Succulents are delightful plants that can bring joy to your home, but taking care of them is key to keeping them happy and healthy. Don’t underestimate the importance of knowing how to care for succulents. These little plants can make a big impact on your home’s atmosphere. As Caro Langton and Rose Ray write in their book, “House of Plants: Living with Succulents, Air Plants, and Cacti,” the satisfaction of having indoor plants lies in their modest needs. Whether it’s a humble potted cactus or a collection of demanding tropical plants, caring for succulents can be a rewarding experience.
Give Your Succulents Enough Light
Succulents love light and typically require about six hours of sunlight each day. However, the specific light needs can vary depending on the type of succulent you have. While they need sunlight, they don’t need to be exposed to harsh, direct sunlight all day. Too much sun can scorch newly planted succulents. To protect them, you can gradually introduce them to direct sunlight while providing some shade with a sheer curtain.
Rotate Your Succulents Regularly
Even though most succulents enjoy direct sunlight, placing them in the same spot day after day can lead to uneven growth. Caro and Rose recommend rotating your succulents often to ensure all sides receive adequate light. Succulents tend to lean towards the sun, so rotating them also helps them stand upright. If your succulent is leaning too much, it might be a sign that it needs more sunlight.
Water According To The Season
Just like humans, succulents have different needs at various times of the year. They require more water during their growth periods, which typically occur in spring and summer. During this time, when the top 1.25 inches of soil becomes dry to the touch, it’s time to water. Avoid over-watering, as it can harm your succulents. Let the soil dry between waterings, especially in the fall and winter.
Choose Containers With Drainage
Succulents dislike sitting in waterlogged soil, so proper drainage is essential to prevent root rot. Make sure the containers you pick have drainage gaps that allow surplus water to escape. For beginners, terracotta pots are an excellent choice. As you become more experienced with plant care, you can consider upgrading to terrariums or other containers.
Use The Right Soil
The success of your succulents depends on your choice of potting medium. To flourish, succulents need soil with good drainage. Soil from your garden or a bag of potting soil won’t work. Porous and sandy soil is ideal for succulents. There are a variety of soil mixes available for growing succulents and cacti, or you may make your own by blending potting soil with sand, pumice, or perlite. Take care not to damage the succulent’s roots when repotting.
Keep Your Succulents Clean
Succulents and other indoor plants may gather dust on their surfaces, just like any other element of your house. Dust may prevent them from growing. Use a damp towel to gently cleanse the leaves and spines of your succulents to maintain their health. Use a delicate paintbrush for areas that are difficult to reach.
Deal With Pests
While pests are generally not a significant issue for indoor succulents, you may occasionally have to deal with them. Gnats are attracted to succulents planted in overly wet soil with poor drainage. To prevent infestations, spray the soil with 70 per cent isopropyl alcohol to eliminate eggs and larvae.
Mealybugs are another potential pest. Overwatering and overfertilizing can attract them. If you notice mealybugs, isolate the infected plant from others and treat it by spraying it with 70 per cent isopropyl alcohol.
Succulents don’t require a lot of fertilizer, but you can provide light feedings during the spring and summer when they’re actively growing. Be cautious not to overfertilize, as this can lead to rapid growth and weakened succulents. Check the recommended amount on your fertilizer’s packaging and use half that amount for succulents.
By observing these easy care tips, you can enjoy the beauty and simplicity of caring for succulents. They are wonderful, low-maintenance plants that can brighten up any space in your home. So, whether you’re a seasoned plant enthusiast or a beginner looking to add some greenery to your life, succulents are an excellent choice for adding life and joy to your home. Visit your local or an online plant shop to start your succulent journey today!