my succulents + tips for healthy plants

After realizing how great my plants were doing on my deck I decided to move everything out there for the summer. I’m no expert, everything I know about plants has been from scouring the internet or personal experience, and believe me I have killed my fair share of plants. I think I’m finally getting the hang of really growing things though. For the first time ever I’m actually confident I’m raising healthy succulents that are taking root and growing!

Something I kept reading about over and over was that plants have a growing season and a resting season. In the winter they should get less light but I had no idea how to do that because by moving them anywhere away from the window it just wouldn’t be enough light. It took seeing some of my plants outside thriving for that little bell in my head to finally go off and realize that putting them outside to get the most sunlight might be the best option for healthy plants. Despite getting what I would consider a great deal of light in my office nothing really compares to being outside.

I get so many requests for posts on how to grow cacti and succulents but it’s really all trial and error for me. My best advice is make sure they get lots of sunlight and to water them when the soil is completely dry. I don’t have a regular watering schedule because some weeks they dry out quicker than other weeks and each plant is different. I recently read about how watering them a little bit less will help grow better roots since the roots will search for water. I’m not quite sure how true that is but I have been playing around with watering certain plants only a little bit instead of the full amount I would normally give them. So far so good!
Another thing I’ve noticed really seems to make my plants super happy is misting them. I bought a spray bottle specifically to mist the pups I was propagating. Since they were right beside all my other plants I’d end up just spraying every one of them down. I noticed fairly quickly how much more green and lively everything looked! Now it’s something I do to every one of my plants outside on a daily basis.

Basically if you didn’t feel like reading all that nonsense above, for healthier plants –
▴ Make sure they get enough light! If possible, put them outside for the summer. Just watch when the forecast calls for heavy rain, they most likely won’t love that and make sure they don’t get too much light. Plants can get sunburn too. I think there’s this idea that succulents are super easy to grow inside but it’s just not true – they need lots of light!
▴ Water them when their soil is dry. All plants are different and no one on the internet is going to be able to tell you the best schedule for yours, just keep an eye on them.
▴ Mist your plants daily – I promise it makes a huge difference! 

Even if you end up killing a plant at least you go to enjoy it for some
amount of time. Think of it this way, it’s kind of like buying flowers.
You enjoy them for a week and then they die except with succulents and
cacti they live a lot longer than flowers.

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    • No, I've only had air plants once and I killed them in no time. I think they need regular misting too, which would explain why they died on me the first time. I don't really know!

  • Your succulents are lovely! I've been looking into succulent care a lot lately because I'm going to be using them at a freshwater spring conservation show to promote the use of hardy, water conserving plants in landscaping & decor. I want to include a cute care sheet but really the best I can do is give a few guidelines…It's trial and error from there!

  • I would suggest one more tip — be aware of what climate region you're in. For example, I'm in Miami which is a tropical monsoon climate and gets MAJORLY hot and humid alternated with rain in the summer. My growing season is completely different from someone in let's say, Seattle. 🙂

  • I kill my succulents regularly 🙁 a year ago I bought the most beautiful succulent I've ever seen and of course it died after about 10 months. I water them as you said, only when their soil is dry and it doesn't help ;( They loose their leaves at the bottom and after some time there are no leaves left.. ;( But I'll try to put them on my south window, there's a lot of sun, maybe it will help!! Thank you Dainty Squid for this post!! P.S. My other flowers grow beautifully, I just have an enormous problem with my succulents!!!

    • They may just not be getting enough sunlight! I was loosing a lot of leaves on a plant while it was inside, it put it outside and it almost immediately stopped!