People who own succulents are often very attached to their plants. So, when something like a broken leaf occurs, many succulent owners tend to freak out.
This is especially true for succulents since they have unique shapes and textures that help the plant look stunning in any garden.
So when these leaves break or wither away, it is quite awful for any plant parent to deal with.
Therefore, you need to learn as much as you can about a broken succulent to ensure that you are able to salvage the plant when needed and not worry too much every time you see leaves falling off or broken.
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Why Are My Succulent’s Leaves Breaking?
You need first to identify the cause of the broken leaf.
If the leaves are simply withering away because it falls and the plant is preparing to lie dormant in winter, you don’t really need to worry as it will revive again in spring and look as gorgeous as it ever did before.
If your succulent leaves are breaking because of a pest attack which is also hindering the vitality of the plant, you should start by removing the pests.
You can do this by using an organic insecticide or making your own concoction to get rid of the pests.
If the leaves are being broken because of your pets, who may be playfully damaging the plant, you might want to remove the plant from the vicinity of your pets or cut off your pet’s access to the plants.
Consistent damage by your pets or other stray animals could eventually kill the plant as well or prevent it from growing to its maximum potential.
Sometimes your succulents need to be re-potted desperately.
This means that the pot it is growing in at present is either too big, too small, does not drain well enough, or has some other problem ng to its maximum potential.
This will sometimes cause the leaves of the succulent to wither away and fall off.
In this case, if you simply report the plant and place it in a better container, you will be able to see it grow with much more vigor.
Other than that, sometimes branches of succulents or other such plants break because they become too heavy and are unable to withstand their own weight.
In such cases, you should remove these heavy stems and branches on your own and ensure that the plant does not lose its vitality, catering any further to these heavy branches.
Even you can sometimes break the leaves or the stems of your succulents by accident.
In such cases, it is important to inspect the extent of the damage and then assess whether you could save the broken leaf or stem or not.
Can You Fix The Leaf?
When we say fixing broken leaves, you need to understand that you cannot put the leaf back into its original state.
Even if you do try to place it back to where it broke from, it is highly likely that this will not work. So you need to find a different way to fix the leaf.
You can do this through propagation. If a part of your succulent has broken off for any reason and that part seems too healthy to discard for you, you can simply try to fix it by propagating it.
How Do You Propagate the Leaves?
Before we learn about what to do when a succulent breaks, we should talk about some unique characteristics that only succulents have.
This includes the ability to regenerate. So, provided that you offer optimal conditions, you should see any part of the succulent you decide to propagate begin to regenerate and grow roots as well.
This applies to broken leaves, fallen leaves, and even leaves that have been broken in half since they can regenerate in optimal conditions.
To propagate the leaves of your succulents, you should first examine the leaves.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a leaf; you can easily propagate a branch or a stem of the plant as well.
Examine and make sure that the leaf or stem does not have any rotten spots.
If the leaf is dried, mushy, or rotten, it is better to discard it. However, if the cutting looks healthy, it is probably ready for propagation.
First of all, you should allow the broken leaf or stem to callus. Ideally, you should cut off the broken end of the stem or the leaf with a clean and sharp knife and allow it to sit completely dry for a day or two, which will allow it to callus.
Callusing is the plant’s way of healing wounds. The callused part of the plant is also where the new roots will begin to grow from.
Once the cutting has fully callused, you should place it in cactus soil.
Remember that cactus soil should always be well-draining, which means it should be rocky and should also contain a small amount of fertilizer which will help the succulent to propagate healthily.
Remember that propagation is a slow process, and you will not see root formation on the plant cutting instantly.
It could take weeks before you are able to see visible roots, and that is when you know you have been able to save your broken plant.
Other than that, you should also ensure that your propagating succulent should be placed in indirect sunlight.
Propagating succulents will only thrive under indirect sunlight.
The propagating succulent also does not need to be watered since it will only use the moisture from its soil to start growing roots.
Watering the plant might just prevent it from growing roots which will foil your plan entirely.
Leaves Broken from the Middle
One of the most infuriating things you can see as a succulent owner is the leaves of the plant cut in half due to an accident.
It looks very unsightly and takes away from the natural beauty of the plant. Not only that, but it does also not seem right to discard a well-formed succulent leaf that has been cut in half.
The good news is that even half a leaf of a succulent plant will eventually be able to propagate once you provide it with optimal conditions.
This means that you should clean the wound of the cut leaf, allow it to callus for two or three days, and then pot it.
Since the leaf section will be small, it will likely take a very long time for it to start growing roots, but we can assure you that most succulents are able to propagate this way eventually.
The half of the leaf that is still on the plant will also eventually regenerate into a full leaf, and you will not have to worry about it not being aesthetically appealing for long.
So if you have a broken leaf on a succulent plant and you do not want to propagate it, simply cut off a section of the leaf with a clean and sterile knife, and you will notice the leaf beginning to regenerate in a few days on its own.
You can also save some succulent leaves that are falling off the plant as well. These include leaves of the stonecrop or the copperleaf plant.
If you see the leaves of these plants or similar plants fall off, you should collect them and put them in a cool and dry place for three days.
After that, you can identify why these leaves are falling off and what you can do to stop them.
Make sure none of the leaves you have collected is rotting or shows visible signs of distress.
If a small part of the leaf seems to be under distress, you can simply cut that out with a sharp, sterile knife and then allow the leaf to propagate.
You should discard the leaves if a major part of them is rotten.
These leaves will callus for three days, after which you can propagate them.
Plant the leaves in moist soil after they have callused over.
Remember that succulents need moisture-laden soil to grow, but this does not mean you continuously water the soil since it is very easy to overwater succulents as well.
As we have mentioned before, it will take a long time for the roots to spring out from just the leaves but you should have faith that it will eventually happen. When it happens, you should allow the plant to grow before repotting it.
Broken succulent leaves could be a heart-wrenching phenomenon for most succulent owners.
The leaves of succulents are so unique and gorgeous that simply discarding them would seem too cruel.
However, you should make use of the unique propagating characteristics of succulents which will eventually allow you to grow a new plant from the broken leaves, stems, or even branches.
It is easy and quite fruitful to save broken succulent leaves, and it is a skill every succulent owner must know.