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The Plant Scoop: Succulents

Updated: Apr 23, 2019

Everything you ever wanted to know about caring for your succulent.


Street Name: Succulent

Scientific Name: Echeveria, with hundreds of varieties.

Preferred Growing Climate: Succulents naturally occur in warm and arid climates. They’re actually part of the cactus family, which is why they have fleshy leaves to store plenty of water in dry conditions.

Preferred Light Conditions: Succulents tend to do best in a sunny windows where they can soak up light for most of the day. The toughest time of year for a succulent is winter time where the days are shorter and light is more scarce. Some plant lovers will invest in special grow lights for winter, but others are just extra careful to put their succulents in the window that gets the most light during the day. (consider that some of your windows may only get 2 hours of sunlight, while others may get closer to 4-6.)

Loves being watered when:Soil has completely dried out. The most common killer of succulents is overwatering, which results in their roots sitting in wet soil. We wish there was a steadfast rule for watering succulents- like ‘once a week, and one shotglass worth of water’ but it isn’t that easy. So many factors will shape your watering schedule, like home humidity, type of pot, size of pot, type of soil, etc. It’s always best to stick to the basics and feel the soil to determine when your plant is ready for a drink.

Signs of trouble:

-When your succulent grows tall & leggy or starts to lean in a certain direction it is ‘stretching’. This phenomenon occurs when the plant is stressed from lack of sunlight & is trying to arch closer to a light source. Solution: move your little guy to a brighter window & rotate it regularly so all parts of the plant are getting sun.

-Your succulent is not as brightly or richly colored as it once was. Solution: Again, your plant is struggling with getting enough sun. Time for a move to a brighter window, or time to invest in a grow light.

-Your succulent leaves are looking sad. Solution: more likely than not, this is a water issue of some kind, whether over water or under watering. If your leaves are beginning to look see through or squishy it’s likely an issue of over watering. Allow the soil to completely dry out before watering again- and stick to this as a routine. If the leaves are looking crispy or shriveled, it may be an underwatering issue. Add water to the plant, until it drains out. (if your pot doesn’t have a drainage hole, remove the plastic grow pot and allow it to drain before putting it back in the decorative pot)

Tips from the expert:

-Always plant your succulent in a well draining pot so excess water wont sit on your plant’s roots. Terra cotta is a great option as it’s a naturally wicking material.

-Succulents love a well draining and porous soil with lots of crushed rock and sand to make sure water doesn’t cling to the roots. It’s easy to make your own soil mix (consult google!) or to buy a cactus blend from your local garden center.

#succulent #succulove #plantcare #planttips #helenolivia #plantshop

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