How then do you pick a pot that will keep your succulents growing, flowering, and viable? Learn more below.
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.
How big of a planter should I use for succulents?
Succulents should be planted in pots that are about 10% broader than the plants themselves. Choose the shallow pot whenever the choice is between a deep or shallow pot. The pot’s depth should be 10% greater than the plant’s depth.
Let’s clarify using instances from real life:
- Grab a 2.5 (the best option) to 4 inch pot (the exact maximum size) for optimal outcomes if you have a 2 inch succulent.
- Grab a 4.5 (the best option) to 6 inch pot (the exact maximum size) for optimal results if you have a 4 inch succulent.
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.
Do succulents fit in planters?
Succulents grown in containers require more frequent watering than those grown in the ground. However, container gardening with succulents is a fantastic option, especially for individuals who frequently forget to water, as these plants require little irrigation to begin with.
Succulent plants in pots should be grown in fast-draining soil. The ideal pots for container gardening with succulents are those with good drainage holes, particularly large holes or many holes. Containers made of clay or terracotta that can be breathed don’t hold as much water as ones made of glass or ceramic.
Grow succulents on soil that allows water to drain out of the pot since succulent roots can decay quickly if they are kept moist for a lengthy period of time. For succulent plants in pots, shallow containers drain more quickly.
Succulents planted in containers require different levels of care depending on the season. When plants stay indoors during the winter, very little water is required. However, watering requirements may increase to once per week once they move outside in the spring and begin to grow.
For individuals who might get sunburned in the afternoon during the summer heat, offer shade, and if necessary, drink more frequently. As the weather cools in the autumn, succulents grown in containers require less water. Before watering these plants, always make sure the soil is dry.
Can succulents be grown in just rocks?
It should be obvious that succulents will thrive when planted in rocks given these circumstances. They drain very well and do not retain water, which eliminates the possibility of root rot. This does not include another component of soil, though, since all plants need nutrients.
Although succulents are not particularly hungry plants, they do need certain nutrients to grow. Other micronutrients like zinc or iron are needed in smaller levels, whereas macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are essential. The plant won’t grow at all or last very long without these nutrients.
By their very nature, rocks don’t release nutrients quickly enough to keep the plants alive. They are composed of minerals, but since they decompose so slowly over time, they are not appropriate for growing on their own. Additionally, they often don’t retain enough moisture, allowing the roots to quickly dry out after draining practically instantly.
Sadly, this means that succulents cannot thrive permanently without soil in rocks. If not given regular care, they may survive for several weeks or even months on the nutrients found in the stems and leaves.
Are succulents tolerant of crowds?
Speaking with individuals about succulent care or watching succulent care “in the wild” has made me aware of some of the misconceptions around succulent plants in the horticultural community. Just stroll through the nurseries in garden centers, where staff members are highly qualified. There are numerous excellently kept ornamental plants, fruit trees, and beautifully managed bedding plants, all of which have been nourished, watered, and maintained. then go for the section with succulents. You’ll find plants that have been improperly labeled, overwatered, underwatered, and generally neglected. In response to requests for assistance from merchants and landscaping contractors, I pondered this for a long time.
Successful succulent care is a synthesis of numerous elements, just like taking care of other plants. soil, water, fertilizer, exposure, control of pests and diseases, upkeep, and most importantly, observing and asking questions about the health of the plants.
Observing the plants and wondering what is going on with them. Yes, I believe that this is the most crucial element in keeping succulent plants healthy and beautiful. Applying what you have learnt to this group of plants will go a long way toward success with them if you are a gardener with prior success cultivating other types of plants. A plant is most likely not healthy if it does not appear to be so. Like any other plant that does not appear to be healthy, a plant that is unhealthy is likely dealing with challenges relating to soil, water, fertilizer, pest and disease control, upkeep, or a combination of these issues.
Due to their adaptation to places where water is scarce for extended periods of time, succulent plants differ somewhat from normal herbaceous perennial plants. As a result, their relationship with water plays a significant role in what makes them special. When it comes to gathering and preserving water, succulent plants are particularly effective. Additionally, they are more vulnerable to issues if exposed to excessive water. One of the most important determining aspects in maintaining the health of succulents is water management.
Here are some general care instructions for succulents, including everything from water to soil to sunlight.
The secret to soil mix in containers and in the landscape is good drainage and aeration. The majority of commercial soil mixtures are a little too dense and hold a lot of water for succulents. Adding coarse perlite, crushed lava, or pumice to conventional potting mixtures will usually be sufficient to transform them into effective succulent potting mixtures. Normally, I advise mixing 1 part amendment with 4 parts potting mix. For succulents like cactus that require even more drainage and aeration, the proportion of amendment can be increased.
There are a number of high-quality choices available on the market if you want to purchase pre-mixed soil, including the E.B. Stone Cactus mix that we carry at the nursery.
Thick stems and leaves that effectively gather and store water are characteristics of succulent plants. Traditional plant varieties have thin leaves and require more frequent hydration and watering. Even though the soil is damp, a plant like a coleus may wilt on a hot day. For the coleus to have more humidity and water availability, more regular watering is required. The succulent is less prone to wilt since it has water stored in its leaves and stem. Before being watered, succulent plants prefer to get close to being dry. The plant’s root ball stores the rest of the remaining moisture when the earth dries out. It’s time to water when this area is almost completely dry. Water the plant thoroughly so that the soil is completely saturated and some water runs out the bottom of the plant. Watering a succulent is very much the same as watering any other plant, only not as frequently.
When the environment is unfavorable, there is an exception to how you water a succulent. Poor air circulation, cloudy, dark days, and inadequate lighting may be examples of this. The plant will dry out extremely slowly in these conditions, so it will require controlled watering—giving it tiny doses of water—to prevent being overly wet for an extended period of time. Again, keeping plants healthy requires paying attention to what they need.
Like most plants, succulents like being fed. Succulents vary from other plants in that they require less fertilizer less frequently since they are so effective. I do not suggest giving succulents any particular fertilizer. As you develop your plant-growing skills, experimenting with various fertilizers may improve the quality of your plants and/or blooms. Use a balanced fertilizer in the interim, such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. To maintain a healthy, growing plant, a fertilizer that is well-balanced is essential. There are a variety of all-purpose fertilizers that will work; at the nursery, we carry and advise Maxsea All-Purpose Plant Food.
An overabundance of fertilizer will promote excessive growth, which gives the plant a weedy appearance. Insufficient water will cause the plant to go into suspended animation and appear to be motionless. I advise halving the stated dosage rate and fertilizing no more frequently than once per month. Since most succulents become dormant throughout the winter, it’s usually not required to fertilize them.
Succulent plants, like the majority of plants, prefer a climate with plenty of sunlight and clean air. Many people have misconceptions about succulents. One of the topics that people misinterpret is sunlight. When the topic of succulents is brought up, many people immediately think “desert.” In actuality, succulent plants grow most attractively when given a little sun protection. Succulent plants can develop good color and form without being dried out by the heat of the midday sun if they are grown in a few hours of early sun throughout the warmer months of the year. Shade fabric, lattice, or even the partial shadowing offered by a tree will help break up the heat of the sun in a southern exposure when the sun is shining on the area all day. More light exposure will aid the plant in preserving its good shape and color as winter draws closer. The plant will seem parched and burnt out if it receives too much sunlight. Too little sunshine causes the plant to extend out in search of more light, losing its beautiful compact structure.
Information on the cold tolerance of several succulent plants was lacking until recently. If you don’t know a plant’s resistance to cold, I advise thinking it will freeze or suffer harm if the temperature falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or freezing. Plants can be protected from light frost using inexpensive materials like frost cloth. These materials work well to increase your level of protection by 4 to 6 degrees.
Pest and Disease Control
Aphids are always going to be aphids. Like other plants, succulents will be attacked by insects. The idea is to observe your plants, look more closely, and explore anything that seems abnormal. Like any other plant, succulents require the ideal exposure or location, as well as decent soil, appropriate watering, and fertilizer. You are less likely to encounter bugs if these factors are properly balanced.
Succulent plants are susceptible to the same bugs and diseases that affect other plants, which is a fact of life. Succulents require the same level of pest and disease monitoring as other plants. As with other plants, aphids typically target the blossoms and new growth on succulents. Like other plants, measly bugs live on the roots of the plant and lodge between the leaves near new development. They can also infest the soil. Earwigs and snails both eat on the leaves. Succulent leaves may get powdery mildew, especially after extended periods of bad weather. Not to mention the ants, of course. Farmers are ants. Ants use plants like succulents to develop bugs that will help feed all of their ant companions, just as you may rototill the dirt and plant carrot seeds for your habit of drinking carrot juice. Any ants you see on your plants, get rid of them.
Therefore, these so-called succulent plants are not bug-proof. Although they are hardy and can endure an infection for a long time, healthy, attractive plants must be watched over, and when an infestation does arise, it must be treated with.
You decide how to handle an infestation. To help identify the bug or disease, you may speak with someone at your neighborhood nursery or your acquaintance who is an avid gardener. You decide whether to utilize organic materials or nuclear weapons, water, soap, q-tips, or chemicals. The most important thing is to address the issue as soon as you become aware of it.
Succulent plants are subject to the same pruning, dividing, transplanting, deadheading, etc. procedures as other plants. The ease with which succulents can be dug up, transplanted, etc. sets them apart from most other plants. When the root structure is disturbed, succulent plants do not experience the shock that other plants do. This is due to the fact that succulent plants can store their own water and do not suffer from the root disturbance-induced leaf wilting that other plants do.
Succulent plants typically don’t mind being crowded, whether they are grouped together in a container or are alone and completely filled out. When a plant is transplanted after it has grown to the top of its container, it usually experiences another growth surge. I often advise increasing the size of the container for each plants by 2″. A change in soil every two to four years is also beneficial to succulents. Plants that have crowded out one another as they have grown together will benefit from being thinned out and given a little more room. When the plants are just starting to grow, which is typically in the spring, is a dependable time of year to undertake transplanting.
In conclusion, take a look at your plants and, if one doesn’t appear to be in good health, treat it with the same curiosity you would any other plant. Apply your newly acquired plant knowledge to these particular plants, since they are only plants. The right soil mix, watering, fertilizing, exposure, controlling pests and diseases, and care are essential for thriving succulent plants.