If you're looking to decorate your home or office with gorgeous yet low maintenance plants, succulents may be the best choice for you. Their resilient nature often makes them the best choice for people just beginning to tap into their green thumb or those who have little time to tend to their plants. While it's true that succulents require less watering, unless you are prepared to learn how to take care of these types of plants properly, you could wind up accidentally killing them. So let's dig into the basics to jump start your future horticulture hobby.
Watering is arguably the most important aspect to focus on when growing succulents because it is one of the fastest ways to accidentally kill them.
Succulents are prone to root rot, which is caused by damp roots. For this reason, succulents' soil should only be soaked temporarily when you water them, and watering is only necessary when the soil is completely dry. This is important to note because other plants tend to require water more often and sometimes even require their soil to be moist constantly. Mixing up the requirements could kill your succulents.
Succulents need a lot of sunlight each day, with the minimum recommendation being three hours of direct sunlight.
When indoors, find the window with the most sunlight and put your succulents there in order to promote healthy growth. The key is to keep these plants out of the shade, whether they're inside or outside, unless you are in an extremely hot climate. Succulents in harsher, hotter conditions benefit from shade during peak sun hours, which can be counterintuitive because of the stereotypes developed by the portrayal of cacti (most of which are succulents) in Western films you may have seen. Succulents are actually very durable and are able to survive in a variety of temperatures due to their resilient nature. They can survive in temperatures as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) overnight!
The ability of succulents to keep hydrated is one trait most professional athletes should revere. This means that they prefer soil that drains easily. When planting succulents outside, make sure you plant them in areas where the ground doesn't tend to stay moist or hold water, as this type of location could drown your succulents and cause root rot. If you're planning on keeping your plants in pots, ensure that there are plenty of drainage holes in the bottom of the pots before adding soil, especially if you choose to keep the plants inside. This will help prevent overwatering.
As with all gardening, watching your plants and noticing changes, like drooping leaves, can help you understand what each plant needs. Every plant is different, and despite general guidelines for care, they require individual attention to make sure they grow into healthy, flourishing succulents.
- Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
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