How to Care for Succulents

What is a Succulent?

Succulents are plants with thick stems and leaves that contain water. Succulents typically come from arid climates. Due to lack of moisture, they developed water-retentive qualities to survive. They are also used to desert, so they can take a higher amount of sun than most other types of plants. Thanks to their durability, succulents are incredibly common for beginner plant parents. 

Another reason succulents are so common is the vast amount of different shapes, colors, and textures they come in. Many different types of succulents have been discovered. Some are spiky like golden barrel cacti. Others are smooth like the jade plant. Interestingly, some are even fuzzy like the bear paws succulent. Succulents also vary greatly in color. Add a pop of color to your desk with a red aeonium, or get a plant that fits your gothic decor with a black prince echeveria. When it comes to shape, there is even a succulent vine with heart-shaped leaves, Hoya Kerrii. Because of the sheer amount of variety succulents offer, they are a major force in the landscaping and houseplant worlds.

Succulent Care

The most common mistake succulent owners make is overwatering. According to Current Biology Magazine, succulents’ stored water content can reach up to 90-95%. Succulents use their stored water very slowly. They only need water every few weeks to replace their water and stay clean. Another major issue people face is improper drainage. You may be watering at the correct pace; however, without proper drainage, succulents will sit in water. 

Bear Paws Succulent

How Often to Water Succulents?

Because succulents are mostly made up of water, they need infrequent watering. The general rule on how to care for succulents is water when the soil is entirely dry. Stick your finger or a tool into the soil. If any sticks to the tool it is not time to water yet. Two to three weeks is generally how long it takes to dry completely indoors. Outdoors, it may be around a week and a half. For more uncommon succulents, do some research. Scientists will be the best source of information for your specific succulents. 

Tip: How to water succulents: 

  • Stick your finger or a tool into the soil. If any soil sticks to the tool it is not time to water yet.
  • Water on the leaves can rot succulents. Water at the base of the stem, below the leaves to avoid this.
  • Dry any excess water that is sitting around the plants or leaves

Do Succulents Need Sun?

Most succulents are full sun plants. They come from very bright parts of the world, so that is what they are used to. However, they can live in half shade and even indoors. If you do have a succulent indoors, bright light is recommended. Right by a window or under a grow light will give you the most growth.

Propagating Succulents

Another interesting feature of succulents is their ease of propagation. When a succulent leaf falls off it will remain alive and try to stay alive on its own. The stored water will continue to keep the plant alive until it can root and find soil. According to the article Propagation Techniques for Ornamental Succulents, this is an asexual method of propagation. Anybody can propagate this way, but it takes more research to sexually propagate succulents from seed.

Golden Barrel Cactus

How to Propagate Succulents

If you want to share your favorite succulent with someone, just pluck a leaf off or take one that has already fallen. Put the leaf in a bright spot inside or outside. You can place it directly on top of the soil if you want. Wait at least a month for the succulent to root, then you can spray water directly onto the root or below the leaf. Individual succulent leaves can rot extremely easily, so be careful not to wet the leaf. 

How to Plant Succulents

Succulents tend to do best in low bowls or shallow pots. Their root system doesn’t grow too fast, so a large pot will have too much empty space for them. Succulents can fit in super small spaces just fine. Just make sure they have room below their roots so they can grow. Our wide bowl planter is best for succulents.

Where Can I Buy Pots for Succulents?

So now you know how to care for succulents, you just need the right planter. At Ten Thousand Pots, we have the largest selection of ceramic planters and yard art in Texas. Come see all of the different colors and sizes we offer! We provide free consultations from our team every day to help you decide what pot and saucer combination is best. You can reach us at (512) 584-8889 or learn more about the services we provide. Learn more about what we do here.