Succulents are those gorgeously sculptural plants with thick, fleshy leaves and thicker roots, both which hold water. If you have had trouble maintaining the usual houseplant, a succulent may be just the thing, as they require little care, only the right environment.
Succulents have adapted to being able to survive in very dry environments, and are generally found growing in them. They lend themselves to areas with low humidity and lots of sun. They are easy to care for and ask for little attention. You will have a hard time killing a succulent – unless you over-water it.
The best soil for a succulent is one that has very good drainage. You may want to ask at a garden center, but a regular potting soil with added sand, perlite, grit, or vermiculite is best. Test the soil by watering it, letting it drain and then taking a fistful in your hand. If it falls apart, you’ve got it right. As a pretty accent you can put pebbles or tumbled glass on top of the soil.
Watering is minimal. To be sure that your succulent is ready to be watered, stick a finger in the soil, about two knuckles down. If the soil is dry, it is time to water it. Let the water drain thoroughly through the pot, and then empty the drained water. Never let a succulent sit in water.
Placing your succulent is easy. Put it somewhere where it will get the most sunlight. A south or east facing window is always a good place for it. In warmer weather, you can move your succulents outdoors if you like.
Fertilizing succulents is simple. Only do it during their growing season – spring and summer – and only 3 or 4 times. In the colder months you need not fertilize them at all as they will be resting. They require less fertilizer than the regular houseplant, so fertilize lightly with any plant fertilizer.
Succulents are often put in ornate pots and displayed as accents to a home’s decor. Their beautiful, sculptural qualities lend themselves to be used this way. With their easy care, they are a good choice for someone who doesn’t wish to be hovering over a plant every day.