How to Care for Succulents

Three Methods:General Succulent/Cactus CarePropagating The "-Veria" PlantsRequirements For Most Succulents and Cacti

Dying Pachyveria? Read on. Yellowing cactus? You're in the right place. Droopy White Star Succulent? Keep going.

Method 1
General Succulent/Cactus Care

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    Put it in a sunny place. You already know this, but succulents and cacti grow in very sunny places. Note: I live in a temperate climate (East Coast) and have seen prickly pear cacti growing on sandy plains in front of a forest, so soil is a more important parameter for succulents and cacti (I will call them all succulents to save space) than sun.
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    Once the succulent is in a sunny place, water it. Don't water it again until the soil column is COMPLETELY dry. A good guide to watering succulents is: "The thicker the leaves, the less water it needs!" So, a Pachyveria (I have Belle Blue) will want less water than a broadleaf Echeveria (such as Echeveria imbricata). For cacti this doesn't apply since the thorns are leaves. Simply follow the first two sentences of this step for cacti.
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    Don't put a "-Veria" plant in full afternoon summer sun. It will get sunburned.
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    Enjoy your beautiful succulents!

Method 2
Propagating The "-Veria" Plants

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    Place your thumb and forefinger right at the base of the leaf, where it looks like it will just pop off.
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    Hold the pot with your weaker hand while pulling steadily on the leaf base.
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    When the leaf comes off, lay it out on a flat surface to dry for 1-3 days. This is crucial for propagation!
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    Lay the leaf flat on the surface of a pot filled with potting soil. DON'T BURY THE END!
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    When the soil is dry, water it. The leaf will take up the water.
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    When the leaf has roots, wait about two weeks and then gently prop it up.
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    Wait for a new plant. About four weeks after you prop it up (43-35 days after you left it out to dry), you will have new leaf buds. If you managed to get here, congratulations on growing what will soon be a clump of succulent leaves!

Method 3
Requirements For Most Succulents and Cacti

  • Lots of sun; read the first part for more on sun.
  • Cactus mix soil, although my succulents are happily growing in all-purpose potting soil.
  • Less water; read the first part for more on watering succulents.
  • Wider pots; because succulents have more spread-out roots, you need a wide pot, as opposed to a taproot plant such as a carrot, which will need a deep pot.
  • No fertilizer; it can actually hurt some succulents.

Warnings

  • Not all your leaves will survive propagation.

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Categories: Gardening