Do you have a green thumb? If not, HAVE NO FEAR! Succulents are an easy plant to care for and are becoming more popular to decorate spaces throughout your home or office space. Our goal is to help you avoid a succulent becoming an eye-sore in your home because you do not know how to properly care for it. Here are helpful tips to ensure healthy growth!
Sunlight: There is a very tricky line when you first receive your succulents in regards to how much sun the plants should receive. All Shop Succulents plants are greenhouse grown which means they need to acclimated to sun gradually once you receive them especially in the hot months. When you first receive them keep them in soft sun or indirect light only and slowly introduce them to direct sunlight. Not being careful with proper sun introduction can cause the plants to sunburn. Burn will either kill the leaves or cause them to look unsightly. Imagine yourself being in a dark room for a while and then stepping out into harsh, direct sunlight. This can hurt your eyes until your eyes adjust. The same holds true with succulents and cacti. This is where it can get tricky. It will probably take some testing on your part to figure out the optimum solution for your plants in regards to where you live. You will know your plants are not getting enough light when they start to grow and stretch out. This is called getting ‘leggy’. A succulent does this when it is not receiving enough light and is stretching toward the light to receive more. Indirect light for the first few days is ideal. The next step is typically giving them direct morning light only. Morning light tends to be softer. This is a great way to ensure your plants are getting the light they need in a timely fashion but not over doing it. Continue in this manner to ensure your plants receive excellent light but do not burn.
Water: The most important part of succulent care is when and how to water. Only water the plants when the soil is completely dry. If the soil has any moisture, do not water them at all. If it takes three weeks for the soil to dry out then water in three weeks, if it takes three days then water in three days. This is the most important part of proper succulent care. When you water your plants be sure they are being watered in the evening or late afternoon. Succulents best absorb water and nutrients from the soil during their rest period (which is in the evening). Also, water acts as a magnifier and will certainly help burn your plants in the hot months if they are watered in the morning or during the day. Succulents need excellent drainage. If a succulent is being potted in a container with no drainage it is important to know they should be watered sparingly. Anything more will kill the plant. Over-watering succulents is the easiest way to kill succulents. It is also important to address under-watering. An under-watered succulent will show signs of stress with drooping or withered leaves. The leaves can also start to develop brown spots. A good watering will perk the leaves right up. Be sure to never mist your succulents. Misting Succulents or Cacti will cause rot and/or fungal diseases. Misting succulents will kill the plant. Succulent plants need to be watered thoroughly when the soil is dry so that the water reaches the entire root system; then they need to dry out.
Temperature: Succulents are very tough plants but they are not indestructible. A good rule of thumb is to not allow your plants to be in temperatures below 40 degrees without protection. Succulents truly thrive between 50 degrees and 85 degrees. It is ok if the temperature gets above this mark, you will just need to take extra precaution to ensure your plants do not burn. You will want to keep your plants out of direct afternoon sun if the temperatures are rising above 85 degrees. If the temperature is dropping below 40 you will want to keep them indoors/greenhouse to ensure they do not freeze.
How do I replant my succulents? Potting up or re-planting succulents is incredibly easy. Succulents boast many species and grow in a variety of ways. Often times the plant is easy to remove from it’s original pot, where essentially the entire plant and soil base are easily removed from the cup. These are pretty self explanatory to replant. It can be mentioned here, that if the container is fairly shallow and needs less then the entire soil base, you can simply grab the soil and break off up to half of the soil base and roots without putting the plant in shock. Some species (like sedums and crassulas) have a tendancy to come apart when removing them from their pot. These species tend to grow for coverage and offer that ‘spilling’ or ‘trailing’ effect. As they may not be spilling or trailing in the 2″ pot they will be once repotted and allowed a little space to grow. To manage these plants you will want to squeeze the sides of the pot to loosen the soil a bit. Put your hand over the whole top of the plant while turning the cup upside down. This will start to remove the plant from the container. Use your other hand to grab around the soil just under the plant itself. This will keep the plant and roots together for replanting. You will want to create the depression in the soil with your other hand while not taking your hand off the soil around the plant. You can then place the plant and soil in the space created and gently compress the soil around the plant to be sure it does not come apart. Finally, some succulents will have multiple plugs in each pot. These succulents often look like individual sticks. If the plant is easily removed by itself with little soil and or roots attached do not be alarmed. Many species have delicate or shallow root systems. It is ok to remove just the plant and plant it wherever you like. The plant (with proper care) will take root and continue to grow. Many succulents are grown from cuttings off of mother plants. This simply means a cutting is taken from the mother plant (given a day or two to dry) and replanted in soil. These plants start without roots but easily begin to take root and grow.
Helpful Tips: The chalky substance found on most succulent leaves is a protective substance that helps protect the plant from pests, disease, and sunburn. Do not intentionally rub off this film. It is best to handle the plant at it’s base to avoid removing this chalky substance from it’s leaves.
We hope your succulents live long and prosperous. Enjoy!