Growing Happy and Healthy Plants
What is a Succulent?
Succulents are a family of drought-resistant plants that have adapted well to dry, arid environments. They store water in their leaves, stems, or roots, and as a result, those areas on the plant may be fleshier, swollen, or more pronounced. Succulents are living plants that require some care to survive and thrive. While caring for them is not complex, knowing the basics will help you have healthy succulents for years.
Is a cactus the same as a succulent?
The cactus is a succulent, so its care requirements are similar. Every cactus is a succulent, but not all succulents are cacti. Like many other succulents, cacti have succulent properties – the ability to store moisture in their thick fleshy trunk and stems. These properties allow it to survive periods of drought. The difference is that cacti are defined by the presence of areoles (specialized sites where spines form) whereas succulents have none.
Just because these plants are drought-tolerant doesn’t mean that they don’t need water. It simply means they can go longer periods without having to be watered. Succulents prefer an nice light spritz, enough to reach down and wet the short root system. Spray bottles are great for a little shower but only when the soil is completely dried out. You want to give them a thorough watering and let the soil dry out before watering again. When it comes to watering succulents indoors less is more. As a guideline, typically every 7-14 days in the warmer months & very 3-4 weeks in winter.
Sunlight and Temperature
Succulents generally need at least 4-6 hours of sunlight. Succulents that do not receive enough light will lose their vibrant pigmentation and will become pale or revert to a dull green color. Plants that receive adequate sunlight will demonstrate their true beauty by showcasing their full range of vibrant colors. Some succulents have high heat-tolerant but many don’t like scorching sun. When it gets too sunny, its better to move them to a place where they get a healthy amount of filtered sunlight. Sunburned or browning can occur when your succulents are getting too much sunlight.
The ideal temperature for succulents are from 60°F to 80°F. Remember to bring your succulent inside when temperature falls below 40 °F.