Is something eating my plant baby?

by Abb
(Harrison County, Indiana)

I have had these brownish-red spots of my succulent for the past couple of weeks. I am wondering if it is either some sort of pest or maybe a soil or nutrient deficiency.

I live in Southern Indiana, and I keep him on my windowsill. He gets watered around every two or three weeks, and I know he is stretched out because we don't get much sunlight at all here, especially not in these winter months.

I have had him since September. His top "leaves" are also wrinkled.

Wondering what I can do to help, thank you!!

Comments for Is something eating my plant baby?

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Jan 22, 2020
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

This doesn't look like insect damage. What it looks like to me is mechanical damage, most likely from when someone was unpacking the plants when they arrived from the grower.

There is nothing you can do about this, now that the damage has occurred. They won't heal up, but in time, the plant will be big enough to take cuttings of, and grow out the damage. It's like a bad haircut - all it takes is time.

The other issue of the leaves shriveling, is most likely due to the soil that the plant is growing in.

The growers of succulent plants routinely just use the same soil that all other plant lines are growing in, whether they're ferns, African violets, succulents or anything else.

This is something they've decided is worth their using, because it's cheaper to have a uniform soil to use across the board, regardless of if the plants like it or not.

I recommend using the proper soil such as cactus soil mixed with small gravel or pumice for the drainage. You can see more about succulent soil here.

You should see the wrinkling issue go away once spring gets here and your plant can go outside. Do this only once it's consistently warm if you're in a frost risk area.

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