Beginner’s Guide to Growing and Caring for Succulents
Succulents are all the rage in the gardening world and for good reason! They come in very unique forms, colours and leaf textures.
Best of all they require little supervision and care. They can be grown outdoors in summer and indoors in winter. Their use in dish gardens has become very popular and can be used as hanging plants and on their own in decorative pots. The display possibilities are endless!
To ensure continued success with growing your first succulent purchases here are a few tips on their growing requirements and care.
Light – An east, south or west windowsill is preferable. Be aware that our hot summer sun may scorch leaves, causing them to turn white or brown. Too little light causes the plant to stretch.
Soil – All succulents need a soil that drains quickly and does not hold water. Always choose pots with drainage holes and use a soil that is specifically designed for cacti and succulents. Use a soil surface cover of gravel or small stones to keep the plant leaves off the soil.
Watering – Succulents naturally store water in their roots, stems and leaves. While it is true that they can survive long periods of drought, it is also true that they do need regular watering in summer. After watering your succulents, dump out any standing water left over in the pot trays. Let the soil thoroughly dry between waterings. Signs of overwatering are soft, mushy or discolored leaves and stems. An underwatered plant will stop growing, the leaves will pucker and then drop off. Water in winter about once every two months.
Fertilizer – Fertilize succulents in spring and summer only. Use an all-purpose cacti/succulent fertilizer about once every two months from April to August.
During the growing season do not worry if a few of the lower older leaves shrivel and die. This is entirely normal as all plants do this. If the NEW leaves shrivel and die, this is cause for concern.
A final word of warning. Collecting succulents can be addictive! There are over 10,000 succulent varieties that you can grow and new varieties come out on the market every year. Tell us about your favorite succulent(s) on our Facebook page!