5 Simple Tips To Help You Stop Killing Your Succulents

Growing succulents doesn't have to be difficult. Proper succulent care can be easy, as long as you know a few basics. Are your succulent leaves falling off? Or maybe they just aren't growing well? The tried-and-true tips here are simple and easy but will make all the difference in how well your succulents survive!

Lots of Sunlight

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Succulents need a lot of sunlight to grow happy and healthy.

Usually a south-facing window sill will provide enough light. Outside, they don't like direct sunlight in the heat of the summer when they are outside. They are very prone to sunburn.

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.

If you notice signs of sunburn (brown/black spots on the leaves) move it somewhere that the light is not quite as direct.

Well Draining Soil

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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 mix I use for 90% of my succulents is considered a "gritty mix" and has equal parts turface, crushed granite, and pine bark fines. It has been critical in keeping my succulents healthy and preventing rot from too much water.

If you don't use a gritty mix, avoid traditional potting soil and consider adding a coarser material into your mix. Pumice is a great option for this.

Water More, But Less Often

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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 lost a couple of 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.

Watering is different for some succulents

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A couple of 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 Pachyphytum oviferum is going to need a lot less water than the Aeonium 'Zwartkop'.

I actually really like the Aeonium 'Zwartkop' (pictured above) 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 of hours!

Prevent Stretching

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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?


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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 damp soil to grow.

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!


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From years of experience, 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 the care of succulents but ultimately their environment determines whether or not something will be good for the plants.

Be willing to give things a try and adjust if they don't go as planned.

7 Worst Mistakes Beginners Make When Growing Succulents

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Many people assume that they can take care of succulent plants however they want -- just treat them like normal house plants. The problem is succulents aren't like most other house plants. They have completely different watering needs and often need more sunlight and airflow than other plants. Find out what the most common succulent mistakes are and how to avoid them.

Yes, Your Succulent Is Probably Dying, But Here's What To Do About It

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There are a number of reasons your succulent might not be looking great. Find out how to tell what's wrong with your succulent and how you can fix it or prevent it from happening again.

What Succulent is Best for You?

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There are thousands of succulent varieties and not all of them will grow well in your climate or may require more (or less) work that you want to put in. It's important to know how much light and water your succulent plants need to thrive so you can select the plant that's best suited for you.

Expert Tips for Creating Stunning Succulent Arrangements

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Figuring out which succulents to combine together to make a beautiful arrangement can be daunting. But with these tips from succulent design experts, you'll be able to put together crowd-pleasing arrangements easily, whether it's in pots or in the ground.

Succulents are perfect wedding flowers!

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Not only are succulents gorgeous in your home and garden, but they're perfect for use in weddings and other events. Find out everything you need to know about using succulents for your wedding, including the best places to buy them, how to DIY different arrangements, and more.

This article originally appeared on Succulents and Sunshine.