Succulents are a fun kind of plant to have in your home and backyard. They come in so many different colors, shapes, and sizes, but many people shy away from caring for them because they think it'll be more difficult than caring for the other plants in their gardens. The truth is that succulents do require a bit of specialized knowledge on your part, but once you know how to care for them, you'll find that they can brighten up any home decor. Some people might even end up preferring succulents over other houseplants.
Indoor or Outdoor
Succulents are native to warmer climates, so it’s important to research your area's hardiness zone before buying any. Hardy succulents can survive outdoors in zones 3 through 9, but not all succulents can thrive during the cold winter months. You may find that you need to bring your succulents inside during the winter months if you want them outdoors but live in a colder part of the world. Luckily, this can easily be accomplished by growing your succulents in containers. The labels on most succulents will let you know where they can be planted outdoors, or if they should remain indoors altogether.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the more brightly-colored succulents often require more direct sun than their green counterparts. These varieties will do better outdoors unless you find a way to supplement their light intake indoors.
Decorate With Succulents
Succulents can have an interesting effect on your home decor. The different textures and colors they produce allow you to mix and match until your garden area looks exactly the way you want it to. On top of that, many varieties of succulents bloom at different times, which can only add more of a punch to your decorations. Succulents make it easy to think outside the box, and they look especially good in rock gardens.
Regardless of whether you decide to grow them indoors or out, your succulents will need to be planted in soil that drains well. Spots where water pools are extremely bad for your succulents’ root systems. When planting your succulents in a container, you should consider buying some of the great store-bought soils out there that were made just for them. Alternatively, you can improve the drainage of your garden soil by adding things like volcanic rock, sand, or gravel to it.
Succulents require a decent amount of sunlight. They should get at least a half a day of sunlight every day to stay happy and healthy. If you live in a hot area, however, it can be beneficial for your succulents to get some shade in the afternoon.
Watering and Feeding
Since most succulents come from more arid environments than the other plants in your garden, watering them can seem a little confusing at first. Nonetheless, it’s important to water them well after they’ve been planted. You’ll want to wait for the soil to become dry to the touch before watering them again. When it is time to water again, be generous with how much you give them.
Even though they're desert plants, succulents still need the same balanced fertilizer that you would use to help your other plants grow. For that reason, you’ll want to use a slow-release plant food that you won’t have to worry much about, such as those made by Osmocote. Look for one that's made up of equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Fertilizing is something that often gets overlooked in succulent care, but it makes caring for them a whole lot easier on you.
Flowering succulents are beautiful with their vibrant colors, but they bloom at different times depending on their variety. Most succulents don’t flower until they are about two or three years old, so you shouldn't worry if you have a young succulent that hasn’t bloomed yet. You'll know your succulent is flowering when see a stalk appear within the center of the flower cluster. Once the flower dies, you’ll want to remove that stalk gently.
Succulent care isn’t as hard as it may seem at first glance. As long as you've them planted in a spot that gets plenty of sun and has soil that drains well, they should be able to take care of themselves for the most part. On top of that, making sure that your soil never dries out completely and working in a slow-release plant food like Osmocote can make caring for your succulents even easier. Follow these tips, and you’ll soon be getting a lot of compliments on the beautiful succulents in your garden.