Succulents thrive in hot, arid climates since they store water in their roots, stem, and leaves. These hardy plants are well-loved for their striking appearance and general low maintenance, but that doesn’t mean they will be entirely self-sufficient once you bring one home.
Each species of succulents has slightly different care needs, but these beginner tips will give you a good idea what succulents need to thrive!
Make Sure Your Succulent Gets Enough Sunlight
Succulents love sunlight! Just like all other plants, succulents need sunlight to complete their vital, life-giving functions. Generally, succulents will need bright, indirect sunlight about 4 to 6 hours a day. Succulents thrive in bright sunlight, but strong direct sun can quickly burn them. If your succulent is also newly planted, it can scorch and burn with too much light in the beginning. To prevent overexposure to baby succulents, gradually introduce full-sun exposure in increments. Even a sheer curtain that provides some shade will help the succulent until it matures. Fully-rooted, mature succulents can tolerate more sun later on.
Rotate Your Succulents
If your succulent is sitting in the same spot day-after-day, it is likely that it is only getting enough sunlight on one side. To make sure your succulent gets enough light on all sides, rotate it fairly frequently. Succulents will naturally lean toward the sun, so rotation will help keep succulents straight and fully-exposed to the sun. If you find your succulent stretching and leaning, that is a good indication it needs more sunlight and would benefit from rotation or a sunnier spot.
Do Not Overwater Succulents
Succulents are hardy plants, but overwatering can kill them. Generally water succulents every 2 to 3 weeks and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Succulents will usually need more water if they are in bright, direct light than if they are in lower light. Succulents will also need to be watered more frequently in spring and summer compared to fall or winter.
A weekly or bi-weekly schedule doesn’t always work out, so a good way to test if your succulent needs water is to feel the soil. If the first inch and a half or so feels dry, it is time to water your succulent. Room temperature water is advised since succulents do not like the cold!
Water the Soil Directly
Do not spray your succulent, but rather water the soil directly. Though a spritz of mist sounds refreshing and light, it can actually cause your succulent to have brittle roots and moldy leaves. Soak the soil directly until water runs out of the drainage holes. If your container does not have drainage holes, then water less. If your container does have drainage holes, another way to water it is to place your succulent in a pan of water. Once the water has absorbed through the drainage holes below and the top soil is moist, remove the water pan. Bonus hack: stick a hors d’oeuvres toothpick into your succulent planter and leave it in while watering. Check the toothpick and soil for dampness later on when you think it is time to water again. If they are both dry, you are good to go!
Drain Your Succulents
Succulents do not like waterlogged soil. Good drainage is important to remove excess water and prevent any root rot. Succulents also need good airflow to maintain healthy roots, stems, and leaves. If your current pot doesn’t have any drainage holes, use less water when watering them and carefully tip out any excess water the plant hasn’t absorbed afterward. The goal is to pour enough water that all the soil gets wet but avoid an excess that will keep roots wet. If you pour too much and cannot pour out the excess, use a rag or paper towel to try and gently absorb some of it.
Clean Your Succulents
Yes, you can even add cleaning your succulents to your weekly chore list! Dust and other indoor particles can accumulate on your succulent’s leaves and hinder its growth. Gently wipe off the leaves with a damp wash cloth. If the stem and certain leaves are hard to reach, you can also use a small, damp paintbrush.
Do you have any hacks to take care of your succulents? Any questions about succulent care?
Drop us a comment below!