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Succulents make for great houseplants. The only trick is to learn all about succulents’ care so that you can keep them alive and thriving. For that, you’ll have to give the plants conditions similar to their native habitat. Basically, you’ll have to replicate arid climatic conditions – warm with minimal rainfall and full sun.
Today, succulents are increasing in popularity both in outdoor home gardens and as indoor plants. They are low-maintenance, affordable, look ethereal, and come in a huge variety. All in all, they are ideal plants for beginner gardeners.
However, you do need to keep a few things in mind when growing succulents. Let’s look at how to take care of succulents both outdoors as well as indoors.
Know when to water a succulent
Knowing when and how much to water your plants is the first step to succulents’ care. Keep in mind that succulents thrive in a warm and dry climate. And, in good sunlight. Therefore, you’ll need to mimic its natural habitat in the best way you can. Do not water your succulents very often – just once every two weeks in summer and once a month in the winter season. Space out the watering schedule more if the plant is not getting any direct sunlight. Remember that the fleshy leaves and stems of succulents can store moisture. A succulent plant can last weeks without water.
Get pots with drainage holes
To prevent overwatering your succulent it’s a good idea to keep your plant in a terra cotta pot with a drainage hole. Water the plant until it starts to drip out of the bottom of the pot. This will ensure that all the excess water has been drained from the pot.
Look out for wrinkles on a succulent’s leaves
If you notice wrinkles on your succulent leaves, it indicates that your plant is either thirsty or has had too much water. Consult your watering schedule to know which one it is and rectify the situation.
Ensure sunlight exposure for your succulent
Most succulents and cacti thrive in direct sunlight exposure and warm temperatures. So, even if you have an indoor succulent, remember to put it on a windowsill with full sun exposure.
If the plant doesn’t get enough sun, it may start to grow taller and lean to one side. If you notice this strange behavior, give your plant the sunlight it needs at the earliest.
Give your succulent the ideal soil mix
Since succulents love dry environments, you should use well-draining soil. This is to ensure that your plant doesn’t sit in water for too long. Use a specially prepared succulent or cactus soil mix. Want to prepare your own potting soil? Simply add sand (large grains) and perlite to your soil. This improves the soil structure by providing drainage and sufficient aeration.
Fertilize your succulent
A good fertilizer will help your plant grow healthy. You should fertilize your succulent once a year – at the beginning of the growing season or the spring season – for the absorption of nutrients.
Propagate your succulent
If your succulent has become leggy and stretched due to the lack of sunlight, you may want to consider propagating it. Most succulent plants are easy to propagate. You can propagate the succulent in soil, lightweight expanded clay aggregate (Leca), or even water. However, keep in mind that succulents are slow-growing plants and this process may take some time.
- Take a succulent cutting by cutting the top off your succulent.
- Remove the bottom leaves on the stem and let it dry for two days.
- Wait for a callus on the area that was cut away from the parent plant.
- Plant the succulent in the soil.
- Water the succulent.
Take special care of succulents in the winters
While succulents’ care is similar in the winter and the summer seasons, you need to make sure that the plant gets enough sunlight and less water during the winter. As the moisture evaporates slower than it does in the summer, you should water your succulent only once a month. Also, ensure that the plant gets the maximum amount of sunlight possible.
If you live in a colder climate and have succulents growing outdoors, it’s best to plant only cold-weather, winter-hardy succulents that can survive even in freezing temperatures.
Whether you’re a veteran gardener or a beginner, with proper plant care, you can grow succulents easily. These low-maintenance plants actually thrive when you forget about them for weeks on end. Just give them a little water now and then and some direct sunlight. Do keep in mind that succulents are sensitive to overwatering and cold temperatures. Finally, always keep checking your plant regularly for signs of good health or distress.
We hope these simple tips on succulents’ care will help you take better care of your succulent collection.
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