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Succulents, with their unique capacity to store water in their leaves and stems, can survive in high temperatures and low rainfall. Mainly considered desert plants, succulents are also found in coastal locales. These plants have recently gained popularity due to low maintenance and affordable price and have found their place as tabletop plants in offices, home gardens, and interiors. Even though succulents can thrive in harsh conditions and with less care, to grow them successfully and keep them enhancing the beauty of your indoors, you will have to give them similar conditions as their native habitat.
Different types of succulents include Cactaceae, Aloe, Agave, and Echeveria. Not all grow well indoors, so choosing the right plant is important. Powershopr houses stores like Target, and 1-800-Florals, from where you can buy different types of succulents. Once you have bought your choice of plant, it is time to take care of it so that it keeps thriving for a long time. Read on to find out the tips to keep your succulents healthy.
Whether your succulent is homegrown or nursery grown, the right container and soil will keep them alive and thriving. For an outdoor succulent, a pot with a drainage hole allows moisture to escape, thus keeping the roots and soil dry. This prevents the rotting of the succulents. For an indoor succulent well-draining soil that is coarser can be used. This allows airflow and evaporation.
In nurseries, succulents are sold in potting soil, which is not good for the long term or for growing indoors. The best soil is a coarse draining mix. As soil varies from region to region, the soil type needed will also vary, but the best is 1/3rd garden soil, 1/3rd compost, and 1/3rd pumice. Pumice is harvested from volcanic rock and thus can absorb excess moisture and enhance airflow. If your succulents are primarily desert ones, they require less compost so add large-grained sand. For succulents in containers, mix potting soil with pumice in a half-half ratio, increase the amount of pumice for cacti and euphorbias, and decrease it for fine-leaved ones like sedums. Avoid putting fertilizer if your succulents are new. Fertilize them after a year, once or twice in fall and spring.
Low-maintenance succulents also need adequate sunlight for growth. Most of them prefer half a day of the sun, so place them near an east or south-facing window for indoor ones. If you see your succulents leaning rather than growing upright, it’s most likely that they need more sun. The amount of light required will depend on the variety of succulents and the climate. Generally, in hotter and dry climates, succulents prefer more shade and more sunlight in cooler temperatures.
Depending on the season, the water required by succulents will vary. In the growing season, succulents need to be watered whenever the soil completely dries out. If the soil does not dry out between waterings, the roots will rot as the soil is soggy. Stick your finger into the pot to see if the soil is moist underneath. If it’s damp, don’t water it; wait for it to dry out completely. On the other hand, if you see the leaves have started to wrinkle and are getting brown, then your succulents are dehydrated and need to be watered.
The common mistake most people make is overwatering the succulents. You can check the leaves for if they have turned little yellow and look translucent, then you must cut the leaves and let the soil dry completely. If you see dark spots on the leaves or stems, then it’s a goner.
How do you understand that your succulents are dehydrated? Once the leaves have started to wrinkle, or the soil has developed cracks, you have not watered the succulents properly. In such conditions, submerge the container in a water bowl until the soil is wet for at least 30 minutes. Then remove and let the soil dry out before watering it again.
Succulents are prone to pest threats, so check your plants to see that they are free from bugs and gnats. Spray rubbing alcohol diluted with water or treat with horticultural soap and oil.
You have to keep in mind that succulents grow well when the soil is wet and completely dry before watering it again. You must water the soil, not the succulent itself. Follow the above tips to keep your succulents thriving.