5 Succulent Care Tips for Happy, Healthy Succulents

Proper succulent care can be easy, as long as you know a few basics. Hopefully from the tips in this post, as well as the posts above will help you ensure the long and happy life of  your succulents!

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Are your succulent leaves falling off? Or maybe they just aren’t growing well? Growing succulents doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, succulents can be a really low maintenance plant that looks great year round! The five tips below are simple and easy but will make all the difference in how well your succulents survive!

Water more, less often

I know, I know this is the thing that gets said over and over with succulents too much water is not good for succulents. It’s true! It is a crucial part of succulent care. I have almost lost a couple plants due to over watering so really this can’t be stressed enough!

However, succulents like to have their soil soaked and then dry out before watering again. So, soak the soil and then let it dry completely. For more details about this watering method, check out this post or my ebook on watering.

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A couple things I have learned along the way that may help with watering… the thicker the leaves on a succulent the less water it needs. So my beautiful Pachyveria Royal Flush is going to need a lot less water than the Aeonium Zwartkop. I actually really like the Aeonium Zwartkop because it tells me when it needs to be watered by having droopy leaves. Add a little water and it perks up within a couple hours!

For a more in depth look at how I water my plants, check out my post How to Water Succulent Plants.

 

Well Draining Soil

So, I just told you succulents need infrequent watering and the soil needs to dry out between watering. In order to do that you’ll need a well draining soil. There are a lot of suggestions as to what you should use for soil and in what proportions. The basic idea is that you need to mix in something light and porous into regular soil to increase the drainage. I’ve been adding pearlite to soil at about a 1:1 ratio. One of the best soil mixes I have though is from a can of succulents I got from a gardening class taught by Cynthia Bee. She uses vermiculite and coconut coir in her mix and it has been really great as far as drainage. I’m looking to switch over to all coconut coir. Basically though, just make sure your succulent is in a well draining soil so the roots can completely dry out between waterings.

UPDATE: For more details about my current soil mixture, check out my post Well Draining Soil for Succulent Container Gardens. You can also buy a the succulent soil I use here.

Lots of Sunlight

Succulents need a lot of sunlight to grow happy and healthy. Something I learned though is they don’t like direct sunlight in the heat of the summer when they are outside. They are very prone to sunburn.

Rather, if they are outside put them somewhere they will receive some shade and stay relatively cool. Morning light is good with a bright shade in the afternoon. If your plants are inside, put them somewhere they’ll receive bright light for most of the day. They are less likely to get sunburned inside, but it can still happen. Usually a south facing window sill will provide enough light but if you notice signs of sunburn (brown/black spots on the leaves) move it somewhere that the light is not quite as direct.

A sign that your succulent isn’t getting enough light is “stretching”. If your plant starts to get really tall with a lot of space between leaves it is stretching out trying to find more light. If you notice this, try to move your plant where it will get more light throughout the day.

This is an example of a succulent that is stretching for light. See how spaced out the leaves are?

Propagate!

One of my favorite things about succulents is how easily they propagate. It is so easy to increase your succulent garden by merely taking off leaves from your plants and putting them out on a damp soil to grow. For more detail instructions on propagating succulents you can take a look at this post or you can also purchase my eBook! Propagating is so easy and so much fun to see the tiny new plants growing. Plus, if your supply of succulents is constantly growing it is fun to start giving them to other people! Most people are intrigued by how these plants propagate and you may even find some people who want to try it themselves!

Make succulent growing easy and fun with this ebook on growing succulents indoors

Succulent Leaf Cuttings -- Succulents and Sunshine

 

Experiment

I have been participating a little bit in this succulent and cactus forum. There is a lot of great information on there and people are so willing to help out when they can. From all of the things I’ve read on there though I’ve decided that the health of your succulents boils down to experimenting with watering, soil and sunlight. Every area is so different and the plants respond in various ways to their environment. Often you’ll see completely contradictory statements in regard to care of succulents but ultimately their environment determines whether or not something will be good for the plants.

I would love to hear from any of you with your successes or failures in growing succulents as well as questions you might have about them. I am not an expert by any means but I am passionate about them and am always excited to learn more. If you have any tips for growing succulents feel free to share them here as well!


 

 

2017-10-07T05:13:28+00:00

204 Comments

  1. Tuba Siddiqi October 4, 2017 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    Hi I bought this house which has succulents in the frontyard but three of the varieties are dying and have these weird dark spots on the tip of the leaves I really need your help coz I have no idea whats happening to them and I like succulents so much I really want to save them before they all die.I live in california and they get water fron sprinklers every three days

    • Chantile -- Succulents and Sunshine Success Team October 5, 2017 at 9:24 am - Reply

      Hi Tuba! I sent you an email :)

  2. Jane October 4, 2017 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    My succulent used to look nice and healthy and I’ve checked the water, and it’s. ok, but now it only has 8 leaves now, 3 of which are babies. What is wrong?

    • Chantile -- Succulents and Sunshine Success Team October 5, 2017 at 9:22 am - Reply

      Can you send a picture to [email protected] ? It will be easier to diagnose that way :)

  3. Emily October 11, 2017 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    I have tried everything! I don’t know why, but my succulents are turning black and almost all leaves have fallen off. :(:(

    • Chantile -- Succulents and Sunshine Success Team October 12, 2017 at 12:16 pm - Reply

      It sounds like they could be overwatered – can you send me a picture? [email protected]

  4. Debbiek October 13, 2017 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    All my recently purchased succulents seem to be dying from overwatering even though ive planted them all in pits with drainage and only watered them once(thoroughlly, uponnplanting) and using fast driaing soil made for succulents. They are dying in the way that is clearly overwatering – leaves are coming off upon simply touching them. I decided to replant them using the same soil but adding these tiny decorative rocks in the mix. I belueve the soil will drain fater this way. I hope it works. They are indoors but get good sun because they are in a spot under the skylight i have in my home. I live in NC so its sunny almost every day the whole year. From what ive read this light shouldbe perfect for them. Lets see jownit goes with the new soil idea.

    • Chantile -- Succulents and Sunshine Success Team October 16, 2017 at 8:24 am - Reply

      Keep us updated on how adding the decorative rocks to your soil goes! :) It’s great that you were able to diagnose the problem on your own! :)

  5. Sami Burton October 15, 2017 at 9:43 am - Reply

    I have no clue what my succulent is it looks orta like the Graptopetalum paraguayense but its like a hangy.

    • Chantile -- Succulents and Sunshine Success Team October 16, 2017 at 8:32 am - Reply

      Can you send me a picture? Email it to: [email protected] and I will try to identify it for you :) This article is also helpful in helping you identify succulents.

  6. Gina October 18, 2017 at 2:03 am - Reply

    My plant has this big black and green boil, what’s happening?

    • Chantile -- Succulents and Sunshine Success Team October 18, 2017 at 8:19 am - Reply

      Can you send me a picture? [email protected]

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