How to care for succulents and keep them alive

Everyone should know how to care for succulents. After all, these sweet little plants can make a huge difference in your interior. Whether scattered around your home office or in your bedroom, succulents can uplift your mood and give your decor a more natural finish. And while some can be very sturdy, they still need a little regular TLC; otherwise you will end up looking Tips for saving a dying plant.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to care for succulents. We’ll look at what you should do, as well as what you should avoid. So whether you’re new to the world of succulents or a regular aficionado, there’s something for everyone. Here’s how to care for your succulents and make them thrive.

If you want to breathe new life into your succulents, learn how to repot succulents while you’re at it. Or if air plants are more your thing, here’s how to care for air plants. Want to do more outdoors? Find out how to plant potatoes or learn how to plant sunflower seeds and when to do it.

How to Care for Succulents

1. Give them enough light — It may seem logical, but plants need light to survive. So if you lock your succulents in a closed bathroom, they will inevitably die. Ideally, established succulents should enjoy about six hours of full sun first thing in the morning, followed by partial shade for the rest of the day.

If your succulent is more of a sapling, too much sun can do damage, so reduce exposure if necessary. It should also be noted that some succulents require more light than others, especially those in southern regions, such as cacti and yuccas. On the other hand, there are also low-light succulents, such as snake plants and aloe vera.

Four houseplants and succulents sitting next to a window in the sun with a table

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

2. Keep them watered and fed — An obvious point again, but many succulents are killed by over or under watering. And with so many small sizes, it can be very easy to do. Succulents will naturally need more water in the summer and less during the winter months. As a guideline, watering once a week in summer is good practice, while once a month may be sufficient in winter.

You can always check how dry the soil is with your finger – if the top centimeter feels dry, it’s time to water. If you’re new to succulents, it’s also a good idea to use pots with drainage holes. This saves you from overwatering and you can reuse any excess in the container on other succulents. You can also add a small amount of fertilizer in the spring or summer to promote growth. We recommend Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food ($8.40, Amazon).

A small watered succulent

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

3. Watch the temperature — Although succulents are quite hardy, few will survive sub-freezing temperatures, so keep them indoors during colder months. Likewise, if the temperature is too high, say above 90°F, it will also kill most succulents.

Ideally, you want the temperature to be between 40-80°F to keep your plants happy. But remember that the higher the temperature, the more often they will need to be watered.

A wilted succulent

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

4. Spin your pots — Wherever you’ve placed your succulents, chances are one side won’t get as much light as the other. Over time, this can cause your succulent to grow in the direction of the sun and “bend”.

Preventing this is easy: just rotate your plant from time to time to give sun to the other side. This makes them more beautiful and better supports their growth.

A succulent sitting in the sun

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

5. Keep Pests Away — While you may think indoor succulents will be pest-free, think again. Gnats and scale insects are attracted to moist soil and fertilizers, which can make them an unwanted guest on your succulents.

First, you should isolate any plants that show signs of infestation and clean the area to prevent it from spreading to others. Next, mix a solution of one part 70% isopropyl alcohol and one part water. Then spray the soil and any pests you can see on the leaves to kill them. Make sure the succulent is pest-free before putting it back with the others.

A mealybug on a leaf

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

6. Use the right soil — Soil is important and you may be using the wrong things. You need soil that isn’t too dense and allows quick drainage, which means everyday compost won’t work. Instead, purchase dedicated succulent soil, such as The Succulent Cult Store Organic Potting Soil ($9.89, Amazon).

You should aim to repot your succulents every two years; you should do this during its growing season. Just be careful of the roots, as they can easily be damaged.

A succulent removed from its pot

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

7. Give the leaves once more – It’s always annoying to see dust accumulating on the leaves. Some of us won’t do anything about it for fear of damaging the plant, but that myth needs to be busted.

Excess dust can actually stunt your succulent’s growth, so it’s best to get rid of it. Also, the colors will look much better without it. All you have to do is wipe down the leaves occasionally with a damp microfiber cloth. You can also use a brush to reach tight spaces.

A succulent cleaned with a brush

(Image credit: Shutterstock)


For more planting tips, tricks and how-to’s, check out our guides on what to plant in March, how to prune hydrangeas, how to care for an orchid and 5 things to prepare your garden for spring.



More information about How to care for succulents and keep them alive

Everyone should know how to care for succulents. After all, these small, sweet plants can make a huge difference to your indoors. Whether they’re scattered around your home office, or dotted around your bedroom, succulents can improve your mood and give your decor a more natural finish. And while some can be very hardy, they still need some regular TLC; otherwise you’ll end up looking for tips to save a dying plant. 
That’s why we’ve pulled together this guide on how to care for succulents. We will look at what you should be doing, as well as what you need to avoid. So whether you’re new to the succulent-world or you’re a regular aficionado, there’s something here for everyone. Here’s how to care for your succulents and keep them thriving. 
If you want to give your succulents a new lease of life, check out how to repot succulents while you’re at it. Or if air plants are more your thing, here’s how to care for air plants. Want to do more outside? Check out how to plant potatoes or learn how to plant sunflower seeds and when to do it.
How to care for succulents
1. Give them enough light — It might sound like common sense, but plants do need light to survive. So if you shut your succulents in an enclosed bathroom, they will inevitably die. Ideally, established succulents should get about six hours of full sun first thing in the morning, followed by partial shade for the remainder of the day. 
If your succulent is more of a sapling though, too much sun can do some damage, so reduce the exposure as necessary. It’s also worth flagging that some succulents do require more light than others, especially those from the southern regions, such as cacti and yuccas. On the other hand, low light succulents also exist, such as snake plants and aloe vera.      

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
2. Keep them watered and fed — An obvious point again, but many succulents are killed by either over or under-watering. And with so many being such a small size, this can be very easy to do. Succulents will naturally need more water in the summer, and less during the winter months. For general guidance, watering in the summer once a week is good practice, while as little as once a month may suffice in the winter.
You can always check how dry the soil feels using your finger — if the top inch feels dry, then it’s time to water. If you’re new to succulents, it’s also a good idea to use pots with drainage holes. This prevents you from over-watering, and you can re-use any excess in the tray on other succulents. You can also add a small amount of fertilizer during the spring or summer months to help with growth. We recommend Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food ($8.40, Amazon). 

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
3. Watch the temperature — While succulents are pretty hardy, few will survive temperatures which drop below freezing, so keep them tucked up indoors during the colder months. Likewise, if the temperature is too high, say above 90°F, this too will kill most succulents. 
Ideally, you want the temperature to range from 40-80°F for your plants to stay happy. But, remember, the higher the temperature, the more often they will need watering. 

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
4. Rotate your pots — Wherever you’ve placed your succulents, odds are one side is not getting as much light as the other. Over time, this can result in your succulent growing in the direction of the sun and “leaning.” 
Preventing this is easy: Simply rotate your plant every so often to give the other side some sun. This makes them look better and gives their growth better support.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
5. Keep pests at bay — While you might think indoor succulents will be free from pests, think again. Gnats and mealybugs are attracted to damp soil and fertilizer, which can make them an unwelcome guest on your succulents.
First, you need to isolate any plants which show signs of infestation and clean the area to prevent it from spreading to others. Next, mix up a solution of one part 70 percent isopropyl alcohol and one part water. Then spray the soil as well as any pests you can see on the leaves to kill them. Make sure the succulent is free of pests before putting it back with the others.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
6. Use the right soil — Soil does matter and you might be using the wrong stuff. You need a soil which isn’t too dense and allows for fast-draining, which means everyday compost won’t work. Instead, buy a dedicated succulent soil, such as The Succulent Cult Store’s Organic Potting Soil ($9.89, Amazon).
You should look to repot your succulents every two years; you should do this during its growing season. Just be careful with the roots, as these can easily be damaged. 

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
7. Give the leaves a once over — It’s always annoying when you notice dust building up on the leaves. Some of us won’t do anything about it for fear of damaging the plant, but this myth needs to be busted. 
Excessive dust can actually slow the growth of your succulent, so you’re better off getting rid of it. Plus, the colors will look much better without it. All you need to do is wipe the leaves down every so often with a damp microfiber cloth. You can also use a brush to reach any tight spaces.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
For more planting tips, tricks, and how-tos, check out our guides on what to plant in March, how to prune hydrangeas, how to care for an orchid, and 5 things to get your garden ready for spring. 

#care #succulents #alive


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