Updated: Feb 19
Online sales of succulent plants have been soaring since the beginning of the pandemic. With so many of us spending so much time at home, people have been gravitating to succulents as the go-to type of plant for interior design. Succulents are beautiful and hardy plants that are sure to reward for years if they are properly cared for.
1. Let the soil dry between waterings
Succulents are adapted to store water in their engorged leaves and stems in order to withstand prolonged periods of drought. Moreover, most succulents are evolved to receive water only during their active growing season (e.g. summer). They do not like wet feet and are prone to root rot. To keep them happy it’s vital to let the soil completely dry between waterings and avoid watering altogether in the winter.
2. Rotate regularly
Succulents, like all indoor plants, need to be rotated frequently in order to avoid becoming unshapely as they bend toward the brightest source of light.
3. Provide them with bright light
Succulents are uniquely prone to a phenomenon called “etiolation”. Etiolation occurs when a plant is deprived of the sufficient amount of lumens needed to maintain its ideal growth form. To compensate for the low light, the plant will become pale and “stretch,” growing lanky as it desperately scrambles for light. All plants do this, but the process is most dramatic and unsightly among succulents (and unfortunately it’s irreversible). Generally speaking, succulents ought to be kept on your brightest window sill.
4. Cactus soil mix is a must
Because of their vulnerability to root rot, succulents need to be given a proper soil medium, rich in perlite and other inorganic materials that support drainage. Most stores will sell a cactus-soil mix that will meet these criteria.
5. Avoid clay pots for succulents
Not only does the soil need to be well-draining, so does the pot it’s in. It’s vital that any pot you use has a sufficient number of holes in the bottom to allow for water to immediately drain. Moreover, succulents tend to have fibrous and fragile roots that adhere to the sides of clay pots, making transplanting them tricky. This can be avoided by using plastic pots or ceramic pots with slick, glazed interiors.
6. Fertilize right.
Succulents are not heavy feeders, but they do need to be fertilized at least a couple of times during their growing season. Any fertilizer low in nitrogen and high in phosphorus will do, typically this will include “bloom-boosting” fertilizers and fertilizers made for tomato plants.
7. Schedule a Plant Checkup!
If you're struggling with the succulents you have or looking to learn more about them, book a Plant Checkup with us, we're here to rescue them.