What’s in this guide?
When you think of succulent and succulent plant care, watering is the first thing that comes to mind.
Watering is certainly the biggest challenge when it comes to growing succulents at home.
However, if you observe your plant well, it will signal its watering needs.
You will discover in this guide :
How to recognize your fat plant
Where to install your succulent plant in the house
How to water your succulents
How to know if the substrate is dry
How the plant signals that it is thirsty
How the plant signals that it has too much water
Diseases and parasites
1 – Recognizing your fat plant
Depending on the origin of your plant, the care to be given to it will be different.
We sometimes tend to confuse, for example, houseleeks and succulents of the Echeveria type. Some will die indoors while others will suffer from rain and frost outside.
I invite you to read this article to understand what a fat plant is: What is the difference between succulents and cacti?
The rosette-shaped succulents that live indoors are native to hot and arid geographical areas such as Mexico or Portugal.
On the other hand, houseleeks come from areas with arid and nutrient-poor soil, but often with water, such as in the mountains. They are therefore very resistant to the cold and even appreciate it for some varieties.
The key to the maintenance of succulents and succulents is, as for all other plants, observation. But, it is true that for succulents, knowing their geographical origin helps greatly in their care.
To know more about how to differentiate Echeveria, Joubarbe and Sempervivum
To help you find your way around more quickly, here is an article that presents my collection. You will find there the most common plants of the trade:
2 – Where to install the succulents in the house?
In the sun, behind a window without curtains.
Install your plants in the room that receives the most light and sunlight. Contrary to orchids which need a lot of light but fear direct sunlight, succulents such as Echeveria, Graptopelatum or Pachyphytum need direct sunlight.
Haworthias can stand the absence of sun but they still need a lot of light. A bit like orchids but in a drier environment.
Cacti also like the sun but unlike Echeverias, they need a cool winter setting (but not too cold either, watch the cactus to see if it is cold).
Can we put out succulents and succulents in summer?
Yes, you can and you should if you have a sunny garden or balcony. But beware of sunburn.
Before putting your indoor succulents in the sun, it is important to take some precautions.
3 – How to water succulents indoors
The best method of watering is to baste.
Put a little water in a bowl and place the pot in it for about an hour. The plant will absorb the amount of water it needs and the substrate the amount of water it can hold.
Never leave water in the saucer under the plant.
Wait until the substrate/soil is completely dry before giving the plant water again.
These plants are native to arid areas and are able to resist thirst for a very long time.
Moisture kills them faster than lack of water.
Mistakes not to be made
1 – Use a pot without holes
2 – Use a substrate that retains water
3 – Spray instead of drenching or watering
Is the substrate/soil dry?
1 – Weigh the pot after watering (on a scale or in your hand). Weigh the pot regularly. As long as it loses weight, it contains water. When it stops losing water, the evaporation of water is complete and the soil is completely dry.
2 – If the plant can be easily removed from the pot by grasping it between two fingers, it means that the potting soil is no longer sticking to the sides of the pot and that it is therefore dry.
How can I tell if my plant is thirsty?
You must observe the appearance of the plant
Leaves turned downwards
Small wrinkles on the leaves
Leaves are soft to the touch
3 – Increase the frequency of drenching or watering
Make sure that the water rises to the surface of the soil or that the pot feels heavy.
How do I know if my plant has too much water?
As with a thirsty plant, you should observe the appearance of the plant
The leaves turn yellow and take on a translucent appearance
Leaves fall off as soon as you touch them
Do not water for a long time
If possible, take the plant out of its pot and put it on a paper towel or put the pot on a paper towel.
the pot on absorbent paper. Replace the paper until the soil is dry.
Allow the pot to dry or repot in a dry pot.
4 – Diseases and pests of succulents and succulents
Once you have found the right place in your home and you have mastered watering, succulents should thrive. However, in a hot and confined interior, there is always a risk of seeing parasites such as mealy bugs.
The scale insects can be seen as a veil, white powder or a white, slightly foamy secretion.
As soon as the symptoms appear, it is necessary to react quickly so that the infestation does not spread to other plants in your collection.
I spray the plant with a 50% vinegar / 50% water mixture. I wait 2 or 3 minutes for the vinegar to kill the bugs and then I rinse the plant with water. Because the plant does not like vinegar either.
The following days it is necessary to observe the plant and to renew the operation if necessary.
Then, as soon as the weather is fine, take the plant out on the balcony. Scale insects do not like fresh air!
If aphids are attacking your plant, treat it with a mixture of water and black soap. Be careful not to overuse the black soap because some plants can’t stand it.
5 – Should I repot my succulent?
In all cases, you should repot after purchase if the plant is in a plastic mini-pot. This type of pot is too small and favors water retention and the development of mold.
Then, it’s up to you!
If you want your plant to grow and thrive, you must repot it. Otherwise, it will adapt to the size of the pot.
When repotting, the plant sometimes takes advantage of this to make small shoots that can be cut off to get new plants.
If you wish to repot, choose a well breathing terracotta pot with a drainage hole.