Saturday, July 5, 2014

Happy Succulent Saturday!

Succulents are gaining popularity around homes + gardens everywhere as they are a great addition to giving a space subtle life and color. Having a wide variety of genus and species, succulents come in a variety of colors, shapes, and textures. This is an amazing plant, although many people are unaware of how to care for them. They are said to be very easy to grow as they are technically a dessert plant and are 'low maintenance'. This is true once you get your succulents established so hang in there!

 For those of your who can't seem to have a plant live longer than a week - try these out.
But first, in order to get things straight, here are some of the top basics on growing happy and healthy succulents for your home.

1. Water Less - Can't stress this one enough. The amount you love your succulents - cut that in half, then in half again. Now water them that much. Too much love is just as lethal as not enough for these guys. You will easily find a balance early on in your relationship with these plants judging by the leafs. Rule of thumb - the thicker the leaves on the succulent, the less water it needs. Generally, I give mine a good healthy watering about once a week, and let the soil dry in between (be sure to have well draining soil!) as this allows the roots to soak all the water up. (In the winter you will find yourself having to water less)
2. Lots of Sunshine - Succulents need plenty of light to be content. They do not like the heat from direct sunlight if they are outside in the summer as this will burn their leaves. They will thrive in a spot where they receive a good amount of shade throughout the day so they can stay relatively cool. A south facing window sill usually is fine but if you notice brown or black spots on the leaves then the little guy's got a sunburn and you should probably move it. 
Au contraire, a sign that your succulent isn't getting enough light is stretching of the leaves. If you notice your succulent 'reaching' and spreading its leaves leaving room between them, that is an indication that you need to move it to a spot where it will get more light throughout the day.

3. Indoor vs. Outdoor - Although succulents tend to grow best outdoors, they are definitely in my top 5 desk plants list, so If you love them as much as I do, you'll end up growing them indoors anyway.  Keeping the temperature in your home around 70-80 degrees is ideal in the summertime, and in the winter time between 50 and 60 degrees, as they need a period in the year where they are in a cooler environment in order to produce the best blossoms the following year. This will occur naturally if your succulents are close enough to a window where they should be. Also keep in mind wh - en having an indoor succulent that just like you, it needs to breath. Ensure to have good airflow where your succulent  is placed and the both of you will be happy.

4. Containers - Yes, some of the best looking containers in my opinion are glass. But please for the the sake of succulents don't just repot it in a mason jar. Your plant needs to be able to drain well and the roots still need air. I was lucky enough to discover some great blown glass pots with drainage holes at Whole Foods. This is also where I bought my first succulents.

By following these few basics you should be able to have your succulents well established. Once you've got that covered , and I get mine in good shape and comfortable in my new home, we can move onto chapter II. 


Image via: Succulents & Sunshine

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