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Practical tips for growing Succulents

Succulents are tough, but that doesn't mean they can survive anything.

If you have succulents that aren't thriving, they might need a little more attention. Often, people tend to neglect succulents because they seem indestructible, but there are a few conditions these plants can't survive. 

Keep succulents happy and healthy by following these guidelines.

Use Containers With Drainage

Most succulents prefer their soil on the dry side anyway, so use a container with drainage holes to reduce the chances of over-watering.

Water, don't Mist the plants

Make sure you’re using a container with drainage and a succulent potting mix, then give your succulents a good soaking when the soil is completely dry.

Because succulents don’t need much water to survive, you might think that misting them is a good way to prevent overwatering. For succulents, misting can damage them and cause them to rot.

Water Sufficiently

Many succulents can go weeks or even a month without water and survive, but that doesn’t mean you never need to water them, or that they can get by with just a few drops at a time. Succulents survive drought by storing extra water in their leaves and sometimes roots, but if you frequently let your plants go multiple weeks without water, they might start to shrivel up and drop leaves.

Most succulents need Light

As arid plants, most succulents need a lot of bright or even direct sunlight to thrive. However, their reputation as tough houseplants makes it seem like they can survive anywhere, even dark rooms without much natural light. 

There are a few succulents that can survive in low light conditions, including mother-in law's tounge (snake plants), but most will grow best in the brightest light you can give them. Without enough light, they lose their colour and start to stretch out their stems to find light. 

Succulents need space

Succulents can handle close planting better than most plants, but eventually, they’ll start to compete for resources such as water and soil nutrients if you have a bunch of them crammed together. 

Avoid planting succulents with other plants that have different care needs. Planting a drought-tolerant succulent in the same container as a fern that likes consistently moist soil will end with one or both plants suffering.

Soil Mix

Use a potting mix formulated for succulents and cacti.

The best potting medium for a succulent is one specially formulated for cacti and succulents, or a well-draining mix of potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite. 

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