We know ’em, we love ’em, we are inclined to think that taking care of them is extremely easy while it is actually not: succulents. These plants have taken over the internet and earned themselves quite the reputation these past few years. However, you have to know your stuff before bringing one into your home, because there are a lot of misconceptions about them out there. Here are the five most common succulent mistakes beginners absolutely have to avoid:
1. Planting them in pots with no drainage
This misconception is already widespread on the internet. Chances are that you have at least once come upon a picture of a succulent sitting in a recycled jar or a mug on social media and thought this to be an appropriate container for such plants. Well, it is not. Succulents need as much drainage as possible.
They can’t thrive in soggy soil for too long. Drought they can tolerate, it is excessive moisture that kills them. As a beginner, you might want to start with a terracotta pot, as it absorbs moisture very efficiently. Just make sure it has drainage holes.
Succulents don’t need to be misted at all. Actually, I think this is the worst thing to do to a succulent. Misting indoors succulents will only make them more vulnerable to pests and mold, especially if you leave in an area where the cold season reaches low temperatures. I feel like I have to stress this again, succulents don’t need moisture. Misting our plants relaxes us and makes us feel like pro gardeners, but it won’t sit well with a lot of plants, succulents included.
3. Low light
As succulents are aesthetically pleasing plants, we feel like we can use them as house decorum and place them wherever. This is false, as succulents need a lot of light. They love to soak up the sun and thrive when placed under bright, direct light. A spot near a south-facing window will make any succulent very happy. Most succulents come from dry areas like deserts. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the sun is their best friend and they won’t survive in partial shade for very long.
Many people will get a nice-looking succulent from the store, come home and then repot it in whatever soil they have laying around in the house. This is a rookie mistake which should be avoided at all costs. Succulents need to be placed in cacti soil with good drainage and slight acidity. If you want, you can even try using vermiculite and perlite in your succulent potting mix. They don’t like soil that retains moisture for a long time.
5. Watering a succulent too little
It is true that succulents can tolerate drought very well and hate humidity, but they are still plants and they like a bit of water at times. There is not a certain amount of water all succulents need, as different species have different watering needs. However, most succulents will need more water during growth season in spring and summer. Water when the top inches of the soil are dry and let it dry up in between watering. This should do the trick.
So there you have it. As long as you pay attention to their needs and let them do their thing, succulents should be just fine. They are ideal plants for beginners and will stay with you for a very long time.
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