Succulents are a popular type of plant known for their ability to thrive in hot, dry environments with minimal care. They are perfect for those who want to enjoy the beauty of plants but have limited time to care for them. However, even though they are low-maintenance, succulents still require proper care to keep them healthy and thriving. In this article, we will discuss some common succulent care mistakes and how to fix them.
Mistake #1: Overwatering One of the most common mistakes people make when caring for succulents is overwatering. Succulents are desert plants that store water in their leaves, stems, and roots, which allows them to survive in hot, dry environments. They are adapted to drought conditions and do not require frequent watering. Overwatering can cause the roots to rot, which can lead to the death of the plant.
How to fix it: Water your succulents only when the soil is completely dry. To check if the soil is dry, stick your finger into the soil about an inch deep. If it feels dry, it’s time to water. Use a watering can or a spray bottle to water the soil around the plant, making sure not to get water on the leaves. Water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out completely between waterings.
Mistake #2: Not enough light Succulents need plenty of bright, direct sunlight to thrive. Without enough light, they can become weak, leggy, and lose their vibrant colors. If your succulent is not getting enough light, it may start to stretch out, looking for more light.
How to fix it: Place your succulent in a sunny location, ideally with at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. If you don’t have a sunny spot in your home, consider using grow lights to provide the necessary light. Keep in mind that succulents can get sunburned, so it’s important to gradually acclimate them to brighter light by starting with shorter periods of exposure and increasing over time.
Mistake #3: Poor drainage Succulents require well-draining soil to prevent root rot. If the soil stays too wet for too long, it can suffocate the roots and cause them to rot.
How to fix it: Use a well-draining soil mix designed specifically for succulents. You can also add perlite or coarse sand to regular potting soil to improve drainage. Make sure your container has drainage holes to allow excess water to drain out. If your container does not have drainage holes, consider repotting your succulent into a container that does.
Mistake #4: Using the wrong type of pot The type of pot you use for your succulent can also affect its health. Non-porous containers, such as ceramic or glass, can trap moisture around the roots, which can lead to root rot.
How to fix it: Use a pot made of a porous material, such as terra cotta, which allows water to evaporate from the sides of the pot. You can also use pots made from other breathable materials like unglazed clay. This allows the roots to breathe and reduces the risk of root rot.
Mistake #5: Not repotting when necessary Succulents can outgrow their pots and become root-bound, which can lead to stunted growth and poor health. When a succulent is root-bound, there is not enough room for the roots to spread out, and they can become tangled and compacted.
How to fix it: Repot your succulent into a larger container when you notice that the roots are starting to outgrow the pot. Choose a pot that is one size larger than the current pot and use well-draining.