We have touched on specific ways to care for certain types of succulents in Ultimate Guide to Succulents: Types of Succulents. Some care instructions depend on your zone or whether the plant is outdoors or in a container. General guidelines for succulent care are below.
How Often to Water
Most succulents don't need a lot of water. The general rule is to let the top half of the soil dry out before you water it again. In the summer, outdoor succulents generally need to be watered once a week. Water container plants 1 or 2 times a week.
You'll usually reduce irrigation in lower temperatures, even for indoor houseplants. However, different varieties of succulents require different amounts of water. Check with a local nursery or the company from which you bought the plant for specific watering instructions.
Succulents are best grown from offsets or propagated leaves. If your plant sends out "pups," you can remove those smaller "babies" and replant them.
You can also propagate the plants from leaves. Snap off a few of the lower leaves from the plant. To do this, hold the leaf close to the base. Wiggle and twist it until it separates from the stem. Choose healthy leaves, and propagate a few at a time. Not all of them will propagate. Leave the leaves in a cool, dry place for up to a week. The cut end should end up developing a hard callous that resembles a scab. Once that happens, you can begin to sprout new roots. Fill a shallow container with soil designed for potted succulents. Lay the leaves horizontally on top of the soil. The calloused end shouldn't touch the soil.
Leave the container in indirect sunlight. Spray the top of the soil with water every day. It should be damp, but not wet. Don't mist the soil if you live in a humid climate. In about a month, you'll see roots growing from the cut end of the leaf toward the soil. You can lightly cover the roots with soil to prevent them from drying out. A miniature version of the plant will begin to grow upward from the cut end of the leaf. When that small plant develops its own root system and the original leaf begins to noticeably deteriorate, remove the leaf from the new plant in the same manner that you removed it from the mother plant. Be careful not to disturb the new roots. Replant the new succulent in its own pot. Use a small pot at first, and make sure to use cactus or succulent soil.
Succulents grow best in soil that drains well. Some types prefer nutrient-dense soil, but most do well as long as the soil isn't too moist. Most garden stores sell soil that's designed for cacti and succulents. If you're growing succulents in containers, you can use a mix of equal parts sand, potting soil, and perlite. Outdoor succulents should be fed with a low-balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) in spring and late summer. Use about half the recommended ratio of fertilizer to water. Only fertilize when the soil is dry.
Nearly all succulents flourish with a lot of light. Your plants should get approximately six hours of direct sunlight every day. Depending on your planting zone and the plant type, you may need to shade your succulents during the hottest part of the day.
Indoor succulents should be placed near a window. However, they shouldn't get burned by direct sunlight. Succulents are relatively resilient when it comes to their sunlight needs. Less light may cause the colors to become dull. The plants may not bloom without sufficient UV light. However, they will survive in many lighting conditions.
Where to Buy Succulents
Once you start looking for succulents, you'll notice that they're sold in many different places. A local supplier may be able to provide you with succulents that are better for your area. Succulent plant groups can provide you with cuttings, succulent seeds or mature plants. Local botanical gardens may also sell succulents.
Many garden shops, from large chain stores to smaller local nurseries, carry succulents. However, it may be difficult to find rare or unusual species here. Succulents sold in garden shops are often already potted.
Some of the most beautiful, unique and vibrant succulents are difficult to find locally. Thank goodness for the internet. Many online vendors will ship these plants directly to you. You can choose the specific variety that you purchase. You can also often get a discount if you buy large sets of mixed varieties. Buying succulents in bulk online may be preferable if you're trying to fill up a vertical garden or a large space. The plants are often sold in plugs that you can replant in the final destination.
Succulents are not expensive. You can get plants for anywhere from $2 to $10 on average. The price is often determined by the size and rareness of the plant. You can get them even more affordably by trading with other growers, propagating the leaves or replanting offsets.
Succulents have become increasingly more popular due to their ease of maintenance and unique style. There is a wide range of succulents to choose from so you should not have any trouble finding one to match your garden or style. This succulent guide was put together to make sure you have all the information possible that you could need before you get started.
Read also: Ultimate Guide to Succulents: Types of Succulents
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus