Succulents are invaluable plants because they are beautiful and nearly indestructible. They are water-retaining and adapted to arid climates and soil conditions. High temperatures and low precipitation have forced these plants to store water in their leaves, stems, and roots. This adaptive mechanism has resulted in an incredible variety of different leaf forms and plant shapes.
Some of the best-known succulents are cacti, a unique subgroup that has evolved into many different species. The succulents also include some well-known plants such as Aloe and Agave. No matter which succulent you are growing, however, their requirements are very similar.
Size and Placement
Place the largest, most dramatic succulents first and the smaller ones around them. Remember, many succulents can not be cut to a lower height after they have grown. When placing plants, think about how tall the plant will get in the location.
Why are some succulents smaller and more expensive than the larger succulents?
The smaller succulents generally grow slower than the faster-growing plants; thus, they are often older.
Succulents can handle the cold as well as heat. Just like the desert, which can have cold nights, a succulent can live in temperatures down to even 40 °F (5 °C).
Succulents prefer light, such as in the open garden or a south-facing window. Some species will scorch if exposed to direct sunlight, and the leaves will change to a brown or white as the tissues are destroyed. Watch the leaves as an indication of if the sun exposure is correct. A succulent without enough light, however, will begin to stretch with an elongated stem. If this happens, provide better light and prune your succulent back to its original shape.
Most succulents will need more water in the summer and during establishment. Water generously but allow the soil to dry in-between watering. This is why good drainage is important. In winter, they will go dormant, so water them every other month. If you overwater, you could cause plant rot. The succulent may look healthy at first during overwatering but eventually will die as the rot has begun in the roots and is not showing above ground yet.
Overwatered succulents will look discolored and soft, yellow or white with loss of color. Remove it from the pot and look for rotted roots. Rotted roots should be cut off, and replant your succulent in a drier area.
Underwatered succulents will stop growing and shed leaves or generate brown spots on their leaves.
Potting Soils Mix
Your succulents should be planted in soil that provides for good drainage. Succulents will benefit from an inorganic agent like perlite, which will help aeration and drainage.
Fertilize during the summer growing season but stop entirely during the winter.