How To Care for Succulents: 5 Steps
Don’t know how to care for succulents? Over the last several years, succulents have become extremely popular, and for good reason. They are easy-to-grow plants, so they are perfect for beginner growers. They have special water-storing tissues that help them survive in extremely dry environments. As such, even if you forget to water them, they will still hang in there for a while.
Succulents are known to thrive even at room temperature, so you do not need to make a lot of adjustments to be able to grow succulents in your home. They can even serve as both indoor and outdoor plants. Although succulents do not require much attention, you still have to learn the proper way of caring for them to keep them thriving.
Proper Ways to Care for Succulents
Succulents are one of the best indoor plants that help reduce stress, purify the air, and enhance the aesthetics of a home. What’s more, they are resilient and very easy to take care of. Here are the proper ways to take care of your succulent and keep them healthy:
Step 1: Give them sufficient sunlight.
Just like most plants, succulents require exposure to light to live and grow. We’re talking about at least six hours of sunlight every day. This can be easy to achieve if you have outdoor succulents. However, if you are taking care of indoor succulents, you will have to keep it near a window.
If you notice your plant is leaning towards the light, this means it is not getting enough sun. In comparison, succulent leaves with burn spots get too much direct sunlight. Make sure your succulent plants are getting just the right amount they need.
Step 2: Water them properly.
Watering is the most crucial part of growing succulents. The amount of water they need varies at the time of year. Make sure you water them only whenever their soil dries out during their growing season. This is to avoid overwatering.
Succulents live longer when their roots have time to dry between waterings. During the winter months, succulents become dormant in the cold, so they require less water. Avoid overwatering your succulents because it causes growth issues. Water your succulents only as often as needed.
Step 3: Use the appropriate pot and soil mix.
A lot of potted plants come in a standard soil mix that usually works for most kinds of plants. However, succulents are made to withstand an extreme environment, so using a regular potting soil mix won’t cut it.
The suitable potting soil and container can make a significant difference, whether you are growing your own succulents or bringing one from a nursery. For outdoor succulents, it is best if your pot has a drainage hole or holes to allow moisture to escape. In turn, the roots and soil can dry out between watering, preventing root rot.
On the other hand, if you are taking care of indoor succulents, you may use well-draining soil to allow more air to flow through. This promotes evaporation instead of needing to be drained. Well-draining soil is coarser compared to regular soil, which makes it ideal for indoor plants. To enhance the aeration, you may also add pumice and perlite to certain potting mixes.
Step 4: Check your plants regularly.
Succulents are more susceptible to pest threats inside than they are outside. Inspect your plants regularly to ensure there are no mealybugs or gnats. The presence of these insects indicates that your plants are overfertilized or overwatered.
Mealybugs are one of the most common pests in succulents. They drink the juices from the plant and lay a massive amount of eggs that can damage your plant after some time.
If your succulent gets infested with mealybugs, there is no need to panic. One of the most effective ways to get rid of mealybugs and their eggs is to spray the soil or leaves of your succulent plant with rubbing alcohol.
Put the infected plants away from the rest of the plants to prevent the infestation from spreading. Then, wash your hands if you touch or treat the infected plant before touching other plants. If you are bringing a succulent plant home from the nursery, examine the soil and leaves first to prevent bringing any pests home with you.
Step 5: Fertilize them when needed.
Succulents also benefit from occasional fertilization. Give your succulent plants a boost by using diluted, water-soluble, all-purpose fertilizer several times a year. It may not be completely necessary, but you can add some fertilizer if you think your succulent needs some help.
The Bottom Line
Succulents come in various colors and shapes. Some stay compact, while others can look splendid with their long vines in a hanging basket. There are also succulents that come in a classic green color, in mysterious black, and even pale pink.
When it comes to growing succulents, there’s definitely something there for everyone. Growing and taking care of succulents is an enjoyable and relaxing hobby. Plus, they also provide several benefits to your home. For these reasons, it is essential to take care of them properly and provide them with all their needs to keep them alive.
Photo by Braulio Gómez on Unsplash