected, it is best to remove them. Generally, older leaves and branches are replaced with newer parts when pruned. If you dont remove them they can pile up in the soil and if not removed can accumulate in the soil. So removing worn out parts facilitates better growth and in avoiding future problems.
Can all Succulents be propagated through Leaves?
As a matter of fact, no. The genus of succulent plays an important role in deciding this. Some succulents can be easily propagated via both leaves and stem cuttings (Echeveria) whereas for others stem cutting may be the most preferred way (Aeoniums).
However, there is nothing wrong with trying. There is no hard and fast rule that new growth cannot happen if propagation is not done via stem cuttings or via some other process.
In short to sum it up, “What to do with fallen succulent leaves ?”
- You should select the healthy-looking ones for propagation and let them callus over
- Remove the other ones from the pot as those can cause pest manifestation.
- Succulents shed leaves from time to time so there is nothing to be alarmed about unless and until the plants are showing signs of being overwatered or underwatered.
- Propagation is a simple process of multiplying succulents by default with little effort. Its something we can do either by cutting off succulent parts or by simply using fallen leaves from the pot.
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I hope you liked reading this post, leave a comment below if you have any queries!