Succulents are low maintenance and really easy to care for if you get the basics right. They all need well-drained soil, a little bit of water and bright light
One of the most important things when it comes to growing healthy succulents is drainage. These gorgeous plants have spent centuries evolving into a green machine that’s meant to store and conserve water. Why mess with all that work. They hate it when their roots are drowning. When I see all those perfect little succulents for sale in pots with no holes in the bottom it breaks my heart. Those babies are going to turn yellow and squishy and probably die and you’ll end up thinking you have a brown thumb. Trust me you don’t. Some idiot decided to make a quick buck and sell succulents in a pot with bad drainage. If you do want to display your succulents in a pretty pot without holes, please remember to drain the old water regularly.
Adequate drainage is a must
Succulents thrive in well-drained soil. We normally make our own mix using 1 part bark chips (coconut hair and peat moss work too), 1 part perlite, 1 part small stones and 1 part common old garden soil, with a dash of the original soil mix, just for luck if we’re dividing the succulents.
Rehoming a few succulents
Succulents are not drought resistant, they’re drought tolerant. So they still need to be watered. Make sure to allow the soil to dry out between watering. Overwatering will make the succulent too fleshy and the colors will start to fade.
Contrary to popular belief, succulents do best in bright but indirect sunlight and they don’t mind a little shade either, especially during the hottest parts of the day. In fact, a few of ours thrive in full shade. You can always tell if they’re not getting enough light. They become leggy and scraggly and stretch around to try and find some. If yours are doing that move them to a brighter spot.
Making Succulent Babies
Most succulents are extremely easy to propagate. You only need a small piece of the stem or even one leaf to grow a new plant within a few weeks. Most of our succulents were grown from cuttings that our friends and neighbours shared with us. To propagate, take a cutting, remove any dead leaves, and allow it to dry out a little in a shady spot for a day or two. This allows the cutting wound to heal and form a callus, which prevents rot. Place your cutting in the soil mix mentioned above and you’ll have a new baby plant in no time.
You can also propagate succulents by dividing the roots of any overgrown clumps. Simply pull the whole clump out, shake off the soil and gently pull the stems and roots apart, before planting the individual clumps in their new home.
Divisions and cuttings
I always add a bit of the original soil if they’re going into pots. I’m convinced it makes the plants settle quicker 😀
Adding Succulents to Your Home Décor
Succulents are such an easy way to include a bit of Mother Nature in your home décor. All they need is enough light and some water when the soil is dry and they’ll give you many years of pleasure. Please don’t put your succulents near an aircon. They don’t like it at all. There so many different ways to display them too. Place a single Aloe or Agave to make a minimalist statement or combine lots of different succulents in a container to create layers of interest. Repeating similar shapes, colors or textures give continuity, while different colors and shapes add variety and contrast.
And just like any other container garden the concept of “Thrill, Fill, and Spill” applies.
Choose members from the Cacti, Didierea and Euphorbias families for the showpiece thriller.
Aizoaceae, Portulaca and the smaller Crassulas make lovely fillers and don’t take away from the thriller. Rocks, stones, pebbles, driftwood, and other natural items are great fillers too.
The final component of creating a beautiful succulent planter with loads of interest is adding some trailing and creeping succulents that will spill over the edge. Once again you’ll find a whole bunch of creeping Crassulas that will do the trick. Just remember when planting a whole bunch of succulents together that you won’t need to water as often since the air won’t flow so easily and the soil will stay damp for longer.
Okay, that’s about it for now. Sorry, the post was so long, but I really wanted to share as much information about succulents with you guys so you can feel comfortable about growing your own. And if you’re still not convinced that you can care for them, you can always make these wooden faux succulents.
Please don’t forget to go see what my friends from the IBC have done for this month’s garden challenge. Their link should be down there at the bottom. Oh and if you’re itching to add to your succulent collection, I’ve got you covered Disclosure: If you click on the links below, we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us fund our ever-growing succulent collection.