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by Marcella


I got it as a gift and it is dying.

It has long, thick leaves which are spread out awkwardly over the edge of the pot.

The longest leaves are probably 9-10″.

The ends of the leaves are dying off and the dead leaf builds on the end in layers.

It has a couple long shoots coming up the spread out which are somewhat fragile.

I need to know what it is and what I can do to keep it from dying more.

I keep it indoors, should it be outdoors now that it is Spring? Should I plant it in a bigger pot? I don’t water it very much…should I be watering it more?

Can it possibly be propagated to make a new, healthy plant?

Hi Marcella, this is one of the Kalanchoe species.

The way it’s growing seems similar to some Kalanchoe species, which have opposite leaves in the same kind of arrangement.

If it’s not getting enough light, that could account for the way it’s growing, and the drying out of the ends of the leaves could be caused by using water that has been put through a water softening unit; if this is the case, use rainwater, or get some distilled water. The existing damage will never heal up, but new growth should be fine.

Another cause for this kind of damage is from Mercaptans, which is the chemical used in natural gas or propane; if you heat your home with natural gas, this could be the culprit.

I would say that as long as your weather is settled and there is no risk of frost, this plant should do better outside. I also might be inclined to repot it, but don’t put it into a huge pot – just choose one that is about half an inch bigger all around.

Use some really well drained potting soil (mix half and half with sand or gravel, or find potting soil that is made specifically for cactus plants).

Don’t overwater it. That is not going to help with a plant that is already struggling.

See more about succulent care here.

I don’t think there is any way of propagating it at the moment, until it grows a bit more.

Hope that helps,

Comments for I think it’s a succulent…

Jan 23, 2017

Help me identify.
by: Matt

Austrocylindropuntia subulata: the tall skinny one.