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6 Must Know Tips for Succulent Beginners

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6 Must Know Tips for Succulent Beginners, Succulent plants for beginners, Succulents care guide


1. Choosing the right succulents

    It is common thing to worry that as newbie to gardening, you might end up killing all your plants. Even low-maintenance plants like succulents can get tricky sometimes so choosing a beginner plant is very important.

    Most succulent prefer full sun, outdoor to thrive. Nevertheless, if you fancy an indoor plant, there are varieties of succulent that can tolerate shade and grow indoor. For example, succulents of Haworthia genres generally prefer filtered light rather than direct sunlight. Other succulents, like Senecio String of Pearls or Donkey Tail also perform well given some shade.

    Remember, even if you grow them indoor, you should put them in a window sill where they can receive at least 4-6 hours of sunlight.

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    If you plant to grow succulents outside and want plants that are resilient enough, either Sempervivum or Cactus would be a great choice.

    Sempervivum are among the most cold-hardy plants that can withstand temperature as low as -30F. Plus, they show great color variation after being cold-stressed. Meanwhile, though not as hardy as Sempervivum, Cactus are infamous for being a super low-maintenance plant.

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    2. Watering: WHEN and HOW

    Watering right is extremely important to succulent. 

    Why? Succulents are different from normal plants. Their natural habitat are mostly in dessert, which means they have develop the ability to store water in leaves and have high heat-tolerance. 

    So, succulent do not need as much water as normal plant. However, it is important to know WHEN and HOW to water them.

    WHEN: Only water your succulent when the soil is completely dry up. To check, you can use a moisture meter or simple use a chopstick and stick it up the drainage hole. If the dirt on the chopstick feel moist, it it not yet time to water again. Depending on the weather and temperature, it could be once every week or once every 10-14 days.

    HOW: DO NOT water on the leaves of the succulent, only water on the soil. If you live in dry and sunny areas, it might be fine. However, in humid conditions, it would lead to rotten leaves. Also, remember to give your succulent a real good soak every time you water them. A tip to know if the amount of water is right is seeing if there is water dripping out of the drainage hole.

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    3. Choose a breathable pot with DRAINAGE HOLE

      There are different varieties of pot you can use to grow your succulent. However, they should be breathable and have good drainage hole. Succulent do not like to sit in wet for a long time since it makes their roots to absorb too much water and quickly rot.  

      If you are new to growing succulent, make sure you use pot with drainage hole. Terrarium or pot without drainage is a big no-no. Terra cotta pot is often recommended for beginners. Made of porous clay, terra cotta keeps soils cool and dry out quite fast, especially in sunny location.

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      4. Using soil mix for succulents and cactus

        We could not stress this enough: DO NOT use normal soil mix for your succulent. Normal soil are great to retain water and mineral but succulents need well-drained soil. If the soil hold too much water, your succulents can easily get root rot. 

        Using soil mix for succulent and cactus

        5. Light and temperature

          Succulent generally need at least 4-6 hours of morning sunlight. Some succulents have high heat-tolerant but many don’t like scorching sun. Sunburned or browning is a common sign when your succulents are getting too much sunlight. When it gets too sunny, it is better to move them to a place like south east window sill where they get a healthy amount of filtered sunlight. 

          Light and temperature for succulents care

          Although succulents can tolerate shade, they don’t like to stay in place lack of sunlight either. If you happen to find your succulent stretching out or the gap between the leaves are widening, it is a sign that they need more sunlight. You might consider using grow light to provide enough sunlight for your succulent to stay compact.

          The ideal temperature for succulents are from 60 to 80°F. If you live in colder zone, remember to bring your succulent inside when temperature fall below 40°F.

          6. Groom your plants

            Insects and pests like to habor over dead or decaying foliage so keep your plants clean and tidy is a good way to keep them healthy and happy. Get rid of dry or rotten leaves often and check your plant roots when there is sign of overwater.


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