You've spotted them in interior design magazines, as part of elaborate wedding centerpieces, and even all over Instagram. Succulents are all the rage right now. The oft-spouted proclamation that succulents are easy to grow is, in fact, far from the truth. Sure, it can be easy, but it requires a bit of a mental adjustment. You need to get into the desert mindset: Imagine unrelenting sun, monsoon-like down pours, and the boomerang temperature changes that characterize the desert’s days — and you might have a little more luck.
If you can't figure out why your jade is dropping leaves or how to stop your sedum from getting more wrinkled by the day, even with regular waterings, there are some practical tips you can follow. Here are two of the most common mistakes succulent newbies are making, and how to get those beauties to thrive.
1. Failing to Give Them Enough Light
The natural light of a plant’s native habitat is perhaps the most difficult environmental variable to emulate indoors. For common houseplants, we have an easier time. Many are native to tropical jungles and accustomed to the shifting periods of shade and sun that happen in your home. After all, that's what naturally happens as the sun moves over a forest canopy.
But if you put a plant that’s used to experiencing a full 12 hours out in the broiling hot sun on an east-facing sill, you’re begging for failure. Your best bet: Choose the sunniest south-facing window available, and if all windows face elsewhere, pick a more forgiving succulent like aloe or throw in the towel and opt for a sturdy pothos.
2. Not Understanding Their Watering Needs
The Chihuahuan Desert gets a little over 9 inches of rain annually — a drop in the bucket compared to what the verdant landscapes most of us call home receive. In the desert, however, when it rains, it pours. To make your own desert-dweller happy, try to emulate the rainfall patterns native to its home habitat. Don’t treat your cacti with a trickle; turn on the taps and let loose a deluge.
All succulents (and all plants for that matter) benefit from a complete soaking, until water comes out of the bottom of the pot. For succulents, wait until the soil is bone dry — and then some — to water again.
- True or False: It is easy to grow succulents?
- What are the requirements in order to grow a succulent successfully?
- The following are the common mistakes done by succulent growers except one.
- What is the best thing to do to grow your succulent with the help of sunlight?
- What is the right way to water the succulents?