This succulent tips article is written by my daughter Emily. She has been researching and experimenting with succulents for a while now, and has some great insights on how to care for these popular beauties.
Succulents can make excellent houseplants as well as charming additions to any garden, if you follow their pesky rules. Unlike most popular houseplants and the average flower you’d plant in the garden, succulents and cacti are a bit more particular.
Succulent Tips and Mistakes to Avoid
But on the flipside, once you’re used to the succulent routine, they’re actually incredibly easy to care for. To get you started, here are a handful of succulent tips to take into account, and a few succulent mistakes to avoid:
1. Give succulents as much light as possible. They should ideally spend their time outside, in the sunlight, or inside at a south-facing window.
2. Wait until your plant’s soil is completely dry before you water it, and when you do, be sure to water thoroughly, until excess water drips out of the bottom.
3. Use a specific cactus soil, or mix a well-draining soil blend of your own. Standard potting soil will retain too much moisture, causing succulents roots to rot.
4. Plant in a container with drainage holes to avoid rot. If you’re planting in something unconventional, like a birdcage or a teacup, you may need to be extra careful with your watering and/or make adjustments for drainage.
5. Feel free to pack succulents together tightly. They have shallow roots that grow slowly, so if you like the look of packed planters, go for it.
6. Research your specific plant. While most succulents prefer lots of sunlight, some prefer the opposite, such as epiphytic cacti like the Christmas cactus.
7. Propagate succulents to your heart’s content; share them among your local plant community, family, and friends; and embrace the collecting spirit.
Definitely do not:
1. Over water succulents, which is the easiest way to kill them. When in doubt, don’t water.
2. Put succulents in full sunlight after they’ve been indoors, in a shaded nursery, under a tree, etc. for a while. Without time to adjust, they will get sunburned.
3. Treat succulents like houseplants, watering them sparingly. When, and only when, it is time to water succulents, they should be watered deeply.
4. Water succulents in the winter as frequently as you do during the summer. When the weather cools off, succulents require even more infrequent drinks.
5. Stress out! While this may seem like a lot of information, there are really only four key concepts: lots of sun, drainage holes, let the soil dry out, water deeply.
The variety of plants in the succulent world is enormous, from the popular hens & chicks to crazy cool cacti that grow into bizarre shapes. With the above info, you’re ready to master them all.
What has your experience been with succulents?