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HomeBlogThe Five Minute Guide to Keeping Your Succulents Alive

The Five Minute Guide to Keeping Your Succulents Alive

With the popularity of succulents and the ever-growing availability of them, more and more home gardeners are giving these interesting plants a try. From Aloe to Echeveria and Sempervivum to Jade, the many choices of different shapes, colors, texture, and size seem endless and appeal to many tastes. We see them planted in anything from terrariums to old shoes and I have even seen some worn as jewelry.  Succulents can be tolerant of many different planting methods but there are a few important things that you must do to keep them alive and thriving.  


One of the most important things you can do for your succulents is plant them in the correct soil. They need a good quality succulent mix and water needs to drain away from the roots quickly. The fastest way to kill your succulent is to let the roots stay wet or sit in water. 

Pots and Containers

The best pot for most succulents? Terra cotta. It allows the soil to dry out fast and the drainage holes promote good root health. Other pots and planters will work as well as long as they have someplace for water to drain quickly and allow for air movement around the plant. Assist in good drainage by putting down some grit or a drainage layer at the bottom of the pot before the soil goes in. This will also help keep water away for the roots.  The worst pot for a succulent? Enclosed glass terrariums. Glass terrariums seldom contain holes for water to drain and they also don’t promote good air circulation. No air movement means the soil takes longer to dry out and the longer the roots sit in water. Save the glass for your ferns and tropicals. Glass may be trendy right now, but you succulent probably won’t live very long.


Most succulents can be found growing in areas that are very dry, so their thick, fleshy leaves store water to survive during drought. Water succulents only when the soil is completely dry. Provide enough water until it runs from the drainage holes at the bottom. Once that happens, watering is complete.   When in doubt, don’t water. Succulents can survive becoming overly dry, but they won’t survive overwatering.  


The best location for a succulent is in a sunny window and some will even do well in bright, indirect light. Succulents need a minimum of six to eight hours of light per day. If they aren’t getting the light they need, the leaves may start flattening out and the plant will start growing tall and looking sparse. This is the plant's way of attempting to get more light. Watch for these danger signs and move it to a better location if they start to appear.    Remembering just these few simple tips will increase your success rate of growing your favorite succulents and open up new and interesting ways in which to showcase them.[button-yellow url="" target="_blank" position="center"]Buy Succulents[/button-yellow]

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