Why Is My Mother of Pearl Plant Dying? Tips for Rescuing Your Dying Graptopetalum Paraguayense Plant

If you’re a lover of the Graptopetalum succulent family, the mother of pearl is one of the shining crowns in this bouquet. With its star-shaped, dusky, pink and green leaves, this plant is a wonder to behold.

It’s also easy to care for and incredibly hardy under most conditions. So, if yours is in trouble, you are likely in more distress than your mother of pearl! Let’s bring it back to life.

A Mother of Pearl Plant Is a Great Choice for Your Home or Office

A Mother of Pearl Plant Is a Great Choice for Your Home or Office

Able to grow up to a foot tall and 3 feet wide, you can place the Graptopetalum paraguayense in a large clay pot near a window on your desk or on a table and call it a day. With occasional watering and a little tender, loving care, and you’ll have yourself a home or office companion.

The nice thing about this plant is it is incredibly drought and frost tolerant! So even if your space gets chilly or you forget to water, the mother of pearl will hold up well.

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And the white coloring that looks like a frosting of snow or ash on the leaves, which gives it the nickname “ghost plant,” will generate conversations with anyone who comes into the space and notices it.

Add to all these benefits the fact that succulents are great for the air quality of your space, and they bring positive feng shui energy, and there’s no reason not to have a mother of pearl plant in your space.

Signs of a Dying Mother of Pearl Plant

The most obvious signs of a dying mother of pearl plant are as follows:

  • Mushy stems
  • Discolored leaves
  • Dropping leaves
  • Scorched leaves
  • Soggy soil
  • Wrinkly leaves

Common Causes of a Dying Mother of Pearl Plant

The most common causes of a dying mother of pearl plant include:

  • Too much direct sunlight
  • Too much water
  • Not enough light
  • Not enough water

Watering Needs of a Mother of Pearl Plant

The mother of pearl plant is like most succulents in that it doesn’t need much water. During warmer months, you can typically water the plant once a week. When the weather turns cooler and the plant lies dormant, you can often wait even longer.

To read more about watering your plant, take a look at this article on watering mistakes that might be killing your plant.

Am I Underwatering My Mother of Pearl Plant?

You’ll know your mother of pearl plant needs more water when the leaves start to turn brown or wrinkly and the soil gets packed tightly.

Restoring Water to Your Underwatered Mother of Pearl Plant

To restore water to this lovely succulent, all you have to do is soak the soil with water until the water runs through the holes in the bottom of the pot.

Am I Overwatering My Mother of Pearl Plant?

In contrast, the mother of the pearl plant can get overwatered, and it will show through soggy soil, mushy leaves, and even pests.

Restoring Balance to Your Overwatered Mother of Pearl Plant

If you find this problem with your mother of pearl, you may notice that the roots have started to rot. In this event, pull the root ball from the soil and lay it on a screen to dry out for several days. Then, you can replant the root ball in fresh succulent soil.

In general, you can test the soil for its watering needs by sticking your finger in the top of the soil, about 2 inches in. Once the soil dries out, water it. If the soil is still moist, allow it to dry out for a few more days.

Soil Needs of a Mother of Pearl Plant

Like most succulents, the mother of pearl calls for a dry mixture of soil, sand, grit, bark, and pearlite – soil that does not hold water.

Soil Drainage Needs for a Mother of Pearl Plant

The key to any mother of pearl plant is allowing it to fully dry out and not hold water.

Resolving Soil Drainage Issues for a Mother of Pearl Plant

If you notice that the mother of pearl plant is holding water, you can always add pebbles to the bottom of the pot. You can also make sure the pot is made of clay, which will allow water to leech through and not overstay its welcome.

Lighting Needs of a Mother of Pearl Plant

The ghost plant calls for plenty of bright sunlight. Direct light will cause the leaves to take on a reddish hue. Indirect light may slow down growth and blooming.

Resolving Lighting Issues for a Mother of Pearl Plant

It may take some time and experimentation to figure out which location is best for your mother of pearl plant. As you notice changes, move the plant closer to or farther away from windows and light.

Pests or Diseases that Can Cause Issues with a Mother of Pearl Plant

Happily, the ghost plant is notoriously resistant to pests and disease. But if it gets overly watered and the soil gets soggy, pests may be attracted to the rotting roots and stems. If this happens, follow the directions for drying out the soil above and spray the leaves liberally with neem oil. The pests should clear out pretty quickly.

Fake Mother of Pearl Plants May Be an Additional Consideration

Fake Mother of Pearl Plants May Be an Additional Consideration

If, in the end, you find that the mother of pearl plant is just not working in your home, you can always consider a fake version for your home or office. With so many high-quality options these days, you can find an artificial mother of pearl plant that looks just like the real thing.

If you’re worried a fake mother of pearl plant is not trendy, check out my article on whether artificial plants and flowers are tacky.

Whether you opt for fake or real, you will be so pleased to have brought a mother of pearl plant into your home or office. It’s lovely to behold, a wonderful plant for feng shui energy, and it’s easy to have around.

What’s happening with your mother of pearl plant? Have you been able to bring it back from the brink of death? What tips and tricks worked for you?

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