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With winter behind us and things finally warming up, spring is here! Springtime is a great season for plants, and many succulents have their growing seasons in the late spring and early summer. To get the most out of your springtime, follow these tips:
Most succulents that go dormant in the winter have spring and summer growing seasons. When temperatures begin to lower, these succulents hibernate for the cold season and reawaken once spring rolls around. Typically, winter-dormant succulents aren’t frost-hardy and should stay indoors for the winter if frost is possible. Since early spring can be unpredictable, it’s best to avoid moving outdoor pots back outside until the frost season is over.
In general, spring comes with several environmental changes that will affect how your succulents grow, especially if the growing season is in the late spring or summer:
The first thing you’ll start to notice are the days getting longer. Most succulents need at least six to eight hours of bright, indirect sunlight per day, and if you live in northern areas, you’ll start to actually receive six to eight hours of natural light. As the days increase, so does the sun’s intensity; it’s important to note that in the spring and summer, the sun’s rays will hit stronger from noon to 5 PM. So, we recommend getting your sun in early. Many succulents have very delicate leaves that burn in direct sunlight, so mornings are your best friend for getting that perfect sunlight.
When your succulents are dormant, they won’t need as much water as usual. For those that go dormant in the winter, spring is when these succulents begin to wake up from their metaphorical nap to start growing again. Thus, you’ll need to start giving them some more water. Your watering schedule may change from winter to summer, but always remember to carefully monitor your soil’s moisture levels and only water when it’s dry.
Early spring is unpredictable. One day, you may have bright, warm sunlight, and the next, snow. For succulents, warmth one day and frost the next isn’t very enjoyable. If you have any outdoor succulents that you’ve moved indoors or covered up for the winter, wait until the weather evens out before putting them back outside.
If you’re looking to enhance your plant’s growth, spring is the best time to use fertilizer. Succulents that go dormant in the winter will benefit from a bit of fertilizer here and there during the spring to improve growth and encourage blooming during the succulent’s blooming period. For most winter dormant succulents, the blooming period lasts for a week or so in the mid to late spring, correlating with the increase in natural light.
With a spring growing season, you can do quite a few things to prepare for your succulents’ growing period. Since your succulents will be working overtime to gather nutrients and grow this time of year, now is the best time to repot, prune, and prep your succulents for the growing season!
Once things begin to warm up, it’s time to repair winter's damage to your plants. Frost and cold damage are common, especially in colder areas, and it’s perfectly normal for your outdoor succulents to sustain some injuries over the winter. Once the frost has cleared, bring out any succulents you’d previously kept indoors, uncover any succulents you’ve insulated, and assess the damage. The best way to revive a frostbitten succulent is through pruning, which is best done in the spring anyway.
It’s best to repot your succulents just before or during the growing season, so any damage can callous over and recover without any potential interruptions. Unless your plant suffers from root rot, a fungal infection, or pests in the dirt, it’s best to avoid repotting until the growing season begins. When you repot for the growing season, choose a pot at least 10% larger than your succulent’s previous pot– it will need the room to grow!
The nicer weather will help reduce your succulents’ susceptibility to transplant shock. Transplant shock is common among all plants, and the warmer weather, coupled with an increase in sunlight, will help your succulents recover quickly.
Like with repotting, the best time to prune your succulent is during the growing season, since your plant will have plenty of nutrients to heal from any cuts you may make. Root-bound succulents, for example, need their roots pruned to prevent the plant from “suffocating”. During your succulent’s springtime growing season, roots are more likely to callous over without any complications since the plant is working hard to grow and develop.
Leaf-wise, the same rule applies. Damaged or pruned leaves are more likely to callous over quickly during the growing season, making springtime great for propagation! If you propagate from leaves, cuttings will callous within a few days, and you’ll have all your potting and care supplies at the ready as well.
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