Knowing how to take care of succulents will ensure your plants thrive, grow, and most importantly survive for many years to come. Whether you have indoor succulents or outdoor succulents planted in pots or directly into the soil, there are many things you can do to keep your plants healthy. From watering your plants correctly and placing them in the right position to using the right potting soil, looking after your beautiful succulents is easier than you might think.
Succulents love lots of light and need at least six hours of sunlight a day to stay healthy. Place or plant your succulents in areas where they will receive enough natural daylight, but take care with newly planted succulents as they can scorch if placed in direct sunlight. Once they are established and fully grown, they can be placed in a more sunny position.
Succulents love lots of direct sunlight, so it is a good idea to rotate them regularly so that each side of the plant receives enough light. Turning your indoor and outdoor potted succulents 180 degrees once a week should ensure that they receive all the light they need and in all the right places. Succulents also lean towards the sun, so turning them regularly will help to ensure a uniform and straight growth.
Overwatering succulents is much worse than underwatering them. They need water to thrive, of course, but it's usually less than you think. The best way to make sure you aren't overwatering is to check the moisture in the soil, either by poking in a finger or pushing in a stick and leaving it for a bit, then drawing it out to see how wet it is.
Unlike other houseplants that get watered when only the first inch or so of the soil is try, wait to water your succulents until the soil is completely dry. Remember: they can hold a lot of water in their leaves, so they aren't "parched" just because the soil is. Adding water before they're ready for it can lead to root rot and kill your plant babies.
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When watering your succulents, make sure you soak the soil directly. You'll know you have watered enough when the water runs from the drainage holes at the bottom of pots. For succulents planted in the ground, water once a week during the summer months, unless it's been raining.
You can also place your pots in a tray of water and allow them to soak up the water they need from the bottom. Remove them from the tray once the top layer of soil is slightly moist.
This tip applies mostly to indoor succulents. Over time, your plants will start to pick up a little dust and dirt on their surface. This can actually inhibit their growth. By wiping leaves gently with a damp cloth or clean paintbrush, you can reach all of those hard to reach spots and keep your succulents thriving and looking their absolute best. You can also spray leaves with a fine mist spray to give them a healthy shine and a little extra moisture.
Choosing good containers for your succulents will make your life so much easier and help to keep your succulents growing and looking their absolute best. Succulents don't do well if they are left to sit in waterlogged soil, so choosing a pot with lots of drainage will ensure excess water drains away after watering or heavy rainfall. Terracotta pots are some of the best containers for succulents as they have plenty of holes and also help to retain heat during the winter months.
Choosing the wrong soil for your succulents could cause your succulents to rot and die very quickly. Succulents require good quality soil that drains excess water away, so yard dirt or regular potting soil won't do. If you are planting succulents in pots, use a special cactus potting soil that contains pumice, perlite or sand. You can also use this type of soil when planting succulents outside in the ground.
Just like any other plant, your succulents are at risk of being attacked by bugs and other pests. Gnats and mosquitos are attracted to succulents that have been overwatered or that do not have correct drainage. To remove eggs or larvae, use a spray that contains 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. You should also take care to remove any infected plants away from healthy plants until all bugs have been removed.
Fertilizer can do wonders for your succulents, and the good news is that they don't need much. A light feeding during the spring and summer months will help to promote growth and give your plants extra nourishment and nutrients. Just take care not to overfertilize as this can cause your succulent to grow too quickly and develop weak areas.
While succulents are relatively easy to take care of during the summer months, they do need a little extra TLC during the winter. Even a light frost could kill off a healthy succulent. When the weather starts to get colder, you should bring your potted succulents indoors if you can. If this is not possible, wrap them in horticultural fleece or a hessian blanket to protect their leaves and spines from the elements.