I have a plant just like the one that you are holding in the Web picture. I call it a pineapple cactus. The leaves are falling off of it. What can I do?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Tamara: The plant that is in the picture is a type of Euphorbia. When they produce leaves this indicates they are happy. When they lose their leaves it typically means one of two things: too much or too little water. These succulents do not require as much moisture as other plants do. Depending on the temperature and humidity of your home, they should only need to be watered every 10 to 14 days. The soil should be allowed to dry out between waterings. Make sure your plant is growing in a good cacti-succulent soil mix and the container has decent drainage holes. Ideally these plants should be in a south-facing window or any space in your home that receives bright light. They are happy to go outside during the warmer months. They can handle full sun but since the light levels indoors are very different than the sunlight outdoors, they will need to be acclimated to these conditions. Gradually working them into the full sun will prevent them from burning. For now, adjust any of the growing conditions if needed. If the plant is losing its leaves and is mushy to the touch, then it is too far gone. Otherwise, if the rest of the plant looks healthy then it should be fine and will eventually produce new leaves.