Sempervivum, more commonly known as Hens and Chicks, is an attractive succulent that brings vibrant color to any garden. However, without sufficient direct sunlight its rosettes may become flattened over time and potentially form into rosettes that require cutting back to remain vibrant and full-flowered.
A great succulent soil must possess an ideal combination of organic and mineral components to effectively store water, promote root development, and prevent rot. Furthermore, it should drain quickly.
Sun & Shade
Many succulents thrive in bright sunlight, yet it's important to remember that different succulent species require differing amounts of lighting. Agaves and aloes, for instance, can tolerate intense sun without burning up, while others cannot. When selecting the ideal spot for your succulent it may be wiser to begin in shade before gradually increasing exposure over time.
One simple way to tell if your succulent is receiving enough sun is by looking at the color of its leaves. A dull hue indicates too much shade while pale hues indicate not enough sunlight reaching it; dark purple echeveria plants will often turn light purple at their centers and tips when receiving insufficient exposure to light.
Succulents can also get sunburnt if exposed too rapidly, so it is wise to gradually increase their exposure over time. When starting with new succulents that have never been outside before, try starting them in an area that receives morning sun, which tends to be cooler and less intense. After several days in shade gradually add more hours each week until reaching your desired levels of sunlight.
Not only should your succulent be given enough sun, it can be beneficial to cover it during a heatwave with shade cloth or muslin to diffuse the intense sun and protect its delicate leaves from burning. Covering your plants during winter as temperatures drop and frost may occur is also recommended to provide extra protection from frost damage.
If you want to add beautiful and colorful flowering succulents to your shady garden, consider planting haworthia (Haworthia fasciata) or rebutia (Rebutia tricolor). These gorgeous cacti produce stunning blooms from late winter through spring; with white, pink, peach, lavender, orange and red hued blooms appearing. It thrives under bright indirect lighting with proper moisture levels (not soggy!). They should also be kept moist but not wet for optimal growth!
Succulents are desert plants that thrive in dry environments. Their ideal soil mix includes very well-draining material; therefore it's crucial that an outdoor succulent garden have good drainage. Amending your soil with pumice helps facilitate this, as does using pots with drainage holes; for container cultivation of succulents it is also necessary to provide enough drainage mix.
Watering outdoor succulents once every week until their soil dries out is ideal for healthy plant growth. Be wary of overwatering them as this encourages root growth that may eventually rot away, killing your succulent.
Once a succulent is established, its natural microbiome of bacteria and fungi should maintain moisture balance in its own way. But for optimal care it is still advisable to check regularly for watering needs; when repotting succulents wait until their surface soil dries before watering to allow their roots to adjust properly and avoid overwatering which could result in root rot.
When succulent leaves become dry or shriveled, it is an indicator of dehydration. To properly water a succulent plant, its soil must become saturated down to its roots - this means providing an appropriate amount of water depending on climate and season, size of plant and other factors.
Succulents have the ability to absorb moisture through their leaves, which is beneficial in dry weather or propagation. Misting its leaves will do just the trick if used for propagation; just remember that cuttings must callus over for several days prior to propagation or they risk becoming waterlogged and rotting out.
Succulents often go through periods of dormancy during heat waves and require less watering than they might normally need, making it important to monitor these periods and adapt your watering schedule accordingly. Too much watering can also cause fungal diseases and rot to appear - always read your label to determine the perfect type of soil for each succulent! If unsure, consult a local nursery to help find out which soil would best support its wellbeing.
Succulents have evolved to thrive in dry desert conditions with depleted soil that lacks essential nutrients, making regular fertilization an integral part of keeping them at peak health and performance. Compost provides an ideal natural fertilizer alternative. Compost is produced by decomposing organic plant matter such as leaves, grass clippings and food scraps into anaerobic digestion, which releases organic plant nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK), essential for succulent growth. When selecting an NPK plant food suitable for indoor plants or succulents with low nitrogen ratios - too much nitrogen may soften their structure and leave them more vulnerable to wind and sun damage.
Succulent plant nutrients can also be purchased as slow-release fertilizers, which gradually release their nutrients over a longer period and are less likely to cause plant burn. Liquid fertilizers tend to be the easiest and most convenient method of application; simply mix into your watering regimen or pour directly onto soil; it is best applied during spring, summer and fall when succulents are most active.
Overfertilization can cause nutrient imbalances and acidification of soil, hindering plant growth and decreasing quality. Furthermore, excess fertilizer runoff into water bodies may contribute to algae and microbial blooms which reduce oxygen levels, harm aquatic life, or cause leaching into groundwater supplies - leading to long-term adverse environmental impact.
Your best option for cultivating succulents and cacti is a commercial soil mix composed of low organic material and high inorganic ingredients such as pumice or perlite; this will improve drainage by eliminating soggy, sodden soil that could choke the roots of succulents. Or add inorganic ingredients to existing soil to improve texture, drainage, texture retention and nutrients absorption capabilities - as nutrients dissolve more easily when present in an inorganic medium.
Repotting succulents is an integral component of maintaining their health and vitality, as they may become root bound and overcrowded in their current pots, necessitating regular repotting to maintain a vibrant future for these beautiful plants. Repotting should take place every two years at minimum; however, you may do it sooner if you notice that your plant has outgrown its current pot.
Repotting succulents successfully starts by following these steps:- Prepare your work surface with a protective cover; prepare a new pot; take out your old succulent from its current pot and remove as much contaminated soil without breaking any roots, brush away any additional excess from under it, inspect for signs of rot or pest infestation and cut away any brown or black roots that might infiltrate new soil;
To safely extract your succulent, turn the pot upside-down and hold its base while gently giving it a gentle wiggle; tap underside of container if necessary to loosen soil; if this doesn't do the trick, use a hammer carefully so as not to harm either succulent nor container.
Place your succulent into its new pot, adding fresh potting mix until about one-half to three-quarters full. Avoid filling it all the way up as this could lead to overcrowding and eventual rot, as well as making sure the plant doesn't touch any sides of its container, which could also result in its demise.
Once the new potting soil has been added, lightly compress it with your fingers before using a fork to eliminate any large air pockets around your succulent. Next, spray its leaves with water before placing pebbles for decoration. Finally, give your succulent a few days to adjust before continuing their normal care routine - enjoy watching how beautifully your succulents thrive in their new homes!