Succulents, with their vast array of forms, colours and textures, are experiencing a real surge in popularity at the moment. Their reputation for being hardy, low maintenance plants makes them perfect for any level of green thumb. And as an added bonus, they are so simple to propagate from, which means new plants for your collection - bonus! Our top tips will help you get your succulents thriving.
Succulents need a lot of sunshine to grow happy and healthy. But contrary to popular belief, they do not like to be in full sun during the heat of summer, as most succulents are prone to sunburn.
For optimal growth, we recommend placing your succulents outside in a spot they will get lots of sunlight (morning sun is ideal), and some shade (bright afternoon shade preferably) and stay fairly cool.
If your succulents are inside, place them in a spot where they will receive very bright sunlight for most of the day. There are even some great lower light tolerant species that will thrive in an indoor environment.
A sign that your succulent isn't getting enough sunlight is 'stretching'. If you notice your succulents being to stretch, move them outside, or to a spot where they will get even more sunlight.
Correctly watering succulents is one of the trickiest parts of growing them - but easily mastered. Once you have it right, your succulents will thrive (we promise!).
Water your succulents more, but less often. Confused? Don't be - it's easy.
Basically what this means is, give your succulents a really good soaking and then leave them to completely dry out before watering them again (a drainage hole in your container and the right soil will come into play here). Always test the soil before watering to make sure it's completely dry - the easiest way of doing this is to stick your finger into the soil and check. If the soil is dry, give your succulents a good drink, or if there is still some moisture, leave them for another few days and check again.
Use a watering can to direct where you want the water to go in your succulent pots. It is best to direct water straight to the soil, rather than on the succulent leaves.
And remember, succulents with thicker leaves need less water than those with thinner leaves.
In general, you are far better to underwater your succulents than over water, as too much water leads to root and leaf rot, which will ultimately kill your succulents.
In order to let your succulents thoroughly dry out between watering, you will need to use a well draining soil. The simplest way of doing this is to purchase a pre-packaged specialty cactus and soil mix.
Succulents, like any other plant, will need a bit of maintenance as they grow. Gently remove brown leaves from the bottom of your succulents as they grow, and during the summer months, give them a bit of fertiliser (diluted Seasol or similar) to help them on their way. You will also need to re-pot them as they become root bound (you'll notice roots coming out of the drainage hols) - choose a pot slightly bigger than the one they are currently in.
One of the coolest things about succulents is how easy and fun they are to propagate - which means free baby plants for you! There are many different ways to propagate your succulents, including from cuttings and also from leaves. We will write about succulent propagating in another blog post for you.
So that's it - pretty straightforward right?! Once you start your succulent collection, be warned! You'll want to keep adding to it for years to come. Enjoy!
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