How to grow succulents? This is a common question I usually get from my readers all over the world. To respond to the query, I tried my best to include everything in this list to help succulents growers like you.
Succulents are amazing plants that you can grow in your back yard or even inside your home. Many people are falling in love with succulent plants nowadays. As a result, they want to grow succulents on their own. However, growing succulents may need certain materials and care, at last if you want to achieve optimal results. As a grower, you need to understand that succulents are special plants with special needs. In this guide, I will give you a detailed step by step guide on how to grow succulents. But before I jump into the guide, let us know first what are succulents? Understanding the nature of the plant will help and allow you to grow succulents healthily.
What are succulents?
Although these plants look like other plant varieties, they are different. The most salient feature is that succulent plants usually store water in their leaves. This is the reason why the leaves of these plants are usually thicker compared to other plants.
The good thing about succulents is that they can last longer without water. During drought seasons, succulents would use the stored water and other materials to survive. But this does not mean that succulents don’t need any water. Correct watering is needed. Too much water can actually harm the succulents.
Succulents do not only store water and nutrients in their leaves but also in their stems. Succulents, in my opinion, are some of the most perfect plants for people living in hot or high-temperature areas. There are many types of succulents. But most of them cannot stand cold environment. They can die momentarily. Low temperatures may elicit several problems to the plants due to the water content in their entire system.
Some succulents do well in cold weather
However, there are some succulent varieties that can grow in the cold environment. Examples of those are the sedums and sempervivums. These varieties can thrive in a freezing environment. Nonetheless, warmer environments are still better placing for succulents.
The amount of water and sunlight can dramatically affect the color and even the entire health of the succulents. For instance, succulents change color when they exposed to more sunlight than what they normally get. While the lack of sunlight turns their color into green.
When provided with ample access to sunlight, succulents may turn into different colors such as pink, purple, orange, and red. But one of the most amazing characteristics of succulent plants is their ability to propagate effortlessly. You can plant a succulent using its leaf or a pup. Unlike other plants, succulents require almost no effort. They just grow as long as they get the right nutrient and environment.
Related: How to propagate succulents with honey.
Things you need to grow succulents
As mentioned above, succulents are some of the most convenient plants to grow. They require almost no effort on your part. But this does not mean that they don’t need any care. Or course they do. In order for your succulents to grow healthily, you need some materials. Let me tell you what you will need.
1. Right Soil
This is obvious. Almost all plants not just succulents do need soil. But since succulents are special plants, they need a special type of soil. So people who try to grow their succulents at home wonder what kind of soil should they plant their succulents in?
To answer that question, we must understand first the nature of these plants. In most cases, succulents grow in well-draining soil. But succulent growers have different styles and techniques in growing their plant.
Some combine a cactus soil and a regular potting soil. The combination often results in increased water retention capability of the soil. Keeping succulents in containers without drainage may also help the plant gain water sustainability of some sort. You can use jars, teacups, pails, and other similar containers.
What soil is best for succulents?
Many people ask us what type of soil is best for their succulents. And time and time again, I reply, it depends. Succulents growers have different techniques and preferences when it comes to growing their plants. With that said, there is no specific answer to the previous question. This means that you are free to make some tweaks on the ingredients. If the necessary components are there, your plants will grow just fine.
One thing you might need to consider: the temperature of the environment. Succulents are capable of storing water in their leaves and stems. So they grow beautifully in the desert and hot environments. If you are living in a rainy area, you need to add your soil something that helps the excess water drains faster. Otherwise, the succulents will rot and eventually die.
In our case, I use organic materials for our succulents. Peat moss is one of them. This organic material does not absorb too much water making it perfect for succulents. If peat moss is unavailable in your area, you can substitute it with other organic materials. For those living in tropical areas, a coconut husk can be a perfect one. This material is fibrous and easy to water. But like the peat moss, shredded coconut husks do not store water very well so the excess water will just drain right away.
While other succulent growers add inorganic materials to their soil to keep it airy. Some of those are coarse sand, chicken grit, crushed granite, pebbles, and even non-soluble and dried cat litters. These materials are resistant to the decomposition process caused by water.
Related: Best Soil for Succulents in Pots
How to make a perfect soil for your succulents?
Now, assuming that you already have the materials needed to make soil. You can start preparing all the ingredients. Mix all the materials you have. I suggest that you come up with a 50/50 ratio for the start. This means that half of your mixture is organic materials and half is inorganic matters.
Mix all the materials together. After the mixing process is done, you can then run a test. Get a small amount of the mix and try to wet. If the mixture is too sticky or compact, that means not good for succulents. The water won’t drain through the mixture thus retain the water which in turn rots the roots. In this case, you can add more of the hard inorganic materials. Then retest until the wet mixture crumbles easily when you squeeze it.
But again, you can modify your mixture later on. Depending on the condition in your surroundings, adjust the ingredients until you come with a perfect soil mixture for your succulents.
Additional things to remember in growing succulents
Succulents grow well in slightly acidic soil. However, if your soil is highly acidic, you can add some materials with lime content. Too much acidity is not good for your succulents. For busy growers like us who don’t have time to make the right potting mixture or monitor the right acid content for their soil mixture, buying a ready-to-plant soil can be the best option.
For years, I trusted one potting soil for our succulents. Because I don’t have ample time to go to nearby suppliers, I normally buy it from Amazon. They call it Bonsai Jack Succulent and Cactus Soil Gritty Mix. What I like about this succulent soil is that it is fast draining. I don’t have to worry about over-watering the plants…
This soil mixture also has the right acid content for maximum succulent growth. It is made in the USA and that’s why I trust the brand. I have tested many soil mixes in the past decade and not all of them are great (at least in my case and the environment I am living). In fact, some of the soil mixtures you can buy online may contain pathogens and or insects that could actually harm or kill your succulents. So opt for brands verified by thousands of customers!
Best succulent pots
Choosing one pot over the other would depend on many factors. This is because pots should complement their surroundings. For instance, if you have indoor succulents, you might want to have pots that do not only serve as plant receptacles but also for decorative purposes.
I recognize that we all have different preferences as far as home decorating goes. With that said, I cannot give you a certain type of pot for your succulents. Instead, I just want to share with you what succulent pots I am using for our succulents. I hope that it will help you decide which pot you should use.
One of the pots I use for our outdoor succulents is the Sun-E 2.5 Inch Owl Pot Ceramic Flowing Glaze Base Serial Succulent Pot. This pot is also perfect for indoor succulents. The cuteness of these pots will surely add to the ambiance inside the house.
For our indoor succulents, I often use this one. This one is some of our most favorite pot or succulent planter. You can easily hang it on the wall perfectly. It is not just a pot, it is also decorative material that will surely add to your sophisticated and relaxing ambiance. It comes with a modern design. Created for different plant sizes. It will level up your home, office, bathroom decor.
If you have a clean white space to decorate with succulents, you can use the 10-inch rectangular modern minimalist ceramic succulent pot. It looks clean and elegant. It comes with a removable draining tray for easy disposal of excess water. The pot also has two drainage holes to keep the succulent roots from rotting.
This minimalist ceramic succulent planter is not only perfect for indoor succulent decor but also for gift giving. With its elegantly simple design, your special someone will certainly end up happy receiving your gift.
Related: Potting Pebbles for Succulents
Making your own succulent planter
If you are on budget, you may wonder how you can come up with your own pot. The good news is that you can indeed make your own succulent planters or pots. What you just need is simple tools and a pinch of creativity.
For years, I am making our own succulent pots. There are many ways you can make it. But in this guide, I only like to share two ways which could certainly help along the way. Doing this requires a few tools you probably at home.
Tools: Basin,Paintbrush. Materials: Cement, Piece of cloth, Paint.
- Step 1. Mix a small amount of cement with water in the basin. Make sure that the mixture is not too thick or sticky. Keep its liquid form. Mix it thoroughly.
- Step 2. Soak the cloth in the mixture. A durable cloth is the best. Oftentimes, I use a towel.
- Step 3. The next step is to hang the soaked cloth on something that has your chosen shape. If you want a round pot, for instance, you need the bottom of the pale hanged inversely to shape the cloth. Then let it dry for a couple of days. The design, shape, and size will depend on you. If you want bigger and round pot, then you need bigger materials. As the cement dried, the cloth starts to take shape. Then you can apply paint on it. You can have any color you wish. I use this technique not only for succulent pots but also for other plants. For succulents though, I use smaller materials. With this strategy, your creativity is your only limit.
You have perfect soil and a perfect pot for your succulents. But something is still missing: the seeds. Countless people want to grow succulent plants in their homes but they aren’t really sure where to start.
Well, like other plants, succulents start from seeds. But as mentioned, succulents are far different from other plants. This means that a different type of care may be needed. With that said, I will share with you how to grow succulents from seeds.
It takes good seeds to grow succulents
Healthy succulents all start from healthy seeds. This is a tricky part. Our experience taught us that finding or choosing the best succulent seeds from many suppliers can be difficult. You don’t know who to trust. Back when I started growing succulents, I bought seeds that did not give what I expected. There were foreign materials inside the box of the seed that looked like succulents but they were not.
It was frustrating for us. Instead of going to local suppliers, I end up surfing online. I found a few online succulent seeds suppliers on Amazon. They have a list of healthy seeds of different types of succulents. But buying online may not guarantee you a hundred percent quality. So our advice is that make sure that you make some research first before you buy seeds. The great way to do this is by reading customer reviews.
Our recommended seed online seller is Nature’s Blossom. I found the company on Amazon. The seeds come with soil, pots, labels, and manuals. If you have no idea how to grow succulents, the kit or manual will guide you throughout the journey. It is an all-in-one product. Upon buying the package, you’ll get the 4-seed packets, 4 planting pots, 4 seed starting soil, and 4 plant labels perfect for monitoring the growth of your plants.
Supplies you need to plant succulent seeds
Like planting other types of ornamental plants, planting succulents require a few supplies. I use a container to make sure our succulents grow healthily.
The one that I use is the Air-o Light planter. This smart planter comes with a lighting mechanism that is similar to the sunlight. This is an important ingredient so that the succulents can grow healthy and fast. This planter is perfect for indoor succulents. The built-in light can serve as sunlight. This allows you to place your succulents even in dark places. The best part of having this planter is that it works on autopilot. Meaning, it automatically turns on when light is needed and turns off if the light is not needed.
These starter trays are sturdy and easy to handle. These trays are perfect for all types of succulents especially the indoor ones. As your seedlings become bigger, you can easily transfer them to larger receptacles without hassles.
If you are about to plant your succulent seeds, you might notice that the seeds are very small. You need to pay attention and give extra care of your seeds. To make sure you won’t make any unnecessary mess, work with clean hands. Here are the simple tips:
- Fill up the container or pot with soil.
- Slowly open the seed pouch and carefully place the seeds on top of the soil.
- Give the seeds an ample amount of water
Using the Air-o Light container, you can just put and run the water through the hole near the soil. I just do the same. I pour water into the hole until it is filled. But if you’re using the seed trays, the strategy can be a little bit different. Notice that the tray has two parts: the bottom white section and the upper black. The first step is to fill half of the white bottom portion with water. Then slowly set down the black tray. Make sure that the water is absorbed by the soil. The amount of water needed is arbitrary. This means that, if necessary, you can add more water.
Germination can take days but also weeks
Germination duration differs depending on the type of succulent you are trying to grow, as well as the environmental conditions. To know the specific germination time, always refer to the kit included with the seeds. Seed suppliers usually include instructions with regards to how to grow succulents from seeds.
As you begin to notice some sprouts, you need to make sure that your succulents receive enough water and air. At this stage, they need regular water supply and airflow. I treat our succulents like babies. Having said that, I always make sure that the succulents have enough materials needed for their healthy growth. However, as the succulents gain growth, the frequency of the watering schedule can be lessened. But this does not mean that the succulents do need water anymore. Water is still an important component of the life of the plant.
How to propagate succulents from the stem?
Although succulents are some of the easiest plants to propagate, there are safety precautions that you should be taken into consideration. Before you cut the stem to propagate, make sure that your cutting tool is clean and sharp. The dirty and rusty cutting tool may only cause stress to your plant. In addition, the uncleaned cutting tool may start the widespread bacteria and other elements that could sabotage the propagation process.
After having some stem cuttings, what you need to do is to lay them down on the succulent soil. But before you do it, make sure that the soil surface is flat. Preparing a fast-draining soil is the best practice. Do not insert the stem cuttings directly in the soil. I tested it before and all those I wanted to propagate died. I learned the hard way that propagation is a slow process.
For each stem cutting, determine which end must be in the downward position. This is easy to know. The bigger part of the stem where the cut is made should be in the downward position.The part of the stem where the cut was made is important because it is in this location the roots will start to grow. Within 2-3 days, the roots will start to appear. But it is very important to remember that during this process, the cuttings should not be exposed to the direct sunlight.
After 2-3 days when the roots are visible, you can then insert the stem cutting into the soil you prepared. Control the amount of water you give. Just a mist will do. Do it once a week. But at this stage, it is important that you constantly monitor the moisture of the soil. When you see wrinkles on the stems and leaves, this is the time that the roots start to consume water and other nutrients. This is a good sign actually. You are now sure that the propagating process was successful.
How to propagate succulents from leaves?
Although succulents can be propagated using leaves, this might not apply to all types of succulents. If you are sure that your succulents can be propagated from leaves, you can then follow the following tips: First, pick a healthy leaf from a stem. You do it by gently twisting the leaf from the stem. But do not over pinch it because it will cause stress to the leaf.
Also, make sure that it is a perfect pull. What this means is that, as you pull the leaf, there is nothing left on the stem. The leaf that is pulled just before the stem has the lowest chance to survive in the propagation process. It is a good practice to make sure that the leaf has the part of the stem. This means that the leaf is intact making it perfect for propagation.
If you afraid of not being able to succeed propagating the leaves, you can buy succulents leaves ready to propagate. There are companies that sell succulents leaves for quick propagation. Check online and see whether there’s one available in your place.
What is the success rate of succulent propagation?
In my experience it depends on many factors. Environmental factors of course, but also the plant itself. The quality of the leaves or the cuttings, as well as the temperature of your place, can play an important role. If half of your plants die during the process,don’t be sad. It is normal. Although in some lucky situations I was able to attain an 85% success rate, it is rather rare, and you should not count on such a success.
You cannot control the entire process. What you can control is the amount of care you can give to your fragile plants. It is a slow process. Some succulents start to take shape within several months while others could take a year. So don’t treat all your succulents equal.
Choosing the best planters for your succulents
Succulents are special plants that have special needs. These needs must be considered in, for instance, choosing the right planters or pots. Most people value the appearance of the pot like colors and textures. But these pot features may not help succulents grow healthy. With that said, you need to know the basic needs of your plants before you can decide.
There are many things you need to consider more than you know in terms of choosing the right planter. For decades, I discovered the best practices for our succulents. The reality is that most people or succulent growers have no idea that these simple and seemingly insignificant details have a great impact on their plants. In this guide, I will share with you a few things to remember when buying a planter or pot for your succulents.
I prefer pots with drainage holes. Well, this is not our personal and collective preference, this is what the succulents want. Pots that do not have drainage can be harmful to your plants. During the watering, the water may stay at the bottom of the pot which in turn causes rotting of the roots.
But if you have already bought a pot or planter without drainage, you can always make holes in it. You just need tools you can find in your house to do so. A tip of the knife can do the job. But for more precise hole positioning and hole quality, you can buy the diamond tip drill bit from Amazon. This tool makes the drilling process much easier. Fortunately, there are many planters or pots available online that have drainage already. The following are our favorite:
- Small to medium Sized Round Modern Ceramic Garden Flower Pot
- Greenaholics Plant Pots
- White Ceramic Succulent and Cactus Planter
- Chive Hexagonal Succulent Planter
- Indoor Succulent Planter
The materials that the pot or planter is made of
Generally, planters or pots are made of five common materials such as ceramic, wood, metal, glass, and plastic. Depending on your plant location, these types of pots may or may not be appropriate.
This means that, before you buy a planter or a pot, you need to know how these materials behave and affect your succulents. To help you choose the best pot for your plant, I will share with you some important information on different materials.
Ceramic pots for succulents
Ceramics are perfect for plants especially in places where airflow is less accessible. I commonly use ceramic pots for our indoor succulents. If you place succulents in your living room or bathroom, choosing a ceramic pot or planter can be a good idea.
Can ceramic a good option for outdoor succulents? Maybe not especially if under direct sunlight. The ceramic can heat up which in turn burns the succulent. Well, this may also depend on your environmental temperature. If you are living in hot places, you might want to use another type of pot.
Although in most cases, using ceramic pots is a good option, there’s a major drawback though. Most ceramic pots are heavy and difficult to move or transfer to one location to another. Another issue with ceramic pots is brittleness. They are so fragile that could easily break when they drop. If you are moving your plants, be extra careful.
Plastic pots for succulents
Plastic pots or planters are getting more popular today. Back in the day, most plant growers used ceramic pots. The main reason I see is that plastic pots are more manageable and easy to use. Unlike ceramic planters that are fragile and heavy, plastic pots are more versatile and lighter than the latter.
But the problem with plastic pots is airflow. These pots are not as breathable as ceramics. As a result, the water may not evaporate which may affect the health of the plant. If you are using or about to use the plastic pots, just make sure that the pots have draining holes in them. Secondly, you must consider the well-draining soil for your plants. These things give your succulents enough airflow and safety from rotting.
Wood pot or planter is also a good option. Wood provides coolness to your plants. Unlike ceramic and plastic planter, wood pots do not absorb heat. This is the reason I use wood planters for some of our succulents, especially during summer.
But like ceramic and plastic planters, wood pots have possible issues too. The main problem is its durability. Although wood is not brittle, it may not last long especially for outdoor succulents. Wood absorbs water. During a rainy season or when you over-watered your succulents, the water may stay longer in the pot which may in turn cause rotting to the roots of the plants. I recommend using wooden pots for outdoor succulents especially during summer. It gives succulents a high chance of survival against high temperatures.
Metal pots are increasingly popular today. The obvious reason is that metal is more durable than ceramic. It does not easily break. But is it perfect for your succulent plants? No. Metals could easily be affected by environmental temperature change. As the outdoor temperature increases, the metal pot also becomes hotter which will also heat up the soil. This is not good for your succulents.
In addition, metal pots could not also endure a humid environment. Moisture and water could elicit the rusting process of the pot. So if you are using metal pot for your plants, make sure that you transfer your succulents to other pot other than the metal one after a while.
Glass pots are getting more popular
If you are someone who loves pots with a sophisticated and beautiful design on it, you might probably consider glass planters. Pots made of the glass often have an excellent and beautiful design on them. The common problem with glass planters though is the lack of drainage. Most of these planters have no holes that serve as water outlets. So excess water may stay at the bottom of the pot that could do harm to your plants.
Unlike ceramic, glass pots do not provide good airflow needed by the succulents. The water may not evaporate easily making the soil remain wet for so long. As you already know, this is not good for your plants. But if you really want to use glass pots, there are some glass pots that are specifically designed to be breathable for the succulents.
Another issue with glass pots is cleaning maintenance. They tend to easily get stained by dirt. Above all, they are as brittle as the ceramic planters. If you have glass planters indoors, you have to be very careful not to break them.
The color and texture of the planters
For most succulent growers, this may not be a big deal. But if you are a sophisticated person who loves perfection and organization, you might consider the color and texture of your pot.
You can start by choosing the pot you like and actually choose the type of succulent later. Or, you can go with choosing your succulent first and then choose the perfect pot for it. Although I am not obsessed with perfection as far as pot selection goes, I do consider a few things. I love to see the succulents and the pots complement each other in terms of colors and shades.
Another one is the color of the surrounding. Some succulent growers really want to bring their passion of having indoor plants into a whole new level. They make sure that every detail or piece of their home fits together. What I think though is that simplicity is still spectacular. In our case, I love the simple white pottery. Such simplicity fits in almost all types of indoor environments.
Having said that, our favorite is the T4U Ceramic Rectangular Succulent Plant Pot. This pot is clean looking perfect for indoor decoration. It is not only designed for succulents but also for other small plants such as cacti, herbs, etc. The white color of the pot highlights the beauty of the succulents sitting on top of it.
The size of the pot or planter
How big should your pot be? This is difficult to answer. Every succulent grower may have different styles and preferences when it comes to growing their plants.
But here is our general rule. The succulents should have enough room for them to grow freely. The exact space is arbitrary though. In our case, I leave about a .5-inch gap between the plant and the edge of the planter. The reason is that when you leave too much space, the succulents may lengthen their roots because they have space to do so before the stems and the leaves begin to grow bigger.
As a grower, it is your job to estimate the best pot size for your succulents. For instance, if you plant a 2-inch succulent, your best choice should be a 2.5-inch pot. The perfect pot for this is the T4U 2.5 Inch Ceramic Flowing Glaze Solid Gray Base Serial.
Can you plant many succulents in one pot? Absolutely. But you have to remember that the number of plants may impact their growth. In other words, the more succulents you include in your arrangement, the lesser their chance to grow bigger and larger. It is also important to remember that plants need space for them to breathe. My suggestion is to let them 1.5 to 1-inch space distance from one another.
Indoor succulent planter
- Apart from the generic succulent pots I mentioned above, there are many planters you can use to add sophistication and beauty to your home. You can have planters that you can normally place on your table or those that you can hang on the wall. Now I will share with you some of those planters I enjoy using in our home.
Hanging succulent planter
For hanging succulent planter, I use a few:
1. 4-Tier Hanging Plant Holder – If you are looking for planters for your succulents that could fill the decorative gap in your house, this one can be your candidate. It is a beautiful ceramic planter designed specifically for indoor plants like succulents. It is intended for the wall but also for the ceiling. . You can easily feel that you are in a garden without leaving the indoor space of your home.
The 4-Tier hanging planter comes with two durable and reliable ropes that hold and balance the planter from two opposite sides. It is easy to assemble with no technical expertise required. Unlike other ceramic planters, this one is unique in terms of durability and lightness. It is lightweight and durable. It only needs simple maintenance. If you are looking for hanging succulent planters, this is a good start.
2. MyGift Modern Ceramic Hanging Planter – This one comes with 3 hanging ceramic planters. They are so cute and clean looking. Their round shape makes them perfect for small succulents. What I like about this planter is its flat panel at the back. It perfectly meets with the wall which in turn keeps the planters stable and safe. The only thing lacking is the drainage holes. This planter has no holes. But it is not a big problem. You can easily drill a hole using the diamond drill bit (1/4 inch)
3. Umbra Trigg Hanging Planter – Our next favorite hanging succulent planter is the Umbra Trigg Hanging Planter Vase. It is a simple yet elegant looking planter that will certainly add to your decoration. I use this planter not only for our succulents but also for other plants especially flowers. It perfectly fits with any area in your home. You can use if for your office, home, bathroom, dining, and many other spaces. It boasts a white and clean appearance that will certainly highlight the elegance of the space.
Regular succulent planter
Most succulent growers more often use these types of planters rather than the hanging planters. I do too. They are gorgeous and easy to manage. Let me show you some of my favorites.
1. Succulent Plant Pot Ceramic Round – If you love larger pots, this one can be your best option. I use this for our bonsai and larger succulents. It has classic grey color with a touch of modern design that fits in most indoor ambiance.
It is made of ceramic which is breathable that provides the plant the comfort it needs. Unlike another brand of ceramic pots, this ceramic planter is more durable. With the 4mm thick in all sides, you can ensure the safety of the plants. You can also use this pot for holiday presents for your loved ones.
2. MyGift Torched Wood Tiered Succulent Planter Stand – There are two main reasons why I chose this succulent planter. The first is elegance. I love how this planter is designed. It comes with two wooden planters with four small ceramic pots each. What I like the most is the safety of the plant. Each ceramic pot perfectly fits in the hole making it immovable.
Because each pot is small, you can only plant one variety of plant or succulent in it. This allows us to decide which succulent variety I put in each pot for decoration purposes. I usually use this planter for our outdoor succulents. But it is also perfect for the indoor environment. It adds to the existing beauty of your home.
Water – Too much or too little is always an issue
Although succulents can thrive in the desert, this does not mean that they can live without water. Most people believe in the wrong perception that succulents don’t need water. I shared the same belief years ago. I did not water our succulents for a couple of weeks. They did not die, but they did not grow healthily either. But when I began watering them, I noticed a drastic growth and beautiful color.
When watering a succulent plant, you should consider a few things. First, the right amount of water. When people hear this, they usually ask how much water for succulents? Well, it depends on the temperature of the surroundings. For rainy seasons, I water our succulents less. But during summer, I water once a week. This is arbitrary though. Our general suggestion is that water your succulents only when the soil is completely dry.
It is only important to remember that, when watering your succulents, water the soil and not the whole plant. This is because, in some cases, the water could rot the stem or leaves of the succulent. The amount of water is also something that you should take into consideration. If the pot has no drainage or holes, you need to just give a sip.
How to water succulents?
If the pots have drainage holes, you can give as much water as you want to your succulents. Just make sure that there’s no water storing beneath the pot. If you use pots with holes, chances are the water drains through but stays beneath the pot. In this case, your succulents are not safe. The water underneath may cause problems to the roots.
Check the soil after a while. Make sure that the soil had completely dried before you water your succulents again. Succulent plants need more water in the beginning as they grow. But as they gain growth momentum, you may lessen the amount of water you give depending on the environmental conditions. During winter, of course, the water needs may decrease as compared to the summer season. However, succulents still need water even in winter. So our advice is to water your succulents if the soil has dried.
The size of the container also affects water needs. The larger containers or pots, the more water, and moisture they can store. In this case, the watering could be infrequent as opposed to smaller and shallower containers.
How often to water succulents indoors?
It is typically more humid and cooler indoors than outdoors. Hence the moisture can potentially slow down the drying of the soil. It means that you should lessen your watering frequency. It is important to note however that even in such an environment, the soil can dry out, and you may need to water your succulents.
How much water do indoor succulents need? It always depends on the need of the plant. But in most cases, the size of the succulent plants determines how much water you should pour onto the soil. In our case, I give about ¼ to ½ cup of water to small succulents. While on the bigger ones, I give 1 to 1½ cups of water. But of course, it depends on many factors as I’ve already mentioned.
Best succulents watering practices
Just like with everything else in life, having simple and working processes in place makes things much easier. Here are few things you should keep on your mind to make sure you achieve optimal results with your plants, and avoid problems such as over-watering.
- Have a regular checking schedule of the moisture condition. The best practice in this regard is every two or three weeks interval.
- When checking the moisture, just squeeze a little amount of soil and see whether or not it clings to your finger. If not, tit is a clear sign that the soil is dry. Wet soil is usually sticky,
- Familiarize yourself with the weight of a pot with water versus a pot with dry soil. This is because water adds to the overall weight of the pot. Wet soil makes the whole pot denser than the pot with dry soil. In this way, you can easily determine the water needs of your succulents.
Each plant needs sunlight
Sunlight and water are two things every plant needs. Although succulents need sunlight, throughout the year, I learned that succulents grow healthier when they are not directly exposed to sunlight. Although some types of succulents can endure direct sunlight, many of them cannot.
My recommendation is that, whenever possible, do not expose your succulents directly to the strong sunshine. Put them in places where they can still absorb light. Find a perfect place in your house for your succulents.
Succulents will seek the light. So if they are put in a dimly lit place, they tend to bend towards the source of the light. If that happens, you just want to rotate the shorter part towards the light. This will help to maintain your succulents in great shape.
How much sunlight do succulents need?
Most succulent plants cannot endure a hot environment or directly under the blazing sun. The reason why many of them thrive in the open area is because of the protection they get from other, bigger plants. They are usually shaded by taller plants, rocks, and boulders. The shadow of the bigger plants protects them from scorching sun.
Of course, succulent plants need more sunlight. But too much of it can harm the plant. Without protection, succulent plants can get a sunburn. Sunburns could result in scarring or even death of the plant. Younger succulents are more susceptible to the effect of sunlight.
Is it okay to transfer an indoor succulent to your backyard? The answer is that it depends on the environment. Indoor succulents accustomed to indoor temperature are pretty vulnerable to sunburn. Hence you should acclimatize them. What I mean by this is that, little by little you give your plants a taste of the outside temperature. For instance, from indoors you can place your succulents on your terrace where there is more sunlight but also some shade, and it is generally warmer/colden than directly outside. The key is to prepare the succulents for a new environment.
How much sun exposure do succulents need?
For those living in tropical-like areas, you can expose your plants under the sunlight for about half a day. The general practice is 4-6 hours during a sunny day. To avoid sunburn and other problems with your plants, it is important that you protect them from he heat of the day. In my personal experience, placing succulents in a spot where they get morning sun but stay in shade during the heat of the afternoon yields the best possible results.
Succulents will grow into marvelous and magnificent plants if they receive the care they deserve. In fact, the color of the leaves depends on the number of ingredients they get.
Related: Succulents that grow tall – my list.
What to do with your outdoor succulents during extreme heat?
Because succulents cannot thrive in an extremely hot environment,you should consider some safety precautions.
- Provide shelter. If you are living in a tropical area where summer lasts for months, you better have a good plan for your plants early on. Your plants especially the young ones should have shelters to protect them from extreme heat.The best practice is to move your smaller plants to shady areas during summer. This strategy works well if your containers are small. If you don’t have a shadier spot in your garden, you can transfer your succulents into the house.But sometimes, you may have a heavy container making your plants difficult to move. What you can do in this situation is to cover your plants with a cloth or other materials that could protect them from extreme sunlight.
- Provide and monitor water and moisture. The bigger the succulents the more resilient they are at high temperatures. If you leave home for weeks make sure that your succulents have enough water. Or, have someone to attend to your plants while you’re on holiday.Weekly watering schedule during extreme temperature can be a good practice. Get a pinch of soil and squeeze it. If it crumbles easily it means that the soil is pretty dry.
- Refrain from repotting your succulents.During an extremely hot season, repotting any type of plant may not be successful. This means that your plants may die along the process. The cold environment allows the transferred plant to gain growth momentum. Repotting during summer may only disturb the plant causing them to develop problems on themselves.
- Refrain from propagating your succulents. If you cannot repot your succulents during a heatwave, you also cannot propagate them. Propagating plants need a tolerable temperature to allow them to establish growth momentum. Hot temperatures may only hurt the newly propagated succulents. In our experience, I learned the hard truth. I had done this before and all the succulents I propagated died. It was a hard lesson but sometimes we learn the most important lessons from the most painful mistakes…
- Refrain from fertilizing your plants.During summer, or if there is a heatwave, fertilizing is not a good idea. The soil and air are so hot causing the plants to strive for their survival. Fertilizer can only burn their roots in such conditions, and they will eventually die. Keep it on your mind when deciding whether or not to fertilize your plants in summer.
Indoors or outdoors: what is better for succulents?
Succulents grow both indoors and outdoors. When planted indoors, however, succulents need more care. For instance, you need to make sure that they get enough sunlight.
Water is another important component of its growth. Indoor succulents require special attention when it comes to watering. You need to be extra careful not overwater them especially those in pots without drainage. Too much water will cause rot in the roots or branches of the plant.
In addition, indoor succulents need sunlight. If you have a sealed home where the sunlight cannot penetrate, you may want to occasionally expose your plants to direct sunlight. This adds a chore on your part. Growing succulents outdoor however offers more benefits than growing indoor. Here are some of the benefits:
- Free source of sunlight – You may need to use grow light with some of your indoor succulents. Outside, however, this is not an issue at all!
- Free water source – Rain water is the best. Not only it saves money, plants also enjoy it more. Remember that you can always collect rainwater in some tank and benefit from it even with the succulents you keep inside.
- Get the best nutrient sources. Although succulents grow indoors, they get the best fresh air, natural sunlight and the right amount of oxygen necessary for their photosynthesis outdoors.
- Free from disturbance. One of the reasons why indoor plants might not grow as well as you expect them to be is that they might be easily disturbed. If you have little kids and pets at home, it is hard to provide around the clock protection to your plants.
Planting, growing and propagated succulents is no rocket science. As you can see though, in order to achieve the best possible results, you have to consider many things–right type of succulent for your space, right pot, excellent soil mix, proper watering schedule, moving your succulents outside/insider, protection from extreme heat and cold, and so on, and so forth.
I hope my guide helped you to figure out most of these things. Feel free to write me to admin[at]succulentsgrower[dot]com should you have any questions, or you can simply continue browsing this website. Thank you!