Your Autumn Succulent Checklist
You're aware of autumn in sun and shadows, shorter days and drier air, and so is your garden. Smart plant parents are attuned to wind, rain and frost. And they're vigilant. Succulents recovering from summer heat and sun are especially vulnerable to pests.
These seasonal succulent must-do's are for southern and coastal CA, from the Bay Area south. If you live beyond, please visit my site's Succulent Care By Season and Region page.
Aeoniums are emerging from summer dormancy. Cut back leggy aeoniums, replant rosettes, and discard old plants roots and all. See how in my video: How to Refresh an Overgrown Succulent Garden (4:48).
Trim Senecio mandraliscae by several inches, and plant cuttings in gaps. Old stems branch where cut, which helps mass plantings grow fuller. See how in my video, How to Fill Gaps in Your Succulent Garden (2:21).
Apply a weed preventer (pre-emergent herbicide). This nontoxic, granulated powder stops seeds from germinating. Spread it before the first rainstorm wherever you don't want annual weeds. More.
Check your garden's run-off. Create channels that divert rain from succulents in low spots. If they sit where water collects, they may rot.
Treat agaves for snout weevil. This essential preventative needs doing in spring and fall. It also saves infested plants if caught early. What to use.
Fertilize in-ground succulents with Ironite. Ideal for newly planted gardens, it boosts spring growth. Take care it doesn't stain hardscape.
Scrub cochineal scale off opuntia pads. Remove the bumpy white colonies with a soft-bristled shower brush dipped in Safer soap. Read my article. Watch the video.
Check for ants in outdoor potted succulents, especially haworthias, gasterias and aloes. One tell-tale sign is soil in the crowns, pushed up from below. What to do.
Heat, sun and Santa Ana winds can desiccate succulents. Hose-water vulnerable plants. Cuttings are most at risk because they lack roots, so plant them after the winds die down.
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Related Info on This Site
Cochineal Scale on Paddle Cactus, What To Do
White fuzzy lumps on paddle cactus are cochineal (coach-en-ee-al) scale, a parasite that pierces the plant’s skin and consumes its juices. It’s used to make carmine dye.
Agave Snout Weevil Prevention and Treatment
Agave snout-nosed weevil is a half-inch-long black beetle with a downward-curving proboscis that enables it to pierce an agave’s core, where it lays its eggs. Grubs hatch, consume the agave’s heart, then burrow into the soil to pupate.
Succulent Pests and Problems Q&A Forum
Are pests or mysterious maladies causing problems with your succulents? This page is a forum for you to ask questions, leave comments and share what works for you. Others can see and benefit from the answers. Your own tried-and-true solutions are welcome, too!
I really appreciate your info
Another option to prevent snout weevils and other pests is Neem oil. It’s organic and 100% safe for the environment!
Hi Marion — I’m a big fan of Safer products, which contain neem oil, but nowhere on their site does it say it’s effective against weevils. Have you had success combatting this particular pest with it?
Dear Debra about Three Years ago I Was introduced to succulents. I lost so many I don’t know how to take care of them. Millie bug infestation was the worst I put alcohol like you instructed. They were too many I could not keep up and I found pest control needed to water every 30 days and guess what?Magic I started in August and I stop in November they are so beautiful no bugs at all.
Hi Martha — What was the “pest control” you used? Thanks!