A succulent is any plant with thick, fleshy parts including leaves, stems, and roots where they store water. Succulents are the preferred house plant for most people and are considered nearly indestructible. They are hardy and adapted to survive harsh arid conditions, making them ideal for most beginners. While they are low maintenance compared to other indoor plants, they still require care, or they will not be healthy and could even die. Here are tips for caring for succulents.
Succulents love light so make sure they get enough of it. When thinking of light needs, remember that they are native to the desert. Newly planted ones may scorch in direct sunlight so those should be gradually introduced to full light.
It’s important to rotate your succulents. If they are at one spot day in and day out, you will notice that only one side is getting enough light. Over time, you may even notice that the plant is growing is leaning which is growing in the direction of the sun.
This is one of the most important aspects of caring for succulents. When thinking about the water requirements, it’s important to remember that their native environment is hot and dry. Make sure they don’t get watered very often. They in fact thrive when you don’t water them for weeks at a time. Once every few two weeks in the summer and once a month or once every other month in the winter is a good idea. They store a lot of moisture in their stems and leaves. Also, keep in mind that you should water the soil directly. If the leaves are dusty or dirty, wipe gently with a cloth.
They should be potted in a fast-draining mixture that’s specifically designed for cacti and succulents. The pots they’re in should also have drainage holes which allow excess water to drip out. This will prevent root rot. You know you’re overwatering the plant if it’s soft and discoloured or the leaves lose their colour or turn yellow or white. An underwatered plant will first stop growing and may being to shed its leaves or develop brown spots on them.
Succulents occasionally benefit from occasional deep watering. Deep watering is when you water it until water comes out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. This will help flush out salts or minerals in the soil.
The best materials for the planters are ceramic pots, plastic, and wood. Ceramic is breathable and works both indoors and outdoors. Plastic is convenient and cheap. Wood is great for hot, dry, conditions because it can retain water and last a long time.
While succulents are pretty hardy, few can survive extremely low temperatures so it’s important to keep them in warmer areas during the colder months. If they are outdoor, bring them in. Also, if the temperatures are too high, they can die.
Get rid of bugs
Pests are not a common problem for indoor plants, but should your plant be affected, separate it from the rest of the succulents and spay it with 70% isopropyl.
If you want your succulents to grow faster, you should consider using fertilizer. You can fertilize them at least once a year at the beginning of the growing season.
In the event that your succulents are unhealthy or are suffering from something like too much light exposure, you can make them look normal again through propagating. Learn how to multiply plants here – succulent propagation guide for beginners.
Make sure the planter is not too small or it will restrict the roots and hinder natural growth. Most succulents will come with a label recommending planter size and it’s important to heed that.
5 Gardening mistakes that are killing your indoor plants