Panda plants are some of the most stunning succulent plants you can grow in your garden, or inside of your house. However, just like any other succulent, panda plant is susceptible to certain growth problems and issues.
When one of this problems arises, the leaves of the plant will start falling off. But what does cause it? And can you do anything to save your plant? You definitely can, and in this post I will advice you how to do it. Let’s go!
Over-watering and extreme heat are two most prevalent causes of Panda Plant leaves falling off
Panda plant can suffer from a variety of issues, but in 90% of cases, if you do not make some beginners’ mistakes, the leaves are falling off because you give your plant too much water (I will explain it in a second), or it is exposed to heat it cannot endure.
Good news is that if you spot either of these problems quickly, it isn’t hard to address it. Just to make things sure though, if the plant has been over-watered for too long, and there is a serious damage to its roots, you may not be able to save it (it happened to me as well). In such a case we can only shed a tear and get a new plant…
How to address over-watering when leaves of your panda plant start to fall off
Before you start to panic, remember that falling leaves are normal for all plants. It is part of the process of replacing old leaves with new ones. However, leaves do not fall from plants the entire year… When they fall too much, or during the growth period, it often indicates a major issue. More often than not, you gave your succulent too much water, the leaves turned soft and mushy and eventually start to fall off.
You can do to things to address this problem. First one is to simply stop watering the plant and wait until the soil is completely dry. Over-watering sometimes can be caused by the wrong choice of soil or of a pot pot. For example, typical garden soil retains too much water and moisture, which Panda Plant does not like. Opt for a special soil for succulents, such as my favorite soil from Hoffman, which works like a charm for me, and helped me avoid over-watering in different succulent plants, not only in panda plant.
The other potential cause is a pot without drainage whole. A drainage hole is very important in keeping the panda plant safe from over-watering. It prevents the roots of the panda plant to start rotting, which you cannot see, but once leaves start falling off, you immediately know there’s something wrong with the roots of the plant. Get this fantastic pot from Amazon if you do not have a great succulent pot back home.
Panda plant leaves falling due to extreme heat
Another reason why the leaves of your beloved plant may be falling off is extreme heat. In such a case, the remedy is quite simple. Provide your plant some shade. This issue commonly happens in the summer or hot season. So if the leaves start falling off during hot summer months, it is likely the cause.
Aside from providing shade, giving more water is also a good idea. Remember that during summer, succulent plants need more water to drink. It is in this season that watering can be more frequent, though you still should not overdo it, unless you want the leaves to start falling off from another of the most common causes–too much water and rotting of the root system..
What if the leaves of Panda Plant start turning yellow?
Panda plant leaves can sometimes turn yellow. There are many factors that can cause this issue, starting with both over-watering and under-watering. Your job is to determine which factor really causes the issue. Let me help you. If the leaves get mushy and swollen, over-watering is to blame.
On the other hand, under-watered panda plants tend to develop shriveled and wilted leaves. And of course, the soil is super dry. These are clear indicators that your plant needs more water. Yellow leaves are like a sign you should follow, giving your plant what it really needs.
If you are using a well-draining soil and pot with a drainage hole, you do not need to worry about drowning your panda plant. The soil and pot will do their work to keep the plant safe from over-watering, and in this case you can give it water more frequently, making sure you do not under-water it. It sounds simple, and it really is, as long as you have the right pot and soil.
What it means when the leaves of Panda plant shiver and wither?
Another problem you might have seen with your panda plant is the withering or shriveling of leaves. When you see these symptoms in your panda plants, there is a high chance that your plant needs water. Just water it more frequently, especially during summer, when it is actively growing. But again, make sure that the pot has a drainage hole to drain the excess water. The line between under-watering and over-watering is sometimes thin with succulents, especially if you do not have the right pot.
What to do when panda plant leaves turn brown or have dark spots
If you are growing panda plant outdoors, you might notice that the leaves are turning brown or have dark spots on them. This commonly happens in summer. Well, one of the reasons for this is sunburn. When you expose your succulent plants to direct sunlight, they often have this issue. Succulents are native to semi-desert areas, and they like sun. But just like with us humans, they shouldn’t stay on a strong sun for too long.
What you can do to fix this is to move your plants to a shadier area. Or, you can keep them where they are and provide shade instead. There are many alternatives you can do. As long as you keep your panda plant safe from extreme heat, it will be fine.
Panda plant stems stretching out–another problem you can face with your succulent
Another possible issue you might see in your panda plan is etiolation. This is the term for growing long stems. It happens when the plant struggles to find sunlight. If you are growing succulents indoors, you might have observed this issue already. Notice that the plant is stretching toward the direction where sunlight is available.
The undesirable fact about this is that the plant has a weak system. The good news is that you can easily fix it. What you need to do is to move the plant to a sunnier area. If it is indoor, you can move the plant near the window where sunlight is accessible for a couple of hours a day, or even carry it to a balcony for a few hours each morning, so it can “sunbathe”.
If you are doing it outdoors, move the plant from shade to a brighter area. However, moving the panda plant or other succulent plants from the shade to direct sunlight can kill the plant. What you need to do instead is give the plant some time to acclimatize. Gradually expose it to sunlight so tit will also able to eventually adapt to the temperature. If you cannot do it, or live in an area with little sun, you should consider getting a grow lamp (check my recommended grow light on Amazon, again this is affiliate link and I’ll earn a few cents at no extra cost to you if you decide to get this light).
By now you already have an idea why panda plant leaves are falling off, as well as why other common problems of these plants develop–leaves turning yellow, brown, the stem extending, and so on.
The good news is that you can always save your plant, and make sure it resumes its full beauty, following the remedies I described on this page. The only problem you may not be able to address are plants that have been over-watered for a long time. In this case, the only option may be getting a new plant altogether.
We should always remember that succulent plants are unique and require special care although they are naturally resilient to environmental changes. If you want to learn more about growing succulents successfully, I invite you to read my complete guide here. Happy growing!