Let’s analyze together what are the secrets for taking care of succulents so that you can appreciate them for a long, long time.
Just take a look at social networks to realize that succulents are in fashion. They appear in images of all kinds as part of the decoration of offices, living rooms, entrances, kitchens and balconies. They are easy to grow, adapt to different places and are ideal for those with space problems.
Succulents in botany
It is likely that some succulents are already part of our life: for example cacti, aloe vera, and purslane. These plants can give us an important clue to one of their basic requirements: they are plants that require moderate irrigation.
This is due to the arid and dry conditions of their areas of origin and the way in which the leaves of these plants have changed: being able to store water inside allows them to survive and, in the case of cacti, they have developed thorns to protect yourself from predators and catch up to the last drop of dew.
Irrigation of succulents
As you can imagine, to take care of succulents, irrigation must be minimal and always avoid excess water. In summer, it will be sufficient to water them once a week, while in winter once every fifteen days.
The drainage is very important and, for this, you must avoid using saucers and plates at the base of these types of plants. If you use them, remove all excess water after irrigation, as the amount of water that the roots and soil have been able to store will be sufficient.
A trick to find out if you are giving too much water to your succulents is to observe their leaves: if they become translucent and you notice them soft to the touch, you are probably watering them more than necessary. Stop watering immediately and check that there is no water accumulated inside the pot, then wait for them to recover their normal consistency.
The ideal soil for succulents
Most of these plants come from arid areas. For this, the specific soils for these plants include an important part of sand and gravel in the mixture. They facilitate drainage, avoid the stagnation of the water we were talking about before and provide the nutrients they need to grow.
An alternative is to create your own soil mix yourself. It uses 50% universal soil and 50% perlite, which will provide it with the necessary aeration and drainage. You can also mix 50% universal soil and 50% washed river sand (or replace it with volcanic lapilli).
Personally, I prefer to use volcanic lava, which I then chop with a hammer (and a little patience) or by sifting the contents of the bag.
I also use it as a decoration in the upper part of the vase: the contrast with the color of the succulent plant enhances its intensity. The same effect can also be obtained with white, gray or other colored pebbles.
Personally, I prefer to use volcanic lava, which I then chop with a hammer (and a little patience) or by sifting the contents of the bag. I also use it as a decoration in the upper part of the pot: the contrast with the color of the succulent plant enhances its intensity. The same effect can also be obtained with white, gray or other colored pebbles.
A mistake we often make is to place them in full sun when we bring them home, as soon as they are purchased.
Although they can acclimatize in that position, it would be best to keep them in a place with lots of light but no direct sun. In summer the sun can be their worst enemy, quickly dehydrating them.
Don’t forget that most cacti and succulents are grown in a nursery, protected from the sun’s rays and with controlled temperatures. If you need to place them in full sun, it is easy for them to burn, so better get them used to it little by little. One hour on the first day, two the next, increasing little by little to get them used to their new home.
However, I recommend that you avoid this type of location unless it is a good-sized plant. The succulents that we buy in small pots are usually cuttings that are beginning to take root. If we put the poor seedling that is already struggling in the growth process in full sun, it is likely that it will not be able to overcome the adaptation process.