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Succulent

How to Care for the Succulent

Overview

Succulents are a fan-favorite in the plant world these days. This is because succulents are very low-maintenance and come in a wide array of colors, shapes, textures, and sizes. Because of the diversity, succulents make for great accent pieces and allow for many creative projects, like succulent gardens, arrangements, and even living walls.

Succulents are native to every continent on Earth other than Antarctica, but are most commonly associated with desserts due to their drought-resistance and sun-loving needs. It is good to remember that succulents thrive on neglect—too much attention will surely kill them. Succulent leaves are supposed to look plump and firm to the touch, filled with stored water.

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Profile

While all cacti are succulents, not all succulents are cacti. Succulents also come in trailing varieties, rosette shapes, and even tree-like growth patterns. Many succulents’ sap is poisonous and/or irritates the skin, but not all. It is recommended to have done your own research on what specific kind of succulent you have and how it prefers to live so that it thrives and grows under your care.

Some succulents, but not all, will produce beautiful blooms with enough sunlight and proper care. Generally, most succulents are slow growers, but can benefit from fertilization during their growing season to help budge new growth along.

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Low light

Remember that succulents are desert plants, and deserts don’t get a lot of rainfall. Most succulents have thick, meaty leaves in order to retain water. Too much water will cause rot. Only water when the soil is 100% dry, and then some. Then, you can thoroughly water your succulent until the water starts coming out the drainage hole. An important reminder to remember is that succulents don’t like their leaves getting wet, as they will get mushy and soft.

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Occasional

You’ll have to check the soil for moisture rather than keeping them on a watering schedule; soil moisture can change depending on the type of pot it is in (terracotta, ceramic, plastic, etc.), how big the pot is, and what time of the year it is. For example, you might only have to water your succulent once every two months in the winter, but the soil dries up much faster in summer heat and sun.

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Easy breezy

Keeping in mind that succulents are often desert plants, succulents will take as much sun as you can possibly give them. This is why succulents can live outdoors during the summer, either in a pot or the ground if it is warm enough.. When indoors, succulents would love to live on a very bright window sill, or under an artificial light designed to give full-sun plants more light. If it is not getting enough sun, your succulent will become etoliated and leggy, meaning it will reach for the light while growing, creating a plant that is more stem than foliage. Once this happens, it won’t go back to its smaller, compacted size, unless sriously pruned back.

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Pet Friendly

Giving emphasis to what we have said earlier, we'd like to give you the important tip that succulents abide by the rule of "less is more." Ignore them more often, and they will thank you for it!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

on Succulent

How to repot a succulent?

Succulents can be fragile, so repotting needs to be handled with care. Clean off all the dirt from around the root system—get as much off as you can—before transferring into new soil. An old paintbrush works well for this, but you can just use your hands, too. Succulents like well-draining soil with rockier substrates, like pumice or sand.

Make sure the pot you are repotting your plant in has a drainage hole for water. If it doesn’t, it’s best to repot into a plastic nursery pot and place it in another fun, decorative pot. This allows the non-draining pot to be used as a water catcher, which needs to be dumped of standing water after every water.

Depending on the type of succulent, you might lose a few leaves during the transfer, but this is normal. If your succulent is healthy, it will fill back out.

How do you propagate succulents?

It is very easy to propagate succulents. Succulents reproduce mainly from propagated leaves, as a single leaf has the ability to create an entirely new plant. Succulent seeds are hard to come by and even harder to grow, so most succulents you see were most likely grown from a propagated leaf.

If a healthy leaf drops or gets knocked off, you can lay it gently on top of some soil and ignore it. Within weeks, the leaf will start to root and, eventually, you will see a tiny plant at the base of the leaf. Let the big leaf completely dry up and shrivel away before picking it off; all the water the new plant needs is coming from that parent leaf.

You can also water propagate succulent leaves. Grab a clear jar or glass and fill it halfway with some water. Then, secure some cling wrap over the opening of the jar, making sure it’s pulled taut. Poke holes in the cling wrap that would be big enough for a succulent leaf to fit in, but not big enough for it to fall through. The end of the leaf should be closest to the water when you stick the leaf in. Put this jar in a sunny spot and ignore it. Eventually, it will grow roots and a new plant. The water in the jar makes the roots reach for it as well as creates humidity.

Keep in mind that propagation is never 100% guaranteed. Some leaves won’t make it, but some will. This is normal. Keep trying and eventually, you will succeed in propagating new succulents!

Why is my succulent turning yellow, translucent, and/or mushy?

These are all signs of overwatering. The bottom leaves will show these signs first, as they are closer to the root system. There is a very good chance these leaves will fall off. If you gently squeeze a succulent leaf that looks like this, excess water will easily sponge out of it.

Though you can hope that the soil dries out and only affects a few leaves, the best course of action to ensure the life of your succulent if overwatered is to repot it with drier soil and allow for that soil to fully dry out before watering again. Succulents prefer to go long times in between waterings and dry out 100% of teh way and then some.

If root rot has already set in, you might need to trim off the rotten roots, or even cut off the healthy top of the succulent and allow it to reroot. If you can’t salvage the whole plant, you can take the healthy leaves off and propagate them.

Why are my succulent’s leaves wrinkled?

Wrinkled succulent leaves are caused by the elusive underwatering. This will usually happen after a long, long period of no water. Your succulent has been drinking the stored water in the leaves, and now that that’s depleting, it needs some more water! Double-check your soil to confirm the dryness, then give it a big drink. Don’t let your succulent sit in the excess water, though!