The Ultimate Succulent Care Guide for Beginners

The Ultimate Succulent Care Guide for Beginners

A houseplant helps bring ease to a household and an aesthetic value to a room or outdoor area. 

The types of houseplants available range in shape and size. A common easy-to-care-for houseplant is a succulent. Succulents come in all varieties of shapes, sizes, and colors. 

Some thrive indoors while others require outdoor sunshine and heat. Succulent plants are durable and do not require significant maintenance, making them a must-have for a beginner horticulturist. 

Water According to the Seasons

Succulent watering is not difficult but requires some tips. As most succulents thrive in spring and fall, dormant in winter or summer, watering them according to the seasons is quite important. The following information is for most succulent varieties, please make sure yours is not exceptional.

Spring and Fall - due to most succulents thriving in spring and fall, they require more water in these two seasons. Typically watering the plant once every 7-10 days.

Summer - although succulents don't like sitting in waterlogged soil, it doesn't mean they can tolerate dryness for a long period. However, the climate of summer is dryer than the other seasons, watering them every 5-7 days is necessary.

Winter - on the contrary with the summer, moist climate results in extending the period of the soil remains wet. Besides, most succulents are dormant in winter, they don't need too much water or nutrient. Thus, water them every 4-6 weeks.

But if you have much time to be with your succulents, there is a method of watering succulents that applies to full-year growth for succulents which is called 'soak and dry'. Just water and soak the soil thoroughly once you discover the soil is completely dry. 

Sunlight

Succulents love sunlight, typically, most succulents need 4-6 hours of sunlight throughout the day. However, there is a risk of sunburn for succulents if they receive strong sunlight directly. You can take them indoors and near to the window or provide shade with a sheer curtain outdoors. Click here to learn succulents summer care.

Temperature

Most succulents don't have enough ability to tolerate a low temperature due to their native habitat. Bringing them indoors is recommended when the temperature drops below 32 °F. If you don't have enough space to place them indoors, protect them from freezing by using a horticulture fleece, like the one in the picture. Click here to learn the difference between soft succulents and hardy succulents.

Image Credit: everythingbackyard.net

Besides, there is magic around temperature that can impact the succulents to be more gorgeous and beautiful. Increase the fluctuations of the temperature from day to night gradually, you will be surprised with a colorful succulent. However, the premise is that your succulents belong to a variety that can change color.

Pot and Soil

A succulent beginner will need a breathable pot with a good drainage hole and soil. A drainage hole will help remove excess water from the soil quickly. Quick-drying soil is essential for the root structure of the plant to grow and form. Poorly drained soil will cause the succulent's roots to rot, well-drained cactus soil mix is preferred. Shop the boho style pot and succulent soil in the image if you like them.

Pest Control

Succulent plants will have leaves that die off even with the best precautions taken and it is important to clip these leaves off of the plant as they attract all sorts of insects and pests to the plant and most commonly mealybugs. If the plant leaves start showing small white specks, it may be due to a mealybug infestation. Not to worry these are quick and easy to remove from the plant. Rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle or on a cotton swab will do the trick without hurting the plant. In addition to this, air circulation is also one of the factors to control pests and prevent them. Click here to learn how to use neem oil to get rid of bugs on succulents.

Common Types of Succulents

Succulents may be tricky based on the different varieties available and the needs of those varieties. Some require more sunshine or less sunlight or more sunlight, it can be a confusing decision when picking out the first beginner succulent. Typically, most succulents prefer bright but indirect sunlight; however, some types will thrive outdoors and in full sunlight.

Outdoor Succulents

  • Crassula and Jade – requires more direct sunlight than other plants but may burn the leaves on the plant if kept out in extreme sunlight. The plant boasts colors of red, yellow, and orange. The plant cuttings may be re-planted repeatedly; however, the root system is shallow and takes time to firm with the plant.
  • Sempervivum - will survive the significant swings in temperature from Summer to Winter. A hardy plant that will thrive with minimal sunlight with minimal required attention to watering. Also, the plant has a ton of different colors to choose from, making this a great beginner succulent for the outdoors.  

Indoor Succulents

  • Echeveria  - a popular indirect sunlight plant with a wide range of colors and growth potential. This is the perfect beginner succulent with minimal upkeep. Water the plant when the soil is dry and ensure the windowsill receives around 6 hours of sunlight per day. Well drainage soil mix is a preferred option when planting.  
  • Senecio (String plants) – a string variety of plants that are used as home décor often. The plant will tolerate limited sunlight and drought; however, cold weather may hurt or even kill the plant. This is a perfect beginner succulent due to the low light required, limited watering required, and durability of the plant during hot seasons.

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