How To Maintain Succulent Plants

Depending on the type, succulents need six hours of sunlight each day because they are light-loving plants. You might need to gradually expose newly planted succulents to full sun exposure or give shade with a translucent screen because they can burn in direct sunshine.

How often should a succulent be watered?

During the months that are not winter, when the temperature is above 40 degrees, you should water your succulents every other week. You should only water your succulent once a month in the winter (when the temperature falls below 40 degrees), as it goes dormant at this period.

A few situations constitute an exception to this rule. Because their tiny leaves can’t hold as much water as other varieties with larger leaves, some varieties of succulents need to be watered more frequently. In the non-winter months, feel free to give these small leaf succulents a water if they appear to be thirsty. When they are thirsty, succulents generally exhibit a wrinkled appearance. But always keep in mind that being underwater is preferable to being overwater.

Can you keep succulents inside?

Consider succulents if you desire for indoor greenery but have had trouble growing houseplants. They make pleasant house visitors and can easily endure interior circumstances.

They have unique characteristics that help them thrive in dry indoor conditions.

expanded roots, thick stems, or fleshy leaves that enable plants to store water. Cacti, which are a kind of succulent, are well known to the majority of people. But a variety of other plants grown primarily for their eye-catching foliage also belong to the succulent family.

Succulents have remarkable textures and strong, angular leaf shapes that make them become living sculptures for interior spaces. They are excellent indoor plants since they can thrive in dry environments. Many houseplants do not thrive because dwellings, especially in the winter, provide their inhabitants with dry interior air. A houseplant’s enemy is low relative humidity. However, because they can store water, succulents can withstand dry air without suffering unpleasant consequences.

Learn how to take care of succulents inside and how to grow these low-maintenance plants.

Do succulents require direct sunshine to thrive?

Succulents generally require at least 4-6 hours of sunshine each day to thrive. They enjoy being in places that are sunny and bright. Lack of sunshine will cause difficulties in succulents such elongation or etiolation, when the plants extend for more light. Weak stems and low growth are the results of this procedure. Lack of light causes succulents to lose their bright coloring and turn pale or back to a drab green tone. Plants that receive enough sunshine will display their whole spectrum of brilliant hues, showing their genuine beauty.

Can you grow succulents outside?

Succulents are drought-tolerant plants because they can retain water in their large, irregularly shaped leaves. Succulents have a broad variety of eye-catching shapes and textures, which provide any landscape aesthetic interest. Can succulents live outside? is an often asked question. The quick response is “yes”! Growing succulents outdoors is an excellent alternative because they do well there and can withstand some neglect. They also do well in sunny areas with warm, dry weather.

Succulents can be grown in the ground, in pots, or hidden in unexpected planting locations. Take the uncertainty out of caring for these wonderful conversation pieces with stunning foliage by reading our suggestions for growing succulents outside.

If my succulent lacks water, how can I tell?

Succulents are better off dry than wet, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore the need to water them. In fact, the plant needs water to survive, and much like people, it will exhibit dehydration symptoms. Your succulent clearly needs extra water if its leaves are wrinkled and shriveled.

The cells attempt to bring in more water to make up for the water that has been lost as they release their stored moisture to the rest of the plant. The cells shrink as they run out of water and the plant is forced to rely on its limited reserves, which causes the once-firm and full leaves to collapse and shrivel.

What is the ideal location for succulents?

Succulents thrive in hot, arid conditions and don’t mind a little neglect due to their unique capacity to store water. They are therefore ideally suited to growing indoors and are the perfect choice for anyone looking for low-maintenance houseplants. Follow these instructions for successful plant care if you’re choosing succulents for the first time.

Select a succulent that will thrive in your indoor environment.

The majority of succulents need direct sunshine, however if your home only has a shady area, choose low light-tolerant plants like mother-in-tongue. law’s A trailing variety, like string of bananas, is an excellent option if you intend to grow your succulent in a hanging planter. To learn about your succulents’ requirements for sunlight, size, and spread, always read the plant labels.

Give the plants a good draining potting material.

You should repot your succulent as soon as you get it home since nurseries always plant their succulents in soil that is overly rich and holds too much moisture. A coarse potting mix with sufficient drainage and aeration is a good place to start. You can use an African violet mix or unique cactus and succulent mixtures that you can purchase at the nursery. Add perlite or pumice to the cactus or African violet mix (up to 50% of the total potting mix, depending on your particular succulent’s moisture requirements) to further increase drainage and prevent compaction. To make sure the mixture is moist throughout, always moisten it before using.

Decide on a container.

When repotting, use a container that is at least 1 to 2 inches bigger than the nursery container and has a drainage hole. Avoid using glass containers (such mason jars or terrariums) for long-term potting since they prevent roots from breathing and over time may result in root rot. Place your plant inside the container and backfill with extra pre-moistened potting mix after filling the bottom one-third of the container with pre-moistened potting mix.

Put the succulent plant in a pot somewhere sunny.

Try to arrange your succulents close to a south or east-facing window because most succulents need at least six hours of sun each day. Insufficient sunlight may cause your succulents to become spindly or to extend toward the light.

Between waterings, allow the potting mix to dry out.

Overwatering succulents is the most common error people make with them. Watering more deeply but less frequently is preferable. Before the next watering, completely saturate the potting mix (while making sure the water drains out of the drainage hole properly). The plant can finally perish if the potting soil is left moist every day.

Succulents should be fertilized at least once a year.

Fertilizer works best for plants in the spring (when the days lengthen and new growth starts) and again in the late summer. Use a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer (such as 8-8-8 or 10-10-10) that has been diluted to half the strength indicated on the container. Since succulents are semi-dormant in the winter, there is no need to nourish them. Because they are not actively growing, they do not require the nutrient boost.

Why are my cacti dying?

Overwatering and poorly draining soils are the main causes of succulent deaths. Succulents need the soil to dry out between waterings because they are drought-tolerant plants. Succulents get root rot in wet soil, which turns their leaves brown, black, or yellow and gives them a withering appearance.

While overwatering is the most frequent cause of dying succulents, there are several other potential causes as well:

Succulent plants typically die back when they are kept in environments that are drastically different from their native habitat.

Replicating some of the minimal rainfall, full or partial sun exposure, and stony, well-draining soil conditions will help revive dying succulents.

Are succulents able to endure shade?

Your aim is to provide as much sun as they can bear without burning because light improves the development, form, color, and blossoms of succulents (and other plants, for that matter).

Below in my gallery of outdoor shade succulents, I’ve ID’d each one along with how much shade it wants, abbreviated PS, BS or FS.

Adapt my three shade options to your specific region. Closer to the water and farther from the desert, succulents can withstand more solar exposure. These are primarily for Zone 9b (inland Southern California), where I have planted a variety of succulents for shade for the past 25 years.

Part shade (PS)

This is sometimes referred to as semi-shade and consists of bright shade for the majority of the day and full sun for a few hours in the early morning or late afternoon. “Dappled light” or “dappled sun” that glimmers through a canopy of leaves can also be considered part shade.

Bright shade (BS)

This is side-facing indirect light that reaches plants when they are placed beneath eaves, shelves, tables, or trees. Bright shade, often known as “filtered light,” is common in greenhouses, nurseries, lath houses, shade structures, as well as under patio umbrellas and sun sails.

Full shade (FS)

If any sunlight reaches plants in full darkness (also known as “deep shade”), it is weak and fleeting. Some succulents, like sansevierias, can survive in complete darkness, but for the most part, they require some sun to grow and look their best.

Are succulents simple to care for?

It’s simple to get succulents to grow and thrive inside your home, regardless of the temperature where you reside. As long as they have sunlight and healthy soil, they may be kept just about anywhere else, however you should avoid placing them close to vents, gadgets, and dim areas.

If it rains, can succulents stay outside?

Your succulents won’t actually be harmed by a little rain. In fact, it will aid in clearing the plant’s soil of any dirt and contaminants while also providing the necessary nitrogen to the succulents. On the other side, you should be concerned if the rain falls too frequently and heavily. Therefore, if you reside in a region where it frequently and strongly rains, remember to protect your succulent plants outside or, even better, move them within for safety, especially if;

  • There are no drainage holes in your pots. If necessary, you can drill one yourself.
  • Your succulents are placed in a metal or wooden container or planter. Remember that metal can rust both when it’s wet and when it’s dry. If this rust gets into the soil where your succulents are growing, it could damage the roots. On the other side, wood containers might decay, which will cause fungus and bacterial growth.
  • The succulents are placed in a pot with a subpar or inappropriate soil mixture. Moving potted succulents indoors is the best option because they don’t have as much room for their roots to expand and acquire the nutrients they require during the rainy season as in-ground succulents do.
  • Unless you have planned your outside garden with a great slope of well-draining soil, you live in a region where you get more than 25 to 30 inches of rainfall per year.

The rain assists in cleaning the plant’s soil of all the dirt and contaminants while also providing the necessary nitrogen for the succulents.

Which fertilizer is ideal for succulents?

Succulents grow lush and beautiful with a modest feeding of manure tea, diluted fish emulsion, or a balanced fertilizer (15-15-15). Liquid fertilizers that are concentrated should be diluted. Roots could be harmed if this is not done.

Use one Moo Poo tea bag per three gallons of water, steeped overnight, for succulents growing in containers. Pour until it runs out the bottom starting at the plant’s base. Alternately, apply half-diluted fish emulsion.

Although in-ground succulents don’t technically require fertilization, you can encourage lush spring growth by applying Ironite per the instructions on the package, ideally before a winter storm. Apply a balanced granular fertilizer in the spring (if you like to; it is not required).

Succulents can survive without water for how long?

In general, succulents that are grown indoors or outdoors during the cooler months will need less water. They can go without water for one to three months.

Indoor succulents will be less exposed to the weather outside because the soil dries out more quickly outside than it does indoors due to the wind and sunlight.

The soil remains moist for extended periods of time in milder climes, typically fall and winter.

To avoid overwatering indoor plants during the cooler months, read more about our toothpick test here.

To avoid root rot, it’s crucial to examine the soil before watering indoor succulent plants and to make sure it is completely dry between waterings.