succulent is dying

Asked February 27, 2019, 7:36 PM EST

succulent was in great shape before i moved into a new house (I personally took plant by car to new house - move was only several miles). After several months not doing well. Leaves dying, shoots dehydrating. Repotted and cut off some suspect roots. Dipped roots in dilute peroxide solution briefly, rinsed and repotted with new soill. Soaked pot in bleach solution and rinsed well. After couple of weeks, plant still dying. What can I do to save it? Photos attached.

Multnomah County Oregon houseplants

1 Response

Have you identified which succulent you have? It makes a difference in how you care for it. From your nice photographs it looks most like a pencil plant or cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli). If so you will get a milky sap when you cut a stem. The sap is very irritating to skin, so please use gloves.

Pencil cactus does well with direct morning light and with protection from strong afternoon light. It prefers temperatures in the 65-70 F and can tolerate up to 98 F range. A well-draining cactus mix would be a good potting mix for it. Water when the soil surface feels dry, but you can feel damp soil about 1/2" down, probably every 2 weeks. This article gives additional information, Euphorbia Tirucalli https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Euphorbia+tirucalli.

I would keep your plants going - the stems look green and plump, but also take cuttings to get a fresh start. Use a good length of stem (about 5 inches long) with some branching; and let it dry 24 hours before placing in moist, well-drained soil. Cactus mix works well. The cuttings should produce roots within 2-4 weeks. Water every 2 weeks, and repot when a good root system has developed. This article has more information, Tips and Methods for Propagating Euphorbia tirucalli http://craftysucculents.blogspot.com/2014/03/tips-and-methods-for-propagating.html.

If this plant has another identity, please let me know and we can explore other solutions.