Succulents are a type of plant especially appreciated in gardening and decoration for their striking and peculiar shapes, very different from those of most other types of plants. In addition, many of them are native to desert or very arid environments, so they are very resistant plants that tend to require little care, in addition to being very easy to multiply.
If you want to learn the care of succulents and what are the main characteristics of these beautiful plants, join us in this article.
Succulent plants: characteristics
Most succulents share some characteristics, let’s see them:
- All of them store water in their leaves, roots or stems, which acquire bulky and fleshy shapes.
- They tend to be very resistant plants and also not very demanding .
- They have a reduced metabolism, and a very short flowering period.
- Unlike other plants, they open their stomata to breathe at night and thus lose less water.
Succulents care – practical guide
It must be borne in mind that succulents are not a single family, but many of them, and they have a huge number of species. Because of this, their needs can be quite different depending on the specific species. However, most of them share a few things. In short, these are the main care of succulents they need:
- Light: the vast majority of succulents need large amounts of sunlight, even direct sunlight.
- Soil: they are not demanding plants with nutrients, so they only need good drainage.
- Irrigation: they do not tolerate excess irrigation or flooding.
- Climate: most of them are from hot climates.
Light and location
Most succulents come from desert environments where they are exposed to very high temperatures and a very intense solar influence. However, to have them at home they do not need to be exposed directly to the sun, and in fact, many of their species will dehydrate if you expose them to a very intense sun.
Thus, the ideal is to keep them in very bright locations , but protected from the most intense hours of sun. One way to know that they are getting too much sun is if you see that the leaves are drying out or turning brown or reddish.
Watering the succulents
Since these plants are capable of storing large reserves of water in their leaves or stems, most of them hardly require watering. In fact, the vast majority of succulents do not tolerate excess moisture in the substrate, and if you puddle them when you water them or water them too often, it is very likely that their roots will rot and the plant will die. In most cases, a watering every 10 or 15 days will suffice , or at most a weekly watering in warm months. Also, many species of succulents are hanging or aerial . In these, it is best to practice watering by immersion, which allows the plant to catch the water it needs without suffering from excess humidity afterwards.
Substrate and compost for succulents
Succulents are not demanding on soil nutrients, so the priority when choosing the substrate is that it offers good drainage . If you fertilize your succulents, use specific fertilizer for this type of plants, and pay attention to the indicated doses and frequency. An excess of compost will not do them any good either. Ideally, use a substrate for cactus or succulent plants , or at most a mixture of this with a universal substrate.
Other tips on caring for succulents
Finally, we offer you more tips for caring for succulents :
- Succulents tend to take a long time to produce their flowers, sometimes even many years. In addition, many of them will never bloom if they are not in optimal conditions, so if you want to be able to see their flowers, make sure that all the conditions listed above are met.
- Unless it’s a tropical succulent that specifically needs it, don’t water your succulents with a spray bottle or spray. This will provide the leaves with a moisture that not only does not need, but can also promote the appearance of fungi.
- Succulents are very easy to propagate due to the children they tend to produce at the base of the mother plant. If you separate them carefully with a fork, trying not to damage them, you can plant them in a new container to make room for another plant of the same kind.