Posted 1M ago by @twinbrights

Shrivelled, dropping leaves?
I've had my string of hearts for about a year now, and she's done great until now. Occasionally dropping leaves has been constant since I got her, but never a cause for concern. Now her leaves are turning yellow-ish, shrivelling and dropping off quite frequently. She's still putting out a lot of new growth, but the new leaves often drop off before they can really take hold. A lot of her leaves are still healthy, but a lot are quite a bit thinner than usual, and those are the ones I notice dropping off. Not sure what the cause is? Nothing has really changed since I got her, I repotted her right before fall so she's used to this pot, and I've added a couple succulents, but again that was quite a while ago and she should be used to all those changes. The other plants in the pot are thriving and much smaller than her, so I don't think it's that they're taking up all the nutrients from the soil or anything. I'm wondering if she's just suffering from a long winter? Hopefully she'll perk up again now that it's warm and sunny again, but I wanted to check in here and see if you guys have any thoughts or advice on what to do?
6” pot with drainage
Last watered 1 week ago
Best Answer
Thanks for the tag @KikisOasis.

String of hearts dropping leaves could be due to slow draining soil that retains moisture at the bottom. If it was doing fine in Winter with less water and you’ve added days to your previous watering schedule, it could be the soil. I would pull it up and check the bottom of the pot and the soil itself. If you find it moist, it could be that the water is being met with too much friction and it can’t drain out. I’ve recently experienced this with several strings and I pulled them up to let them dry out on a paper towel for a day or so to them ammend the soil to a grittier mix where the water will run right through and hardly retain water at all. Strings of anything are really susceptible to root rot and dropping of leaves then dying off. I’m not sure what kind of soil you are using but I recommend a pumice mix with succulent or cactus soil to increase the air flow on the roots and get that water out of the pot or basket. This may require more frequent watering s but it definitely avoids root rot problems.

I would wait to water and fertilize it because of what it’s going through now. Since succulents don’t like alot of water, after drying her up and replacing the soil, I would wait about a week if it’s warm out before starting back on the watering schedule.

I also agree with @sarahsalith that if the plants are not water compatible via their schedule, it’s something to consider. Once you have a fast draining gritty mix, watering won’t be such a problem.

Pumice is lava rock 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch which can be mixed into the soil to create air pockets. Succulents are similar to aroids - they need lots of air though instead of moisture- but both need a loose and air-gap filled pot to survive. Do not use vermiculite nor perlite. These have water-retaining traits that will cause problems with succulents. Pumice/lava rock is light and airy and can give you what your plants need.

Make sure she’s getting enough light and I found that most trailing or string succulents need a dark background to not reflect too much light. They do best with dark color containers. Any strings I’ve grown in white containers crisp. The ones planted in dark containers tend to thrive as long as said containers are Mayte and not glossy. All of my pots and plants that have strings are dark and they do best in these. Additionally, when you buy the plant, keep in mind that the nursery provides the plant in a liner in a specific color. That liner is a sign of what color planter (lite, dark, or in the middle somewhere) they will thrive most in. I learned that after logically reverse engineering the entire plant liner vs cache pot thing. Dark ones absorb the light while light ones reflect and that extra sunlight may be causing a burn too. That’s just an extra tidbit of info to keep in your back pocket.

Good luck!

String of hearts leaves can curl up if they are not watered often enough or watered too lightly causes the plant to deplete the moisture reserves in the leaves causing them to shrivel. Too much sun and strong air currents also dry out the leaves of string of hearts plants with a thinner curled up appearance.
@twinbrights Overwatering your string of hearts presents as yellow leaves, falling off of leaves, and root rot. If you do not address the change fast, the plant can eventually die. The mode of saving depends on the extent of the damage. With slight damage to the roots, you can repot the plant.
@KikiGoldblatt Hmm they're definitely not overwatered, I let the soil dry completely between watering. I typically water once every two weeks or so, depending how long it takes to dry out... But I've had them on that same watering schedule since I got them last spring, do you know why they would be showing signs of underwatering at this point? Especially in winter, they're meant to be watered less than in the summer, so I'm not sure why they'd suddenly have a negative reaction to their watering schedule... Any ideas? Thanks for your help!
@FitSedum any ideas?
@sarahsalith do you have any ideas for @twinbrights?
I think that those plants have different watering needs and maybe the SOH isn't getting enough water.

I will let my succulents dry out for days on end, but I water my SOH when the top few inches of soil is dry.

I wonder if you separate them if you'll see the SOH put off more growth and start to recover.

That's just my two cents.

Thanks for the tag, @KikiGoldblatt
@sarahsalith I originally had them separate, and they all needed water around the same time (within a day or two of each other) so I decided to repot them together since I keep my SOH to one side of the pot for trailing, the other side looked quite empty. I put them together last summer, and they all got through the fall and most of the winter fine. Just the past month or two my SOH has been like this, and steadily getting worse. I usually let her drail completely, making sure the soil at the drainage hole is dry before watering thoroughly, which worked well up til now. If she keeps declining I'll move the other two again, see if it helps. Thank you!
@FitSedum I use well-draining organic cactus soil for all my succulents, including my SOH, and I wait until the soil at the drainage hole is dry before watering thoroughly. It was fine up til the tail end of winter, I think January is when I first noticed something off, just thinner leaves, no yellowing/shriveling, but it's slowly gotten worse til this point.

The two succulents were originally separate from my SOH, but I was watering them within a day or two of each other so put them together, haven't had a problem til now.

I don't believe my soil mix has pumice, I'll see about finding some to add in. She was a couple feet away from a southern facing window for most of her life, but I moved her right in front of the window last month, haven't noticed any change due to light. She came in a white plastic nursery pot when I first bought her, I originally had her in a pink glazed ceramic pot but it broke, now I have her in a large white plastic pot. She's done well in all three containers, I haven't noticed much of a difference aside from needing to be watered a bit more frequently when she was in ceramic vs. plastic, but that was close to when I first got her.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by liner, unless you just mean the color of the nursery pot?

I haven't noticed any burning on her, but I'll keep an eye out.

Thank you for all this info!
@twinbrights I call the nursery pots liners. ☺️

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