How To Care For Succulents (A Beginner’s Guide)

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Growing succulents is a fun and easy way to add life to your home or garden.

However, it’s essential to know how to care for succulents properly to keep them healthy and looking their best.

Not only are succulents beautiful plants, but they are also very low maintenance, making them the perfect plants for beginner gardeners.

In this article, we will cover the basics of succulent care so that you can have healthy and happy succulents.

Overview

Succulents are plants that have adapted to live in dry environments, meaning they don’t need a lot of water to survive.

This makes succulents a perfect choice for gardeners who live in drought-prone areas or for anyone who wants a low-maintenance garden.

There are many different types of succulents, but they all have one common trait – they store water in their leaves or stems.

This allows them to live in dry climates without succumbing to the heat or the lack of water.

Succulents come in various colors, shapes, and sizes, so there is sure to be a succulent that will fit your taste.

They can be grown indoors or outdoors, in pots or on the ground, making a great addition to any garden.

How To Care For Succulents

To care for succulents properly, you will need to know a few basics about succulent care.

Below we will cover the essential aspects of succulent care so that you can keep your succulents healthy and looking their best.

Watering

One of the most important things to remember about succulent care is that succulents do not need a lot of water. Succulents will rot if they are overwatered.

The best way to water succulents is to wait until the soil is dry to the touch before watering again.

You can tell when the soil is dry by sticking your finger in the soil – if it feels moist, then it’s not time to water yet.

It is also important to avoid watering succulents from above.

This can cause the succulent to rot, as the water will get down into the roots and not be able to evaporate.

Instead, you should water succulents by pouring water directly onto the soil at the base of the plant.

Succulents will also benefit from occasional deep watering.

To do this, water the succulent until the water starts to come out of the drainage holes in the pot. This will help to flush out any built-up salts or minerals in the soil.

During the winter, succulents will need less water, so you can wait until the soil is really dry before watering.

You can also stop watering succulents altogether during the winter, but make sure to resume watering in the spring.

Light

Succulents need plenty of bright light to grow and stay healthy.

They can be grown in full sun or partial shade, but they will need to be protected from direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day.

If succulents are exposed to too much sunlight, they will become sunburned and will start to lose their leaves.

If succulents are not getting enough light, they will start to stretch in an attempt to get closer to the light.

When growing succulents indoors, you can place them near a west or east-facing window that gets plenty of bright, indirect light.

This will provide your succulents with the light they need without burning them.

When growing succulents outdoors, make sure to place them in a spot that gets plenty of sun.

If succulents are not getting enough light, they can be moved to a sunnier spot, but make sure to gradually introduce them to the sun so that they don’t get burned.

Soil

Succulent plants prefer a soil that is loose and well-draining.

A cactus soil mix or succulent soil mix is ideal for succulents, but you can also create your own potting mix by equal parts potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite.

This will create a light and airy soil, which succulents need to thrive.

Make sure to avoid using too dense soil, as this will not allow the water to drain correctly.

And never use garden soil, as it will be too dense and not allow the succulents to breathe.

Temperature and Humidity

Succulents prefer a cool, dry climate, and they do not do well in high humidity.

The best temperature range for succulents is between 68° – 80° Fahrenheit (20 – 27°C) during the day and between 50° – 70° Fahrenheit (10 – 21°C) at night.

When growing succulents indoors, make sure to place them in a cool, dry spot.

If succulents are grown in a warm, humid room, they will start to rot and will not be able to thrive.

The best way to reduce the humidity around succulents is to place them in a spot that gets good air circulation.

You can also use a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity levels in your home.

If succulents are being grown outdoors, make sure to place them in a spot that is protected from the wind and where the temperature will not drop below 50° Fahrenheit (10°C).

Succulents can be moved outdoors during the summer, but you will need to bring them indoors when the temperature drops below 50° Fahrenheit (10°C).

Fertilizer

Succulents do not need to be fertilized very often, and too much fertilizer can be harmful to them.

A balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength can be used during the growing season, but succulents should not be fertilized during the winter.

When fertilizing succulents, make sure to pour the fertilizer around the base of the plant and not on top of the soil.

And never use a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen, as this can burn succulents.

Potting

Succulent plants can be potted in various containers, but make sure to use a container with drainage holes in the bottom.

This will help to prevent the succulents from rotting.

When potting succulents, it is best to use terracotta or ceramic pots, as they help regulate the soil temperature and absorb water so that succulents don’t get too wet.

Plastic pots are not recommended, as they do not allow the soil to breathe and can cause succulents to rot.

If you are potting succulents for the first time, it is best to start with a small pot. As succulents grow, you can then move them to a larger pot.

Make sure to pot succulents in a container at least 2 inches (5 cm) wider than the succulent is tall. 

Make sure to use a deep enough pot so that the succulent roots can spread out.

Repotting

Succulents should be repotted every 2-3 years or whenever their roots start to become crowded in the pot.

When repotting succulents, make sure to use fresh soil as the old soil will have lost its nutrients.

It is best to use a pot that is only slightly larger than the succulent’s current pot.

If you use a pot that is too large, the succulent’s roots will not absorb enough water, and the succulent plant will start to wilt.

When repotting succulents, it is best to remove them from their current pot and then loosen the soil around the roots.

Gently spread out the succulent’s roots and place them in the new pot.

Make sure to fill in any gaps between the succulent and the pot with fresh soil, and then tamp down the soil.

If the succulent is root-bound (meaning the roots have grown out of the pot and are wrapped around the inside of the pot), it is best to gently break up the roots before repotting.

You can do this by using your fingers or a blunt object like a pencil.

After repotting, don’t water succulents for a week. Then, water succulents thoroughly and only when the soil is dry to the touch.

Transplanting

If you want to move your succulents to another location in your garden, or if you’re going to move them to a new garden, you will need to transplant them.

Choose a spot in your garden that gets plenty of sunlight and is well-drained.

When transplanting succulents, make sure to dig a hole that is twice the size of the succulent pot.

Loosen the succulent soil and then place it in the hole. Fill in the hole with fresh soil and then tamp down the ground.

Water well and then wait a few weeks for the succulents to re-establish themselves in their new home.

Pruning

Most succulents don’t need to be pruned, but succulents with long stems can be trimmed to keep them from getting too leggy and elongated due to lack of sunlight.

When pruning succulents, it is best to use sharp scissors and make clean cuts.

Ensure to disinfect the scissors before using them on another succulent, as succulents are susceptible to diseases.

Also, remove any dead leaves or flowers from the succulents, which can attract pests and diseases.

Pests and Diseases

Succulents are susceptible to pests and diseases, so it is important to keep an eye on them and take steps to prevent these problems.

Some common pests that can affect succulents are aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites.

These pests can be controlled by spraying the succulents with a strong stream of water or by using insecticidal soap.

Some common diseases that can affect succulents are root rot, fungal leaf spots, and powdery mildew.

These diseases can be controlled by watering the succulents correctly and using a fungicide.

It is important to remember that succulents are not very hardy and can be easily damaged, so it is best to take steps to prevent pests and diseases from affecting them.

To prevent succulents from getting pests and diseases, it is essential to:

  • Avoid overwatering. Succulents do not like wet soil and can quickly develop root rot if the soil is constantly moist.
  • Keep the succulents in a sunny location. Succulents need plenty of sunlight to stay healthy.
  • Use new soil when transplanting succulents. Old soil can contain pests and diseases that can infect the succulents.
  • Remove any dead leaves or flowers from the succulents. Dead leaves and flowers can attract pests and diseases.
  • Provide adequate air circulation around the succulents. Pests and diseases thrive in humid environments, so make sure to provide good air circulation.
  • Use a fungicide if you suspect that your succulents have a disease. Fungicides can help to control many common succulent diseases.
  • Inspect the succulents for pests and diseases regularly and take steps to control any pests or diseases that are found.

By following these tips, you can help to keep your succulents healthy and free of pests and diseases.

7 Essential Succulent Care Tips for Beginners

Here are a few tips for beginners who are just starting with succulents:

  1. Choose succulents that are easy to care for. There are many different types of succulents, so choose one suitable for your level of gardening experience.
  2. Start with a small succulent pot. A succulent pot 4 inches or less in diameter is a good size for beginners.
  3. Use a well-draining soil. Succulents do best in soil that is well-draining. A succulent potting mix or cactus mix is perfect for succulents.
  4. Water sparingly. Succulents only need to be watered once a week and even less during the winter months.
  5. Avoid overwatering. Succulents can easily drown if they are overwatered, so be sure to water sparingly.
  6. Place the succulent pot in a sunny spot. Succulents need at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight per day.
  7. Repot the succulents every 3-4 years. Succulents need more space as they grow, so re-pot them into one size larger pot.

If you follow these tips, you will be able to care for your succulents successfully! For more information on succulent care, please visit our website.

Final Thoughts

Succulents are a great addition to any garden, and with a bit of care and attention, they can thrive for years.

As a beginner, it is crucial to know the basics of succulent care so that you can create a healthy and beautiful garden.

By following the tips outlined in this article, you should be able to establish a succulent garden that will bring you years of enjoyment.