How to Properly Care for Your Succulents

For the generalist with a green-thumb. Plant away, JollyGens!

Over the last several years as my level of responsibility has grown – living on my own, taking care of myself and my space – so has my desire to take that next step to become responsible for the life of another. You may be thinking a dog or cat, or perhaps even a child, is where my thoughts are leading. No, the other life I’ve invited into my life is a plant. Several plants actually. One large fig plant and several small succulents.

While I love the green life it adds to my space, I have never really considered myself to have a green-thumb. It could be the generalist in me, pulled away by something else more interesting or necessary at the time, but I have a hard time keeping track of things like when I’ve last watered my plants. Are they getting enough water? Too much? Do they need light? What temperature and container should they be in? All of these questions have lead me to come up with a few tips and tricks to help properly care for my plants.

Below are five helpful hints for taking care of succulents:
    1. Light

      Succulents generally need at least 6 hours of light per day. Pay attention to the season and direction you face, as keeping the succulents in your window sill all day may end up drying them out. Ideally though the more sunlight they are able to get the better as not enough sunlight may affect its chances of survival.

    2. Water

      While succulents are easier plants to care for as they don’t require regular attention, they still do need water. But don’t overwater. Unlike other plants that typically need watering daily, succulents require more water less frequently. Try taking your succulent and placing it in a cup of water for half an hour once a week.

    3. Temperature

      Succulents don’t seem to be too picky towards temperature. Typically they like to be a bit warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter. By keeping them near the window in a moderate room this should satisfy the seasonal swing.

    4. Container

      Like you and me, succulents don’t like to sit in a soggy environment. For this reason, their best home is in a container that has the ability to drain. Glass containers, while beautiful, may not be the best to store your succulents. If you’re like me and have a terrarium for your succulents, remove the succulent and place it in a cup of water to hydrate for a short amount time before placing back to air out.

    5. Schedule

      Try keeping a schedule of when you’ve last watered your succulents. Put a reminder in your phone or a note on the fridge once a week to keep you in check. A friend of mine told me their trick which is “Watering Wednesday’s” which I’ve now adopted.