A healthy succulent requires a proper balance of temperature, light, water, and soil. Even an inexperienced gardener can grow succulents successfully when applying these elements.
Although succulents love sun and heat, only some varieties can withstand extreme temperatures. While sedums and sempervivums (alpine species) tolerate below-zero cold, succulents, such as agaves and some aloes, tolerate high desert heat conditions.
The ideal temperature for most succulents is 60-80°F. If you plant your succulent pots outside, remember to bring them inside when the temperature is under 40°F.
The sunniest location is the best. You can’t apply this way for all succulents. While some love much sunlight, even blasting sun, others require shape. The majority of succulents like being exposed to 2-3 hours of sunlight or filtered sun every day.
If you grow your succulents indoors, remember to put them by your windows. Windows with gentle eastern light are the best, but you need to cut down the light from south-facing windows using a sheer curtain.
A garden room can also provide your succulents with sunlight for at least 2-3 hours per day.
Can you find natural lighting indoors?
You can use grow lights.
Providing your succulents too much light can burn leaves.
When your succulents stretch out of their pots, they lack light. In this case, it’s hard to have it backed to a compact shape.
You will kill your succulents by watering them regularly. THIS IS A MISTAKEN VIEW. Even you need to water more in their active growing seasons.
The key: you should wait until the soil becomes dry between waterings so that the roots can breathe.
How do you determine this period?
Simply use a moisture meter or a chopstick to stick it up the drainage hole. A moist chopstick shows that it’s not time to water.
The weather, time of year, pot size, and soil condition influence the watering time. Usually, it’s about 2-3 weeks.
Some succulents can survive without water for many months in winter because they are dormant this time. So, it’s fine if it dries completely. Your succulents will grow back when watering in spring.
A succulent with enough water shows the best conditions of leaves. In case you don’t offer enough water, its leaves will be shriveled.
Meanwhile, overwatering causes Botrytis cinerea fungus, leading to root rot and plant base. Even using strong fungicide can’t save your succulents.
Water on the soil instead of directly watering on the leaves.
You should use well-draining soil instead of wet soil that will cause root rot. Mixing soil with sand or pumice can also improve drainage. Or you can use one of the following materials: crushed granite, small gravel, perlite, and Turface (a calcined clay product). Meanwhile, regular sand and volcanic sand (scoria and pumice) keep the soil from being heavy.
The combination of 60% nonorganic and 40% organic material provides you with excellent drainage and performance, but most commercial mixes lack sand components due to the shipping weight issues.
Instead of backfilling, you just need to dig a hole to the size of the root ball and drop your succulent in. This air gap promotes the new root development near the soil surface, where your plants can breathe better. You shouldn’t mix and till much organic material into the soil near the roots because it retains much moisture.
If you can’t grow your succulents outdoors all year round, it’s better to put them in pots or suitable containers, which allow you to move to an appropriate growing area when the weather changes. In case you just grow your succulents indoors, the following options significantly develop on a sunny window:
Christmas cactus (zygocactus)
Easter Lily cactus (Echinopsis)
Crown thorns (Euphorbia milii)
Haworthia and Gasteria
Planting in pots doesn’t require an air gap, but ensure that your succulent pots can drain well.
You had better thoroughly water after 2-3 days potting succulents to give the roots time to recover before soaking up water, mainly to prevent root rot.
It’s okay to tip, clip, dive, and remove branches if essential. You can even prune to replant the cuttings. Before planting, remember to give your cuttings time (about some days) to dry and heal over at the wound. This method will keep your succulents from absorbing too much water.
Don’t forget to regularly remove dry and dead leaves at the base and perimeter to improve your succulents’ appearance, promote air circulation and new development.
This type of plant requires regular fertilizing in spring and early summer because its root system isn’t extensive and deep enough to look for nutrient sources itself. Without being well-fed, your succulents will become yellow, stop growing, lose their luster and foliage colors, and can’t stand harsh weather conditions. Like watering, succulents also don’t need to feed during the winter.
After directly planting succulents in your garden, apply an all-purpose 15-15-15 fertilizer within a few weeks. After that, you just need to reapply 2-3 times per year. In the event of potted succulent plants, let you use a general-purpose houseplant fertilizer monthly.
Inexperienced gardeners just need to provide your plants with suitable conditions of temperature, light, water, and soil to grow succulents successfully. It is easy to deal with water and soil. But, what should you do while you can’t control the temperature and light as mother nature? If your succulents love sunlight, simply put them in the sunniest positions. You can hide your succulents in shading areas or inside your house near the windows; even you can set up thin curtains to cut down the amount of sunlight.