Succulents have a reputation of being “easy” houseplants to care for but keeping them alive is often more difficult than it seems. If you’re eager to grow thriving succulents, read on for some of our top care tips…
First, you’ll want to buy a houseplant soil made for succulents or other similar plants, such as cacti. Well-draining soil is crucial.
Soggy soil invites pests, mold, and other succulent-killers. This is especially true in the winter, when the combination of cold rooms and low light can create the perfect environment for pests to thrive.
You’ll find succulent-friendly soil at most big-box hardware or garden stores. Look for a soil with lots of sand and perlite. Both encourage good drainage, which prevents your succulents from getting “wet feet.”
Besides choosing the right type of soil, the best way to prevent moisture problems is to water succulents infrequently but deeply.
If your succulent is in a pot with a drainage hole, water it until you see the water pouring out from the bottom. Then, wait for the soil to dry up completely before you water it again.
In the summer, you may need to water your succulents once every 1-2 weeks. In the winter, when most succulents are dormant, you’ll want to water them only once every 4-6 weeks.
But again, always check the soil to make sure it’s dry before you water. Overwatering is one of the easiest ways to kill a succulent, so you’ll want to avoid that.
We also recommend watering your succulents in the morning. Giving them hours of light and warmth throughout the day after watering helps keep the pests away.
Next, you’ll want to pay attention to where you place your succulent. Succulents love sun — but harsh, direct light can damage their leaves.
For best results, place your succulents in a south-facing window, where they can get several hours of full but soft sunlight. East- or west-facing windows are good alternatives, too.
Keep in mind that plants in cooler rooms will need less frequent watering, while plants in warmer rooms will need more frequent watering.
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY
Finally, temperature and humidity are also factoring when it comes to succulent care.
In the winter, succulents prefer to be in a room that’s 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. In the summer, they do better when temperatures range from 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
As for humidity, succulents grow best in dry environments. The ideal range is 10-40% humidity. Anything above 50% can invite fungus growth.
We recommend buying a digital temperature and humidity gauge for every room where you keep succulents and other houseplants. Amazon has many styles to choose from for under $12.
If your house is too humid (above 50%), a dehumidifier may also help. Otherwise, try to keep your succulents on a windowsill, in full sun. This will help the water evaporate more quickly, to mimic the dry desert conditions most succulents are used to.
You’ll also want to stay away from coffee mugs, glass jars, or other containers without proper drainage. Terracotta pots with drainage holes are best, as they help wick extra moisture.
Follow these tips, and you’ll have thriving succulents in no time.
Author: Maria Bonaventura