If you’re looking for easy-to-care-for plants, one that won’t require frequent watering, then succulents are the answer. Despite the very minimal maintenance requirements, succulents will remain awesome and flourishing. If you’re a frequent traveler, succulents are a perfect houseplant for you. 

There are a lot of succulent plants to choose from but luckily, the required care and maintenance requirements are pretty much the same. In this article, we will help you grow your own succulents at home. Here are the basic things you need to remember when tending for a succulent.

Light

Most succulents require bright light. Make sure to place it in a location where light is abundant such as a sunny window. They should be exposed to at least six hours of light otherwise they will end up getting pale and spindly. 

During times of low light level, use artificial light to augment what is lacking. You can use a grow light (read more here) and place your succulent below at a distance of 6 to 12 inches. Expose your succulent for a duration of 14 to 16 hours. 

Succulents also thrive outdoors and most can take direct sunlight.

Water

Succulents are drought-resistant and are accustomed to arid places. This means that they can thrive for a long time without you watering them. In fact, frequent watering can bring more harm than good as this will cause your plant to rot. 

You can water your succulents every two weeks during dry seasons and reduce them to zero or once a month during the rainy season depending on the amount of rain. Water the soil thoroughly and drain the excess water every time. Stagnant water can invite the growth of pathogens and cause root rot. , The key is to get the growing medium requirements right as detailed below.

Soil 

When preparing the soil of your succulents, keep in mind that it has to be VERY well-draining. This will ease the draining of water out of the pot. You can buy readily available potting mix specially formulated for succulents. But you can also create your own. 

Mix one part potting soil and one part sand or perlite and you will be able to produce that coarse medium. Remember to use a sterile potting medium to prevent soil-borne diseases on your succulents. It also helps to top the soil with some smalls stones/grit to create a dry barrier between the plant and the soil to prevent the leaves or branches from touching any moist spots in the soil.

Humidity

Succulents prefer a dry place. Place it in a location where humidity is relatively low. Areas like that of kitchen and bathroom are usually moist so avoid such locations. High humidity means there’s a high level of moisture in the air which is not an ideal condition for succulents that do not like too much water. 

Fertilizer

Fertilizer isn’t much needed by succulent plants. They will thrive even in nutrient-deficient soils. Use a cactus-specific fertilizer that is high in phosphorus (e.g. 15-30-15 ). Apply this once a month during the growing season, March to October. Remember to dilute the fertilizer to half the strength of its original recommendation if you are not using a cactus-specific fertilizer

Pests

Pests aren’t much of a problem when it comes to succulents. But it would also help to regularly inspect for any presence of foreign organisms on your plant. Pick them up manually to prevent them from spreading. 

Mealybugs and scales can be wiped off with cotton dipped in alcohol. 

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