How To Care For Succulents

May 27, 2019

Succulents cover a broad spectrum of plants that are grown for ornamental purposes in your home and garden. These are plants that have thick and fleshy leaves, roots or stems that are so because they are storing moisture. As these plants come from arid desert and tropical areas, this is an adaptation that has made it possible for them to survive under harsh conditions. Some popular houseplants that fall under the succulent category include Aloe, lithops, haworthias, kalanchoe, and euphorbia. They do require a different type of care and circumstance than foliage houseplants but are just as easy to maintain in the home environment. As they are related to cacti, similar types of conditions are required.

Sunlight – Keep your succulent plants in a well-lit room that has west or south-facing windows. If you are growing them in an outdoor garden, then be sure to choose a spot that receives no shade. Give them as much direct sunshine as possible. Many succulent enthusiasts place them directly on the windowsill if the size permits them to do so.

Soil – The type of soil that you provide for your succulent is very important. You can certainly purchase ready-made succulent dirt from the store, or you can mix your own special kind at home. The recipe is as follows: one part general purpose potting soil, one part peat moss and one part coarse sand. Just be sure you use a clean, fresh product that doesn’t contain any contaminants.

Pot – When you are choosing a pot for your succulent plant, pick a pot that has drainage holes in the bottom. This will ensure that any extra water you give to it will drain out and keep the roots from being waterlogged. If you allow the roots to be exposed to standing water, then the plant will be at risk for developing root rot, a condition that will destroy the entire plant. Use a dish under the plant to catch the extra water and then dispose of the excess moisture 10 minutes after you do water the plant.

Water – Succulent plants do store water, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to provide fresh water to them on a regular basis. The key to knowing how much they need is in observing them periodically. Allow the soil to dry out completely for a few days before you provide any more. Pour water over the soil and soak it thoroughly until the water is draining from the bottom of the pot. In other words, don’t water too shallowly and be sure that all of the roots are provided with moisture. As stated earlier, throw out the extra water that drains out. When the plant is dormant in the winter months, you can water it less frequently. Do this by gradually increasing the amount of water starting in March and decreasing in October.

Food – You can use an all-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer once per month during the growing season, from spring to fall, and discontinue feeding your succulents during the winter.

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