Updated: Jun 3, 2021
We all love them, but many of us kill them by accident, from loving them 'too much'!
Here's how to keep those succulents happy.
1. Ensure Your Succulents Get Plenty of Light
Succulents need light and require 6 hours of sunlight each day (this depends on their type). Freshly-planted succulents can burn in too much direct sunlight, so introduce them over time to full-sun exposure, or give them some shade with a sheer curtain.
2. Rotate Frequently Succulents do like getting direct sunlight -- but if sitting in the same exact spot everyday, just one side is getting the right amount of light. By rotating your plant often, they'll lean into the sun, so shifting them helps them stand upright. Note: Leaning plants may be trying to tell you they need a more sunny spot!) 3. Water for the Season Just like humans, succ's need more energy when they're in their growth-period. In spring & summer, they thrive and drink more H20 than in the fall & winter when they're resting and more dormant. Always gently test the soil with a finger—when the top 1 to 1.5 inches feel dry, get that watering can!
Overwatering is a common killer of succulents, so ensure the soil dries between waterings.
4. Directly Water the Soil When watering your friends, soak all soil 'til the water drains out of the holes. No drainage holes? Use less water. Never use spray bottles on succulents, as the mist causes brittle roots and can mold their leaves. Placing pots in a pan of water lets the water absorb up through drainage holes. When the topsoil is moist, remove it from pan.
5. Keep It Clean! All indoor plants eventually gather dust on their surface, which inhibits growth, so we gently wipe the leaves and spines with a damp cloth or soft paint brush to reach hard-to-access areas).
6. Let it Drain.
Choosing a container with good drainage ensures your succulents won’t sit in water-logged soil. Drainage is the key to preventing rot -- drainage holes let excess water escape. Bay Fog prefers terra-cotta pots for beginners to help with humidity control.
7. The Right Soil is Key Regular potting soil or yard dirt won’t cut it -- we recommend cactus soil (or a mix of potting soil with sand, perlite and pumice. Succulents' roots are super fragile so be extra tender when repotting them for best results and to avoid shock.
8. Bug-Out! Pests aren't usually an issue for indoor succulents, but bugs like gnats are attracted to succulents planted in overly wet soil without good drainage. To kill-off eggs and larvae, spray soil with 70% isopropyl alcohol. "Mealy bugs" are caused by over watering and over fertilizing. As a general rule, always quarantine any infected plants away from others after treating with alcohol or neem oil. 9. Summertime Fertilization Succulents don’t need a lot, but you can give them light fert. feedings in spring / summer as long as you don't over fertilize which can force them to grow too fast or weakened.
Reach out to Christopher at Bay Fog for other plant care tips! Chris@bay-fog.com