How To Care For Succulents

an array of healthy succulents
The secret of growing succulents is to provide them with conditions similar to their natural habitat, which is mostly warm and dry and has minimal rainfall (about 20 inches per year). Succulents can tolerate more rainfall than in their native habitats, but their roots rot when the soil remains moist. Only a few succulents can thrive when temperatures drop below freezing for long periods.

The best way to ensure that you do not overwater succulents is to check that the soil is dry before watering. They should be watered every few weeks or every two to three weeks. The rule of thumb is to water them once a week during the summer months and once every two weeks during their winter rest in spring and autumn.


Choose a container with proper drainage, and the succulents will not root and rot. Succulent leaves tend to rot when they sit in moist soil, so you need to make sure that the leaves don't come into contact with moisture.


For improved drainage, avoid compaction and add perlite or pumice (up to 50% of the total pot mix, depending on your specific moisture requirements for succulents). Add soil to the plant and press it down to ensure that the soil is evenly placed.


Succulents love light and require at least six hours of sunlight a day depending on the type of succulent. You may notice that your succulents are stretched and underlit if they do not get enough sun. Most succulents prefer 6 hours of sun a day, so try to place them in the south or east windows. Most succulents and cacti grow best in warm regions with direct sunlight. Succulents love direct sunlight but if it sits in the same place day after day, only one side will likely get enough light. 


Regular potting soil is not ideal if you are prone to overwater plants. Cactus blend allows better drainage and air circulation, two things succulents need to grow strong, healthy roots. One way to achieve a cooler environment is to water your succulents a little, but a more effective method is to use a well-drained soil mixture.


If you notice that the leaves of your plants turn yellow or feel muddy, it shows that you are overwatering your succulents. Yellow leaves indicate too much moisture. Experienced succulent growers say that you should fertilize during the spring season.


The small plastic pots and absorbent soils that come with most succulents are not ideal. Succulents do not thrive when they sit in moist soil, which makes drainage holes important. You will want to surround them in a larger terra cotta container with drainage holes so that the bottom dries out more than a bit. You can plant succulents in ceramic, plastic, or metal containers with a kind of drainage hole. You can control the growth of your succulents by placing them in a pot that promotes or inhibits growth or it can be a bonsai that takes the shape and size of the container in which it is planted. Another option is to ensure that your succulent grows in a material that withdraws water from it.



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