Succulents are the most low maintenance plants that anyone can take care of. They are a beautiful addition to any garden in arid environments where water is scarce. They also look great in terrariums. But some people still have trouble keeping their succulents alive simply because they don’t have the proper understanding of how to care for them. I’m here to tell you how to keep succulents alive with these simple tips.
Let Them Breathe
Succulents that are kept in a terrarium need to have enough room to breathe. Since they hail from arid conditions they are meant to be exposed to elements to survive the best. When picking a terrarium, make sure it is at least twice as big as the succulent that you are adding to it. If you are planting the succulents outdoors plant them somewhere where they will have air flow, using the same principles as the terrarium.
Shady Conditions are Your Friend
A common misconception is that since succulents are usually found in the desert or very dry conditions that they thrive in direct sunlight and high temperatures. While this is halfway true it depends on the type of plant that you are using. If you choose a succulent that is mostly green or pale they have the highest danger of experiencing sunburn. Plant these types in an area that receive a moderate amount of sunshine throughout the day. If you don’t have an option for shade, plant succulents that are red, blue, or gray. They have the best protection from the sun and will be happier in direct sunlight.
Happy Soil Means a Happy Plant
Traditional potting soil doesn’t drain quick enough for succulents and you may inadvertently over water your plant. Instead, opt for something called a cactus mix, or mix traditional potting soil with pumice or crushed lava rocks in a mixture of 4 to 1, respectively.
Water Your Low Water Plants
Just because a plant is rated to survive “low water” or drought conditions doesn’t mean you shouldn’t water them. Wait until the soil is almost dry before you water your succulents. Over watering or keeping the soil constantly moist is a recipe for plant rot, and may also attract mealybugs. If you see white streaks on the stem, then you’ll need to know how to treat mealybugs on succulents to bring your plant back to full health. But the bottom line should be: low water doesn’t mean NO water.
Propagate the Correct Way
You know the usual way to get a start from an already established plant is to grab a stem and set it in a cup of water until roots start to sprout and then plant it. This doesn’t work for succulents. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. If you want to get a new start from your favorite succulent, pluck a leaf or stem and let it dry in the shade for at least three days. The process is called healing and will prevent rot. Place the dried leaf or stem in the same type of soil that we talked about above and you’ll be well on your way to growing a whole new plant!
Succulents are great because they are low maintenance and they look great in just about any space. Now that you know how to keep succulents alive with these simple tips you are well on your way to creating a beautiful garden with a unique touch. Have you had problems keeping your succulents alive? You can be sure that these tips will help you out next time you are wondering why they keep dying on you. Once you master the art of keeping succulents alive, you can move on to more creative ways to decorate and craft with succulents. Happy gardening and crafting!
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Fun With Succulents
Related do-it-yourself projects with succulents.