Hens and Chicks keep dying

Chilliwack, Canada

Hello I seem to have a knack for killing my plants. My bonsai is thriving yet my cactus and succulents keep dying. I had a burrows tail it died. don't know why.
hens and chicks killed one last year don't know how it was so dry when I bought it I could pop it right out of it's tiny pot (an inch wide and deep) I gave it a small amount of water , then left it in the window full sun for some of the day and indirect sun for some of the day. I watered it again weeks later when it was extremely dry again. It then died within days. All the leaves folded down and looked wet.. Now I bought a container with four in it it was dry very dry I gave them a little water a few days later and am continuing to only water when they are really dry but 2 of the 4 have died and I am now concerned that the rest will go to.

everything in the first picture died recently except the 2 of 4 hensandchicks the Unknown succulent dies after transplanting to the pot seen here..If anyone knows what that is or were i can get a new one please let me know.

second picture shows the burrows tail after transplanting from the store container to my container it died slowly starting right after transplant Please let me know how to care for a new burrows tail properly..should it be dry most of the time or slightly damp..full sun??? I did what the little id card told me to do but cit died.
third pic shows burrows tail dying..

last 2 pics are of the hens and chicks I am concerned about now.

any help would be greatly appreciated ask me anything you need to know to help you help me!!!!

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Contra Costa County, CA(Zone 9b)

Are you using a fast draining soil mix? Often labeled for Cactus, high sand content.
If you are not, then I would add some coarse sand to whatever you are using.

If the soil is so dry it is pulling away from the pot then the next time you water the water could escape by running around the soil and out the bottom, but not get into the soil very much. When it is time to water you should plunge the pot into a bucket of water and wait until the bubbling stops. This assures that the soil is properly wet all through. Then allow the container to drain until it is safe to put back onto the shallow plates you are using.

Your Christmas Cactus is very pretty! I like that rich pink color, and so many blooms on such a small plant!

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

I think you have guessed correct re your watering regime for your cactus plants.

I think Diana-K has covered the reason for water not getting to the roots of your plants because it is running off the soil therefore the roots dont get a drink, however, it is also wrong to allow the plants to sit in a saucer / container that holds water for longer than say half an hour or these plants will just rot away.

I find it easier to repot the plants in fresh soil either the type Diane has suggested (cactus mixture) or make your own by mixing shop bought seed compost with added small gravel and some sand all bought from the garden store, don't use builders sand as this has lime added and kills the plants off too.

I would use a mixture made from 1 5 ltr pot of compost, 1ltr pot of sand and 1 ltr grit / gravel add to the mix a handful of plant food , mix all together through your fingers till your happy all has mixed well, then half fill your pots, gently adding the plant at the right depth, (I like my plant to sit JUST ABOVE the soil) add more compost around the sides of the pot, gently firm in the soil around the roots, (dont crush the roots) there soul;d be about inch between top of the soil and the top of the pot, take a handful of grit or a spoon, depending on size of pot and gently trickle the grit around the plant to preven the greenery / leaves at the bottom touching the soil, the grit is used to dress the pot, it also helps prevent dehydration so fast, it stops water splash onto the leaves, and it helps prevent weeds or moss taking hold as these plants will be in the same size pot for a year or so. Lastly, water the plants till the water runs through the soil out the bottom, let the plant-pot sit in a saucer for 10-15 mins, then remove the pot and allow it to drain, once the water has stopped dripping out from the bottom of the pot, set it into a clean saucer, fter about a week, stick your finger into the soil in the pot and if it's dry. water again, if still damp, don't water.

Don't leave the cactus plant sitting in direct sunlight at a window, but sit it in a bright lit position and away from drafts and heating / cooling unit's, the flowering Easter Cactus don't like drafts of heating fumes, they also don't like being moved around from area to area either it seems to cause them to drop their flowers, tip, as the flowers fade, remove by either tugging away or snapping off, soon it the place where the flowers were you will see tiny little green nodules, that's the next true leaves and shows the plant is growing OK.

In summer time, I set these plants outside in day time to begin with then leave them outdoors till say end Aug / sept and bring them indoors again, this helps to harden off the plants and I get a better show of flowers the following time they bud up.

Hope this helps you a little bit, try not to worry so much as when we worry about our plants we naturally want to speed up the remedy to help them and as much as we know the plant is sick, very rarely does a plant die overnight it takes a good few days / weeks to kill a plant so do remember the cure wont show huge improvements for maybe several weeks also.
best of luck. get back to us if your still not happy re the plants health I am sure the trouble is something simple.
Good luck. WeeNel.

Arroyo Grande, CA(Zone 9a)

The "hen and chicks" looks like a sempervivums. they like a little shade, so away from the window some. Same with the Christmas cactus.
The barrel type cactus and the tall fat one need full sun, so near the window is good.
Jade plant and the others should have no trouble with full sun.
I agree you need to make the soil more course, add perlite or pumice to the potting soil so it drains better.
Once you have the plants in the right soil in the right light they should be just fine.
Don't get too discouraged, I used to say I had a black thumb and now I have hundreds of thriving plants.

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