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Burro's Tail

Q.Burro’s Tail Succulent Dropping All Bottom Leaves

Zone Atlanta, GA | llarson0304 added on December 5, 2019 | Answered

I have 2 different Burro tail succulents in 2 different pots. They both used to be my healthiest looking succulents. They are also both grown indoors. It’s December and colder in GA now. All of a sudden both of these plants have started to drop all of its bottom leaves. The tops still look okay and like they a still growing but I’m afraid they will fall off too. The leaves start looking wrinkly like it’s been overwatered but then they crisp up before they fall off. I thought maybe they weren’t getting enough water or light so I put them under a grow light and gave a little more water. Nothing has changed and they continue to drop all their bottom leaves. What should I do? Could the lack of humidity be an issue since it’s cold outside now?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on December 5, 2019

It is definitely possible that the lack of humidity can cause this, but they can do this with age, too.

Unfortunately, overwatering these will be the main mistake made when caring for the plant. Since it is a succulent, it will store water for extended periods. worsening damage upon watering usually indicates that an infection has taken hold.

Indoors, and in such small containers, succulents can be cured somewhat easily. Usually, you can give it a dose of peroxide (just mix 1/4 peroxide to 3/4 water) and it will help. Do this once, then continue proper care, and you will notice that new growth will be clean and free of infection. Old growth will not recover.

Make sure that the soil has a chance to dry out very thoroughly down to about halfway through the container between waterings. This will be most important.

Lack of light will cause leaf drop as well. They are full sun plants, and will need to be placed where they can receive full sun, or equivalent. (Southern windows will still be considered partial sun, since they do filter UV to some extent)

For a single plant, you shouldn't need more than a single LED household bulb from the store. The 100 watt equivalent will light about 1 square foot at about 1 foot above the plant. That should be plenty.

This article will help you to care for these plants: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/cacti-succulents/burros-tail/burros-tail-care.htm

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