How To: Care For Your Succulents

Caring for succulents is a great introduction to caring for plants as they only require a modest amount of work. They also come in a wide variety of shapes, colours and sizes, so you’re bound to find some that look great in your house or garden. They can be displayed on a sunny windowsill, in the conservatory or on a greenhouse bench. Let’s take a look at the most important things to consider when buying your first succulent.

How To: Care For Your Succulents

Watering

Succulents have evolved over time to combat drought, but this doesn’t mean they don’t need watering as frequently as other house plants. As a general rule, they will still need weekly watering from spring to autumn, and only watering monthly during the winter. Just remember to let the compost dry between waterings as constantly wet soil may cause rot.

When watering, soak the soil until the water runs from the drainage holes at the bottom – if your container doesn’t have holes then use less water. Refrain from using spray bottles as misting can cause brittle roots and mouldy leaves. Adding mulch to your pot can enhance the look and also stops damp soil from coming into contact with the leaves. You can use horticultural grit or crushed shells for this.

Soil & Drainage

As succulents need soil that drains, regular potting soil or earth from your garden won’t do the job. We recommend getting specialist cactus soil, or mixing potting soil with sand, pumice or perlite. Pumice is a great addition to the soil as the small rocks have air pockets that absorb excess moisture and enhance the aeration. The roots of a succulent are very fragile so just be careful when repotting not to damage them.

How To: Care For Your Succulents

Sunshine

It’s generally recommended to give succulents half a day of full sun, ideally in the morning and then dappled sun through the afternoon. Newly planted succulents can burn in direct sunlight so it may be best to gradually introduce them to full sun exposure or provide a net curtain.

As they love the sun, they may start leaning over to reach the source of the light. Rotating your plants frequently will help them stand up straight. Always check the growing requirements of each individual variety and if your plant looks a little unhappy in a certain spot, try moving it to see if it prefers another area.

Clean & Pest Free

It is unavoidable that your indoor plants will gradually become dusty. To combat this, wipe leaves carefully with a damp cloth and use a soft, clean paintbrush for those nooks and crannies. It’s also important to prevent pest infestations – this can be aided by giving your plants ample air circulation. Aphids and Thrips like flower buds, and Mealybugs will burrow into leaf axils. Pests can be sprayed with 70% rubbing alcohol diluted with 50% water. If any problems persist, treat them with horticultural soap and keep infested plants isolated from the rest of them.

Following these tips and giving them some love and attention, your new succulents flourish year after year. At Holt Garden Centre we stock a selection of succulents and cacti which can be found in various sizes from tiny pots to larger plants. Visit us in-store to browse our range and speak to one of our members of staff who will be happy to assist you in finding the perfect plant for your home.

Read More

  • How To: Prune Roses

    How To: Prune Roses

    Pruning roses is crucial to their health and allows for plentiful flowering year after year.

  • How To: Choose Plants For Shady Gardens

    How To: Choose Plants For Shady Gardens

    Shady Garden? Don’t worry, there are plenty of vibrant plants that will thrive without lots of sunlight.

  • Large Bug Hotel

    How To: Make a Bug Hotel

    If you’re feeling crafty, why not build your own bug hotel in your garden?

  • Close up of decorated christmas tree

    How To: Care For Your Christmas Tree

    Caring for your Christmas Tree this Holiday Season couldn’t be easier with our helpful “how to” guide.