Succulent Tips for Beginners

Video Transcript

"Hey guys, Lor with Garden Answer. In this video, I want to share 10 tips on planting and caring for succulents, and this information is going to be geared a little bit more toward beginners, so kind of a Succulents 101. And I know that there are a lot of different ways to do things and there are a lot of great tips out there, but the things I'm going to share with you today are those that I think helped me the most especially in the beginning. So I'm really hoping that after watching this you feel inspired and encouraged to go try planting succulents yourself.

The first tip is to choose a container with drainage. Basically anything with the hole in the bottom, that way water has a chance to escape and not pool which can cause your plant to rot.

The second tip is to use a soil specifically blended for cactus and succulents because they prefer a soil that's lighter, faster draining, with more aeration. I do not recommend that you use regular potting soil because it's too heavy and holds too much moisture.

And the third tip is to pick a healthy succulent! You want to start with something that's really healthy to begin with, so choose one that looks like it has a very nice shape and good color that's free of insects and that also doesn't have dead or dying foliage or soggy foliage.

The fourth step is to plant, and to do that, you want to put a little bit of your cactus or succulent soil at the bottom of your container, and then work a little bit of it up around the sides. Gently remove the plant from your nursery container and place on top of the soil. Then, you want to add in additional soil around the root ball and then tamp it in making sure that the root ball is nicely packed in and it's always a good idea to leave a little bit of a lip from the top of the soil surface to the top of the pot. That way, you don't make a mess when you're watering.

Step number five is to water, and you want to water until just a little bit is coming out the bottom of the pot, but you don't want any excess to collect in the saucer. So if you have any extra, you want to make sure to pour it out. The rule of thumb is to allow the soil to dry between waterings and depending on your climate and the time of year this can be once a week to every few weeks. If the leaves begin to pucker. It's a good sign that your plant needs water, but if the leaves start to look translucent and soggy, that could mean that the soil is holding too much moisture. Basically, you just want to make it a habit to check on your succulents often to see if they need water.

And tip number six is light. You want to provide your succulents with at least four to six hours of morning light in the summer time, you need to protect them from scorching afternoon heat, because many varieties can sunburn easily. But on the flip side, in the winter time, you may need to provide extra light when the days are shorter and the light is not as intense.

Tip number seven is to fertilize. Because succulents, just like all other plants, need food. And how often you fertilize will depend on what variety of succulents you have, so I do recommend that you research what you plant. But generally you want to fertilize about once a month with a succulent specific food. You'll always want to read the directions on the bottle, but as an example, you add one dose of this one to a quart of water, mix, and it's ready to go. Make sure not to water extra though, just incorporate fertilizing into your normal watering schedule.

Tip 8 is to keep your eyes out for insects. If you see anything starting, you're going to want to take care of it immediately. Maybe take a picture or a sample down to your local Garden Center so they can help you identify what you're dealing with and how to take care of it. Most succulents do not like to be sprayed with insecticide, so I don't recommend doing that. The insects that I deal with the most are Mealy Bugs, which are tiny little insects that look like they're covered in cotton. When I see those starting to form on my plants I take a q-tip and dip it in isopropyl alcohol, and then just gently wipe them off.

Tip 9 is to groom your plants. Insects and diseases like to harbor over dead and decaying foliage, so keeping your plants clear of that will keep them happier and healthier. And they look a whole lot nicer. And as a side note, there are several succulents that produce a really fine powder on their foliage and even though it's not detrimental to their health, try to refrain from touching that foliage because they look a whole lot better when they're not marred with a bunch of fingerprints.

The last tip is to keep your eye on the temperature. The majority of succulents cannot handle really cold temperatures, so if you live in a cold climate like I do, you'll want to make sure to bring them inside before the first frost.

That's it you guys! I just want to reiterate that I really don't want you guys to be discouraged if you give it a try and you're not successful with your first few attempts. I certainly wasn't in the beginning, but I learned a lot every single time I tried. If this video was helpful, please leave a like down below, and if you're new to our channel, please subscribe, and we will see you in the next video. Bye."

January 09, 2024