Succulent plants are one of the hottest trends in the last decade and as such people want to get the top tips for growing succulents themselves. These plants look great in offices, at home or even in your college dormroom. They are plants which don't need much looking after either, which is perfect for anyone worried about their office plants dying.
Instead of just finding succulents online to purchase, growing your own can be very rewarding. Succulents have a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes and they are perfect plants to give as gifts to friends.
Let's look at some tips and tricks you can use to growing your own succulent plants.
The Basics of Growing Succulents
Soil that allows water to drain quickly is what works best for succulents. One type of potting soil to get for your succulents is palm and cactus mix and works very well. If you find that the ground is drying to quickly try adding regular potting soil to help with water retention.
Adding sand or pumice to the dirt will help the water drain off quickly.
It works best if you add the potting soil in small amounts until the ground is drying out to your liking. In areas with high humidity, the land is vital to prevent rot. Dry climates soil can be instrumental in preventing dirt from drying too quickly
There is a belief that succulents don't need much water, that's not entirely true. Succulents can go long periods between watering, but when you do water soak the soil around the plant.
Not watering for weeks at a time won't kill them, they don't grow. Water when the soil is dry, about once a week during hot summer months, less as the weather cools. Overwatering succulents can kill them so water when the ground is dry.
Bright indirect sunlight is best for succulents, some species can tolerate different amounts of sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause most succulents to suffer, especially for extended periods of time. Keep your plants in the shade but where they get plenty of light.
It might be best to do some experimenting to see what works best for your succulents. When succulents do not get enough light, they stretch toward the sun and become leggy.
Move the succulent plant around or rotate them to keep them growing straight.
Pick The Right Succulents
Depending where you live it is best to know which succulents will thrive in your climate. Research for the right succulent for your local area and understand how much sun the plant will tolerate.
Even if the succulents you have chosen for your garden will thrive in direct sunlight, if you have too much or too little, it can easily kill or damage the plants before long.
Most succulents come from nurseries and were kept in a greenhouse. Different species of succulents thrive in different zones and it pays to know your plants. Knowing what succulent plans survive in the cold weather will help in selecting the ones that grow in the colder zones.
Knowing what succulents tolerate low light could be helpful in picking plants to grow indoors. Haworthias or Gasterias do great in low light.
The Right Pot
For beginners, a terra cotta pot is a great choice because it is porous and lets the soil dry quickly, letting the air flow to the roots. For most climates ceramics dows work really well. Pots with drainage holes are recommended as they allow for quick drainage and fast drying.
Not every succulent plant will be a success, some plants die for many reasons. Overwatering and too much direct sunlight are two of the reasons cacti die. Learning the reason succulents die will make you a better succulent gardener, you can correct the problem.
Propagating succulents is one good way to get more plants. It can also help get more plants by swapping your succulent cuttings with other growers. Look at our guide on succulent care for more tips and tricks with maintaining your succulents.
Succulents are expensive, being willing to experiment can aid in your success as a succulents grower. Things are not the same in the different locals where succulents are grown. What applies in one zone may not work in another region. Tweak the rules, experiment to find what works best for growing succulents successfully.
When you dig the hole in your garden to plant the succulent, make it the size of the root ball, drop the plant in the hole and don't backfill. Not filling the soil in around the roots allows the ground to work its way back around the roots at the same rate the plant grows. New roots will form near the surface where they can breathe.
Prune Your Succulents
You can prune your succulents should they become unruly, especially when there are several plants grouped together. Pruning will keep one species from overpowering another.
Feed Succulents Well
Succulents don't have an extensive root system that seeks out nutrient sources, they need to be fertilized regularly. All purpose 15-15-15 fertilizer should be applied within two weeks of planting, and re-apply two or three more times during the year.
Garden Planting Ideas
Want some ideas for growing your own succulents? How about some of these:
- Planting succulents of different colors and shapes close together you can create a tapestry of living art.
- Plant succulents that look like sea creatures or plants, and arrange them to resemble an underwater scene.
- With an array of colorful succulents plants create a living wall or vertical gardens.
- Create an alphabet garden with succulents as the letters.
Species Of Succulents
Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum)
This succulent's name means, "live forever," is a good plant for those who don't have a green thumb. The offspring produced by propagating this succulent is called "hens and chicks" and come in over 3,000 different species with an assortment of colors.
Zwartkop (aeonium arboretum)
Called the "black rose" due to its dark burgundy color and its rosette-like leaves. This succulent grows best outdoors as it prefers full sun. In winter the zwartkop produces yellow flowers that contrast beautifully with its dark foliage.
Torch Plant (aloe artistata)
This succulent grows to heights of 20 inches with orange blossoms that look like a torch. The torch plant starts out light green and darkens in sunlight.
Pig's Ear (cotyledon orbiculata)
This succulent is excellent for outdoor gardens because it grows as high as four feet. Pig's ear got its name because of the thick oval leaves that are circled in red. Yellow and red flowers grow atop two foot stems drooping down, usually during late summer and early fall.
Succulents are great plants for your indoor or outdoor garden, they do not need a lot of care and come in some lovely colors.