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Succulent Care 101: Tending to Your Very First Succulent

Not only are succulent plants incredibly easy to care for, but they also add a lot of character to your home. Whether you live in an apartment, house, or dorm room, succulents are pretty much the ideal houseplant.

As easy as they are, there are still a few things that you need to consider when it comes to caring for your brand new succulent to make sure it lives a long, healthy life.

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Food and Water

Succulents are hardy, often drought-resistant plants that are able to withstand extended periods without watering, using what they have stored in their plump, fleshy leaves. While different species need different amounts of water, a good rule of thumb is to water sparingly, when the soil is dry – about once every two weeks. If your succulent isn’t getting enough water, it will start to look wrinkled, so keep an eye out for that.

Too much water is a much bigger problem. An overwatered plant will start to look sickly, soft, and discolored, so it’s important to keep the right balance. If your succulent starts to look unwell, reduce watering and see if your plant gets better.

Feeding your succulent to keep it healthy is easy as there are many specially formulated fertilizers available. Depending on your preference, many of these can be mixed with water or applied directly to the soil.

A Sunny Spot for a Happy Succulent

Contrary to popular belief, succulents do not usually thrive when blasted with hot, direct sunlight for hours every day. Most succulents need as much light as possible, but would rather sit on a bright windowsill with plenty of indirect light than in the glaring rays of the sun. Try positioning your new plant on a south- or west-facing windowsill.

If your plant isn’t getting enough light, it will soon tell you – your succulent will begin bending or ‘reaching’ for the sunlight and they can start to grow long and ‘leggy’ as they stretch. You can try moving your plant to a brighter spot or, if there isn’t enough natural light, you can consider investing in a grow light.

Getting the Soil Just Right

Root rot is bad news. Poorly draining soil, which prevents water from wicking away from the roots, can lead to the death of the plant. While it may be tempting to scoop up a handful of soil from the backyard, it might not be the most suitable for your succulent and its drainage needs.

To ensure proper drainage, there are specially created soil mixes for succulents. These not only keep moisture away from your succulent’s roots but are also pH balanced and can help prevent accidental overwatering.

Tiny Tools

Succulents can be a little tricky to tend to, particularly if they are on the smaller or more delicate side. Fear not – there are tiny toolkits designed specifically for succulent gardening. These kits often include miniature gardening tools, air blowers and brushes, and water bottles with drip attachments – ideal for watering the soil below while keeping your succulent dry.

Keeping this simple guide in mind when caring for your new succulent will help it to thrive and flourish, so just make sure you tick off all of the items above and your succulent will remain in good health.

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