by Jill
(Anchorage, AK)

I repotted this succulent in October and seemed to be doing fine until I had to move it (only about 6 feet) to fit my Christmas tree and then back after the holidays. Now it is loosing leaves and some of the stalks are drooping and shriveling up completely. How do I fix it??

Drought Smart Plants reply:

Hi Jill, I’m sorry I probably won’t be able to help much without a picture but here goes:

There are several reasons why your plant might be droopy, listed here in order of the most likely to least likely:

If you repotted it late in the season, and then watered it a lot, then it most likely rotted, instead of adapting to the new soil. I only repot succulents when it’s warm and they’re in active growth, otherwise they sulk, and tend to just give up.

It’s possible your plant got too cold if you moved it closer to a window for instance.

It’s also possible if you have propane or natural gas heat that it’s warning you of a leak; plants are extremely sensitive to the chemical that gas companies put into natural gas to warn you of a leak called Mercaptans.

Okay, so I’m leaning towards culture shock after being repotted too late in the year, and then watered. So here’s what you can try (this is a last ditch effort to salvage your plant, so don’t expect it to be pretty):

Take the plant out of the pot, and carefully remove the soil.

Look and see what the roots look like. If they’re just black mush, then you must do radical surgery, and possibly just remove some of the top growth in an attempt to propagate it.

If there are new pink or white roots, all is well, carefully repot, but DON’T water it.

This is the first cause of succulent plant death – watering right away after repotting or disturbing them. They need time to callous and repair the damage to the roots.

Hopefully this gives you a few ideas of things to try. Best of luck, hope all goes well.

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