How to Keep Your Succulents Alive

Succulents are beautiful, low-maintenance plants that you can expect to have around for years to come. And while they do not require much work, it is important to ensure your succulents receive the proper care. Follow these guidelines to keep your succulents happy, healthy, and thriving.

Succulent-Growing Supplies

While the list of succulent-growing supplies is not excessive, it is important to have the proper container and soil for your succulents. For both soil and containers, drainage is key. Succulents store water in their leaves, stems, or both, and therefore, do not like to sit in wet, soggy soil. In fact, waterlogging your succulents is one of the quickest ways to kill them. In order for your succulents to thrive, you will need a container with some type of drainage hole. Container material doesn’t necessarily matter - succulents can be grown in a variety of different containers - but it must be able to drain. The same is true of the soil. Succulents do best in soil that does not hold water. To ensure you are planting your succulent in a well-draining soil, you may add perlite or pumice to your regular gardening soil, or you can purchase soil specifically for succulent plants.

When you receive your succulents, it is important that you repot them within the first 24 hours. Place your soil into the container you have selected, and carefully add your succulents.

How Often Should You Water Your Succulents

As mentioned above, succulents do not like to be waterlogged, so it is important to know how to water your plants. When you first plant your succulents, water them until the soil is moist, but not soaked. Then, wait and see how long it takes for the soil to dry out and water them again. The rule of thumb for watering succulents is to water them when they are completely dry. You will know you have watered them enough when water flows out through the drainage hole in your container. Once the succulents dry out completely, they are ready to be watered once again. Keep in mind that there should never be any water left in your container when you are watering your succulents. It is also important to note that you should water the soil directly, rather than spraying the container with a spray bottle. Use a pitcher or watering can instead.

How Much Light For Your Succulents

Succulents enjoy light and need quite a bit of sun each day - about six hours or so, depending on which type of succulent you have. However, it is important to acclimate the succulents to their new area, once you receive them so they do not get sunburned. Gradually introduce them to full sun exposure or keep them in a shady area to begin with, so that they receive indirect sun exposure. Once the succulents have acclimated, try and place them near a south- or east-facing window. Succulents may stretch toward the light if they are not getting enough sun. Plants that are getting too much sun will get brown, scorched leaves. It is also important to rotate your planter to ensure that your succulents get enough light on every side.

If you live in a climate that has extreme temperature changes, keep your succulents in a lightweight, portable container so that you can move them inside (if you have them outside during warmer months) when it gets colder.

For planting succulents outdoors, the same guidelines apply - use a soil that allows for drainage, don’t over water, and be aware of how much direct sunlight your succulents are receiving.

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