Succulents, both indoors and out, have been popular for a few years now. Whether in cute pots on your bookshelf, or the window ledge in a brightly painted bowl, they effectively improve any scene to which they're added. While their fleshy leaves and swollen stems make for an adorable decorative, growing succulents can be a little tricky, and many beginners struggle to keep them alive. But all plants need is water and sunlight, right?
Although that much is true, you need to address the amount and frequency of both. A few simple tips and tricks can make your succulents not only last much longer but also thrive! If you're a newbie looking to add a few succulents to your home or have previously had unpleasant experiences with them, keep reading to know how you can care for your cacti and other succulents so they can grow nicely.
Types Of Succulents
According to botanical species, there are hundreds of different types of succulents. However, all of them have one thing in common; they are low maintenance and can survive prolonged periods of dryness. There are two main types of succulents; indoor succulents and outdoor succulents.
The trend for indoor succulents is rapidly increasing. From gardens to drawing rooms, bathroom shelves, and kitchen counters, succulents with plump leaves and vibrant colors add a new dimension to your indoors. But not all succulents can be grown inside the house. Generally, succulents with brighter colors such as reds, oranges, or violets and purples are better suited for outdoor life as they require more sunlight. Naturally green succulents have a better chance of surviving indoors, where the sunlight is limited and the environments dry with little humidity. Common indoor succulents include Jade Plant, Snake Plant, Zebra Plant, Crown of Thorns, Burro's Tail, and Panda Plant.
Indoor succulents, like other indoor plants, do not get sufficient exposure to the sun. To ensure proper growth, place the succulents near a window that gets sunlight most of the day. The longer they're in the light, the better. Since indoor plants can often only be exposed to indirect sunlight, make sure to place them in the brightest spot in the house so they can get at least six hours of light a day.
Watering succulents can be a little challenging. Succulents like to have more water, but less frequently. It can be confusing for a beginner. You need to remember that succulents prefer their roots soaked in water but not at all times. Once you've drenched the soil and roots, your plant is good to go for a few days until the soil dries out. Then you can wait a day or two and then repeat the watering. Spraying the water on the leaves and stem can make them brittle and weak. Never water succulents every day since it's the quickest way to kill them.
Succulents do not like glass jars. Basically, any container that does not drain the excess water will not make your succulent happy. So terrariums and non-draining pots are a no-go with indoor succulents since they do not appreciate sitting in soggy soil. Glazed ceramic and terracotta jars are the best options to keep your green succulents in so the airflow can be maintained, and the soil can dry out properly.
While all species of succulents are pretty hardy, outdoor succulents can survive more challenging environments than indoor varieties. Outdoor succulents are low maintenance but still need attention and conditions to help them grow well. Common outdoor succulents include Hens-and-Chicks, Stonecrop, Whales Tongue Agave, Ball Cactus, Plush Plant, and Dudleya.
Yes, the succulents love sunlight. But some varieties prefer diffuse sunlight or even shade to thrive. Aeoniums, Painted Ladies, and Lace Aloe cannot survive in direct sunlight and hence need to be placed in shaded spots with indirect sunlight.
Summer months do not pose much of a challenge to outdoor succulents. However, the winter months, especially those of Ontario, can be difficult. Most succulents cannot survive snow and frost, although certain Aloes, Echeveria, and Senecios can tolerate colder climates and even mild freezes.
Outdoor succulents do not need a lot of water. Using the soak and dry method should keep your succulents alive unless the heat outside is over 90°F, in which case you'll need to provide some shade to your plants and maybe water them a little more frequently. However, suppose you've recently watered your succulents and are wondering whether you should do it again. In that case, it is better to skip a day since overwatering is more likely to kill your succulents than under-watering.
If you're worried about taking care of a houseplant, succulents are the best type to start with. They're easy to keep alive and do not require round-the-clock care. So why wait? Stop by our shop, and we can tell you everything you need to know about succulent keeping!