How to care for Succulents (Easy Tips)
Watering - Only water the soil when it’s completely dry. Stick your finger in the soil up to your first knuckle, if the soil feels completely dry it’s a good time to water! Every couple of weeks is a good guide.
When watering, soak the soil completely until water runs through the drainage hole.
No drainage hole? There will be rocks at the bottom for drainage. Use your judgement to water you succulent arrangement but don’t overdo it.
If you accidentally flood your arrangement, carefully hold your succulents and tip out the extra water.
An under watered succulent will have shrivelled looking leaves whereas an overwatered succulent will have soft mushy leaves.
Lighting - Succulents love light! Place them right by a window or outside. If your succulents ‘stretch’ out they are not getting enough light.
How to care for Succulents (5 Tips)
While succulents may not require a lot of attention, they do need a few basics to keep them thriving:
Give enough sunlight. Succulents need enough light—at least six hours of full sun per day. If you’re maintaining outdoor succulents, this can be quite easy. However, if you have an indoor succulent, you’ll need to keep it sunned in a window. A plant leaning towards the light isn’t getting enough sun, but a plant whose leaves have burn spots are getting too much direct sunlight.
Water properly. The amount of water succulents require can change depending on the time of year. During their growing season, succulents should be watered every time their soil completely dries out—and avoid adding excess water—a succulent’s longevity increases when its roots have time to dry between waterings. Succulent plants become dormant in cold, winter months, so they need less water during that time. Overwatering succulent soil is one of the root causes of most growth issues, so be careful to only water your succulent as often as necessary.
Use the right pot and soil mix. Whether you’re bringing your succulent home from a nursery or growing your own, the right container and potting soil can make all the difference. For an outdoor succulent, your succulent pot should have a drainage hole. Good drainage lets moisture escape, letting the roots and soil dry to prevent rot. If you have an indoor succulent, you can use well-draining soil instead, which is coarser than regular soil, allowing more air to flow through and promoting evaporation rather than needing to be drained. Perlite and pumice can be added to certain potting mixes to improve aeration.
Don’t forget to fertilize. Even low maintenance desert plants benefit from the occasional fertilization. Use a diluted, water-soluble all purpose fertilizer a few times a year to give your succulents a boost. It’s not completely necessary, but if you see that your soil could use some aid, add a little fertilizer.
Inspect your plants. A succulent is more prone to pest threats inside than they are outside. Examine your plants regularly to make sure they’re free of gnats or mealy bugs—these insects are an indication that your plants are overwatered or overfertilized. Mealy bugs drink the juices from its host plant and can lay hundreds of eggs, damaging your plant over time. Spraying the leaves or soil of your succulent with rubbing alcohol is an effective way of destroying mealy bugs and their eggs.
REPOT YOUR SUCCULENT
WHEN TO REPOT
To start, you should know the right time to repot your succulents. Succulents are usually put in small and tight pots, they will eventually outgrow their pot and need a bigger pot to grow better. There’re a few signs that will let you know:
The roots are too tight, and sometimes they may stick out of the pot holes for more space.
Water does not soak through the whole pot or the soil drains too fast after watering (a few hours).
The plant looks unhealthy (given adequate lighting and water).
The plant topples over the pot.
SHOULD YOU REPOT YOUR SUCCULENT DURING DORMANCY?
The answer is no. Dormancy is the period when plant is alive but is not actively growing. Risking repotting them might disrupt their growing cycle and could do some harm to your succulents. Most succulents are either summer- or winter- dormant, hence make string and fall the perfect time for a little repotting. Repotting summer-dormant succulents in the fall and winter-dormant ones in the spring with give them time to get used to the new pot and soil before growth season.
Step 1: Remove the plant from the old pot.
If it is a large pot, use a stick to get it out easier. Be careful not to hurt the root system. If the root is small, you can turn the pot upside down to get it out.
Step 2: Clean and dry the root system.
After getting the succulent out of the old pot, you can tap the root to get the dirt off or you can choose to clean it with water. In some cases, the root may be too long, you may want to trim it a little bit. If you use water to clean the root, let it dry in cool places for 3 to 5 days (avoid direct sunlight and rain)
Step 3: Put the plant in a new pot.
Put the plant in a new pot with dry soil for a couple of days to let the plant recover before watering it. At this stage, you should not give it much water as the root system is still fragile.
Is your succulent unhappy? Let's get to the root of the issue.
😉 It's important to think about the work that goes on behind the scenes, or rather, under the soil! Remember, strong roots = sturdy succulents. Let's dig deeper into root care!
🌱 Pots: Since succulents are small, they do best in shallow pots that can cater to their shallow roots' needs. Succulent roots need to grow down into the soil in order to absorb essential minerals and allow the plant to get bigger.
💦 Water: Another important factor to maintaining healthy roots, is how you water your bb! When only the top of the soil is watered, roots will grow outwards, rather than down, which will cause roots to dry out and eventually die. The drench and dry method is the way to water, since your pot has a drainage hole to drain out the excess water (please tell us your pot has a drainage hole😰).
👶 Aerial Roots: Do you see little baby roots popping out of the sides of your succulent (swipe right)? Those pink or white roots are called aerial roots, and they appear when your succulent is attempting to absorb the moisture from the air. They do that for 2 reasons: 1) your plant wants more water, or 2) your plant is in a humid area and senses an opportunity to be self sufficient. Worried about removing the teeny tiny roots? Don't be! Simply pull gently, or cut them off.✂️ Root Pruning: If your succulent has stopped growing, root pruning could be a great fix! Keep in mind, you don't need to prune the roots for every succulent. Remove your succulent from its pot, brush away dirt, and look for dried up, brown roots. Cut those babies off and repot your succulent in a larger pot with fresh soil.
😪 Root Rot: Lastly, the infamous case of root rot! Not sure if that's your issue? Check for black, dark brown (you will know), and slimy/wet roots. This means you're overwatering! Re-pot that bb with fresh (dry) cactus soil and don't water for a bit! (Root care eassy from succulent studio)