Plant FAQs: Succulents

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How long do succulents live?

I’ve never quite known how long a single succulent lives, but some of mine definitely seem like little survivors! My jade plant, for example, has been with me since college. That was, well, let’s just say a few years ago, and it’s still going strong. It’s gotten much bigger and even flowered a couple of times. On the other hand, those adorable little Hen and Chicks I bought last year? They’re multiplying like crazy, with new chicks popping up all over the place, but the main plants themselves don’t seem any different. Maybe they’re taking turns being the star of the show?

How big do succulents get?

Succulent size is totally unpredictable, which is part of the fun! I bought this tiny cactus that was about the size of a marble. Even though I keep it in a small pot, the little guy has grown way taller and is now more like the shape of a peanut. On the flip side, my aloe plant started out pretty big and has only gotten slightly bigger in the two years since I’ve had it. Maybe it decided it was happy with its current size. Honestly, I love not knowing what they’ll decide to do next!

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Do succulents like humidity?

Honestly, I think my succulents hate humidity as much as I do! I live in a place where the summers are hot and humid, and those seem to be the worst times for my plants. They usually thrive with neglect, but during the summer, they perk up noticeably after a good watering. I’ve even caught a couple getting a bit soft and mushy if the weather’s particularly sticky, so I try to keep them inside on the most humid days as a precaution. It’s always such a relief when fall comes, I swear the plants seem to breathe a sigh of relief with me!

How to prune succulents?

I used to get a bit nervous about pruning my succulents. I was always afraid to cut them in the wrong place or accidentally hurt them. But I recently pruned a really leggy succulent, and it was so easy and satisfying! I learned that it’s all about cutting the “heads” off where you want to encourage bushier growth. I made sure to leave a bit of stem below the cut point, and now my succulent has all these cute little baby shoots sprouting. I even put some of the cuttings into soil and they’re doing great! It feels a bit like I’m giving them a fresh start.

Are all succulents cactus?

This one always had me stumped for a bit. I mean, cactuses look like the classic succulent, and most succulents do love the same kind of sunny, dry conditions. Then I got this gorgeous flowering succulent with these thick, velvety leaves and was told it definitely wasn’t a cactus. Turns out all cactuses are succulents, but not all succulents are cactuses. It sounds a bit like a riddle, but I guess the key is those spiky areoles that cactuses have. Now, even though I still sometimes mix up the names, it’s fun to look closely and figure out which is which!

Can succulents survive the winter?

Whether or not my succulents will make it through the winter always feels like a bit of a gamble. Some succulents are surprisingly hardy, and I’ve even left a few outdoors during mild winters with no problems. On the other hand, I lost a beautiful succulent that got hit with some surprise frost one year. Now, when the weather starts to get chilly, I play it safe and bring most of my succulents indoors. I still try to give them lots of sunlight, and honestly, they seem happy to be tucked away in a warm spot during those cold months.

When to repot succulents?

Repotting always makes me hesitate a bit because I don’t want to disturb my plants too much. However, I’ve noticed that a few of mine get noticeably perkier after some fresh soil and a slightly bigger pot. One giveaway sign is when the roots start peeking out of the drainage holes – I figure if they’re escaping, they must need more room! I usually repot in the spring or fall; that way, the succulents have plenty of time to adjust before summer heat or winter dormancy sets in.

Can succulents be outside?

Absolutely! I try to give my succulents as much outside time as possible. I find they get much more vibrant colors and grow stronger when they get a good dose of natural sunlight. Of course, I’m careful to gradually introduce them to full sun if they’ve been indoors to avoid sunburn. I also keep a close eye on the weather – if there’s a sudden downpour, heatwave, or potential frost on the way, I’ll bring them back inside as a precaution. It’s a bit of trial and error, but seeing my succulent collection thrive outdoors is worth the effort.

Do succulents need fertilizer?

I used to believe succulents could thrive on neglect alone, but I’ve changed my tune about fertilizer. While my succulents do just fine without it, I’ve noticed a big difference since I started adding a diluted liquid fertilizer every few months during the growing season. They seem to grow faster, their colors get more vibrant, and some have even started flowering more. It’s been fun to see the change, and it definitely makes me feel like I’m giving them the best possible care.

How fast do succulents grow?

The speed of succulents always seems to surprise me! Some, like my Echeverias, seem to grow like wildfire. In just a few months, those little rosettes can turn into big, lush plants. On the other hand, I have some Haworthias that have been the same size for what feels like ages. I think it just depends on the type of succulent and their growing conditions. It’s a constant experiment – I love checking in with them and noticing all the subtle changes, whether it’s a new leaf, a burst of growth, or just a deepening of color.

How long can succulents go without water?

Succulents are definitely my go-to plants when I need something low maintenance. I’ve even left for a couple of weeks and come back to find them as healthy as ever. However, how long they can go without water really depends on the type of succulent, the season, and where I keep them. My outdoor succulents need more frequent watering during the hot, sunny summer, whereas my indoor ones can happily survive much longer stretches between drinks. I’ve learned to check the soil – if it’s bone dry, then it’s definitely time to give my succulents a good soak.

Are succulents edible?

I never really considered succulents being food until I came across a recipe that used purslane leaves – a type I’d always thought of as a garden weed! That sparked my curiosity, and I was surprised to learn there are quite a few edible succulents out there. Still, I’m cautious about experimenting. Unless I’m absolutely sure I’ve identified a succulent correctly and know how to prepare it safely, I prefer to stick to admiring my plants rather than eating them. Besides, they’re far too pretty to put on a plate!

Are succulents hardy?

Succulents are surprisingly tough, which is part of what makes them so fun to grow! I’ve had some withstand accidental drops, long droughts, and even a bit of overwatering. Plus, some varieties can handle temperatures well below freezing. That said, their hardiness can vary depending on the specific type. I’ve definitely learned the hard way that some of the more delicate succulents need a bit more protection from the elements. Overall, though, I’m always amazed at how resilient they can be!

Do deer eat succulents?

Sadly, I’ve discovered that even my beloved succulents aren’t safe from deer. We have plenty of them in my area, and they seem to view my yard as a tasty buffet. I’ve seen those nibble marks on some of my larger-leaved succulents, especially when they’re looking for something juicy. It drives me a little crazy! Since then, I’ve tried bringing some indoors and putting others in higher locations to try and keep them out of reach of the deer. It’s a constant battle, but I’m determined to protect my plant babies!

Do succulents like coffee grounds?

I’d heard mixed things about using coffee grounds for succulents, so I decided to give it a try on some of mine! I’ve found that a little sprinkle mixed into their regular potting mix seems to give them a boost. They start to perk up and look a bit greener, especially after watering. I avoid adding too much though, as I don’t want the soil to get too acidic. It’s a fun way to upcycle what would otherwise be tossed, and my succulents seem to enjoy the little bit of extra nutrients.

Do succulents like direct sun?

Most of my succulents absolutely adore direct sun! They get their best colors and grow strong and compact when they get plenty of it. I have a few spots in my house and on my porch that get bright, warm sunlight for most of the day – that’s where my happiest succulents live. However, I’ve learned a hard lesson about scorching some of my more delicate ones by putting them straight into the full sun. Now I’m careful to introduce them to direct sunlight gradually and keep an eye out for any signs of sunburn.

How to identify succulents?

Identifying succulents can be a mix of fun and frustration! Sometimes I feel like a detective trying to solve a plant mystery. My go-to methods are usually comparing my succulents to photos online, though I’ve learned plant ID apps can come in handy too. I try to look closely at the shape of the plant, the arrangement and texture of the leaves, and any unique color markings. Sometimes, I get lucky and the plant even flowers, which can be a big clue! It’s not always easy, but figuring out exactly what kind of succulent I have makes me appreciate it even more.

When to bring succulents inside?

When to bring my succulents inside always depends on where I live and the time of year. I watch the weather forecasts closely, especially when temperatures start approaching extremes. If there’s any risk of frost, that’s my cue to bring in the most susceptible succulents. The same goes for prolonged periods of intense heat. While many succulents tolerate warmth well, those summer heatwaves can scorch them. I find it’s best to be a bit cautious and bring them indoors for safety, especially if it’s only for a temporary period.

Can succulents be in direct sunlight?

Many of my succulents thrive in direct sunlight – it helps them develop those gorgeous colors and keep a compact shape. I’ve got some Echeverias in a sunny windowsill that blush the most beautiful shades of pink and orange, and that’s all thanks to the light! However, I’ve learned not all succulents love full sun. Some of my more delicate ones, especially when they’re young, can get sunburned if I’m not careful. Now, I take it slow and introduce them to direct sunlight gradually and always watch for signs of stress. It’s really about finding the right balance for each plant.

Do succulents clean the air?

While I find my succulents beautiful and calming to have around, I wouldn’t call them air-cleaning powerhouses. I’ve read that certain succulents, like Snake Plants and Aloe Vera, can remove some harmful chemicals from the air, but the effect is likely minimal in a regular home setting. Still, I love having plants around! Even if they don’t magically purify the air, they create a more vibrant and welcoming space, which is definitely beneficial in its own way.

What are succulents good for?

Succulents are good for so many things! First, they’re undeniably beautiful and add a touch of nature to any space. Their unique shapes, textures, and colors bring a sense of life and vibrancy to my home. I also love how easy they are to care for – perfect for my sometimes forgetful plant parent ways. Plus, they have a calming effect on me. Taking a few minutes to water them or check for new growth is a lovely way to slow down and appreciate the subtle charms of nature.

Do you water succulents from the top or bottom?

I normally water my succulents from the top! I like to give them a good, thorough soak until the water starts to flow out of the pot’s drainage holes. It’s really satisfying to see the soil get completely saturated. Occasionally, if the plant is very densely packed or I’m worried about rot, I’ll try bottom watering. For that, I place the pot in a shallow dish of water and let it soak up moisture from the bottom. It takes longer, but it can be a helpful technique for those finicky ones.

What do succulents symbolize?

I love that succulents symbolize endurance and timeless love. They’re these tough little plants that can store water and thrive in even harsh conditions. That makes them a great reminder of perseverance and the ability to adapt, especially during challenging times. It also makes succulents such a lovely gift to show someone you care – it’s like saying, “I believe in you” or “our love is strong”.

Why are my succulents leaves falling off?

Seeing my succulent leaves falling off always makes me a little panicky! There are a few reasons this might happen. The biggest culprit is usually overwatering. When succulents get too much water, their leaves can get plump, mushy, and eventually fall off. On the flip side, underwatering can also cause leaves to shrivel and drop. Plus, sometimes it’s just a natural part of their growth, or they could be responding to being moved or other environmental changes. To figure out the why, I check the soil for moisture and look for any signs of pests or disease.tunesharemore_vert

Can succulents grow in sand?

While succulents can technically survive in sand, it’s not the ideal environment for them to thrive long-term. The biggest issue is that sand doesn’t hold enough water or nutrients. Succulents need soil that allows for good drainage but still holds onto some moisture so their roots can access it. A better option is using coarse sand mixed into regular potting soil. This improves drainage and provides more of the nutrients succulents need. If you really want a decorative sand look, you can always plant the succulent in the correct soil mix and top-dress the pot with sand.

Top 100 Gift Ideas For Plant Lovers 2024

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