Most likely, if you recently bought a succulent, you did so with the idea that it would be simple to maintain. It can be beginning to look a little dejected or simply be developing more slowly than you had intended. I’ve undoubtedly killed my fair number of plants and succulents in my inexperience as a succulent grower. But I’ve progressively come to understand what it takes to maintain these challenging plants. Make use of these 6 suggestions to grow lovely succulents!
Water carefully, first.
Overwatering is the simplest way to kill a succulent. Due of their drought tolerance, succulents can survive without routine irrigation. Only every other week or once a month do they require water. Before watering the soil once more, make sure it is fully dry. Some of my succulents haven’t had water in nearly two months, yet they’re still flourishing!
There are a few warning indications that your plant needs more water. The succulent’s leaves will start to wrinkle and the soil will have entirely dried out, especially around the bottom of the plant. This indicates that the plant is dehydrated and is replenishing itself with the water in its leaves. If you water sparingly, the wrinkling should go away in about a day.
Sadly, overwatering is much more difficult to correct than underwatering. The apparent warning signals are that your succulent has received a little too much water: if the lower leaves are yellowing, mushy, or easily falling off the plant. Additionally, it is too late to salvage your plant if the stem is becoming black. Few alternatives COULD rescue your succulent if it is only dropping leaves. Allow the soil to totally dry before giving it further time before watering. Remove the succulent from the soil and any dirt adhering to the roots if you have already done this and the plant is still shedding leaves. Before repotting the succulent in fresh soil, let it sit in the sun for a day or two. This will let any moisture that was trapped in the soil to evaporate and dry out the roots. Don’t water for a week or more after planting in new soil. Delaying watering until your succulent stops dropping leaves or the leaves start to show signs of being under-watered is a wise precaution.
2. Employ the proper soil
Since succulents like little to no water, their soil plays a significant role in how happy they are. In order to assist them absorb any extra water, succulents require a certain type of well-draining soil that contains big particles (such as perlite or crushed rock). It’s simple to locate specialist soil for cacti and succulents at any gardening store. You might need to replace your succulent if it doesn’t look as well as it used to or if the soil never seems to dry out.
3. Pick the appropriate pot.
Although a succulent won’t reject the pot you put it in, some types do make them grow better. Terra-cotta pots aid in soil drying out and water absorption. They are not necessary, though! Any pot will suffice as long as everything else is in order! It is ESSENTIAL to use a pot with drainage holes. Without drainage, a pot will retain too much water, which will likely cause your succulent to rot.
4. The Sun
Succulents adore the light! They will grow more quickly if you place them on a sunny windowsill, which will also assist the soil to dry out in between waterings. While some succulents can tolerate bright sunshine all day, others will burn if exposed to it. That is correct! If your succulent is not used to receiving direct sun all day, they could burn. Given that early light is far less powerful than afternoon sun, many of the more delicate succulent species can survive just a few hours of morning light. Just gradually adapt them to more light to prevent sunburn!
An all-day sun-exposure succulent may be seen in the top image. The SAME succulent is shown in the bottom shot one month after being placed in a window with a north orientation. Although it is still expanding, the lack of direct sunshine has caused it to lose some of its brilliance.
5. Accept the outcome
Succulent maintenance can be debatably very difficult. If they pass away, don’t let it bother you. Due to careless mistakes, I have lost a ton of succulents. It occurs. Each one will increase your knowledge!
6. Avoid discarding discarded leaves.
Did one of your succulent’s seemingly healthy leaves fall off? Don’t discard it! Succulents are experts at self-propagation and can grow a brand-new plant from a single piece of dead foliage. Allow the leaf to callus over the area where it was linked to the main plant for a few days. When the soil is dry, place it on top of a layer of dirt and spritz it with water. I typically water mine every two or three days. White or hot pink roots and possibly a little leaf will start to emerge. You’ll have a scaled-down version of the original in a few months!
This blog post could easily go on for several pages, but I’ve kept it short and sweet by focusing on only the essentials of caring for succulents. Each plant is unique and could respond in a different way. I’m hoping these pointers will help you become a skilled succulent carer!
Why are the leaves on my succulent limp and wrinkled?
The appearance of the leaves is the best indicator of whether your succulent is being overwatered or overwatered. While an overwatered plant will have mushy, nearly translucent leaves, an underwatered plant will have wrinkly, shriveled up foliage.
These are the plainly visible warning signals that your succulent is being overwatered or underwatered. However, the signs are frequently difficult to read. A succulent that has been submerged in water may act similarly to a plant that has been overwatered.
And here is the part where most folks are perplexed. Other indicators can help you determine whether you are indeed overwatering or underwatering your plants.
Why do succulents wrinkle over time?
Although there are general guidelines that are useful to know as a beginner succulent owner, perfecting the art of watering succulents takes time. When watering your succulents, keep these points in mind and make adjustments based on what works or doesn’t.
1. Succulents are prone to decay. Never let a succulent sit in a puddle of water, regardless of the variety. Remove excess water from saucers, avoid letting water pool on plants, avoid letting soil become soggy around leaves, and avoid letting roots rot in planters with poor drainage.
For extended periods of time, pools of water were always resting on these leaves. They’ve been overwatered, or flattened and turned into mush.
2. They will certainly survive prolonged droughts but probably not thrive in them. Some succulents, anywhere from a few times per week to once every two weeks, want to be watered more frequently than others. Most of the time, you should only water a succulent when the soil is completely dry (and drain).
3. During the winter, most succulents go dormant. Most people grow and bloom throughout the spring and summer, which need extra water. Water can be fatal to succulents during the dormant season, which is typically winter. In months of dormancy, watering needs to be drastically reduced, and in some cases, completely stopped. By doing some study, make sure you are aware of when your succulent goes dormant, and water accordingly.
4. They’ll communicate with you if they receive too much or too little water. Succulents’ leaves begin to resemble shriveled fingers that have spent too much time in the jacuzzi when they receive too much water. If leaves are overwatered, they frequently turn brown, decay totally, and then start to fall off.
Succulents frequently get dry, dark blotches on their leaves when they don’t get enough water. As the plants start to shrivel up, fleshier leaves will also appear and feel much more brittle and dry than typical. If the leaves seem wrinkled, try touching them. You can use it to determine whether they are being over or under watered. Underwatered leaves will be considerably stiffer and firmer than overwatered leaves, which will feel mushy.
How do you revive a dried-out succulent?
Yes, I am aware that it seems illogical to remove extra water from the soil, but bear with me. This is the justification. Too much water has already put the succulent under stress, and exposure to sunlight makes matters worse. Direct sunlight is a big no because most succulents require brilliant indirect light.
Place the succulent that has been overwatered somewhere dry and bright, but out of direct sunshine.
2. Permit the roots to breathe.
Cut off any brown or black roots as they are already rotting. Dig the succulent out of the ground and remove any excess soil that has become stuck to the roots. Place the plant on a mesh or other strainer until the roots have had two to three days to air dry. Replant the roots in the pot once they have dried completely.
Remove the entire root system and any puckered, spotty, black, or brown stems if the roots are entirely rotted. The succulent stem can be buried in the ground for propagation.
Keep the overwatered succulent on a mesh screen or other strainer until the roots have had two to three days to air dry.
3. Modify the ground
You might not need to entirely alter your succulent if it is already rooted in homemade or commercial succulent soil. Algae (green living matter) typically grows on soil that is too wet. If so, it is your responsibility to remove all of the top soil from the area around your plants and replace it with new succulent soil.
How can you tell whether a succulent is well-watered or not?
Okay, so we’ve talked a lot about succulents that are dry, but what about those that have received too much water? Well, if you recall, overwatering essentially causes those particular balloon-like cells to overfill and burst, leading to damaged cell structures and rotting leaves and roots.
Discoloration and a change in the shape of the leaves are the first indications of overwatering to look out for. The leaves will turn transparent, floppy, and squishy, and unlike those that have been under-watered, they won’t be retrieved by the plant. It won’t be simple for succulents to recover from this state, but they can. Taking leaves and cuttings to root and grow new plants is an alternative to rescuing the overwatered succulent.
How does a succulent that has been overwatered look?
How can you tell if your succulent is getting too much water? You can usually determine if a succulent is being overwatered or underwatered by looking for telltale indications. A plant that has received too much water will have soft, mushy leaves.
The leaves would either turn translucent in color or appear lighter than they would on a healthy plant. A succulent that had received too much water would frequently lose leaves readily, even when only lightly handled. Usually, the lowest leaves are the ones to suffer first.
The plant will look to be unhealthy overall. When this occurs, the plant is either being overwatered, sitting in the incorrect soil that does not dry out quickly enough, or both.
Your plants are being overwatered if you have been giving them regular waterings or if you have been following a watering schedule regardless of how the plant appears.
On the other hand, a succulent that has been submerged will have withered, wrinkled, and deflated-looking leaves. The leaves will appear thin and flat. The entire plant will appear withered and dry.
The leaves of a good succulent plant should be thick and solid, not mushy or desiccated.
To learn more about this subject, visit my post titled “How To Tell If Your Succulent is Over or Under Watered,” in which I go into great length about how you may determine whether your succulent plant is being over or under watered.
This String of Pearls ‘Senecio Rowleyanus’ plant leaf is one that has been overwatered. If a succulent’s water storage capacity has been exceeded, it may physically burst from overwatering.
What do withered leaves indicate?
Although there is typically some other outwardly evident indication before there is complete wilting, nutrient shortages can disfigure leaves and flowers. The common symptoms of a nutritional deficiency are yellow, stunted leaves and thin, sickly-looking growth. On the other hand, over use of undiluted fertilizers or excessive feeding might result in leaf burn. Fertilizer burn is typically identified by brown, crispy edges or a generally withered appearance. Plants might lose their blooms and their buds. If you think you may have burned something, water extensively and for a long time to dilute salts from harmful fertilizers.
What are the signs that your succulent is receiving too much sun?
It doesn’t take long for succulents to start displaying if they are stressed from too much heat or direct sunlight.
Succulents frequently “blush” or change color when they are receiving enough sunlight. What a lovely transformation to witness!
However, if they begin to receive excessive sunlight, the leaves will actually burn. You may begin to detect white or pale areas on the succulent leaves. This harm cannot be undone.
As an alternative, make an effort to relocate your plant to a location with less intense sunlight and wait for new leaves to emerge. It is optional to remove damaged leaves if there are just one or two of them.
The leaves may truly turn dry and black in rare circumstances. The margins of the leaves will first turn black, and it will be dry and crispy (in contrast to blackening from rot which starts in the middle of the plant and is wet and mushy).
Once more, this injury won’t go away until the leaf totally withers and new leaves emerge.
A succulent in the shade may start to turn a golden or yellow tint if it is still quite hot outside. Instead of turning entirely white, as would happen with sunburn, the succulent instead appears warmer or more yellow than usual.
This generally goes away, or the succulent will revert back to it’s normal hue, if the succulent is transferred to a colder climate.
I can keep succulents alive very well sometimes, but not always.
I recently relocated to Arizona from Utah. Growing succulents can be challenging for a variety of reasons, including relocation. You must pay close attention to how much heat and sunlight each area of your garden receives.
Although it’s a little humiliating, I’m going to show you what my garden looked like when it received excessive sunlight and heat in the video below.
Hopefully, this example will show you what to watch out for so that your garden doesn’t turn out like mine did.