How to Care for Your Succulents and Keep Them Alive

So you just received something from our succulents Melbourne delivery service and are looking for general advice. Or you are about to order and you are afraid you won’t be able to maintain the plants at their best. Don’t be!

Smiley face ceramic succulents pot - $59

Smiley Face Ceramic Succulents Pot – $59

Here are some easy steps to be sure your plants will be healthy and happy next to you.

Succulents are plants that have evolved and adapted to the natural environment. In some parts of the world, the rainfall is seasonal and the plants growing there have to adapt to their water needs by storing it within their tissues. Succulents have achieved this, although as always there are exceptions to the rule. You will find the Agaves and Yuccas under the succulent label but they differ because their leaves do not appear to store water but they are considered drought resistant plants.

SUCCULENTS WILL GROW INSIDE OR OUTSIDE

Many succulent plants grow inside, but they are equally happy in a warm spot in the garden or a rockery. The flowers of succulents tend to be unexceptional, as they are grown more for their interesting foliage and ability to stand more abuse than some of the demanding houseplants. In their natural surroundings, these plants grow in a sunny environment so to grow them well inside, a well-lit, sunny spot is required. Turn these plants each day or as often you can in the week so that each side of the plant gets a dose of sun. This prevents the plant from growing in one direction and becoming disfigured.

The succulents are heat-loving plants and are happy in our living conditions, but do enjoy cooler conditions in winter. This replicates the climate from which they originate. Take houseplants outside during the year on the warm days. Leave tender plants with fragile leaves inside if rain is imminent because of the likely hood of rain damage. Translucent covers whether plastic or glass give protection from the rain if you wish to leave them outside.

These plants with their natural water storing abilities are what make them easy to look after but again consider their natural habitat. The growing period is during the wet season, after the rain, however, they rest and receive little water but they do get some. So water your plants with this in mind. Adequate watering in the growing season but limiting the water in the rest period, enough to stop the pot from drying out but not so much to rot the roots! Water the plants that have fragile leaves from the base tray; leave the pot long enough for the water to reach the top of the potting mix. Don’t have the time to do this, then get a watering pot with a narrow spout and water from the top. This avoids water splashing and damaging the delicate leaves.

Most of the succulents will only need repotting once a year into a larger pot, some I find can happily be left for 2-3 years. The optimum time is generally when the plant is coming into the active growth season. If you plan to use ordinary potting mix, do add some coarse sand or perlite. Suggested proportions are two parts potting mix to one part sandy mixture.

The Crassulas and Echeverias almost plead to be multiplied! The leaves break off very easily, and it is just a case of planting the broken piece in another pot! If you want to move these plants, it may pay to leave them to dry out a little so they are softer and easier to move. Succulents also multiply from leaves, cutting off the leaf with a sharp knife and left to dry. Plant on an angle in a pot, the angle is where the new plant will appear.

SUCCULENTS GENERAL CARE

Caring for this plant properly is important. Fortunately, the succulents are quite sturdy, so it will put up with a certain amount of neglect without your losing the plant. They do need water, but not as much as many other types of plants. It is important not to over water your succulents. When you over water your succulent, you make them vulnerable to plant rot. Let your plant dry completely between watering.

Please remember: most plants need to be watered continuously – this is not so for the succulents. Let them dry completely before watering them once more.

SUCCULENTS – FOOD, LIGHT AND TEMPERATURE

Succulents do not like being in colder temperatures. Protect these plants from frost, which will kill them.

Light
Succulents also do very well when you turn their pots in the sun on a regular basis. Succulents need a lot of sunlight. They prefer indirect light to the direct, so provide them with bright, filtered, indirect light by either keeping them indoors and near the window or if you grow them outdoors, grow them under the shade of trees, just like in the wild. It always seems as if one side of the pot gets more light than another. It is best if you can try to turn the plant pots on a regular basis to make sure they get enough sunlight on all sides. Try doing this on a daily basis so it is less noticeable and the plant is most comfortable.

Fertilizer
Fertilize these plants every 6-8 weeks, do not over feed, as the plant may become top heavy with lush weak growth. Some of the plants do not need feeding. You can use your own judgment as to their requirements. Too much fertilizer can be worse than none at all. From experience, I recommend using a low nitrogen fertilizer at about to ¼ the recommended rate. Succulents perform equally well without any fertilizing if light, water and temperature conditions are good for them. Using organic fertilizer is always an ideal choice when compared to synthetic ones.

The soil for succulents needs to be lightened to help provide good drainage. You can lighten the soil by using either Perlite, sand or any other soil amendment you can find at your local plant store.

This plant looks beautiful and unique in any home. It can make a beautiful window garden as you fill the area next to your window with tiny succulents. Larger succulents are most comfortable in pots on the floor in other locations where they can be sure to get enough sun. Your experience growing succulents will largely be determined by the sunlight in your home and the sunny and dry climate in your area if you are growing them outdoors.