Last Updated on April 7, 2021 by John Power
Succulents are renowned for their intense psychedelic chemical compounds. You can grow Succulent from a small cutting or start with a ready-made specimen. And you can grow both indoors and outdoors. But in all cases you have to make careful preparations. If you want to enjoy a titillating experience growing your succulents,take good care of your cactus, here are some important notes from me on how to take care of your succulents for beginners.
Because Succulents and cacti often grow in the desert, many – even experienced – growers assume that they don’t require much attention. However, in terms of water, sunlight, nutrients and even fertilization, a cactus needs just as much maintenance as the other plants in your home.
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How do you take care of a succulent for beginners?
Everything needs to be considered from the time you first acquire the plants. I assume that most of you will purchase a grow succulent in a pot, so the first thing you need to understand on succulent care 101 is repotting.
When you buy a succulent, the pot it comes in is often too small. it cannot grow further in this. Repotting is a natural and necessary process. But if the succulent is repotted at the wrong time of the year, the plant will suffer.
- Repotting is essential for new succulent
It is better not to repot in the months when there are then fewer hours of sunlight and the light is less intense. As a result, you run the risk that the plant will not make it. The roots cannot grow, so the cactus cannot absorb water. And that is an essential part of all biological processes. If you continue to water while doing this, the soil will become saturated. However, the roots cannot absorb water and will rot. Repot the cactus in the months when there is consistent and intense sunlight then the chance of success is much greater.
- Choose the right pot
Not too big, not too small, just right. However, how do you know what the right size is? Succulent should be repotted in a pot that is 10–15% larger than the previous one. This allows the roots to develop properly and no nutrients are wasted. If there is too much soil around the cactus, the roots will not be able to absorb water properly. Because there is space left, both nutrients and water are out of reach.
You may think that the original pot for the cactus is already too small or too big. In that case, you can stick to the following rule of thumb. The diameter of the pot should be slightly larger (10–15%) than the circumference of the cactus from above. You need to repot Succulent several times during the growing cycle.
The root system of a cactus eventually grows to the size of the pot in which it stands. At least as long as you use the correct pot size. If a plant is placed in a pot that is too small for too long, the roots will become entangled. This means that they can no longer efficiently absorb water and necessary nutrients.
But don’t panic. In general, for cacti or succulent, it takes 2–4 years for the roots to become entwined. At least once a year, check if your plant needs to be repotted.
How often do you need to water a succulent?
Succulent also needs regular water. Despite the fact that their natural environment is hot and sterile. But too much of a good thing will cause Succulent roots to rot. However, there are techniques that growers can adopt if they are concerned about overwatering.
If you are watering, add small amounts at a time. Make sure to cover the surface before the water sinks into the ground after a few seconds. If it only sinks slowly, stop! That is a sign that the soil is saturated. If the water holds up and doesn’t drain at all, you may need to repot the plant. This will prevent the roots from rotting.
A drip tray is also a great way to keep an eye on the water intake of Succulent. In addition, the plants are watered from the bottom and not from above. The roots automatically suck it up in the amount they need, no more, no less. Finally, it differs per cactus how thirsty they are. Try to water every 2-3 days. Adjust your schedule once you understand how much your cactus needs.
Do all succulents need direct sunlight?
Succulent don’t necessarily like the sun. Indeed, most of them grow under glowing sunlight in deserts. But if they get the chance, they like to stay in the shade for a while. Many cacti have developed smart techniques to avoid too much exposure to the sun. For example, they often grow next to shrubs or bushes. In doing so, they use other plants as a shield against direct sunlight. Especially in the afternoon when the sun is brightest.
Far too often, growers assume that a sun-facing window is a suitable place for a cactus. But they soon discover that cacti that are always in the sun go into shock. The plants cannot cope with being in constant sunlight at all. If you don’t take action, the cactus will slowly but surely die.
Cacti must therefore be in a sunny place, but that place must also provide sufficient shade in the hottest part of the day. When growing outdoors, use other plants and elements to provide shade. Do you grow indoors in a pot? Then find a spot where there is sun in the morning and afternoon, but shield the plant around noon.
How do you keep succulents alive indoors?
I hope you are ready now to start your indoor succulent small garden after reading the above information or if you want explore more and prefer to grow indoor vegetable garden instead you can check our complete guide here. But before you rush and order all the potted succulents from an online store or your local store, there are two more important notes on how to keep succulents alive indoors?
To keep your succulents alive indoors, you have to think carefully about the composition of the substrate. Most importantly, fast drainage. Use the following ratio: 30% potting soil and 70% perlite, sand or gravel. Mix the substrate well before putting it in the pot.
To avoid problems, you should use fresh potting soil. If you use old soil, you run the risk of diseases or pests that are still dormant. But the moment they can feed on your freshly planted cactus, they strike.
Also take special care when using insecticides.
Insecticides are not often needed on cacti. The plants are naturally resistant to pests, such as small insects. They can therefore survive without outside help. On the rare occasion that you do need to use insecticide, do so early in the morning or late at night. If the insecticides are on the plant in direct sunlight, the chemicals burn the cactus.
When the cactus burns through the absorption and evaporation of chemicals, we call this phototoxicity. Compare it to a severe sunburn, but for a plant it is much worse.
Final note on succulent care tips for beginners
You may now feel that growing a succulent requires a lot more work than it does. But a healthy plant does not require more than a few hours of preparation. You can do almost all of the above tips before purchasing the cactus. As soon as the plant is there, you can start right away. Don’t forget to take some cuttings . You can use this to grow a new plant in the next season.
Gardening is my passion and growing plants indoors has always been a stress relief for me. Grow a banana tree in my apartment once (although failed to produce bananas).