Are Succulents Easy To Grow?
by Succulent Market ADMINSep 29, 2020
From interior design magazines to wedding centerpieces, succulents are everywhere right now. But are succulents easy to grow?
The short answer is yes, succulents are easy to grow. You just need to be aware of a couple things.
Succulents are desert plants, so their needs are much different compared to standard house plants; unrelenting sunshine and dramatic temperature changes are just some of the things they naturally deal with.
The good news is that these characteristics can easily be replicated at home. This guide will show you how to keep your succulent healthy, fed and watered, and how to avoid the mistakes all too many new growers fall victim to.
Let’s jump right in.
1. Give Your Succulent Plenty Of Natural Light
Natural light is, perhaps, the hardest environmental factor to replicate at home. Most house plants don’t need that much; you can virtually stick them anywhere around the place and they’ll be alright.
The typical house plant is native to the jungle, meaning that they are used to the shifting of sunlight and shade that occurs at home. After all, this is exactly what happens as the sun filters through the leaves of the forest canopy.
But succulents are different. They’re used to long, sustained periods of natural light, sometimes bathing in as much as 12 hours worth of sun every day. So, if you place it on an east-facing window, it’s not going to have anywhere near enough exposure.
Your best option is to place your succulent at a south-facing window that gets the most sunlight. If your windows don’t face south, then consider an aloe succulent.
2. Understand Watering Patterns
The Chihuahuan Desert gets around 9 inches of rain every year. This is barely a drop in the ocean compared to most places that we call home. But in the desert, it doesn’t just rain; it pours. That same 9 inches of rain all falls within a short time frame.
With this in mind, to keep your succulent topped up, you need to try and emulate this same pattern at home. Don’t just give it a small dose of water here and there. Fill up the jug and go wild.
No matter what succulent you have, they all love a good soaking. Keep the water flowing until it starts to seep out of the bottom of its pot.
The next time your succulent will need watering again will be when the soil feels bone dry.
But remember: just because a succulent doesn’t need much water doesn’t mean that it does not need water. There’s a history of growers starving their succulents of water, but they still wonder why they die.
The answer, of course, is that they weren’t watered enough. Keep an eye on the soil, so when it does start looking dry, you know it’s getting close to watering time.
3. Know The Correct Soil
Most house plants can survive in standard soil, whether it’s a fern or a rose. But the problem with using this soil for succulents is that they don’t grow in this type of soil. In their natural environment, they have adapted to survive in one of the most extreme environments in the world.
Your normal potting soil is not enough.
Instead, succulents thrive in hot, dry land, meaning you must give your succulent a desert-dweller mix. Create a mixture of potting soil with an inorganic material like perlite to get closer to its natural environment. Perlite works particularly well because it drains well and there aren’t too many nutrients.
4. Avoid Overcrowding
Succulents are usually crammed into cute little dishes. There are very few plants on planet Earth that enjoy being tightly packed together, but succulents certainly are not one of them.
Overcrowding your plants inhibits their growth and also encourages insect infestations, not to mention a high chance of mold growth.
Further, while succulents don’t need that much attention, they do still need some food and water. Too many plants within the same space means your succulent will probably not get enough.
So, if your succulent is crowded on arrival, take it out and give it its own space to grow.
5. Keep It Practical
It’s tough to resist saguaros, but don’t grow them. They’re so much better off staying in their natural environment, no matter how pretty they’ll look inside your home.
Keep it practical and stick to the tough ones that will happily call your windowsill home for the rest of its days.
Crassula and Echeverias are excellent examples. Mammillaria is another great idea if you want to add something more prickly to your arrangement.
6. Beware Of Frost
This is a must-read tip if you plan on growing a succulent outdoors.
Succulents like Sedum and Sempervivum are able to withstand low temperatures. However, most succulents don’t have this superpower. When the temperatures drop, if not looked after, your succulent is a risk of turning to mush.
To make things even easier, assume that when the thermometer drops below freezing, then your succulent is in danger.
The solution is simple: keep your succulent in a light container that you can move away from the coldest areas of your home. Alternatively, just make sure it’s always in a heated room.
Pro tip: succulents are also much more likely to survive a cold snap if they’re dry, not wet.
Bonus: Fertilize In The Summer
Fertilizer is great for succulents during the summer months. They don’t need much, but a light feeding can do them a world of good.
Don’t give them too much though. Overfertilizing can cause your succulent to grow weak, which is the last thing you want.
Growing Succulents Is A Breeze
So, as you can see, succulents are a low-maintenance plants. They’re ideal for beginners or anyone looking to freshen up their home. That said, they still do have a few vital requirements to keep them healthy. Once you get the hang of it though, taking care of your succulents needs will become second nature.