8 Common Succulent Growing Mistakes to Avoid for Beginners

by Succulent Market adminOct 2, 2020

Beginner Mistakes with Succulents

If you're like most people, if you didn't have houseplants before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, you definitely do now!

If you've gone houseplant shopping after browsing on Instagram or Pinterest, you've likely picked up a succulent or two.

Succulents are fascinating and beautiful plants, but they require slightly different care than regular houseplants.

Let's take a look at 8 succulent growing mistakes to avoid so that your succulents are always thriving!

1. Overwatering

Probably the biggest mistake that people make when it comes to growing succulents indoors is that they overwater them. When you give a succulent too much water, the roots can rot. Your succulent might look totally fine for a while until all of a sudden one day you see that some of the lower leaves have turned black and slimy.

If you see that any of your leaves look slimy, yellow, or translucent, you might be watering too much.

2. Using the Wrong Soil

The way that succulents get water isn't through direct contact with their roots, like many other plants. Instead, they absorb water molecules from the air. This is why the last thing you want is succulents sitting in soil that is sopping wet.

As you can probably infer, since succulents don't soak up water from the soil, the soil can stay wet for much longer than with a different type of plant. You therefore shouldn't use regular garden soil but, instead, buy or make your own succulent soil mix.

3. Overcrowding

No one's going to blame you for making a succulent arrangement, as they are so amazing to look at. That being said, you don't want to squeeze too many into the same pot. While succulents are better at being tightly planted than a lot of other types of plants, if you crowd them too much some of the plants will get outcompeted for nutrients.

4. Not Giving Them Enough Light

Remember, succulents are desert plants! That means they want sun, sun, and more sun.

If you are keeping your succulents in a windowless or low light room, they might not be very happy. We aren't all blessed to live in apartments with tons of sunny south-facing windows, but you should make a point to give your succulents as much light as possible. This might mean investing in grow lights, putting them outside occasionally, or placing them in a sunny window.

5. Using the Wrong Container

Succulents need to be in well-draining soils and well-draining containers. If the containers for succulents you have don't have drainage holes, they're going to retain too much water. This can lead to root rot.

It's fine to repurpose cute containers into succulent pots, just be sure to drain some holes in the bottom first. The best materials, however, are ones that are porous like wood or terra cotta.

6. Planting Them With Non-Succulents

Again, arranging succulents with other plants can look a-maz-ing. That being said, you should really only do this temporarily and not as a permanent display.

Succulents require very different growing conditions than other house plants. Succulents hate being wet, and many other plants need to be watered far more often. 

7. Misting Succulents

Even though succulents don't need much in the way of water compared to your other house plants, that doesn't mean misting is the way to give them the water they do need. Misting actually promotes leaf rot.

Think about the natural environment of most succulents. In the dry, desert climate, it's not like they are getting water from a frequent misting. Instead, when it rains, it really rains, and they take what they can get.

8. Not Watering Enough

While this might seem contradictory to our first succulent growing mistake, it's actually not. The idea is that its possible to both overwater and underwater succulents.

There are many types of succulents that can go for weeks or even a full month without any water. That doesn't mean, though, that they never need any water. The way that succulents are able to survive drought-like conditions is because they store the extra water in their leaves and sometimes in their roots.

The way to know when to water succulents is to pay attention to the soil. When the soil is dry, it's time to give it some water. The way you can tell is to stick the very tip of your finger into the soil to see if there's any moisture an inch or two down. If there is, wait a few more days before watering.

When you do water, make sure any extra water drains out of the drainage holes. You also want to make sure that your succulent's pot isn't sitting in a puddle of water.

Avoid These Succulent Growing Mistakes to Have Thriving and Beautiful Succulents!

There's nothing more disheartening than buying a new plant only to take it home and have it start dying after a few weeks time. If you avoid these succulent growing mistakes, you won't have to go through that heartbreak! Succulents can be relatively easy to care for, but you have to follow some specific care instructions.

If you don't yet have any houseplants, succulents can be a great place to start. Why not try out a beautiful succulent to add some life to your apartment or house?

Is it time for you to stock up on some gorgeous succulents? Check out our succulent shop today! We have haworthia, aloe, cactus, and much, much more!