Caring for Succulents

Succulents and cacti are trendy additions to the home; their vibrant colouring and interesting shapes brighten up any room, and they are easy to care for. If you’ve never owned a succulent before, we recommend a green succulent such as an aloe vera, snake plant, or any of the agave family. Succulents of other colours can be more difficult to care for – we suggest mastering your succulent gardening skills before tackling these plants.

Lighting

Succulents are desert plants and so they will need plenty of sunlight and warm conditions. They do best when situated where they will be in direct sunlight for 6 hours a day, such as a window that gets plenty of sun or the brightest area of the home.

Watering

The trick with watering succulents is to understand that they need more water but less frequently than other indoor plants.

Succulents thrive when their roots are soaked in water and then left to dry out completely for a few days. Only water them once their soil has been dry for 2-3 days.

During the winter months, succulents go through a ‘dormant period’ where they grow at a much slower rate; as they are not actively growing they do not require as much water.

Potting

Succulents prefer to be potted in terracotta or ceramic pots, rather than glass. These pots allow for better airflow and soil drainage than glass containers or terrariums. Many of our succulents are planted in terracotta pots; if you’re in need of a new pot for your succulent, just ask our staff to point you in the right direction. We have a wide range of pots suitable for indoor plants in the garden centre.

Common Issues

If your succulents are beginning to pale and appear lifeless, they may need fertilising. Many people do not realise that, like other indoor plants, succulents do need fertilising to maintain their vibrant colours and stay healthy. We do sell succulent and cactus fertilisers that will bring your succulents back to full health; just ask our staff where to look for them.

If your succulents are starting to stretch, their stems becoming longer and their leaves separating, this usually means they are not receiving enough sunlight. The best way to prevent further stretching is to move the plant to a brighter spot. The stretching is irreversible though- if that bothers you then we recommend propagating parts of the plant to grow new plants.

If your succulent is becoming soft, swollen, or squishing, it is likely being overwatered. Allow the soil and roots to dry out for a for a few days (if you only water it once every three days, allow five or six days) before watering it again. If there is no change after a few weeks, then extend the drying out period.

If you have noticed bugs on your plant, it is likely due to one of two problems. Gnats can be caused from overwatering, they are easily avoided by the ‘drying out’ watering method, and having a pot that allows for air flow and proper drainage. Another bug that can cling to your succulents are mealy bugs; these can be treated by spraying the plant with rubbing alcohol.

 

To see our full range of succulents and cacti, visit our garden centre or ask a member of staff. If you are in need of any advice, feel free to speak to a member of staff in store or give us a call.