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Succulent Care Tips For Beginners

Written by Katherine Tozduman


Posted on May 28 2023

New to caring for succulents? Or maybe you’re a rookie gardener looking for your beginner-friendly plant? 

Succulents are colorful, visually striking, and easy to maintain plants that are ideal for beginner and expert gardeners alike. These are drought-resistant and easily adapt to dry environments. Adding a charming plant like this at home or collecting different types of succulents will bring more life to your living surroundings.  

Growing succulents doesn't have to be difficult. Know the basics of succulent care to keep your plants happy and healthy!

Essentials for growing succulents

Succulents have the same basic needs, and they can grow inside the house, indoor garden, or outdoors. Here are the main factors to consider when caring for succulents:

Don’t settle for the standard potting soil

Choose a well-draining soil instead. You can use a gardening soil at home then add pumice or perlite mixture. Cactus soil is a good option or you can make your own mixture by combining pine bark fines, turface, and crushed granite.

Avoid exposing the succulents to extreme temperature

The temperature needs to be warm, but not extreme, for the succulents to thrive. Extremely hot weather can cause the soil to be too dry which may lead the succulents drooping. Meanwhile, intense or colder temperatures may freeze the water stored in the plant and damage the plant tissue.

Place the plant in a sunny spot

Three to six hours a day is the recommended sunlight exposure for succulents. 

It's best to keep them exposed in the morning sunlight since the afternoon sun can be intense and may damage the plants. Too much sunlight can cause “sunburn” on the leaves of your succulent.

Choose a container with drainage

Terra cotta pots are known as the best choice for beginners. If you want to use glass or plastic, make sure they have holes at the bottom to promote drainage.

Water according to season

Water the soil directly every seven to ten days during summer. In winter, watering becomes less frequent which can be around once or twice a month.

Don’t use spray bottles for watering 

Spraying water on your succulent can result in moldy leaves and brittle roots. It’s better to use a container with a spout to water the soil directly. A pipette is a good choice for smaller succulents since it delivers water to the soil in a lesser amount.

Let the soil dry first before watering again

Press a finger onto the soil first to see if it’s damp or dry. This will help you know if it needs to be watered again. Let the soil become bone dry before watering it to avoid killing your succulent.

Get rid of bugs using a horticultural spray and well-draining soil

Succulents may get gnats if your soil is too wet so make sure don’t overwater and you use well-draining soil. Succulents may also get scale and mealybugs but you can treat this problem by spraying horticultural (Neem) oil weekly. Alcohol can also get rid of mealybugs.

Use fertilizer in summer

Fertilizers can help your succulents grow healthier if done in growing seasons like spring and summer-- but don't over fertilize your succulents! It might grow too fast which can cause it to be brittle.

You can mix in some granular fertilizer to the soil while repotting your plant. Liquid fertilizer also works well especially if you're not planning to repot the succulents. 

Indoor succulent care tips

These are some extra tips you need to take note of if you plan to grow your succulent inside your home:

Place the succulents near a bright window

Don’t place your succulents near vents, electronics, or dark corners. Succulents placed indoors may not get enough sunlight so the near the window is your best option. 

Remember to rotate the succulent frequently to expose all sides to the sunlight.

Keep them away from children and pets

Make sure the succulents are out of reach of younger children and pets. Some succulents have large and pointed stalks which can cause an injury when played with.

Clean the leaves

After some time, your succulent may look cloudy or grayish which may delay its growth. Use a damp cloth or a soft paintbrush to remove dust and dirt without damaging the leaves. This will help your succulent look lively and healthier again.

Let some fresh air in

Open your windows! Your succulent need to breathe and will benefit from the fresh air to grow better.

Outdoor succulent care tips

Outdoor succulents need specific care guides, too. Here are some tips you can use to ensure that your plants will grow healthy. 

Choose the right location

Succulents need more light and less water. If you're planning to plant the succulent in your outdoor garden, make sure that the surrounding plants fit the same needs as succulents. 

Consider placing the succulent in a different location where they can thrive if it doesn't fit your current garden.

Consider placing succulents in a container

If your area has extreme weather depending on the season, it's ideal to plant your succulents in transportable, lightweight containers. Easily move the succulents to a shadier area to avoid the sunburn or indoor when the temperature changes during wintertime. 

Be sure to keep these tips in mind to keep your succulents healthy!

Succulents are an interesting addition inside your home or outdoor garden. We have a variety of DIY succulents kits and accessories which you can start with. Visit our website for details.



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