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what are succulents

What are succulents?

Succulents are small, hardy plants that usually, (unless they’re cacti), have big fleshy leaves. They grow in all sorts of different containers, and their vibrant colors and interesting shapes make them perfect decorative indoor plants. They grow slowly, and don’t need to be watered often, so they are perfect for low-maintenance gardeners or those of us that aren’t natural green thumbs. But there are a lot of questions around the care of succulents, from soil type to light quality.

Here are the three main factors you need to consider for succulent care: soil, water, and light.

Do succulents need soil?

The short answer is yes, but the type of soil you use can vary by plant and by region. Whatever soil you decide to use, it needs to be gritty and drain well, because succulents don’t like wet feet, and poorly drained soil will rot their roots. You can buy pre-mixed soil made specially for succulents, or even use Miracle Grow. Some gardeners recommend adding fine sand to the pot to help with drainage, while others suggest adding pumice to help with water retention in the soil.

Do succulents need light?

Although they can adapt to lower light conditions, it is best to give your succulent(s) plenty of light. They like dry humidity and warm conditions like direct sunlight, but you also want to make sure they have shade/cover too, so you don’t scorch the plants. A spot on the windowsill where they can receive a few hours of direct sunlight daily is perfect for your succulents.

Do succulents need water?

Most succulents thrive in dry conditions, but they do need to be given something to drink every now and then. The trick is to let the soil dry out completely before watering your succulent again. But you want to make sure you’re also pouring enough water into the container to saturate the soil. Too much water, and the roots will rot. Too little water, and the roots will dry up, killing your plant. It may take some trial and error to figure out how often you should water your succulent, but don’t worry, these plants are hardy!

Ready to choose a type of succulent for planting?

You can buy them from nurseries, home improvement stores, and even Ikea. When it comes to potting your succulent, most gardeners suggest avoiding glass jars or containers that don’t drain, because you don’t want to overheat the plant or drown the roots. But if you do want to use a mason jar or a tea cup, for example, as containers for your succulents, you can add pebbles to the bottom of the jar, or mix sand in with the soil to help with drainage, and be extra careful with how much water you add to the pot. Once you’ve picked your container, you can accessorize by adding rocks and shells, pieces of colored glass, small mirrors or sculptural features.

What containers do you like to use for your succulents? Share with us in the comments below!


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