How to Avoid Killing Your Indoor Succulents


Succulents are typically well-suited to indoor living. They can even adapt to less-than-ideal conditions and tolerate a little bit of neglect. Still, no succulent can survive in subpar conditions forever. Eventually, inadequate lighting, incorrect watering, disease, or pests will take their toll. Once your plants start to look sickly, you need to act quickly to the right of the problem. Most sickly succulents come back to life with a few simple changes to their environment or care routine.

Water and Soil Moisture

One of the quickest ways to kill indoor succulents is to water them incorrectly. Plants use their thick, fleshy leaves to store water. They will rely on these water reserves to survive in dry conditions, but they still require regular watering to thrive. However, too much water is deadly to these plants. From spring to fall, when growth is most active, water your succulent when the top inch (2.5 cm) of the soil feels dry to the touch. Pour fresh water into the pot until it begins to drain from the holes in the bottom of the pot. Allow all of the excess water to drain away completely. For most potted succulent plants, this means watering at least once per week. During the inactive growing season or winter, water when the plant has almost dried out or when the soil is mostly dry to touch. As a general rule, you will need to water about once a month in the winter. If your succulents appear deflated or shriveled during this season, you may need to water more often. It is better to water too little than too much until you figure out the ideal watering schedule.

Mineral Buildup and Water Damage

Your dying succulents could be suffering damage from water treatment additives. Tap water contains minerals and other additives that build up in the soil and can damage roots and cause poor growth or even death. If you use a water softener in your home, the excess salts can also damage your succulents. A telltale sign of mineral or salt buildup is a white crust on the soil's surface or along the sides of the pot. If you can not collect rainwater, try watering with distilled water or water that has been filtered to remove minerals. At the very least, leaving tap water out on the counter overnight before using it allows some treatment chemicals to dissipate into the air. If you suspect that mineral buildup or water treatment chemicals are to blame, you have two options. First, you can flush the soil of each plant with plenty of rainwater, filtered water, or distilled water to rinse away excess minerals. Second, you can repot the plant, taking special care to gently knock some but not all of the old soil away from the roots.

Lighting Conditions

Succulents typically do well in a variety of home lighting conditions. They do not always adapt well to abrupt changes in light. If your succulents were outside for an extended period or in a shady garden center and they are now in opposite conditions in your home, they could be suffering shock. The key to saving your succulents is to introduce them to the lighting conditions in your home gradually. For example, if they were in bright, direct outdoor light, move them first to indirect outdoor light. After a few days, move them to a slightly shadier spot. After a few more days, move them indoors near a sunny window. After about a week, try moving them to their permanent home. If your succulents do not respond too slowly introducing them to their new lighting conditions, it could be that they need more or less light to thrive. If you placed them next to a sunny window with hot, direct sunlight, try moving them to a bright spot that does not get direct light. If they are in a shadier location, try moving them to a brighter one. If moving them to a new location entails a big change, adjust the plants gradually. You should notice improvement within a week or two.

Insects and Disease

Succulents that live in optimal conditions but still appear sickly are likely suffering from disease or insect infestation. Succulents are especially susceptible to mealybugs, spider mites, scale, and fungus gnats. Mealybugs can be treated by applying rubbing alcohol to their fuzzy white homes with a cotton ball or cotton swab. The scale, which looks like brown scales or shells, can be treated the same way. If you are not sure what type of pest or disease you may have, apply a product that contains a miticide, fungicide, and pesticide from your local garden center. These combination products contain neem oil, fish oil, soybean oil, or other oil types, which create conditions in which insects, mites, and other pests can not survive.

Source: sfgate.com

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How to Take Care of Succulents Indoors and Outdoors

Whether you’re planning on growing succulents indoors or outdoors, there are some general rules of succulent care you should follow. Watering tips, the type of soil, light requirements – these are mostly the same for any type of succulent. However, the climate you live in will determine what succulents you can grow outdoors. Read on to learn how to choose the right succulent for your climate and how to care of succulents indoors and outdoors.

Choosing the Right Succulents for Your Climate

Most of the succulents, both tender and hardy varieties, can be successfully grown indoors with minimal care. Not that growing succulents outdoor is more demanding – it just requires selecting an adequate type of succulent suitable for your climate conditions.

Before choosing and buying your succulents for a garden, you should consider the climate you live in and the climate and growing conditions of a succulent’s native region. That means that if you live in a climate with harsh winters and freezing temperatures, you may not be able to grow tender succulents outdoors. Most of the succulent species are native to arid and dry regions, such as deserts or semi-deserts, and they are adapted to a lot of sunshine, shortage of water, and high temperatures.

In the US, most succulents species are suited to hardiness zone 3-9, but generally, if you live in an arid zone, you aren’t limited in choosing your succulents as are gardeners in cooler climates.

Although in warm climates gardeners can grow almost any succulent or cactus species, some succulents prefer wet conditions, such as some Yuca plants.

What Are the Best Cold-Hardy Succulents?

And, fortunately, living in a cold climate doesn’t mean you can’t grow succulents outdoors. There are plenty of succulents, including selected cultivars, that can withstand low temperatures and survive the winter.

Here are some cold-hardy succulents that you can successfully grow outdoors:

  • Sempervivum (common names: hen and chicks, houseleek) . Some Sempervivum species thrive among rocks in the mountains of alpine and subalpine regions. They are hardy succulents, adapted to a life among dry rocks and stones, growing almost without soil.
  • Sedum or stonecrop . Some super-hardy varieties are Sedum reflexum, Sedum hispanicum, Sedum acre, Sedum album, Sedum spurium, Sedum Kamtschaticum, etc.
  • Varius types of Agave are suitable for an outdoor garden in cold climates. Go for A. parryi, A. gracilipes, A. havardiana, A. neomexicana, A. toumeyana, etc.
  • Yucca species : Y. aloifolia, Y. elata, Y. faxoniana, Yucca rostrate, etc.
  • Cactus - Many Escobaria, Echinocereus, and Gymnocalycium species are cold-hardy. Opuntia humifusa, Escobaria vivipara, Opuntia fragilis are just some of the renowned cold-hardy cacti.

How to Grow Succulents Outdoors in Cold Climates

Having an outdoor succulent garden in the northern hemisphere and cold regions is not impossible, but requires some special care.

Here are some tips on how to care of a succulent garden in cold climates:

  • Position your succulents wisely – place them in a spot that will give them a lot of sun during the winter. Avoid shady places. Some less-hardy succulents can be planted near the house, where the warmth of your house creates a microclimate.
  • Include rocks and stone into the planting place. The rocks will retain temperature and provide extra warmth to your plants.
  • Let your plants go dormant because that’s the only way they can survive the freezing temperatures. In the fall, cut them back on water gradually to force dormancy.
  • Mulch them, or cover them with a cloth during the winter.
  • If possible, protect them from hot sun when they exit the dormancy, so as from a sudden autumn frost when they’re in their active period.

How to Choose the Right Soil for Succulents

Once you’ve chosen the right succulents for your growing conditions, you should consider the soil.

Even birds know that succulents need wise watering, but as much the watering schedule is important, the right soil plays a crucial role.

The best type of soil for succulents consists of an organic component and inorganic component. Organic material (pine bark for example) provides nutrients, while the inorganic component (big-size particles such as rocks) provides soil stability, porosity, and adequate drainage.

Succulents love well-drained soil, with an additive that helps with the drainage (pumice, granite or perlite) . They can even thrive in a rocky environment with a minimal amount of soil, but the soil commonly used for houseplants will kill them.

The soil should drain well, otherwise, the root will rot and the plant will die off. The soil should be drained and dried out within 1 or 2 days from watering. Sitting in water for more than 3 days can lead to root rot.

How to Water Succulents

As previously said, succulents don’t like wet feet and are more drought-tolerant than regular plants. Succulent plants store water in leaves, stems, or roots. They ‘collect’ water during the growing season, but need to have a dry period or a dormancy period. That means that you need to cut them back on watering during their dormancy period.

During their active period, water your succulents only when the soil is completely dried out. Water them thoroughly. You can leave them without water for several days or even weeks. The first sign that your succulent needs water is wrinkled leaves, soft to the touch.

Give your succulents a shower and the leaves will replenish in a few hours.

Light Conditions for Succulents

Most succulents prefer bright sites with plenty of sunshine. They usually need around 6 hours of light in order to look healthy and beautiful. If your succulents lack light, they may become stretched or ‘leggy’ .

To avoid such scenario, keep your indoor succulents at the south-facing window. East and west are also an option, but no succulent will thrive in the north-facing window.

Although they need a lot of light, direct sun can cause them harm. Hot afternoon sun can give them sunburns and cause stress in plants. Make sure to place them in a bright spot, protected from the direct midday sun. A few hours of sun in the morning, and a few hours in the afternoon – that is a perfect balance.

Are you interested in growing your very own Cacti and Succulents? We got our very own Cactus and Succulent grow kit for you that is available via our website or via Amazon.


How to Stop Killing Your Succulents, You Monster!

Erin Long | August 12, 2019 | Gardening

The shame of killing a houseplant runs deep. Especially succulents, which are supposed to be really easy to take care of. If you’re tired of throwing away dead succulents, then I have good news. Here’s how to stop killing them once and for all.

Don’t Water Them

Okay, you have to water your succulents sometimes. But these are hardy plants that adapted to grow in deserts and other arid landscapes. They don’t need to be topped up every day. In fact, you should only water your succulent when the dirt has completely dried out!

If you water too often, you run the risk of drowning your plant. The roots will get water-logged and start to rot. Ad the plant dies, you might be tempted to water it more in an effort to save your little green buddy. Sadly, that’s just going to kill it faster.

You can also mist your succulents every now and then with a spray bottle. This helps them—and it helps you to feel like you’re an active caretaker. Win-win!

Use Actual Succulent Soil

One size does not fit all when it comes to potting mix. Most generic blends are designed to retain as much water as possible. That’s not what your plants need. Instead, use a special succulent blend that contains a higher percentage of pumice and/or perlite. This mimics the rocky, harsh soil they’re used to.

Feed ‘Em (Seymour)

If your little leafy babies are struggling, then they might be hungry. Unlike cats and dogs, who can come to tell you when they need food, plants suffer in silence. Although succulents need less food than other plants, it’s still wise to give them a standard dose of plant food once every year or 6 months.

Give Them Natural Light and Fresh Air

Plants need sunlight, m’kay? Even succulents—which is why light-starved plants will start to get tall and “leggy” instead of staying pretty. They also need fresh air, or at least air circulation. That’s why succulents are actually a terrible choice for those pretty glass terrariums. They’ll look nice for about a month, but you’re essentially locking those plants in glass coffins.

A good rule of thumb is that the paler your succulent is, the less sunlight it needs. Those gorgeous pale green and blue echeverias prefer shade or direct sunlight. On nice days, trot your indoor succulents onto a back porch or patio for a little vacation.


How to Avoid Killing Your Indoor Succulents

Succulents are typically well-suited to indoor living. They can even adapt to less-than-ideal conditions and tolerate a little bit of neglect. Still, no succulent can survive in sub-par conditions forever. Eventually inadequate lighting, incorrect watering, disease or pests will take their toll. Once your plants start to look sickly, you need to act quickly to right the problem.

Water and Soil Moisture

One of the quickest ways to kill indoor succulents is to water them incorrectly. Succulents use their thick, fleshy leaves to store water. They’ll rely on these water reserves to survive in dry conditions, but they still require regular watering to thrive. However, too much water is deadly to these plants. From spring to fall when growth is most active, water your succulent when the top inch (2.5 cm) of the soil feels dry to the touch. Pour fresh water into the pot until it begins to drain from the holes in the bottom of the pot. Allow all of the excess water to drain away completely. For most potted succulent plants, this means watering at least once per week. During the inactive growing season, or winter, water when the plant has almost dried out, or when the soil is mostly dry to the touch but not completely bone-dry. As a general rule, you’ll need to water about once a month in the winter. If your succulents appear deflated or shriveled during this season, you may need to water more often. It’s better to water too little than too much until you figure out the ideal watering schedule.

Mineral Buildup and Water Damage

Your dying succulents could be suffering damage from water treatment additives. Tap water contains minerals and other additives that build up in the soil and have the potential to damage roots and cause poor growth or even death. If you use a water softener in your home, the excess salts can also damage your succulents. A telltale sign of mineral or salt buildup is a white crust on the surface of the soil or along the sides of the pot. If you can’t collect rainwater, try watering with distilled water or water that has been filtered to remove minerals. At the very least, leaving tap water out on the counter overnight before using it allows some of the treatment chemicals to dissipate into the air. If you suspect that mineral buildup or water treatment chemicals are to blame, you have two options. First, you can flush the soil of each plant with plenty of rainwater, filtered water or distilled water to rinse away excess minerals. Second, you can repot the plant, taking special care to gently knock some but not all of the old soil away from the roots.

Lighting Conditions

Succulents typically do well in a variety of home lighting conditions. They do not always adapt well to abrupt changes in light. If your succulents were outside for a long period of time or in a shady garden center and they’re now in opposite conditions in your home, they could be suffering from shock. The key to saving your succulents is to gradually introduce them to the lighting conditions in your home. For example, if they were in bright, direct outdoor light, move them first to indirect outdoor light. After a few days, move them to a slightly shadier spot. After a few more days, move them indoors near a sunny window. After about a week, try moving them to their permanent home. If your succulents don’t respond to slowly introducing them to their new lighting conditions, it could be that they need more or less light to thrive. If you placed them next to a sunny window with hot, direct light, try moving them to a bright spot that doesn’t get direct light. If they’re in a shadier location, try moving them to a brighter one. If moving them to a new location entails a big change, adjust the plants gradually. You should notice improvement within a week or two.

Insects and Disease

Succulents that live in optimal conditions but still appear sickly are likely suffering from disease or insect infestation. Succulents are especially susceptible to mealy bugs, spider mites, scale and fungus gnats. Mealy bugs can be treated by applying rubbing alcohol to their fuzzy white homes with a cotton ball or cotton swab. Scale, which looks like brown scales or shells, can be treated the same way. If you’re not sure what type of pest or disease you may have, apply a product that contains a miticide, fungicide and pesticide from your local garden center. These combination products contain neem oil, fish oil, soybean oil or other types of oil, which create conditions in which insects, mites and other pests can’t survive.

If you want to find more natural remedies, take a look at the Everyday Root Book!

With 350+ pages, you will be able to replace all of the toxic products and medications in your home with healthier, all-natural alternatives.

You will be confident in knowing exactly what is in the products your family uses and happy with the money you will save every month.


Watch the video: 4 Fatal Indoor Plant Mistakes to Avoid!


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