Posted 30 Jul, 2020
Caring For The Perfect Indoor Succulent Garden
Small and compact, the trendy succulent plant has charmed many non-gardeners, forgetful gardeners and the worst of gardners into believing they are pros. These friendly and forgiving little plants known for their non-demanding care routines, intricate shapes and varying colours make for the ideal houseplant. And although they are hard to kill and grow easily, they do require some standard of tender love and care as there is a difference between a thriving succulent and just a living one. Here are some ideas to construct the succulent garden of your dreams.
Succulents store water in their leaves, which means they are able to go great lengths without water, a nod to the semi-desert regions they come from. Have a week-long vacation coming up? Fear not! If needed, succulents are able to grow air roots and draw on the humidity in the air. But this might be a sign your succulent is thirsty and needs watering. If it’s a thriving plant you're after, aim for consistent moisture, then find a warm window with some indirect sunlight (south-facing works best), and you’re in business.
Be sure to never water the leaves of the plant. This develops a rot on the plant, which eventually kills it. Use a Q-tip to wipe accidental water droplets from the leaves for this very reason. Additionally, succulents prefer to be drenched as opposed to spritzed, as this flushes water down into the roots. Always water when the soil is dry: every week or less in the summer, and every week or two in the winter.
Winter takes a brutal toll on their overall health due to the lack of light, humidity, and warmth. Come spring, replanting all succulents in fresh soil is a great way to get them back to full strength. Wait until the weather gets warmer, before undertaking this task to make sure to not prematurely snip and damage the plant. When receiving too little light, succulents stretch or grow toward the light, resulting in a plant that is more stem than leaf, and in the case of the indoor succulent plant that is in bad form. After winter, cut off the tops of stretched-out succulents and either replant the rosettes or let the plant regrow as necessary. This does not hurt the plant at all. In fact, it helps the plant not waste precious energy on reaching outward by growing properly and expanding its leaves.
Succulents are self-propagating plants, which means the leaves can grow roots and become an entirely new plant. Similarly, the rosettes, when taken off the main plant—will eventually begin to shoot roots and take off as their own. If you become handy at this, you’ll realize you are continually growing your collection of indoor succulent plants, which can be very rewarding, yet stressful if you run out of windows. You don’t need to plant the rosettes. Just let them sit on top of the soil and water them minimally until they begin to grow roots. Once they are established, you can properly plant them. To repot the plants, it’s a good idea to use a cactus potting soil to allow the water to drain properly. This is particularly important if you are planting your succulents in decorative pots such as mason jars or other non-draining pots. For some succulent planter ideas, it’s recommended to mix some rocks and sand into the soil as that will help prevent the water staying in the soil for too long.
And finally, have patience with your plants! Succulents are not particularly fast-growing, and have a resting period during the fall and winter months. You’ll have the most fun with your plants in the spring and summer when they begin to change colour due to all the light they’re receiving. If they are happy enough, you might even find your succulents blooming. They are all so different and intricately designed. Sure to boost the mood in any home. Happy planting!