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Most common growing problems

Parodia graessneri
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Gilles Murray)
Parodia graessneri
Symptoms Problems related to growing conditions Solutions
Stems become leggy (etiolated) and plant grows toward light source Insufficient light Move into brighter light
Stems and leaves turn yellow Iron, magnesium or other mineral deficiency; overwatering; too much calcium in the potting medium; insufficient light Feed properly with a complete fertilizer (with micro-elements); water less frequently; repot plant; correct pH; move into brighter light
Discoloured stems and leaves Too much sun Move to a shadier spot
Failure to flower Nitrogen deficiency; phosphorous deficiency; lack of winter rest Fertilize properly; allow plant to rest in winter
Leaves, flower buds or flowers drop off Insufficient light; over- or underwatering; temperature too cool Move into brighter light; adjust watering frequency; raise temperature
Plant stops growing Underwatering; mineral deficiency; root rot; natural winter dormancy Water more frequently; fertilize properly; repot plant; allow plant to remain dormant until spring
Base of stems turns woody Normal aging of the plant none
Yellowish or reddish-brown lesions on the stems that may form corky scars Too much sun; too cold; too damp, combined with low temperatures and fertilizer too high in nitrogen Move to a shadier spot, raise temperature, increase air circulation and temperature and fertilize properly
Stems and leaves turn soft, leaves become shrivelled Overwatering Repot and water less frequently
Leaves and flowers turn limp, dry out and drop off;
stems dry out
Underwatering Gradually increase frequency of watering
Soft spots on stems and leaves, particularly at growing tips, translucent dark green water-logged lesions Water too cold; frost Use tepid water; raise temperature or bring plant indoors before nighttime temperatures get too cool
Loss of root mass Potting medium too wet; underwatering; improper pH; winter dormancy Repot and adjust watering frequency; keep soil moister; adjust pH; normal phenomenon during dormancy

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