Succulents are drought tolerant plants that are easy to care for and require very little!
There are three points of care you want to keep in mind when caring for your succulents:
WATER - The most important part of succulent care is when and how to water. Only water the plants when the soil is completely dry. If the soil has any moisture, do not water them at all. If it takes three weeks for the soil to dry out then water in three weeks, if it takes three days then water in three days. This is the most important part of proper succulent care. When you water your plants be sure they are being watered in the evening or late afternoon. Succulents best absorb water and nutrients from the soil during their rest period (which is in the evening). Also, water acts as a magnifier and will certainly help burn your plants in the hot months if they are watered in the morning or during the day. Succulents need excellent drainage. If a succulent is being potted in a container with no drainage it is important to know they should be watered sparingly. Anything more will kill the plant. Over-watering succulents is the easiest way to kill succulents. It is also important to address under-watering. An under-watered succulent will show signs of stress with drooping or withered leaves. The leaves can also start to develop brown spots. A good watering will perk the leaves right up. Be sure to never mist your succulents. Misting Succulents or Cacti will cause rot and/or fungal diseases. Succulents are not house plants or flowers. Misting succulents will kill the plant. Succulent plants need to be watered thoroughly when the soil is dry so that the water reaches the entire root system; then they need to dry out.
SUNLIGHT - There is a very tricky line when you first receive your succulents in regards to how much sun the plants should receive. All Shop Succulents plants are greenhouse grown which means they need to acclimated to sun gradually once you receive them especially in the hot months. When you first receive them keep them in soft sun or indirect light only and slowly introduce them to direct sunlight. Not being careful with proper sun introduction can cause the plants to sunburn. Burn will either kill the leaves or cause them to look unsightly. Imagine yourself being in a dark room for a while and then stepping out into harsh, direct sunlight. This can hurt your eyes until your eyes adjust. The same holds true with succulents and cacti. Our plants are greenhouse grown (which means they have a proper grower's shade filter over them always allowing just the right amount of light and heat). They are then put in a dark box and shipped. Be cautious here especially in the hotter months of the year. Conversely, succulents and cacti need ample sunlight to look their best. This is where it can get tricky. It will probably take some testing on your part to figure out the optimum solution for your plants in regards to where you live. You will know your plants are not getting enough light when they start to grow and stretch out. This is called getting 'leggy'. A succulent does this when it is not receiving enough light and is stretching toward the light to receive more. Indirect light for the first few days is ideal. The next step is typically giving them direct morning light only. Morning light tends to be softer. This is a great way to ensure your plants are getting the light they need in a timely fashion but not over doing it. Continue in this manner to ensure your plants receive excellent light but do not burn.
TIP: The vibrant color of succulents (certainly one of their best selling points) is mostly maintained with proper light and water. Succulents can boast some beautiful and vibrant colors. Most succulents will get more vibrant with more sun but some will want diffused sun to offer their best color. Watch your plants and try different light to maintain the perfect look!
TEMPERATURE - Succulents are very tough plants but they are not indestructible. A good rule of thumb is to not allow your plants to be in temperatures below 40 degrees without protection. Succulents truly thrive between 50 degrees and 85 degrees. It is ok if the temperature gets above this mark, you will just need to take extra precaution to ensure your plants do not burn. You will want to keep your plants out of direct afternoon sun if the temperatures are rising above 85 degrees. If the temperature is dropping below 40 you will want to keep them indoors/greenhouse to ensure they do not freeze.
Clean propagation pans by washing them with disinfectant. Pans should be small and shallow, no more than 4 inches deep and 6 inches in diameter. There are many different suggested growing media formulas to experiment with. One formula calls for mixing a coarsely sifted organic growing medium, such as commercial potting soil, with an equal volume of sharp sand, perlite or pumice for drainage.
Pasteurize your growing medium by baking it in an oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Allow it to cool and wet it thoroughly. Let it drain but not dry out. Fill the propagation pans with the moist soil mixture to about ½ inch below the rim.
Sow seeds in the pans around the end of April. Plant seeds as deep into the soil as the seeds are wide and press down lightly. Cover small seeds with a sprinkling of sand to hold them in place. Seed spacing will depend on the species of cactus or succulent you are germinating. Cover the pans with clear plastic or glass. Place them in a bright location but out of direct sun. Keep temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If soil seems too dry, spray lightly with water. Be sparing. Too much water can drown the seed. Don’t let soil dry out.
Watch for germination. Most cacti and succulents will germinate within three weeks but some species require more time — up to a year. When seedling plants appear, raise the cover during the day for ventilation. Watch soil moisture. Don’t allow soil to dry out but also don’t saturate it. Keep temperature between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Transplant your plants into their permanent pots. Most cacti and succulents will be ready to transplant in 6 months to a year after germination. The right growth size for transplanting will depend on the species you are growing. Most cacti can be transplanted when they are the size of a large marble. Many other succulents may be transplanted when they are 2 to 4 inches tall. Gently lift the plants from the growing medium, set into the soil of the new container, firm the soil around the roots and water well.