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A Succulent Care Guide

What is a succulent?

Succulents are plants with thick leaves that store water. This adaptation evolved as a way to live in areas with little rainfall. Succulents are a popular choice for houseplant enthusiasts as they stay compact, come in a beautiful array of colors and shapes, and are great for beginners. Some popular succulents include echeveria, haworthia, jade, kalanchoe, and sedums.

Here’s a simple guide to keep those succulents thriving:

succulents

Sunlight:

  • Succulents love sunlight. Place them in a location where they can get at least 6 hours of light a day. This may be a south or west facing window in your house.
  • Some succulents thrive in direct sun, and can even be brought outside for the summer. Others are more sensitive to browning or burned leaves and do best with indirect sunlight.
  • Light changes with the time of day and the season. Be mindful of intense afternoon sun, especially in the summer, as it can scorch the leaves. A sheer curtain or shades can help filter the light.

Watering:

  • The #1 rule: water sparingly. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings.
  • Water more in the growing season (spring and summer) and reduce watering in the dormant season (fall and winter).
  • Water the soil directly, avoiding the leaves to prevent damage.

Soil:

  • Well-draining soil is a must. Use a specialized cactus or succulent mix or amend regular potting soil with sand or perlite. We carry Espoma Succulent and Cactus Mix, which has added sand to improve drainage.
  • Ensure the pot has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
organic cactus mix

Container:

  • Choose a pot with drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating at the bottom.
  • Succulents prefer a slightly cramped space, so don’t use a pot that’s too large. We recommend choosing a pot that is only one to two inches larger than its current home when repotting.

Temperature:

  • Most succulents prefer temperatures between 60-75°F.
  • Protect your succulents from drafty doorways and windows. Be mindful if you place them near heaters or fans that may dry out the soil faster and throw off the temperature.

Fertilizing:

  • Feed your succulents with a balanced, diluted fertilizer during the spring and summer. We recommend Espoma’s Succulent and Cactus fertilizer, which can be mixed into your watering can prior to watering.

Pruning:

  • Trim leggy or dead growth to encourage a compact and tidy appearance.
  • Remove any debris or fallen leaves to prevent pests and diseases.

Pests:

  • Keep an eye out for common pests like aphids and spider mites.
  • If you notice any pests, gently wipe the leaves with a damp cloth or use insecticidal soap.

Remember, each succulent variety may have slightly different preferences, so it’s good to research the specific needs of your plants. Enjoy your succulent parenting!

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