It’s that time of the year again… right? I’m hoping not to jinx the gorgeous weather we’ve been having lately here in Wisconsin with a post completely centered around gardening, but you’ll forgive me if I do, right? Okay, thank you! Anyways, last summer I became intrigued by the beauty that radiates from the pretty green looking succulents you see all over the blog-o-sphere, Instagram, Pinterest and you name it. I immediately wanted in on this “fad” because you know, when the hipsters start doing it, everyone better jump on board.
After purchasing my first succulent plants from Home Depot, I was actually a little surprised with how fragile and delicate these plants can be and became a little nervous about taking care of them. From what I had heard prior to purchasing them, they were impossible to kill and incredibly easy to take care of. But trust me, with my black thumb, anything is possible!
Now that I’ve kept my succulents alive for an entire summer (last summer) and have done plenty of research in between, I’d love to share with you what a learned about these pretty little plants. They’re not as easy to care for and indestructible as you may have thought, but with the proper care and knowledge they’re really not all that bad!
one: Don’t over water. This is where I almost went wrong. A plant is a living breathing thing right? Therefore it needs to be watered everyday. Wrong! Whatever you do, do not water succulents every day. You will kill them. Succulents belong to the cactus family of plants and therefore don’t need as much water as your other plants may need. However, you must keep in mind that these plants have a growing period in which they’ll need more water than they normally would. From late fall to early spring they lay dormant and don’t grow as much so they don’t need as much water, but during the summer, while they’re actively growing, they’ll need more water. Makes sense, right? A good rule of thumb, is to only water your succulents when you feel the soil around them is dry. Don’t continue to water if the soil stays moist– they don’t need it at that time!
two: Keep out of direct sunlight. This seems silly, doesn’t it? Don’t all plants love that nice bright direct sun, especially those in the cactus family? Well, succulents love their sunlight, but since they’re a more delicate variety they can burn and shrivel if left in direct sunlight for too long. Keep your succulents in a well-lit room, but I wouldn’t recommend keeping them in the windowsill exposed to the extreme heat of the afternoon sun.
three: Proper drainage. When choosing a pot to place your succulents in them, you’re not just going to want to look at the aesthetics of the pot, you’re also going to want to check out the functionality of the pot as well. Make sure that there’s a way for the water to drain out of the pot or your plant will be headed for the compost pile quicker than you thought! If your pot is similar to the metal one I used for my succulents, you can easily use a drill to drill a couple holes in to ensure proper drainage. Easy as that!
I hope that helps you out if you’re thinking about planting some pretty succulents in pots around your house this summer. They’re so pretty and simple and easy to keep alive during the winter, but just keep these little lessons in mind!
What’s your favorite gardening tip you’ve ever received?
Are you planning to grow succulents this year?