Please help I think my panda plant is dying.. :(
Hello...before I start just want to say hi this is my first post lol
ok so...my sister gave me a beautiful panda plant last year for my bday...I had never seen a panda plant like this its so big..the stems are very thick and kinda furry and attached to those 2 stems are the clumps of leaves that look almost artichoke-ish and growing up out of those are 2 loooong stems that go 2 and a half feet up into the air and those stems each had flowers that were blooming and small leaves beginning to grow...how my house is set up its hard to keep the plant in full light so when I can i try to move it to the room where it can get alot of sun but I have cats so I dont want them to get to it...so about a month ago I noticed that the leaves were starting to dry up and slowly fall off...or i would go to gently touch a leaf and it would fall rite off! So i thought maybe it needed water cuz I would check the pot and it was dry (btw i was told to let it dry between waterings) so I thoroughly watered it hoping that would help...its been more than a week but I really dont see an improvment and just today i noticed that 2 more leaves dried up and fell off...to be honest Im not really experienced with plants its just something i got into about a year ago maybe less...I havent given it any fertilizer and when i water it I use water that I have left out for a few days so all the bad stuff evaporates..i know I should fertilize it but what should i use for this plant? just regular cacti stuff? do you think it needs to be repotted? its in the same pot and dirt its been in since i got it last year...and honestly the dirt does kinda look dry...i can basically hold it by one of those think stems and lift the dirt/root all out of the pot and it comes out in one piece..the dirt is like hard too...
i tried doing a search on google to see if I can get any answers but cant really find anything for some reason...ok any kind of advice would be greatly appreciated I just dont want this plant to die I feel it took so long to grow to this size and now here I am killing it! I feel bad =(
ok thanks alot
-romina sorry I know this was kinda long to read lol
Some occasional leaf-drop with any plant is normal, because that is how the plant disposes of worn-out leaves. However, I think you gave yourself the answer - if the plant is ailing it is probably the soil, since the leaves are drying before falling, and you say the soil is hard and dry. A good gritty mix is what you need, no doubt you will get different recommendations from members here, but I, for instance, would buy some cactus and succulent mix and add in some grit and perlite, gently repot in a slightly larger pot, not worrying about breaking up the original compost too much, because the plant will start reaching out its roots into the new soil, and you would be better not to risk damaging the root ball. Don't water for a day or two to allow your plant to recover from the shock and to seek out the new soil. It is much easier to help your plant recover from being too dry than from being too wet and rotting. Place it then in one light spot away from the cats and try to leave it there without disturbance for a while. If there is no separate issue with pests or disease your plant will be fine.
Since I don't grow this plant at the moment, someone else may have something more or different to advise. The best of luck with your Panda.