About a month ago, I bought and planted some succulents. I love the different shapes they come in, and I was determined to keep them alive. I researched how to transplant succulents for a long time before I took them out of their pots. I can safely say they are still green and healthy!
I rounded up the tips that I learned in one place for anyone else to learn from, but also so I don't forget them next time I get some desert plants.
Buy Few, Plant Many
I was standing in the nursery with 7-10 different kinds of succulents scattered around my feet. That's when my husband put the kabosh on my plan to GET THEM ALL and said I should choose four. Although that was the hardest decision to make, I was once again reminded that I am married to a wise man.
Four pots of succulents from the nursery quadrupled as soon as I started planting them! I wanted to give them enough space, so each plant got its pot, and before I knew it, I had way too many succulents on my hands.
During my research, I found out that the different colors of cacti aren't just pretty to look at. They have a purpose! If you are going to be keeping your plants indoors, make sure you only buy green cacti. The beautiful purple, orange and yellow colors will die if they don't get enough heat and sun. Since I like to live with my air conditioner on during the summer, only green succulents would survive.
The rose-shaped succulents often come with tiny buds growing at their base. These sweet little babies are easy to pull off and will survive if you stick their orange stems into some dirt. Guess what? Free succulents! I have actually seen tutorials where you can do this with almost dead leaves from succulents, but I haven't tried it yet. With any luck, I won't ever have to buy succulents again. I will just start my own miniature farm on my windowsill.
Break Up Roots
Some of the succulents that I pulled out of their pots from the store had thick roots that were dying to break free of their walls. Although this isn't just a tip for succulents, any time you are transplanting something, be sure to break the roots out of their shape and spread them out a little before introducing them to their new pot. This helps them grow into the bigger pot.
Mix Dirt and Sand
I didn't read this tip until after my planting job was over, but I am going to go back and mix in 1/3 sand to my Miracle-Gro soil. Succulents are desert plants, and the sand mixture helps with drainage to prevent rotting.
You read that right. As soon as your new plants are potted, you are going to be tempted to fill up a watering can and finish the job. Instead, wait a week before their first watering in their new pots. This will give them some time to adjust to the new soil. Then water them about twice a month. Mine are durable, so even if I forget a month or two, they happily bounce back when I remember.
Your green succulents will be happy in your home as long as they get enough sun. Don't keep them in the closet. Put them on a windowsill or a table where they can drink in lots of natural light even when the sun isn't directly over their pots.
- Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus