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6 Tips for Caring for Succulents

by | Nov 10, 2020 | Aggie Life, Agriculture

Taking care of houseplants, or, as some may call them, “plant babies,” can be a gratifying hobby. Horticulturist Marlene Simon at the UC Davis Botanical Conservatory posits that houseplants beautify and also create a sense of well-being in our environment. “I think it’s the challenge of growing something and the reward of seeing it grow and thrive,” she said. Below, Simon suggests tips for how to ensure succulents thrive inside.

Watch the light.

Low light is a common issue many people face with houseplants. Stretched out plants are showing signs of a lack of sunlight. “Most cacti take intense sunlight. So inside, you may get a stretched out cacti, and it may eventually get stretched out enough that it will die,” said Simon. For supplemental light, place inexpensive LED light bulbs near struggling plants.

Don’t overwater.

“People [often] overwater their plants,” said Simon. Succulents inside will require water every two weeks at the most. Check the soil; plants will rot out if they are watered too much.

Don’t water succulents after transplanting.

Watering succulents after transplanting them into a new pot will lead to rot. Leafy plants, said Simon, should be watered right away. For succulents, however, wait a few days to do so.

Don’t over-pot your succulent.

Choosing a pot that is too big can kill a plant. “When you water, you want to saturate the entire root ball. [When over-potting], now you have a really big root ball but the root is still very small so that soil is staying wet. That can possibly rot out your plant,” said Simon.

Choose the right succulent.

While having succulents around the house can make for aesthetically pleasing interior design, some succulents will not thrive if placed inside due to lack of light. Simon highlighted Echeverias and Sedums, for instance, as succulents that will better flourish outside or when placed by window sills. Haworthias, on the other hand, will do just fine indoors.