Succulents are extremely popular these days. They’re easy to care for, since they require little water and maintenance. Here’s everything you need to know about these awesome plants!
Aside from starting my own homestead and learning how to propagate hens and chicks, I have also taken an interest in growing succulents! Succulents are plants that have fat, fleshy leaves. They don’t need to be watered that often, since they store water in their leaves. Many succulent varieties come from dry areas of the tropics and deserts. Some succulents even have health benefits, such as aloe vera and the common houseleek.
Since all succulent varieties have similar needs, here’s how to take care of them:
1. Succulents need bright light. To figure out whether your plant is receiving enough sunlight, check the leaves. Some succulents will scorch if suddenly exposed to direct light. The leaves will usually turn brown or white as the plant dies out. A succulent that is not receiving enough sunlight will also start to stretch. It will have an elongated stem and widely spaced leaves. To fix this, you can prune the plant and provide it with adequate sunlight.
2. Succulents are actually pretty good at handling the cold. Since desert nights are cold, succulents thrive when nights are colder.
3. Water your succulents regularly in summer, but in the winter, limit watering to every other month. Succulent plants are dormant in the winter. When your plant is over-watered, they are soft and discolored. To save it, you can check the roots. If they’re brown and rotted, cut away the dead parts and repot the plant into drier potting soil. You can also take a cutting and propagate the plant. To do this, take a sharp knife and cut away the part of the plant you would like to propagate. This could be a stem, or a leaf. Allow the cutting to dry for 24 hours until it forms a scab. Then, simply plant the cutting cut side down. You should see roots start to form in a few weeks. If you are under-watering the plant, it will stop growing and start to shed its leaves.
(Succulents in vintage teacup)
4. Succulents should be potted in a fast-draining potting soil designed for cacti and succulents. If you can’t find that type of potting soil, you can create your own by mixing a normal potting mix with perlite to increase drainage.
5. As for fertilizing, you can fertilize your succulents like any normal plants, but limit it only to summertime. Do not fertilize succulents in the winter.
Photos: Cactus Jungle, Succulents and Sunshine, Hirondelles Blog, Etsy.