So you've fallen in love with succulents and you want to try your hand at growing them. That's a great choice! Succulents are charming, versatile, and surprisingly easy to care for. Here is a simple, 6-step guide for beginners on how to grow succulents.
Step 1: Choosing your succulents
The first step in growing succulents is choosing the right type. There are a lot of succulent varieties to choose from, each with its own unique appearance and care requirements. Here are a few popular options:
- Aloe Vera: Not only is it attractive, but it also has medicinal properties.
- Echeveria: Known for its rosette shape and wide variety of colors.
- Jade Plant: This plant is known for its thick trunk and shiny leaves.
- Zebra Plant: It gets its name from the white stripes on its leaves.
- Sedum Morganianum: Also known as the 'Donkey Tail', with cascading trails of blue-green leaves.
Step 2: Preparing the pot and soil
Succulents prefer a well-draining soil to prevent root rot. Purchase a cactus mix or create your own by combining equal parts normal potting soil, coarse sand, and pumice or perlite. As for the pot, choose one with drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.
Step 3: Planting your succulents
Place a layer of soil in the bottom of the pot, position your succulent, and fill in around it with more soil. Make sure the succulent is level with the top of the pot – this helps prevent water from sitting in its crown and causing rot.
Step 4: Watering and fertilizing
Succulents don't need a lot of water. In fact, overwatering is one of the most common causes of succulent death. Water your succulents only when the soil is completely dry, and then soak thoroughly. During growing season (spring and summer), you can also apply a diluted low-nitrogen fertilizer every month.
Step 5: Providing the right amount of light
Most succulents prefer bright but indirect sunlight. Too much direct sunlight can cause them to become 'sunburned', leading to discolored or scarred leaves. Indoor succulents do well near south or east-facing windows.
Step 6: Handling pests and other issues
Succulents can occasionally be affected by pests like mealybugs and aphids. If you notice your plant being affected, remove the pests manually or use an insecticidal soap. Keep an eye on your plants for any signs of disease or discomfort, and adjust your care routine as necessary.
With these 6 steps in mind, you're well on your way to becoming a pro at growing succulents. Remember, succulent care is all about balance - the right amount of water, light, and care will ensure your succulents thrive.