How to Care for Succulents
Succulents are always a great pick for a thoughtful gift. They're low maintenance, well suited to most homes, and easy to propagate. In addition, these plants come with a great deal of health and psychological benefits including stress reduction, increased concentration, and improved mood. When proper care is taken, these beauties can brighten any space for years to come. Our succulent experts share six tips for keeping succulents alive and well indoors.
Water in Moderation
Succulents store water in their thick, fleshy leaves allowing them to survive on limited water resources. Before watering, press your finger into the soil. If it's damp it does not need water. If it's dry, add water directly onto the top layer of soil, doing your best to avoid wetting the leaves. Tip out excess water. Allow the soil to dry completely between watering.
Use Well Draining Soil
If you're repotting your succulent, use coarse potting mix with good drainage and aeration. Many nurseries carry cactus mixes that work great, or African violet mix will do just as well. You may want to mix your soil with perlite or pumice for added drainage. We the mix before using it to ensure the soil is evenly moistened.
Keep in a Well-lit Area
Succulents thrive on about six hours of sunlight per day, so make sure you keep them near a window that lets plenty of light in (south facing windows work best). Newly potted succulents can scorch in direct sunlight, so gradually introduce them to full exposure, or shade them with a sheer curtain. Rotate the pot frequently to ensure all sides of the plant are getting enough sunlight.
Clean their Leaves
Indoor plants gather dust on their leaves which can inhibit growth over time. When you notice your succulents getting a little cloudy, gently wipe the leaves with a damp cloth or a soft paintbrush, and they'll look shiny and new once again.
Add a little plant food to your potted succulents once or twice a year to ensure they are getting all the essential nutrients. Specialty plant food is inexpensive and lasts for a long while. Be sure to follow the directions on the plant food packaging before using.
Plants need to breathe as well, so remember to occasionally open a window and let the fresh air in. It's good for you and for your succulents. If you choose to keep your succulents in a terrarium, open the top often and let some air circulate through so the plants will continue to thrive.