Succulents, The Aliens Of The Plant World
Some of the most unusual looking and beautiful plants on earth, succulents are amazing additions to one’s home. I can’t keep my eyes off the different varieties of these strange looking plants, and why should I? They range from cacti to echeveria, sedum, aeonium, agave, dudleya, and more. Who knew?
And while they may seem out of this world, succulents are some of the most popular houseplants around. Why? Because they are amazing! Not only are they beautiful to look at, small enough for even a tiny home, but are also simple enough for all of us to care for. Even if you’ve killed succulents in the past (myself included) don’t you worry, we can all become succulent whisperers in no time.
Many people will have you believe that succulents are foolproof, neglect loving plants which don’t need your love or care or water. However, if you really want something alive and thriving in your house, at some point you have to care for them, and succulents are no different. So what’s the deal, what can we do to keep our beloved succulents alive and well?
It’s true that succulents don’t need a lot of water, but while most people are too busy worrying about overwatering them, they end up NEVER watering them. This is clearly a no-no and you have to find a nice balance in order for these plants to survive. It’s important to note that watering them every day will indeed be too much and they will die. However, these plants will need their roots soaked with water on a regular basis, once a week or more.
Get the soil completely wet, let it dry out, repeat. Simple, right?
Another important thing to note is that succulents don’t need as much water in the winter. Like bears and other animals, succulents will hibernate and become dormant in the winter time. Thus, they won’t need as much water. Make sure that the pots they live in aren’t glass or terrarium like structures, as they tend to get the soil soggy and your succulent doesn’t like soggy.
What happens if the leaves on my succulents start shriveling up?
Don’t worry, it’s a normal part of their life cycle. The leaves on the bottom will eventually shrivel up and die, like the rest of us, and you don’t have anything to worry about. However, if the leaves at the top shrivel up, then you know you are doing something wrong.
Don’t be afraid to let the sun shine in, as these plants love the sun and want to be bathed in its luscious rays for hours and hours and hours. They are from the desert, after all. So if you live in a dimly lit environment, try and find an area of the house where they can get at least 6 hours of sun per day. Yes, 6 whole hours! No garden apartments allowed!
East facing windows tend to be the best, as you don’t have to worry about your succulents burning out, but they are getting enough light where they are definitely thriving.
If you’re a beginner and want to know where to even begin, try out the green succulents before you branch out to the more colorful varieties. Succulents with greener leaves will have the greatest chances of surviving inside. Dump the gray ones, blue ones, purple ones, as these are more suited for the outdoors. Bright green leaves are a bright green light.
Succulents are like introverts and need some time and space alone. While they are able to do well in more crowded environments, to really thrive they will need space and room apart. Especially for those of you who live in low lit homes, with little access to sunlight, space your plants out! They’ll really appreciate it.
Make sure your succulents have well-draining soil, as they don’t do well when the soil is soggy or moist! Make sure they are able to drain well and they won’t be in an area where they are more likely to stay wet. For container gardening, cactus soil, gravel, or volcanic rock will work better for drainage. It’s also a MUST for your pot to have drainage holes in order to rid itself of extra water which will damage your succulent.
Succulents are wonderful plants to keep in the home, and with a little trial and error, you can become a succulent expert. For those who want some good succulent starting kits, you can find some here.
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What are your personal experiences with succulents? Any cool and interesting tips or ideas on how to display them? Comment below to start the conversation.