How to Care for Your Succulents
Yes, succulents are one of the easiest houseplants to care for, but before you get started, here's what you need to know on how to care for your succulents (and not kill them).
They are cute, easy to care for, and you can place it anywhere in your home. Yes, succulents are the ideal houseplant, especially if you don't have a green thumb since they are low maintenance houseplants. Plus, according to a NASA study, succulents are air-purifying plants, and they're child-friendly, too. What more can you ask for?
Fun Fact: Have you heard of succulent jewelry? Yes, it's actually a thing. The surprising part is it grows as you wear it. Now, never have you felt so close to Mother Nature.
Succulents, also known as desert plants, are popular for their fleshy, thick leaves and enlarged stems that store water. This plant originated from dry, desert locations, so it's no brainer that they can thrive in places with long dry seasons, such as Africa.
Some plant enthusiasts may think that growing succulents indoors can be a bit tricky because even though they are cute and labeled as beginner's plant, not all succulents are suited for indoor growing. For example, succulents that have bright colors don't do well indoors since they require to be placed under full sun. If you're planning to get a succulent, and this is your first time, it's best to go for the naturally green types like aloe vera or a snake plant.
Of course, not all succulents are cute and tiny. Some succulents can grow up to 12 feet tall like Blue Yucca. In general, succulents need a sunny spot to survive, frequent watering, a lot of love to keep it happy and healthy. Ready to take the plunge and want to learn more? Here's everything you need to know on how to care for your succulents.
|Plant Size||From under 1 inch to 12 feet tall.|
|Types of Succulents||There are about 60 plant families under the succulent category, but the most popular are:
Cactaceae (cacti): one of the most recognizable types of succulents with their protective prickly spines. For example, Bunny Ears Cactus.
Haworthia: they are small in size and require a lot of sunlight. For example, Zebra Haworthia.
Sedum: part of the Crassulaceae family. It can grow a few inches tall up to three feet tall. For example, Burro's Tail.
Sempervivum: can be easily identified by their classic rosette shape. For example, Hens-and-Chicks.
|Sunlight||Most succulents need at least 3–6 hours of direct sun every day, preferably during the morning. It's best to place it in a warm spot, like near a window, where it can receive the right amount of sunlight.|
|Water||Water your succulent when the soil is completely dry. However, during summer, you should water your plant more frequently because their soil dries up faster.|
|Humidity||Succulents do not like humidity because it can lead to fungal problems, and it can cause your plant's death.|
|Temperature||Some succulents can survive in temperatures between 40–95ºF. However, some indoor succulent types prefer a more conservative temperature between 50–60ºF.|
|Toxicity||Most succulents are not toxic, but there are indoor succulent types that are harmful to humans and pets. For example, aloe vera and spurges are both toxic to humans and pets.|
|Food||Fertilize your succulents at least once a year, especially during the spring season, with a balanced, all-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half the strength.|
|Pests & Problems||Succulents can be susceptible to pests like aphids, mealybugs, and powdering mildew. To remove these pests, use a cotton swab with alcohol, mild soap, or natural insecticide.|
|Omysa Plant Care Tip||Choose the right succulent for your indoor conditions by reading the plant labels. It will help you determine the sunlight and water requirement and the size of your succulent.|
Succulents are tough plants, but that doesn't mean it will thrive off neglect. It still needs love and attention, just like other houseplants. To make sure that you don't kill your succulent, here's a complete explanation of how to care for your succulents, from sunlight requirement to common problems and its solutions.
First, on our list on how to care for your succulents is to place it under direct sunlight at least 3–6 hours every day, preferably during the morning. It's not recommended to place your succulent under afternoon sun because the light is quite harsh and will likely cause damage to the leaves.
Common Problem: Pale leaves or "sunburned" succulent leaves means lack of sun or too much sun.
Solution: Succulents love light, but if you notice that your succulent is slowly losing the intensity of its original color, then it needs indirect sunlight of at least six hours per day, depending on the type of succulent. It's best if you can place directly by a window to make sure it gets enough light. We also suggest that you rotate your succulents frequently for even growth. A succulent that's placed under the sun for too long will become "sunburned," with scars on their leaves. The best thing to do is to provide filtered sunlight for your plant.
Next on our list on how to care for your succulents is to water it when the soil becomes dry. It's also best if you put your succulent in a pot with drainage. For example, terra cotta pots are best for succulents. Do not water your succulent when the soil is damp, moist, or wet.
Common Problem: An overwatered succulent will have leaves that look shriveled or leaves that are turning brown. An underwatered succulent will have wrinkly leaves near the bottom of the plant.
Solution: The general rule of thumb is to let your succulent's soil to dry completely before watering them again to avoid root rot or wrinkled leaves. During summer or very hot weather, water your succulent more frequently. It's best if you can check it per week so that you'll be aware of how many days or weeks before the soil dries, then create a watering schedule.
Humidity & Temperature
One thing you should always remember is that succulents do not like humidity because this can lead to fungal problems that can end up in root rot. Place your succulent in a dry area with minimal humidity. If you live in a place with high humidity, make sure that your plant's soil isn't wet because this is a bad combo for succulents.
Some succulents are used to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. For indoor succulents, keep the place's temperature between 50–60º F.
Common Problem: If you keep getting fungus on your succulent soil, then this means either the air in your place is too humid, or the soil is too wet.
Solution: Place your succulent in a dry area with minimal humidity. Also, allow air circulation and be sure that your succulent is placed in a pot with proper drainage.
Most succulents are not toxic, but there are indoor succulent types that are harmful to humans and pets.
Succulents toxic to humans: Several euphorbias are toxic when touched or ingested.
Succulents toxic to pets: aloe vera, euphorbias, jade plant, and kalanchoes. These succulents can cause minor skin irritations and mild symptoms when ingested by your cat or dog.
Non-toxic succulents: burro's tail, donkey's tail, echeveria varieties, ghost plant, haworthia varieties, hens-and-chicks, and mother of pearl.
Another on our list on how to care for your succulents is to feed it once a month during the growing season with a balanced, all-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer, such as an 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 formula, diluted to half the strength. Remember, too much fertilizer can be harmful to your plant because it can burn your succulents.
Pests & Other Problems
Succulents are prone to fungus gnats, mealybugs, scale bugs, and spider mites. To eliminate these insects, use a cotton swab with alcohol, mild soap, or natural insecticide.
That's a wrap on how to care for your succulents. Succulents are fun to collect, but before you get one of these cute plants, research first the best type of succulent for your home. Read the plant's label and follow the guide above to keep your succulent happy and healthy.
Grow your plant knowledge. Check out our Plant Care blog to learn more about different houseplants and tips on how to keep your plants alive and healthy.