Succulents Planting Guide

If you are looking for a low-maintenance plant that can survive in the harshest climates, succulents are the way to go. Succulents work well indoors and out; they can be used as houseplants or in landscaping projects. With these tips, you will learn how to choose the right succulent for your garden or home and care for it once it is planted!

Light

The amount of light you need to provide your succulent depends on its species. Some like bright, direct sunlight, but others do better with a bit more filtered light.

If you are unsure if your succulent is getting enough light, look for signs that it needs more or less:

  • Dry and crispy leaves mean too much sun, while limp leaves and brown tips are signs of too little light.
  • If the water evaporates quickly or drains through the soil in just a few minutes, the plant may get too much sun or heat (especially if there aren’t any windows nearby). 
  • If it takes longer than 10 minutes for the water to drain through the soil after watering, this might mean your plant doesn’t have enough sunlight.

Succulents should generally have at least 4 hours of direct sunlight per day. If you don’t have a south-facing window, try to find another location in your home where the plant will get enough light.

Tip – If you think your succulent is getting too much sunlight, move it to a shadier spot. If the plant is in direct sun all day, try placing it outdoors during summer. If this is not possible, try moving the plant to a room with indirect sunlight and see if that helps.

Water

As a succulent lover, you are probably used to hearing that these plants are drought tolerant. It is quite true! But don’t let this convince you that succulents don’t need water at all. They do—just not as much as other plants. It would help if you only water your succulents when the soil is dry (you will have to check every few weeks). Watering once in a week should suffice for most succulents during the spring, summer, and fall.

Note: Never allow a potted succulent to sit in standing water! This will rot the roots and kill your plant quickly. Instead, gently pour room-temperature water into each container just until it touches the soil. You will know it’s enough when there’s no visible evidence of excess moisture on top of the soil level anymore (if there is too much moisture left behind after watering, wait another day or two before repeating).

Soil

Succulents are plants that grow best in well-draining soil. The soil should not be too rich in nutrients, acidic or alkaline.

Remember, it’s always best to test your soil before you add any amendments. A good way to test the pH of your succulent soil is with a tester kit found at any garden nursery center or hardware store. If you want to be really sure what your soil’s pH level is, take some samples and send them off for testing. The results should tell you precisely what amendments are needed to alter the ph level of your succulent’s growing medium. 

If the plant soil is too acidic, add dolomite lime to the mix. Too alkaline? Try adding elemental sulfur instead.

Fertilizer

The most important thing to remember regarding fertilizer is that succulents don’t need it. They grow naturally. They store water and nutrients, so they don’t require you to help them along. However, if you want your plants to grow faster or have a succulent that needs more light (like an aloe), fertilizing may be worth trying.

Repotting Succulents

  • When to repot succulents

If you notice that your plant has outgrown its container or the roots are growing out of it, it’s time to repot them. Succulents like their soil to be dry between watering, which may be difficult if they are in a small container. So, if you notice that your succulent is a bit root-bound, give them some room!

  • How to repot succulents

The best way to do this is by slowly working the roots out from under the plant and placing them in an appropriately sized container (usually a 6″ pot). You can also remove any dead leaves and trim off some of the excess growth (if necessary). For example, you might want shorter branches on a trailing variety but not shorter than 2″. Just don’t cut off more than ¼” per month; otherwise, it won’t have enough time for new growth before winter comes along again next year!

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Choosing A Succulent 

When choosing a succulent variety, you will want to consider how much light it will get. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Succulents that need direct sunlight: These succulents thrive in full sun, so they should be placed in an area with direct sunlight daily. Direct light means that the plants are receiving strong rays from the sun at least 4 hours per day and not facing any shade from trees or buildings during this time.
  • Succulents that need indirect sunlight: Plants that receive indirect light typically have more shades of green than those that receive direct sunlight. They also have fewer leaves on their stems and grow slower than those under direct light; however, these factors will not affect the overall health of your plant! Indirect light is easily found near windows where curtains or blinds filter bright rays before reaching your houseplants’ leaves.
  • Succulent varieties requiring medium-intensity lighting include cacti and sedum plants—they generally prefer shady spots. Still, they can tolerate an hour or two of direct sun each morning during spring and fall when temperatures don’t exceed 75˚F (24˚C). You can also place them closer to windows where they will get some natural light throughout the day but not too much heat buildup (which could stress out these sensitive plants).

Succulents Are Easy to Care For

Succulents are easy to care for but to keep them alive; you need to follow some guidelines.

  • First, watering succulents properly is essential because if the soil stays too dry, they will begin to wither and die. But over-watering is also harmful: it can cause fungal diseases or rot in your plant’s roots. The general rule here is “less is more.” Water only when the soil has dried out completely and then give them enough time (at least 24 hours) before watering again!
  • Succulent plants like to be kept warm and well-lit. They can be best grown indoors or outdoors (in a sunny spot) in temperate regions, but they need protection from frost. Keep your plant inside at room temperature (around 18 – 24°C) during the winter months.
  • In summer, place them outside in a sunny spot where they can enjoy some heat. In milder climates, it’s possible to grow succulents year-round outside. To help your plants thrive, ensure the soil is well-drained and not too dry (water regularly but only when necessary).
  • Succulents don’t need much fertilizer. They can be fed once a month with liquid plant food (follow the instructions on the label).

Conclusion

Succulents are best for anyone who wants an easy-to-care-for plant. They require little maintenance, so you can spend more time enjoying your cacti and other succulents instead of worrying about what to do next. Knowing how much light, water, and fertilizer these plants need to thrive is the key.

The more light your succulent plant gets, the better it will grow. But be careful not to over-water: let the soil dry out ultimately between watering sessions.

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