Easy, Breezy Succulents
Tips for caring for this year’s “it” plant
Plant care: Fourth in a series
Check out our other plant care posts for helpful tips:
Maybe it’s because they’ve become a symbol of health and wellness. Maybe it’s because we’re living in smaller spaces. Maybe it’s because they are just so delightfully resilient. Whatever the reason, succulents are the new “it” plants, and we can’t can’t enough of them.
By definition, succulents are plants that store water in their leaves or stems, which makes them pretty easy to maintain. And with an almost limitless variety of sizes, shapes, colors and textures to choose from, there is a succulent (or many) for everyone. Here are some tips to help you care for yours.
Succulent plants are often dormant when shipped, so you may notice dry edges or a dull color if it’s a new arrival. This is totally normal; the plant will intensify naturally once placed in sunlight. Some succulents (sempervivums) will change color with the seasons; you can ask your local garden expert for direction in choosing this type of plant.
Succulents love the sun. Most varieties need half to a full day of sunlight (about 6 hours). In extreme heat, some afternoon shade is usually recommended. But succulents – like many plants – are smart. If they are not getting enough light, the leaves will begin to stretch toward it.
Planting & soil
If you are re-potting, make sure the soil level remains consistent in it’s new container. You can buy special “cactus soil” or layer in sand, pebbles or pea gravel to improve drainage. Make sure your container also has a drainage hole on the bottom.
As with most plants, be sure to water well after planting or re-planting. Between waterings, you should let the soil dry out – succulents don’t like to have “wet feet”. It’s a balance – lightly spraying them will keep them alive but they won’t thrive, but daily watering will kill them. Keep in mind that succulents also have a dormant period when they don’t require as much water; this is usually during the cooler months.
Most succulents need very little – if any – fertilizer. Incorporating it into your watering routine once a month is usually more than adequate.
Succulents are perennials, so they’re on sale, too. Come see our selection at Snow’s Garden Center!