Because of their special ability to retain water, succulents tend to thrive in warm, dry climates and don’t mind a little neglect. This makes them well adapted to indoor growing and ideal for people desiring low-maintenance houseplants. Most succulents prefer at least 6 hours of sun per day, so try to place them near a south- or east-facing window. You may notice your succulents becoming spindly or stretching toward the light if they don’t get enough sun.
Nurseries most times plant their succulents in soil that’s too rich and retains too much moisture, so you’ll want to repot your succulent as soon as you bring it home. Start with a coarse potting mix with good drainage and aeration. You can find special cactus and succulent mixes at the nursery, or even use an African violet mix. To further improve drainage and prevent compaction, add perlite or pumice to the cactus or African violet mix (up to 50% of the total potting mix, depending on your particular succulent’s moisture needs). Always wet the mix before using to ensure it’s evenly moist. The number-one mistake many people make with succulents is overwatering them. It’s best to water more, but less frequently. Saturate the potting mix thoroughly (while ensuring water flows out of the drainage hole properly) but allow the mix to dry out slightly before the next watering. If the potting mix stays consistently wet every day, the plant may eventually die. Best to underwater, than over water in the long run, you can always water more if you need to! Every plant is individual, so it's best to check the soil with your finger, and if it is still moist refrain from watering for a few more days.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can you use sand to plant succulents?
Thought it may seem like succulents thrive in sand out in the wild, they actually prefer loose, rocky soil and need nutrients to grow well. When used on its own, sand has a tendency to compact over time, causing too much water retention in a container. 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/pumice.
Can you start succulents from seeds?
Yes. Succulent seeds can be started indoors in light, moist soil (much like other plant seeds), but grow more slowly and generally don’t reach transplant size until six months to a year after germinating.
Why are my succulent’s leaves falling off?
Like many plants, the lowest leaves on the stem (closest to the potting mix) will eventually shrivel up and drop. This is normal and nothing to worry about. If the topmost leaves are dying, it could indicate overwatering, pests, or disease. If you knock a leaf or two off, no worries at all! You can use these to create MORE succulent babies. Read below!
Great news for succulent lovers everywhere is that you don’t need to spend a fortune to purchase new plants all the time because the ones you got in your garden can produce more baby succulents on their own. This miraculous process is called propagation and it is absolutely exciting to watch!
Propagation From Leaves:
You can simply take a leaf that has fallen from your succulents or gently remove one off the stem. Make sure to use a twisting motion to pull the leaf off the plant entirely and avoid breaking it. Poor cuttings can result in the leaves not being able to sprout roots.
Put the leaves on a paper towel until the cut ends dry out so that they will not rot when planted. After a couple of days letting the leaves dry, transfer them on top of some succulent or cactus potting soil.
Give the leaves bright filtered sunlight and mist them with water whenever the soil dries out, about a couple times a week. Roots will start sprouting and baby plants will appear after a few weeks!
When the baby plant reaches about half an inch tall and the original leaf dries up, gently remove the leaf, scoop the baby plant out of the soil and replant it in a pot. Avoid causing too much distress to the roots, which eventually need to be covered with soil.
For more information on propagating succulents visit https://succulentsbox.com/pages/propagation