Over recent years succulents have become very popular, especially with the young hipsters who work and live in London.
Succulent can be tricky to grow, most people kill them with kindest by overwatering them.
But don’t be discouraged if you give them a try and you’re successful at the first attempt of looking after a succulent, but if you follow the guidelines below you should end up with healthy happy plants.
Chose A Container With A Hole In The Bottom
Basically anything with a hole in the bottom, that way the water has a chance to escape and not pool which can cause your plant to rot.
Use A Cactus And Succulent Soil
Use a soil that is specifically blended for cactus and succulents because they prefer a soil that is lighter, faster draining, with more aeration.
Do not use a regular potting compost as this is too heavy and holds too much moisture.
Pick a Healthy Succulent
Get off to the right start with something that is really healthy, to begin with, choose a succulent that looks like it has a nice shape and good colour.
Also, look for a succulent that is free of insects and that doesn’t have dead, dying or soggy foliage.
Planting A Succulent
Begin by putting your cactus or succulent soil at the bottom of your container, and then work a little bit of it up around the sides.
Gently remove your succulent from the pot it has been grown in and place on top of the soil. Then add additional soil around the root ball making sure that it is nicely packed in.
It is always a good idea to leave a little bit of a lip from the top of the soil surface to the top of the pot. That way you don’t make a mess when you are watering.
You want to water your succulent until just a little bit is coming out of the bottom of the pot. Make sure the pot isn’t standing in any excess water.
A rule of thumb when watering your succulent is to allow the soil to dry between waterings. Depending on where your succulent is kept and the time of year this can be once a week to every few weeks.
If the leaves begin to pucker on your succulent, this is a good sign that it needs water. But if the leaves start to look soggy and translucent, that could be mean that the soil is too moist.
The best thing to do is get into a habit of checking your succulent often to see if it needs water.
How To Feed Succulents
Succulents are just like any other plants, they need food to thrive.
How often you feed them will depend on which variety of succulent you have. So it is recommended that you research which succulent you have, but generally you need to feed them once a month with a specific succulent food.
Incorporate the feeding of your succulent into your normal watering schedule, this way your plant won’t get over watered.
Keep An Eye Out For Insects
If you see anything starting to develop, it is better to care of it immediately. Take a picture or a sample of the plant down to your local garden centre so that they can maybe help you identify what you are dealing with and how to take care of it.
Most succulents do not like to be sprayed with insecticide.
The most common insect found on succulents are mealy bugs, which are tiny little insects that look like they are covered in cotton wool.
The easiest way to get rid of this bugs is to dip a cotton bud in some isopropyl alcohol and gently wipe them off.
Groom Your Succulent
Diseases and insects love to harbour over dead and decaying foliage. Keeping your succulent clear of this will keep them happier and healthier, and they’ll look much nicer.
Several succulents produce a really fine powder on their foliage, and even though it’s not detrimental to their health, try to reframe from touching the foliage as they look a lot better when they are not marred with a load of fingerprints.
Keep An Eye On The Temperature
The majority of succulents cannot really handle really cold temperatures, so if you are keeping them outside make sure you bring them inside before the first hard frost in the autumn.
How Much Light Does A Succulent Need?
You want to provide your succulent with at least 4 to 6 hours of morning light in the summer time. You also need to protect them from the scorching afternoon heat because many varieties can get sunburn easily.
But on the flip side in winter you may need to provide extra light when the days are shorter and the light is not as intense.
How Long Does A Succulent Live For?
The lifespan of your succulent will depend on which type you have. Some soft succulents can live for decades, while others may enjoy a 6 to 8 year lifespan with proper care.