Who can’t love succulents? They’re simply magnificent with their serene form and calming presence. Many of them just make you wonder whether they’re plants at all! Take echeveria runyonii, lithops and gasteria, for example, they all look so heavenly. And there are many more beautiful ones considering there are over 10,000 species of succulents and cacti. Succulents make excellent plant gifts and plants for office desk, and when they’re used in terrariums, they make quite an elegant home décor.
However, if you’ve been an amateur gardener for even a little time, you know that succulents are quite delicate. It’s highly likely that you’ve had to suffer killing some of your succulents unintentionally. Don’t worry, many of us have.
So, how do we not kill them? Well, it’s not that hard and once you know the succulent care trick, you’ll find a hard time resisting bringing more and more succulents home. You only need to remember that succulents come from families accustomed to deserts and rocky surroundings with dry, harsh climates with the unforgiving sun.
Here are a few considerations to ensure a long life for these divine natural wonders.
Exposure to bright light is a necessary succulent care consideration. Hence it would be best if you found at least a semi-shade place for them. Haworthia, crassula and sedum may need a few hours of sun. While it’s true many of them, like cacti and haworthias, can do well indoors. But remember, even those types don’t like low-lit areas.
Even if your succulents stay indoors in bright artificial light, like your office desk plants, place them near a window with bright indirect sunlight for a few hours at least once a week.
Considering their lineage, you should realise that water hasn’t been a luxury to succulents. That is why they adapted to dry climates using their thick leaves to store water and long roots to go deep in search of water.
Clearly, ample water or accumulated humidity isn’t something they appreciate. As you may know, overwatering is the biggest killer for them. So, wait for their soil to dry before watering. In particular, for succulents in a terrarium, create a proper gravel base where excess water remains separate from the soil.
Another major mistake we often commit is that we use regular potting soil for succulents. While a few cacti are seen to be doing fine with that, it’s the second biggest succulent killer. Again, looking back at their natural habitat, the soil mix that you need is which drains fast and doesn’t store water for long. You can add cocopeat, coarse sand and pumice/perlite. There is no fixed ratio of ingredients; neither is their just-one type. All you need is to ensure the soil drains quickly.
Frequent Pot Rotation
So, by now, we know that succulents just love the sun. Direct or indirect, sunlight plays a critical role in their growth and health. That is why we recommend that whether it is just a pot or terrarium, you should rotate it once in a few days. You may have noticed your succulent leans towards the direction on the part exposed to sunlight. This frequent rotation will ensure that there is an even distribution of sunlight on every part of the plant, and the growth is uniform. However, remember to keep young succulents away from the hot sun as it may burn their leaves.
If you have felt guilty about killing your succulents, you shouldn’t. Almost all of us have been through that at some or the other point in time. So, start afresh and the next time you plan to buy succulent plants or terrariums, refer to the tips above. Your succulents are going to live on this time!