Succulents are remarkable plants with the unique ability to thrive in diverse environments. Their water-storing leaves allow them to endure long droughts, whether in the wild desert or in a cosy spot on your windowsill.

However, even these resilient plants need some attention to truly flourish. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you care for your succulents and keep them thriving.

Choosing the right pot

Proper potting is crucial for succulent health. Ensure your pot has a drainage hole at the bottom. Succulents dislike excess moisture and will suffer if their roots remain wet for too long. Good drainage is essential to prevent waterlogged roots and ensure the plant’s health.

Selecting the ideal soil

Succulents prefer well-draining, porous soil over rich, nutrient-dense mixes. The best soil for succulents is sandy, allowing water, nutrients, and air to reach the roots efficiently. A suitable potting mix includes sand, drainage chips, and vermiculite. Alternatively, a 50/50 mix of low-peat planter mix and pumice, topped with granite or pea gravel, works well.


Watering your succulent

Watering succulents properly is key to their health. During their active growing season in warmer months, succulents need a thorough watering once a week. Avoid small, frequent watering. Instead, let the soil dry completely before giving the plant a good soak. Always empty the saucer beneath the pot to prevent water from sitting around the roots.

In cooler months, succulents enter a dormant phase and require less water. Watering once a month is usually sufficient during this period.

Fertilising succulents

Over-fertilising can be more harmful to succulents than not fertilising at all. Use a low-nitrogen fertiliser at half or a quarter of the recommended strength to keep your succulents healthy.

Light requirements

Succulents thrive best with filtered light rather than direct, intense sunlight. In their natural habitats, succulents often grow under bushes or trees that provide shade. For outdoor succulents, choose a spot that gets four to five hours of morning or afternoon sun. Indoors, place them near a bright window with indirect light for most of the day.


Ensuring proper airflow

Succulents need good air circulation to prevent problems related to stagnant air. Ensure your succulents have adequate airflow around them to stay healthy.

Common issues to be aware of for succulents

Lack of light: If new growth is pale green and elongated, your succulent needs more light.

Excess light: If the side facing the light source is yellow, tan, red, or indented, it’s getting too much light.

Pest control: Regularly check for pests, especially mealybugs, which are common on succulents. At the first sign of infestation, clean your plant with rubbing alcohol or use a preventative product like Biogrow Bioneem.


TIP: While indoor succulents are popular, consider creating a succulent garden outside if you have the space. These hardy, water-wise plants can create stunning landscapes with minimal effort.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy a thriving succulent collection, adding beauty and greenery to your home and garden.


Get water-wise with a succulent garden

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