So you’ve bought a succulent and now what? Well, you have to keep it alive, right? Good news for you, it’s not as hard as some people make it out to be. You don’t have to be a seasoned gardener to successfully grow and maintain succulents. There is no need to tend to them every day, but with that said, you can’t neglect them either. If you’re confused already, don’t be. Here are 7 “How Tos,” to keep your succulent thriving for as long as possible.
Chances are when you bought the succulent, it wasn’t properly planted, and finding a home for the newest edition to your space is very important. Ceramic planters are often best for succulents and indoor gardening as a whole. We recommend our line of ceramic planters. They are the perfect size for succulents and come in all different colors and designs. You are sure to find one that tickles your fancy.
Now that the succulent is planted, it’s time to care for it. Where you place it in your work or living space is very important as well because succulents, like all plants, need sunlight. When indoors it is not uncommon for them to receive less sunlight than necessary for them to grow and thrive. So with that said, place your succulent as close to a window as possible. The more light the better, especially during the colder months. You’ll know if your succulent isn’t getting enough sunlight because it will begin to stretch and bend to get closer and seek out the sun.
Watering succulents can be kind of tricky. They aren’t like many other plants that need water every day. But with that said, this is no excuse to under water them. The trick is that the roots of succulents and the soil around them, when watered, need to be soaking wet. Then allow them to dry completely over the course of a few days. When completely dry again, repeat the watering/soaking process.
Pro Tip: The roots and soil of your succulent won’t dry out within a day of watering, so there is no rush. Wait a few days before you water again. The soil and roots need to be completely dry.
If this is your first time gardening with a succulent, the way you water it may be quite strange and counter intuitive. You might think, “I could be killing my plant.” Then, in due time you will see dead leaves and wonder, “Is this a sign confirming my thoughts?” Wrong! Every plant encounters dying and withering leaves, but that doesn’t mean it’s dying. Often, the leaves towards the base of the succulent wither. That’s normal. You only have to worry if the leaves towards the top, or the newest leaves on your succulent, show signs of withering.
So maybe your succulent stretched a bit on accident from not getting enough sunlight. Or maybe you’re changing the décor in your area and you want to re-pot your succulent into a new planter. Whatever the reason, it is important that you fill your new planter with soil that can support cacti, water the soil until damp, and then carefully lift your succulent out of its old planter, preferably using a trowel or large spoon. Be careful not to break its roots, especially the smaller ones, and place the succulent into the new planter. Voilà! Your succulent has a new home!
Moving Your Succulent Outside
When the weather gets warmer, you might want to move your succulent outdoors. The biggest tip here is to ease your succulent into its new environment. First, introduce it into a fully shaded area and then slowly introduce direct sunlight. If you make the change too quickly, you run the risk of burning your succulent’s leaves. Also, make sure that your succulent is well fertilized because in the warmer months it is no longer in a dormant state and is ready to grow.
Now that you’ve proven you can take care of this succulent, you might be ready for more. To successfully propagate your succulent, pick a few healthy leaves. The best way to do this is with your fingers, and make sure that the leaf breaks off from the base of the stem. You need the entire leaf for propagation. Let the leaves heal and dry in direct sunlight on a towel or parchment baking sheet for roughly three to seven days. Then when they have healed, move the leaves into a bed of damp soil. Mist them daily until roots grow, and then cover the roots with soil. Eventually you will see the beginning of your new succulent. When the mother leaf used to propagate begins to wither, gently twist it away from the new plant. Now it’s time to pot your newest succulent!
There you have it folks. Your cheat sheet to making sure your succulents thrives all year long.
Check out these other Container Gardening 101 lessons:
– Container Gardening Under $40 – Mosquito Repellent Recipe
– How to Plant a Topiary Tree in a Terracotta Planter