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The succulents are among the most purchased, as they are considered more resistant than other types of plants: but also the succulents get sick. Here's how to recognize the most common diseases, and how to treat them.
The most common causes of illness
"Succulent plant" means a type of plant that in nature is born and develops in particularly difficult environments, such as deserts. In fact, succulents have the ability to accumulate water inside them, so that they can survive even long periods of drought. For this reason, succulent plants do not need much water: many of the errors that cause the plant to fall ill derive from this feature. Living in an apartment, succulent plants do not find the characteristics that allow their growth in a natural environment.
Often, succulent plants are watered too much and too often: at the same time, they do not receive the amount of sunlight necessary for their survival. One of the most common problems encountered in apartment-grown succulent plants is root rot, caused by the water that stagnates in the vase. The lack of sunlight causes a thinning of the stem, which becomes thin and fragile; while exposure to cold causes the formation of deep wounds on the surface of the plant, which splits.
Recognize a diseased plant
To solve any problems with succulents it is necessary to identify them as soon as possible: for this reason it is essential to know how to recognize them. It is necessary to observe the plant well, paying attention to some aspects. First of all, you have to look at the leaves: if you notice that they start to have yellowish spots, it means that the plant is watered too often. It is good, in this case, to thin out the waterings, so as to prevent the problem from getting worse, leading to the root rot. At the moment when the leaves have returned to a bright green color, it means that the plant has returned healthy, and that the right balance has been found between the waterings. In case the plant appears weak and fragile, it means that it is not quite exposed to the sun: in this case, it is sufficient to change its position to see a rapid improvement.
Other times, succulent plants are attacked by fungi and other pests, as is also the case with other types of vegetation. In this case, it is possible to treat the plant with the use of special products, which can be purchased in stores specializing in items for plants.
Unfortunately, for some problems there is no remedy: it is the case of the cracks that are formed on the surface of the plant due to the cold, and that quickly bring it to dry.
Many of these problems can be prevented by making sure that the plant has everything it needs, and finds itself living in a suitable place. We must therefore pay attention to the amount of light and water, and to ensure that the succulent plant is not exposed to the cold. To prevent fungi attacks, it is possible to use some preventative products, to be mixed with water used for watering. It is recommended, however, not to abuse these products, which should only be used in summer, during which the plant flowers, and at long intervals. In fact, these are products that, if used too often, can be aggressive towards the plant itself. To prevent the stagnation of water from rotting the roots, it is good to provide an accurate drainage system to be inserted at the bottom of the vessel itself (some pebbles or gravel are sufficient) and, as already mentioned, it is essential not to water the plant fat too often. But the treatments that can prevent the suffering of plants are many others, and all must be performed carefully. It is essential to provide for the cutting of any broken leaves (or mushrooms), and attention must be paid to the size of the vase in which the plant was planted. Once in a while, it is necessary to proceed with the repotting operation.
Over time, the pot must be changed so that it is suitable for the increased size of the roots of the succulent plant. In this case, soil substitution is fundamental: in this way, the nutrients that the plant finds in the earth are renewed. This operation should be performed about once a year when the plant is still growing, and every four years when it is adult. In the latter case, it is not enough to change the pot as the roots of the plant do not need additional space: it is however absolutely necessary to always change the soil (we recommend the use of a specific soil for succulents, buying in stores of gardening products).
Repotting is an operation that, if correctly carried out, allows to prevent some problems that could develop in the succulent plant: it also allows us to control the roots, going to remove those that present anomalies (such as a beginning of rot) and having a accurate overview of the conditions in which the plant is located.