Tips For Growing Succulents

Cactus or desert plants are also known as succulents, because of their thick fleshy leaves and their ability to retain water for long periods of time. The advantages of growing succulents are many:

  • You can grow them anywhere; in a small flat on your patio or verandah or in your garden; they don’t need a lot of space.
  • They are slow growing so that you don’t need fear that they will take over a small space the way other plants can.
  • They are extremely hardy and take manhandling even a bit of neglect. Since they don’t need a lot of water, you don’t need to tell the neighbor to come over and water them if you leave for a weekend out of town.
  • They come in many different varieties and colors; some of the leaves looking much like flowers themselves.

If you are growing succulents keep the following tips in mind:

  • There should be optimum sunlight. If there isn’t enough, the stem will become etiolated and the leaves sparser. If the plant is getting scorched with too much light the leaves will likely turn white or brown. So make sure the light is optimal.
  • These plants are usually able to take a wide range of temperatures, but in very cold places they may need protection particularly in winter.
  • During summer, the watering should be adequate for the plant to thrive. Succulents need less watering and you should wait for the soil to dry between watering. In winter, the watering should be significantly less; since the plants may go dormant. If the plant stops growing or shed leaves or develops brown spots, chances are you are under watering it.
  • Also remember not to end up over watering it. Overwatering is the number one cause for the plant rotting and consequently failing. Never let a succulent sit in water. If you are overwatering you can tell because the plant will become discolored and soft. The roots will also appear brown and rotted.
  • Special soil mixtures that are meant for cacti and succulents should be used for these plants. The soil should be the sort that drains well and does not get water logged. If you don’t have access to special soil mixtures, you can try adding perlite to increase the drainage and aeration of regular potting soil.
  • In summer, regular amounts of fertilizer may be a good idea for your succulents; in winter they may be no need for this at all.