SUCCULENT CARE

Hardy Succulents

Usually, hardy succulents tolerate winter temperatures in the United States. The majority of hardy belong to USDA Zone 5. (-20F to -10F). Some Sedum and Sempervivum heuffelii cultivars, for example, may be cultivated in Zone 4 (-30F to -20F) or colder. To survive the winter cold, many hardy succulents will change colors or go dormant (lose their leaves). Most Sempervivum and certain Sedum, on the other hand, will provide aesthetic interest throughout the winter.

Hardy succulents commonly include Sempervivum heuffelii and Sempervivum globiferum ssp. hirtum (Rollers), Sempervivum (Hens and Chicks), Sedum (Stonecrops), and Rosularia.

Soft Succulents

The term “soft succulents” (“tender succulents”) refers to a wide variety of succulents that are less cold tolerant than “hardy” succulents. Soft Succulents are normally plants designated USDA Zone 9 (20 to 30 F) or higher, but some species in the group can be found as low as Zone 7. (0 to 10 F). Soft Succulents can be grown outside in frost-free zones (USDA Zones 10 and up). One of the succulent plants’ best care tips is that they can be cultivated in containers and brought indoors for the winter in colder climates.

The hardiness of the various kinds of succulent care varies greatly. Most Soft Succulents with rosettes of thick fleshy leaves, such as many Echeveria, are somewhat hardy to at least the mid-twenties Fahrenheit. Soft succulents with thinner individual leaves, such as most Kalanchoe, may endure temperatures close below freezing for a short time before being killed back to the roots as the temperature rises into the mid-20s F. Because of their low hardiness, they thrive outdoors in areas with just light frost (such as many coastal areas) and in protected areas in colder climates.

Echeveria, Kalanchoe, Aloe, Crassula Jade, Tender Sedums, and Senecio are examples of common soft succulents.

Weather And Sun

One way of giving the best care to succulent plants is to know that Succulents prefer a moderate climate. They thrive in regions with filtered sunshine and temperatures below 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Most succulents can withstand direct sunlight, but some can get sunburned if they are exposed to direct sunlight in the afternoon when temperatures are at their highest (Aeonium are especially susceptible). Most succulents can be harmed by direct sunlight and temperatures exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Morning and/or evening sun with full or partial shade (at least 50%) in the day is excellent.

Succulents that have been growing in a greenhouse, in particular, will need to be sheltered for a few days before being progressively exposed to more sunshine. This is also true when transporting succulents growing indoors or outside.

Colorful succulents will retain their color best with at least 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight per day for proper succulent care. They begin to revert to green and expand out when not exposed to adequate sunshine. Heat and brutal winter tends to bring out the most vibrant colors in succulents. Most Sempervivums are at their most vibrant in the spring when additional sunlight combines with cold nights. Some succulents, such as Sempervivum heuffelii and several Soft Succulents, retain their color better when temperatures rise.

Winter And Cold Temperatures

One way of giving the best care to succulent plants is to know that Succulents prefer a moderate climate. They thrive in regions with filtered sunshine and temperatures below 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Most succulents can withstand direct sunlight, but some can get sunburned if they are exposed to direct sunlight in the afternoon when temperatures are at their highest (Aeonium are especially susceptible). Most succulents can be harmed by direct sunlight and temperatures exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Morning and/or evening sun with full or partial shade (at least 50%) in the day is excellent.

Succulents that have been growing in a greenhouse, in particular, will need to be sheltered for a few days before being progressively exposed to more sunshine. This is also true when transporting succulents growing indoors or outside.

Colorful succulents will retain their color best with at least 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight per day for proper succulent care. They begin to revert to green and expand out when not exposed to adequate sunshine. Heat and brutal winter tends to bring out the most vibrant colors in succulents. Most Sempervivums are at their most vibrant in the spring when additional sunlight combines with cold nights. Some succulents, such as Sempervivum heuffelii and several Soft Succulents, retain their color better when temperatures rise.

Symptoms Of Water Problems

One of the most prevalent ways how people destroy succulents is that they overwater them. Your succulent leaves dropping off with only a little bump is an early indicator of overwatering. As the damage from overwatering worsens, the leaves of your succulent will yellow and become more translucent. The leaves will be mushy and soggy. At this time, one of the succulent plant’s best care tips is to let your succulent dry out for a few days and then lessen your watering frequency.

If your succulent begins to blacken around the stem or leaves, it means that your plan has started rotting. You’ll have to cut off the succulent above the rot, let it dry for a few days, and then transplant it into the soil.

When a succulent does not receive enough water, the leaves become limp and floppy. In the new growth, you may detect wrinkling near the top of the plant. Succulents’ lower leaves will eventually perish as part of their normal life cycle. If you observe that the leaves are drying out faster than usual, you should increase the frequency of your watering somewhat.

It’s far easier to save a succulent that hasn’t been watered enough, so when in doubt, water less frequently. Then, if you observe signs of underwatering, carefully increase the frequency with which you water.

Containers

Succulents are durable plants that can flourish in a range of environments. It’s normally better to plant them in a container with a drainage hole and well-draining soil for long-term growth. While you can plant succulents in non-draining containers such as old shoes, teacups, votives, and so on, these may not be the ideal long-term solutions owing to watering issues for succulent care. Terracotta and ceramic pots will dry out faster than plastic or other materials, so adjust watering appropriately. When succulents outgrow their containers, you can prune the new growth and replant it elsewhere, or you can relocate the entire plant to a larger container.

Most succulents thrive in raised beds and rock gardens, where they can be easily observed. Check the hardiness rating of any succulents before planting them in the ground to ensure they will survive the winter in your zone. Plant them in good-draining soil as well.

Pests & Diseases

Mealybugs are the most common pest of succulents. However, they mostly affect succulents in pots. Aphids are another typical pest that appears during the summer. Most pests, including mealybugs and aphids, can be handled by spraying the succulent with 70% isopropyl alcohol or insecticidal soap. Bugs like to hide in the cracks between the leaves and around the stem, so get in there. It could take many attempts to entirely remove all of the issues.

Air Plants – Tillandsias

Mealybugs are the most common pest of succulents. However, they mostly affect succulents in pots. Aphids are another typical pest that appears during the summer. Most pests, including mealybugs and aphids, can be handled by spraying the succulent with 70% isopropyl alcohol or insecticidal soap. Bugs like to hide in the cracks between the leaves and around the stem, so get in there. It could take many attempts to entirely remove all of the issues.

Propagation

Chicks or Pups

Many succulents, including Sempervivum (Hens and Chicks) and Echeverias, produce fresh chicks every year. Chicks can either be left on the mother plant to grow or removed and put elsewhere. Simply clip the stem that connects it to the mother plant to remove it. Allow the chick to dry for a few days in a cool, shady location before planting in well-draining soil. The best care for a succulent plant seedling is that it should be cared for in the same way that you would care for a fully matured plant, watering only when the top soil is dry.

Leaf Propagation

The leaves of several Soft Succulents can be used to reproduce them. Gently twist and pull the leaf away from the stem to remove it. Allow it to remain on a dry surface for a few days before placing it on top of the soil. Keep the soil moist for a few weeks as roots and new plants emerge. Cover the roots with soil as they form to prevent them from drying out. As the plants increase in size, you can relocate them to a new location and begin caring for them as you would a whole plant. Propagation is best done in a warm, shady location.

Sempervivum Heuffelii

Heuffelii, unlike other sempervivums, does not produce chicks and must be cut apart with a sharp knife, leaving a portion of the carrot-looking root on each segment. Allow cuttings to dry for several days in the shade before planting. The water requirements are the same as those of other sempervivum species.

Soft Succulents and Sedums

Many sedums and soft succulents can be propagated by removing and planting offsets, additional stems, cuttings, or simply leaves.

HOW TO CARE FOR SUCCULENTS: GUIDE TO GROWING AND CARING FOR SUCCULENTS

 

What are Succulents

Succulents are water-storing plants with fleshy, thickened leaves and/or swollen stems. The term “succulent” is derived from the Latin word sucus, which means juice or sap. Succulents can survive on limited water resources such as dew and mist, making them drought tolerant. Succulents come in various species and cultivars spanning several plant families, but most people associate succulents with the Cactaceae, or cactus family. (However, keep in mind that while all cacti are succulents, not all succulents are cacti.)

Succulents: How to Grow Them Indoors

Succulents thrive in warm, dry climates and don’t mind a little neglect due to their unique ability to retain water. As a result, they are well suited to indoor growing and are ideal for people looking for low-maintenance houseplants. Follow these steps for successful succulent care if you’re selecting succulents for the first time.

Choose A Succulent That Is Appropriate For Your Indoor Environment.

Most succulents prefer direct sunlight, but if you only have a shaded area in your home, choose low-light-tolerant plants like mother-in-law’s tongue. If you intend to grow your succulent in a hanging planter, a trailing variety such as a string of bananas is an excellent choice. Always read the plant labels to determine your succulents’ sunlight requirements, size, and spread.

Select a Right Container

The best care for succulent plants is to use a container with a drainage hole that is at least 1 to 2 inches larger than the nursery container when repotting. As a long-term potting solution, avoid using glass containers (such as mason jars or terrariums) because they don’t allow roots to breathe and can cause root rot over time. Fill one-third of the container with pre-moistened potting mix, then place your plant inside and backfill with more potting mix.

Place Your Succulents In Enough Light

Succulents require about six hours of sunlight per day, depending on the type of succulent. When it comes to succulents care, they are easy to maintain, but newly planted succulents can scorch in direct sunlight, so gradually introduce them to full sun exposure or provide shade with a sheer curtain. Most succulents require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, so place them near a south or east-facing window. If your succulents don’t get enough sun, you may notice them becoming spindly or stretching toward the light.

Succulents Should Be Rotated Frequently

Succulents prefer direct sunlight, but if yours is sitting in the same spot day after day, it’s likely that only one side is getting enough. Among the succulent plants’ best care tips, one is rotating the plant on a regular basis. Because succulents lean toward the sun, rotating them will help them stand straight. (Leaning may also indicate that they require more sunlight)

Water According To the Season

Succulents, like humans, require more energy when they are growing. Plants thrive and consume far more water during the spring and summer than they do during the fall and winter. Botanists recommend the best care for succulent plants is testing the soil with a finger and watering when the top 1.25 inches are dry. Overwatering can kill your succulents, so allow the soil to dry between waterings.

Directly Water The Soil

Soak the soil in water until it runs out of the drainage holes when watering your succulents. (Use less water if your container lacks drainage holes.) Watering succulents with a spray bottle can result in brittle roots and moldy leaves. You can also place pots in a pan of water and allow the water to drain through the drainage hole. Remove the soil from the pan once the top layer is moist.

Keep Your Succulents Clean

“Inevitably, dust will accumulate on the surface of your indoor plants, which can inhibit their growth.” The best care for succulent plants is to gently wipe the leaves and spines clean with a damp cloth (use a soft paintbrush to get at hard-to-reach spots).

Select a Drainable Container

Succulents dislike sitting in waterlogged soil, so drainage is essential to prevent rot. Your container should have a drainage hole to allow excess water to escape.

Nurseries always plant succulents in soil that is too rich and retains too much moisture, so repot your succulent as soon as you get it home. Begin with a coarse potting mix that has adequate drainage and aeration. You can find special cactus and succulent mixes at the nursery, or you can use an African violet mix. To improve drainage and prevent compaction, add perlite or pumice to the cactus or African violet mix (up to 50% of the total potting mix, depending on the moisture requirements of your specific succulent). Always wet the mix before using it to ensure even moisture distribution. For beginners, the succulent plants’ best care tips include using terracotta pots. Provide a potting medium that drains well.

Plant Succulents in Good Soil

Succulents require soil that drains, so regular potting soil or dirt from your yard will not suffice.  Use cactus soil or mix potting soil with sand, pumice, or perlite. Succulent roots are extremely delicate, so be gentle when repotting.

Getting Rid of Bugs

Pests should not be a problem for indoor succulents, but you may occasionally encounter bugs. Gnats are drawn to succulents planted in soil that is too wet and lacks proper drainage. When it comes to succulent plants’ best care tips, keep in mind this one tip: pray the soil with 70% isopropyl alcohol to get rid of eggs and larvae. Mealybugs are another pest that succulent owners have to deal with. Mealybugs are commonly caused by overwatering and overfertilization. Remove infected succulents from other succulents and spray with 70% isopropyl alcohol.

Succulents Should Be Fertilized In The Summer.

Succulents don’t require much fertilizer, but you can give them light feedings during the growing season in the spring and summer. Overfertilization can cause your succulents to grow too quickly and become weak. Fertilizer is most beneficial to plants in the spring (when the days are longer and new growth begins) and again in late summer. The best care for succulent plants is to use a water-soluble, all-purpose fertilizer (such as 8-8-8 or 10-10-10) diluted to half the strength recommended on the package instructions. When succulents are semi-dormant in the winter, there is no need to fertilize them. They do not require the nutrient boost because they are not actively growing.

Allow The Potting Mix To Dry; Between Waterings

Overwatering is the most common mistake people make with succulent care. It is best to water more but less frequently. Saturate the potting mix thoroughly (while ensuring that water flows out of the drainage hole properly), but allow it to dry slightly before watering again. The plant may die if the potting mix remains consistently wet every day.

 

Additional Best Care Tips for Succulent Plants

Can you plant succulents in the sand?

Though succulents may appear to thrive in the sand out in the wild, they prefer loose, rocky soil and require nutrients to thrive. Sand tends to compact over time, resulting in excessive water retention in a container. The best medium for succulent care is designed explicitly for cacti and succulents or a well-draining mix of potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite/pumice.

Can succulents be grown from seed?

Yes, like other plant seeds, succulent seeds can be started indoors in light, moist soil, but they grow more slowly and typically don’t reach transplant size until six months to a year after germinating.

Why are the leaves on my succulents falling off?

As with many plants, the lowest leaves on the stem (those closest to the potting mix) will eventually shrivel and drop. This is normal and not cause for concern. After understanding all the succulent plant best care tips, remember that if the topmost leaves die, this could be due to overwatering, pests, or disease.