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Things You Need To Know To Care For Succulents

Whether for creating a garden or interior decoration, succulents have become favorites in the home. They adapt to almost any environment, they are easy to care for, they reproduce in a short time and we find them in different shapes, sizes and colors, being an ideal option to give life to our spaces.

If you are taking your first steps in gardening or simply want something new to diversify your species, here we will tell you everything you need to know about succulents to extend their life for a long time.

8 tips for caring for succulents

1. Not too much sun

We have the idea that succulents have high resistance to the sun. Although their nature allows them to survive extreme temperatures, some can suffer burns from direct sun all day. Such is the case of the succulent Haworthia or Donkey’s Tail, which although they enjoy abundant light, it is preferable not to expose them to the sun for many hours.

The most advisable thing to ensure that its leaves are not damaged is to place them in morning light for a maximum of 5 hours and then place them in the shade. If they are indoors, we should leave them near a window where they can receive enough natural light, and use a curtain that filters the lighting at dusk. If we see that the succulent loses color or stretches its leaves towards the window, it means that it needs more sun.

It is also important that we rotate the plant frequently so that it receives enough light from all sides. By doing so, our succulent will remain upright, because, as we already mentioned, they orient their leaves towards where the sun is when they need more exposure.

2. Control humidity and temperature

One of the main characteristics of succulents is that they retain a large amount of moisture in their leaves, especially if they are large, therefore, over-hydrating them can cause them to drown. Plants that have a lot of water have flaccid stems and leaves, and they appear translucent, while, if they lack water, spots appear.

To avoid this, you must let the soil begin to dry before watering them again . It can be verified by inserting your finger: if around 3 centimeters are already dry, it is time to moisturize them again. This is especially important during the hot season, while in the fall and winter they can go longer without this resource.

The correct way to water them is to fill the soil with water until it overflows, which is why succulents need to be planted in containers with filters. If they do not have holes, the quantity must be reduced so that they do not rot. Likewise, the ambient temperature must be confirmed.

3. Substrate for succulents

Like other plants, succulents require soil substrates, but instead of being loaded with nutrients, they have to offer an adequate level of drainage. It should not be overlooked, since these types of plants do not have very deep roots. If there is no adequate drainage, the accumulated water will negatively affect them. As part of succulent care, using an unglazed or porous pot will be ideal for releasing water; Among the best options are clay or mud pots.

4. Enough fresh air

It is common to find  arrangements of succulents in which they are all very close together, whether positioned in layers or in a single planter. Although they will not die in a few days, in the long term it will not be a suitable environment for them. They need to breathe and receive enough natal light, so placing them in separate spaces will be the best alternative so that they last a long time.

One of the projects that work best at home is terrariums. They adapt so that only one plant lives inside them. It is important that the container we choose has an opening for air to enter, so using a small fish tank is an excellent alternative. Among the supplies that we must consider are soil for succulents, stones or gravel, and moss to promote drainage, as well as some decorative items.

5. Don’t forget cleaning!

It is normal for plants to get dusty, but you should not let it accumulate. If we want them to continue growing, it is important that we remove dust and dirt regularly. Since some succulents have strange shapes and narrow areas that are difficult to access, the use of a paintbrush could be useful.

6. Be careful with pests

Another important point in the care of succulents is the presence of pests. They are generally attracted to moist soils, as is the case with mosquitoes. Although it may seem repetitive, it is necessary that our pots do not accumulate water, as it will not only affect our succulent, but will attract different insects. The same thing happens with excess fertilizer, this can cause mealybugs to appear.

To be even more preventive, you have to be extremely careful with hygiene. Dry leaves must be removed, and if a contaminated plant is detected, it must be isolated from the others. Among the consequences that can be caused to plants are the early fall of buds, fragile or brittle stems, and deformations.

7. Little fertilizer

Although it is not the main care we should have for them, applying a little fertilizer will help them grow. Let’s try to do it only in spring and summer, without overdoing it, since we can weaken them. Some of the best products are those that do not have high levels of nitrogen.

8. Periodic transplant

If we do not want our succulent to grow very large, then we will have to keep it in small pots. However, there are some species that grow very quickly and that do need to be transplanted. Such is the case of the Fairy Castle cactus and the Mother of pearl.

It is also recommended to move them when the benefits of the substrate have been exhausted. It is best to make the change every one or two years, depending on the characteristics of the plant, and have the new substrate ready so that it quickly adapts to its new place.

What else should we know about succulents?

  • If we live in humid areas we can water them once a week, if we have them inside the home up to 3 times. The succulents that need the least water are jade or aloe.
  • Most species do not adapt easily to intense cold. Watering them with ice water can damage them.
  • They reproduce quickly, if we plant a small leaf or part of its stem it will germinate.
  • Some take a long time to produce flowers, and others die after flowering, for example, some species of agave and kalanchoe.
  • There are edible succulents, such as pitaya or prickly pear, although for these we do need more space to plant.
  • They protect themselves from the sun. They have a white powder called pruina that works as a protector. Additionally, the leaves of some plants close to avoid direct contact.

Without a doubt, caring for succulents is not a laborious task, but it does require us to pay attention to their changes to detect when they need sun, water or are having an excess of both. With that, we will have their company for a long time, and we will take advantage of them to give life to our garden.

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