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.
Do succulents grow better in the ground or in pots?
All cacti and succulents require sufficient drainage to keep their roots from rotting. No matter where you decide to plant your succulents, you’ll need to ensure sure the proper kind of soil is used and that there is a method for any extra water to drain.
Succulents in containers undoubtedly benefit from better soil. You can pick the right kind of soil and a container with a drainage hole when you plant a succulent in a container. Drainage holes are obviously not strictly necessary, although they are advised.
The ability of succulents and cacti to drain excess water depends on the type of soil they are placed in. If you reside in a warm, dry climate, your soil might already be suitable for cultivating cacti and succulents. If not, before planting succulents you might need to make improvements to your garden or landscaping.
Choose a pot that is just big enough for the plant to grow in, but not too big. The circumference of the appropriate pot is 5–10% greater than the size of the plant. Choose pots with a maximum excess space around the sides of an inch or two. The delicate roots will spread if the pot is too big before the plant has a chance to develop. There won’t be any room for the roots to spread in a pot that is too tiny.
The ideal pot should not only complement your style and decor but also the physical properties of the plant. Tall pots look excellent with upright-growing succulents, like aloe. Low-growing cultivars, like Echeveria, look fantastic in little pots. Not to mention spillers with trailing growth tendencies like String of Pearls. Spillers in shallow pots or hanging plants look fantastic and grow well.
There are many different types of materials for pots. The most prevalent materials are wood, terracotta, metal, ceramic, and resin. Terracotta or ceramic pots work best for succulent plants. Both of these materials allow for proper air and water circulation because they are both breathable. Just keep in mind that both ceramic and terracotta are weighty, especially after adding soil and plants.
Pick resin or plastic pots for larger plants, especially ones you plan to move around. Your back will thank you for using those lighter pots as you move or reposition plants.
Before you plant and cultivate succulents, the most important thing to understand is that they don’t like a lot of water. Even before you develop a watering schedule, this is relevant. Without adequate drainage, water that accumulates at the bottom of a container without anywhere to go may cause root rot in your succulent.
The ideal pots for succulents, regardless of design, are planters with drainage holes in the bottom. Since many succulent planters lack drainage holes, you can use any of them as long as you keep in mind to water succulents sparingly and keep an eye on them frequently.
Do succulents require sunlight?
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.
Succulents—does Trader Joe’s carry them?
At Trader Joe’s, we offer trendy clay pots filled with on-trend succulents in a variety of genus and species.
It’s impossible to forecast exactly what varieties you’ll find on your visit because availability depends on our growers’ yield.
Are cacti a decent choice for beginners?
No matter how green their thumb may be, succulents are a remarkably diverse group of plants that have enduring appeal for all gardeners. Even the most ardent grower and collector can remain engaged in succulent collecting because there are practically endless types. Additionally, because of their low maintenance requirements and capacity for reproduction, they are forgiving of novice gardeners still getting the swing of things and are simple to care for.
How frequently 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 use ordinary potting soil with succulents?
I’ll address some of the most prevalent queries concerning succulent soil in this section. Ask your question in the comments section below if you can’t find it here.
Can you use regular potting soil for succulents?
For succulents, you could probably use ordinary potting soil. It might work quite well, especially if you frequently forget to water your plants or if they are small. However, make sure the soil thoroughly dries out in between waterings to prevent them from rotting.
What happens if you plant succulents in regular potting soil?
Succulents planted in normal potting soil run the danger of being overwatered. Your succulents may quickly decay if the soil absorbs too much moisture.
What is the difference between potting soil and succulent soil?
The components and consistency of succulent soil and regular potting soil are different. Succulent dirt is permeable and created to drain very rapidly, unlike regular potting soil, which is composed of organic ingredients that hold onto moisture.
Making my own potting soil helps me save a ton of money, plus my succulents thrive in it. Your succulents will flourish now that you are aware of the ideal soil to use and have my formula for creating your own.
Succulents: Can they flourish in pots without holes?
Whether you’ve planted succulents before or not, you probably already know that the subject of drainage holes comes up very frequently. What makes drainage holes crucial? They help prevent moisture from accumulating at the pot’s base by allowing extra water to seep out of the container.
Because succulents store water in their tissues, leaves, and stems, this is a significant concern. They are vulnerable to root rot if submerged in water for an extended period of time. Some folks are rigid about all planters having drainage holes.
Some people don’t care as much about holes. Here are some things to think about if you have a container that you really want to use for growing succulents and cacti but you’re worried about drainage problems.
To Drill or Not to Drill?
You can certainly drill a hole into the planter, and you don’t need to be skilled with tools to do so. How to start drilling a hole in ceramic, glass, etc. is covered in a ton of free video tutorials. Please click on “How to Grow Succulents in Pots without Holes” for detailed instructions on how to drill a hole in glass or ceramic containers.
Things to Consider Before Drilling a Hole
What would drilling a hole cost you? Would it be more expensive to buy a pot with drainage or to drill a hole? Most households already have a drill.
Most likely, all you need to spend money on are some reasonably priced diamond drill bits. When you consider how much use you will get out of a drill, even if you don’t already own one and must buy one, you might view the purchase as a wise financial decision.
You must decide which item you value more, the plant or the pot. You might want to think twice before drilling a hole in a particularly expensive pot that you spent a lot of money on or perhaps an antique. Additionally, once a hole has been made in something, there is truly no going back; it is irreversible.
So think about which is more essential to you: the plants’ value or the container’s value. Succulent plants are fortunately inexpensive and simple to replace. The reason we adore them so much is that they are extremely simple to cultivate and spread.
Do Succulents Need Drainage?
Succulents in pots—can they thrive without drainage? In light of this, you’ve made the decision to plant the succulents in a container without holes. How long will they be able to survive? Succulents can live and even flourish in pots without holes, so yes, they can. Everything hinges on how you take care of the plants.
The main issue that individuals have is with irrigation. Succulents can suffer from people overwatering them, which is bad for the plants. Succulents can flourish for a long time in pots without drainage after you understand how to properly water them.
Here is evidence that succulents can thrive in containers without drainage for a long time. In this instance, the container failed much earlier than the plants. The containers of these plants have outlived them. The plants are still flourishing, as you can see. They spent around two years in this container. How did I manage to keep them around this long? primarily from utilizing the right potting material and adequate watering practices.
I’ve attempted to repair this in the past with hot glue. I decided to repot these plants after around two years.
How to Plant Succulents in Pots without Holes
You can make a layer for drainage in the bottom of the pot by adding a layer of rocks, pebbles, stones, or pumice (or a combination of these). By allowing extra water to flow out of the soil and into the rocks at the bottom, this can help prevent root rot. By enabling the water to drain from the soil more quickly and keeping the roots from spending too much time in moist soil, this helps prevent root rot.
Think about how big the pot is. You will primarily need pebbles, pumice, or smaller rocks if your pot is small. You’ll need bigger and more rocks the bigger the pot.
You can incorporate pebbles, boulders, pumice, or perlite into the cactus potting mix in addition to the drainage layer. Adding larger particles to the soil, which is typically highly compact, generates more space between them, allowing water to drain out more quickly and preventing the roots from soaking in damp soil for an extended period of time.
The aid of activated charcoal aids in water absorption. Additionally, it has inherent antibacterial qualities that can inhibit the growth of germs and fungi. A layer of activated charcoal, about 1/2 inch thick, can be added over the rock layer or in the bottom of the pot.
Although it is optional, activated charcoal is a nice choice to have if you want more drainage and absorption. It might not be possible to utilize activated charcoal if the pot you’re using is small. Please visit my resource page to learn where to buy activated charcoal online.
You’ll need extra dirt as the container gets bigger. More soil indicates that the soil can hold more water. Consider the plants you are utilizing while selecting the pot size.
Large containers are unnecessary for small plants. When repotting, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that the new pot shouldn’t be more than 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the old one. Succulents don’t require a lot of extra space because they prefer a small pot anyway.
How to Water Succulents Without Drainage
Your watering strategies are the key to the plants’ survival in pots without holes. Keep in mind that extra water cannot drain from the pot, so water the plant sparingly. You should take particular care when watering plants without holes if you tend to overwater your plants. In between waterings, let plants dry out, then check the soil for moisture.
Use a syringe, a spray bottle, or a squeeze bottle if you want to better manage the water you put into the containers. Make sure to spray the soil, not the plant’s surface, while using a spray bottle. You want the water to reach the plant’s roots so that it can be absorbed there.
The size of your container, the growing season, and the environment where you reside all have a significant role in when and how often you should water. The dry and growing season tends to increase the need for water on plants. Plants require less water during the slower growing season and cooler months. I normally observe the plant to determine when and how frequently to water it. In general, I water once every 7 to 10 days throughout the summer and less frequently, once every 10 to 14 days or more, during the cooler months.
My plants receive plenty of sunlight because I keep them outside the entire year. Additionally, my area is rather dry, and the midday sun may be quite warm. You don’t need to water as frequently if you reside in a humid climate.
Water the plants sparingly to begin with and then increase the amount as necessary. Until you determine the plants’ watering requirements, it is preferable to underwater rather than overwater.
If you mistakenly added too much water, you can carefully tilt the pot over while holding the plants in place to prevent them from falling out to drain the extra water. To dab the extra water, you can also use a dry towel or paper towel.
If you keep your plants outdoors, be sure to transfer the pots without holes to a shaded area when it looks like it could rain. Pour away the extra water as soon as you can if you forget to move the pots and it rains on them.
When your plants begin to shrivel, that’s a strong indication that they need more water. Usually, the leaves are the first to do this. You are typically underwatering if you touch a plant and it feels soft and unfull of water.
Time to Repot
Let’s assume that despite your efforts, the plants are not growing healthily. No worries. Succulents are extremely tolerant plants. The plants can be taken out and replanted elsewhere. When given the necessary care, they frequently recover quickly.
In this instance, the pot isn’t doing well, but the plants are. I potted these plants in the following manner. I took stem cuttings and placed them in several pots because I wanted them to grow more. As usual, I added perlite to a cactus potting mix for enhanced drainage.
They were divided into two pots. Jade clippings from a prior project were also included. My favored method for propagating and expanding my collection of succulents is stem cuttings. It seems to me to be the most straightforward and successful. For further information, please click on “Easiest Way to Propagate Succulents: via Stem Cuttings.”