Succulents are to gardening enthusiasts what toy breeds are to dog lovers. They are irresistibly cute but also very delicate. If you are an amateur plant parent who has suffered the loss of at least a few succulents, then you know what we mean. Considering these pretty plants have a tendency of dying on us, how to take care of succulent plants is a burning question in our minds.
So we did some snooping around and spoke to Vinayak Garg, who is the founder of LazyGardener, a brand that makes plant food sticks, and a gardening enthusiast himself. His expert tips on succulent maintenance makes it clear that we have been doing quite a few things wrong all along. So let’s take you through a list of myths that you need to bust if you want to know how to take care of succulent plants.
Myth #1: Succulents are Indoor Plants
Fact: FALSE! Succulents need sunlight
It must be a surprise for you too. I mean we were quite taken aback when Vinayak told us that succulents are actually outdoor plants. He said that its a myth that succulents are indoor plants. In reality, they need 12 hours of sunlight! No wonder they wither and die on our table tops. So even if you want to put succulents indoors, you need to put them out to get some sun during the daytime.
Myth #2: Succulents will survive in any soil
Fact: FALSE! Succulents need well draining soil
The standard opinion on the subject of soil for succulents is that they are low-maintenance plants so they can grow in any soil. It’s true that succulents don’t need you to fuss over them. But they do need well-draining soil. And by well draining, we mean well draining up to the bottom of the pot. Essentially, putting some pebbles on top of the soil does not make it drain well. The soil needs to be grainy and not sticky.
Myth #3: Water Your Succulents Once a Week
Fact: FALSE! Succulents don’t need to be watered every week, in fact, they don’t need to be watered for 20 days in winter
Here’s a fun fact; succulents hate moisture. Considering we have bright sunshine in India, we believe all houseplants need to be watered at least once a week. Not true for succulent maintenance. They need to be watered only when the soil is bone dry. Makes sense to remember that succulents have water stored as sap in their leaves, which they use in crunch situations. To conclude, it is not likely that your succulents will die from the lack of water, so be miserly while watering them.
Myth #4: Just sprinkle or spray some water on it occasionally
Fact: Don’t spray succulent leaves or foliage, it leads to decay!
When it comes to succulent maintenance, it is not just the amount of water that counts. How you water your succulents also has a part to play. It is a standard practice to spray water on the leaves of houseplants; it cleans the leaves and makes the plant glow. But this thumb rule does not apply to succulents. In fact, if you spray succulent leaves, the chances are that they will wither and fall off!
Myth #5: Succulents survive very easily without other nutrients
Fact: Succulents thrive better with nutrient sticks
While succulents are fuss-free plants to rear, they need nutrients just as much as other plants. If you are picturing a cumbersome process of mixing manure and soil in your head, lets stop you right there. All you have to do is pick up a couple of plant food sticks from the LazyGardener and insert them into the potted soil. These sticks are packed with minerals that are released gradually over a period of two months. For flowering succulents, you can use the Bloom Stick and for non-flowering ones, the Green Stick works.
Well-fed succulents grow faster and stay healthy. If you enjoyed reading about succulent maintenance, also explore Pot it like it’s Hot: Indoor Plants we Love.
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