Growing Succulents 101

Succulents are one of the easiest plants to grow, propagate, and decorate with; but some people feel a little intimidated by them. We think the intimidation comes from fear of the unknown. By providing you with the basic supplies and care needed for growing succulents, Rainbow Gardens believes we can eliminate intimidation and replace it with confidence so you can begin your love affair with succulent gardening. Check out our following basic supplies and tips for growing succulents.

bright window lined with succulents

Best Light For Succulents:

  1. Bright, indirect light is best.
  2. Most succulents start to scorch if left in direct sunlight too long, especially our harsh summer afternoons in San Antonio.
  3. Morning Sun (direct) for a few hours, and then indirect sun the rest of the day.
  4. Bright windows indoors are perfect. You’ll know if your plant isn’t getting enough light because it will tend to “stretch” towards it and get leggy.

succulents potted up in a shallow round container

Best Pots For Succulents:

  1. Best options for succulents are wide, shallow pots that drain well.
  2. Terra cotta, concrete, or stone pots with drainage holes are some of our favorites for growing succulents in.
  3. (Altering non-draining containers by drilling holes, using pebbles, or sphagnum moss is possible to create drainage, although we strongly recommend the pots with drainage holes already in them. More info to comb in our Succulent Inspiration blog)
  4. Shallow pots are ideal due to the fact that most succulents have shallow roots, so they don’t need a ton of soil. Deep pots waste your soil, plus that much soil takes too long to dry out between watering, and you don’t want your succulent roots sitting in wet soil for too long.

soil with perlite in it for potting up succulents

Best Soil for Succulents:

  1. We have the best success growing succulents starting with a good potting mix (FoxFarm Happy Frog is awesome) and adding 1/4 to 1/3 parts perlite.
  2. For planting cactus, we recommend a little more perlite (the 1/3) and for succulents a little less (the 1/4). Keep in mind that how much perlite you need to add will depend on how heavy your potting soil mix is in the first place. The heavy the soil, the more perlite is needed. So opt for a nice light potting mix and you can use these ratios.
  3. The mix of potting soil and perlite is perfect you also get more bang for your buck. You can mix up however much you need, whenever you need it. The soil drains well and keeping your succulents’ roots from sitting in water is a huge part of keeping them thriving. Do NOT opt for moisture-control potting soil thinking you won’t have to water your plants as much.

water running out of the bottom of a succulent pot

Best Watering Technique For Succulents:

  1. Contrary to what many believe, succulents and cactus actually do need water. They may be able to go for longer periods of time without it, but they won’t survive completely without it. Don’t overdo it, but don’t ignore it either.
  2. Water your succulents when the soil is completely dry, this usually means once a week during hotter months, and a little less when it gets colder.
  3. For pots with drainage holes, give the soil a good soak. Water in the sink and let the water run out the bottom
  4. For pots without drainage that you’ve modified, don’t soak the soil. Rather, give the soil a smaller sip of water.
  5. You can always use your trusty moisture meter (your finger) to check the moisture of the soil.
  6. Remember standing wet soil equals the demise of your succulents.

single succulent growing in a pot

To learn more about growing succulents successfully, we encourage you to take part in our Rainbow Gardens seminars and workshops offered throughout our event season to get hands-on experience and guidance from our experts.

 

 

 

 

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