How to Grow and Care For Succulents
Succulents are very hardy plants that require little maintenance and will reward you with a beautiful show if you treat them with a bit of care.
Succulents are a species of plants with fleshy stems and leaves. These plants retain water over long periods, making them ideal for dry climates and hot, sunny days. With their ability to store water, succulents are the perfect plants for a water wise garden or a low-maintenance garden. However, while these plants don't require a regular watering, they do have some requirements. In this article we look at how you can grow and propagate succulents easily to create little pockets or pots of interesting display in your garden.
After recently posting an article on where to buy succulents in Gauteng, I have received numerous enquiries about how to care for succulents and the best way for planting. Since I am a huge fan of succulents, I'm sharing some tips on how to plant, how to propagate and how to ensure your succulents grow well.
Where do I plant succulents?
Succulents are not fussy about soil and will grow almost anywhere as long as it is a well-drained spot. These suckers don't like to stay wet, especially since they have their own built-in water supply stored in their leaves and stems. They will love any well-drained soil in a sunny spot with a minimum of 4 hours direct or dappled sunlight per day.
How much sunlight do succulents need?
Succulents do love sunshine, but in areas where the temperature rises above 30 degrees during the day, they prevent some dappled shade. On average, most succulents will grow well with 4 to 6 hours of direct sunshine.
Despite what many make you believe, succulents do require a lot of natural light and will not thrive without direct sunlight. If you plan of potting succulents for indoors, make sure to put them outdoors occasionally to soak up the sun. A sure sign that succulents are not receiving enough natural light is when they become straggly or start to reach for the light. When this happens, there is nothing you can do other than cut them up, place them in some sandy soil and let them grow roots for re-planting.
How often do you water succulents?
While the plants retain water within their stems and leaves, over long, dry spells the occasional watering will suffice. They don't enjoy being over-watered, which is why it is important to ensure they are planted in an area that drains well.
When the fleshy leaves of succulents feel mushy or bloated, you are probably watering them too much. Stiff and hard leaves let you know that you are providing too little water.
How to propagate succulents
Succulents are very easy to propagate and you can easily start a garden with a few fleshy leaves or plant tips. For successful propagation with leaves, carefully twist and break off a leaf at the bottom of the plant, making sure to remove the entire leaf, and place this on top of a container filled with sandy soil. Place them in a spot with dappled sunlight and mist with water once a week. You will soon start to see new plants sprouting from the end of the leaf. Let these grown for a couple of months and then plant them in your garden.