Succulents are an small exotic and eye-catching plants to your garden,Succulents are also tough and recover quickly preferring neglect rather than constant attention.
Succulents are plants with fleshy, thickened leaves and/or swollen stems that store water. The word “succulent” comes from the Latin word sucus, meaning juice or sap. Succulents are able to survive on limited water resources, such as dew and mist, making them tolerant of drought. There are many different species and cultivars of succulents spanning several plant families, and most people associate succulents with Cactaceae, the cactus family. (Keep in mind, however, that while all cacti are succulents, not all succulents are cacti.)
The secret to succulent care and growing them successfully is to give them conditions similar to their native habitats, which for the most part are warm, arid and receive minimal rainfall.
Water & Fertilizer: water succulents thoroughly once a week in summer, twice a month in spring, and monthly during their winter. Keep succulents always dry and give their roots superb drainage.
Do not kill your succulents by watering them regularly, especially during the active growing season. The key is to wait for the soil to become dry between waterings so that the roots can breathe.
how do you know if your succulents are getting the right amount of water? The condition of their leaves is the best indicator. If your succulents are thirsty, the leaves will look shriveled and lackluster with no shine. The signs of overwatering include stem or root-rot and mushy or yellowing leaves.
When under-watered, succulents subsist on stored moisture. If the soil dries completely, roots may desiccate and growth cease. Some succulents are capable of regenerating roots when the rains return, but it’s best to keep soil about as moist as a wrung-out sponge.
Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer, diluted to half strength, once or twice in spring
Sun and shade:
Give succulents half a day of full sun, ideally full sun in the morning and then bright or dappled shade the rest of the day. Keep in mind that the intensity and duration of sunlight varies according to latitude and elevation, throughout the seasons, and in different orientations and locations in your garden.
Succulents do need adequate light for balanced growth (so they don’t stretch), and any succulent—any plant for that matter—that has been cultivated in low-light or in a greenhouse should be hardened-off (introduced gradually) to greater sun exposure
Those few that don’t tolerate full sun, such as sansevierias and haworthias, make wonderful houseplants.
Variegated (striped) succulents, which have less protective pigment, want less sun than their solid-colored cousins.
Also, there are some plants which every home should have for clean air. Refer to this for detailed information.
Soil and drainage: The best soil for succulents whether in the ground or in containers is fast-draining mix
Succulents don’t like to have their roots sitting in wet soil, so it’s important to add sand or pumice to your soil mix to improve drainage.
Here are the things needed for preparing homemade succulent soil:
Gardening soil, little amount of compost, sand, and perlite. For a detailed process refer here
Protect succulents from extreme temperatures:
Don’t give them too much sun, not all succulents like to bask in the sun all day. The preferences are extremely variable among the thousands of varieties of succulents. Some like shade, some filtered light, some sun, and some blasting sun. As a generalization. The basic is, most succulents likes at least two to three hours of sun or filtered sun a day.
When growing succulents indoors, place them by a window or in a garden room where full sun is available for at least two or three hours a day. If a sunny window isn’t available, you can also overwinter your succulents under grow lights.
Ideas for Using Succulents in the Garden
Create a succulent tapestry by planting them closely together according to a design template. Use plants of different colors and shapes as your embroidery materials, interweaving them to produce a living work of art.
Living walls and vertical gardens made of succulents are a high-impact way to display an array of succulent colors, shapes, contrasts, and textures. You can use a variety of flea-market finds to display your masterpiece, such as an old picture or door frame.
Create a succulent letter garden by planting succulents in letter-shaped frames made of old pallet or fence wood. Use your first or last initials or spell out entire words and phrases. Just remember that curved letters will be more difficult to form than straight-sided letters
Keep Succulents Clean: Wipe off the leaves and spines gently with a damp cloth to avoid dust on its surface and inhibit its growth.
Also, If you want to know the succulent planters then refer this
Get Rid of Bugs: Pests shouldn’t be a problem for indoor succulents, but occasionally you may have to deal with bugs. Gnats are attracted to succulents that are planted in soil that is too wet and doesn’t have proper drainage. To get rid of eggs and larvae, spray the soil with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. Mealybugs are another pest succulent owners have to deal with. Overwatering and over-fertilizing are the common causes of mealybugs. Move infected plants away from other succulents and spray with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol.
TYPES OF SUCCULENTS:
Because of their incredible diversity, succulent plant identification can be daunting; just the foliage of colorful succulents can range from white to red, burgundy, purple, green, yellow, silver, orange, and many stripes and variegations.
Different types of succulent plants come from arid deserts, seaside cliffs and even limbs of steamy jungle trees. While cacti are succulents, not all succulents are cacti. With some exceptions, most large succulent plants are not able to survive hard freezes, but quite a few small and miniature succulents tolerate down into the teens; some hardy succulents, including London Pride saxifrage (Saxifraga × urbium), can survive outside even below zero.
Jade plant, Haworthia,Sansevieria trifasciata,Aloe vera, Tiger tooth aloe, Zamioculcas Zamiifolia, snake plants, cactus and lot many
Precautions for Succulent Gardening:
Plant succulents carefully, with soil covering their roots and firm enough with your hand to support the lower stems of larger plants. Don’t be tempted to crowd them – depending on the type, give them room to grow taller or to spread. Allow them to settle in for a day or two before watering, to allow broken roots to heal. And avoid watering succulents in the mid-day sun.
(Resource: needlesandleaves.net, gilmour.com, diynetwork.com).
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