Succulents and Cacti

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Succulents and Cacti
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Post # 1

Most of this information comes from personal experience and information told to me by family. I did google some things to confirm the information, so those sources are listed at the bottom.

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Wikipedia defines succulents as plants with thickened sections, generally to store water. Examples include jade plants, aloe vera, and hens and chicks.

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Caring for Succulents

Keep in mind that succulents vary quite a lot, so all of this information is just general advice. It's always a good idea to research the particular type of succulent you own to make sure you care for it correctly.

Watering

Succulents don't have to be watered often. Personally, I water most of mine about every two weeks - less in the winter, since they don't grow much in colder months. I water my smaller succulents more often, since they're in small pots, so the soil dries out more quickly. This depends on the type, of course: I water my barrel cactus about half as often as I water my aloe vera.

It's important to make sure you don't overwater your succulent. Overwatering can lead to root rot, which is difficult to treat and can kill your plant. As a general rule, if you can stick your finger in the soil and the dirt is dry a few inches down, it's time to rewater your plant.

Making sure the succulent has decent drainage is helpful in preventing root rot. Cactus soil is provided at many gardening shops, which will help let any extra water run through the dirt. Terracotta pots (made with unglazed clay) draw excess moisture out of the soil. Making sure the pot has at least one hole in the bottom is recommended, and I personally like to put a layer of pebbles at the bottom of the pot to make sure water doesn't gather below the roots of the plant.

Coffee Grounds

This may seem like a strange addition to some, but coffee grounds are added to the soil of a lot of plants, and can be good for them! However, I've always been told that since most succulents don't do well in acidic soil, this isn't a good idea for them. I googled it to confirm this, and it turns out I wasn't quite correct: according to TheGardenLady, some succulents would be perfectly fine with coffee grounds in the soil, but since most do better in dirt with a neutral pH, it's not a good idea to add coffee ground unless you know that it's fine for the particular type you have.

Light

Believe it or not, succulents can actually get sunburnt! They do need a decent amount of light, though, so I like to put mine by a window. The glass filters the sunlight and prevents burning, but they get plenty of light.

Some succulents are more sensitive than others, though; some of my succulents are farther from the window because they got a bit burnt when they were right next to it. Keep an eye on your plant and how it's reacting to the the lightsource it's provided.

Temperature

If you live in a place that gets cold, it's a good idea to have your succulents inside, or at least have a way to transport them indoors during colder months. Since succulents have such a high water content, the liquid they store can freeze, which can easily be deadly for your plant.

Sources

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Succulent_plant

www.thegardenlady.org/succulents-and-acid-soil

https://thesucculentsource.com/blogs/succulent-cactus-new/succulents-can-sunburn

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Re: Succulents and Cacti
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Post # 2

Thank you very much for this post! It helped me a lot when caring for my Sempervivum.

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Re: Succulents and Cacti
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Post # 3

Glad I could help! I love succulents, so I wanted to start a thread on them; I think they're gorgeous plants.

I hope your succulent flourishes!

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Re: Succulents and Cacti
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Post # 4

Hey! Thought I'd add in my two cents since a lot of people seem to find succulent care difficult, I find it sad how people give up so fast on their succulents without understanding them!

On watering I'd like to elaborate a little more on growing season! In growing season (which depends on the type of succulent and you climate, but if you know what type yours is then you shouldn't have too hard of a time figuring it out) usually people will soak their succulent until water runs out the bottom. The roots will want to soak as much water up as possible to help grow, but since you're giving it so much water you'll have to make sure drainage is going well.

A lot of people will also tell you not to water the succulent as soon as you transplant it because it needs time to heal its' roots and adjust to the new home, it could become rotten or diseased. I personally don't water right away when I transplant but leave it for about a week before I water it.

Which brings me to soil! And I'll admit in my early yeas of succulent care I wasn't very good with this, but to add on to cactus soil a lot of people will make a mixture of sand (some suggest builders sand because it's very coarse which helps drainage), and perlite (which are those little white rocks that kinda look like styrofoam, they help with keeping the soil less dense).

When you first buy a succulent, maybe from a florist section in a department store, it might come in sphagnum moss. It's important that you change it out of this because it can harm your plant and its' root system. It's generally not good because it will retain the water that needs to be drained, causing rot and also taking away moisture from the root system that needs it.

Some problems that I find a lot of people run into are over-watering (which is covered already), and also that their plants reach for teh sun and start to get leggy! This is because your succulent is reaching for the sun, which I've found is unhealthy because the limbs start to fall off or start to die because it's not getting the moisture and support it needs!

This is where a lot of people tend to give up I think, but personally I find succulents very easy to propagate! You can either snip the rosette on top or take a clipping on the leaf. This is a simple answer though so please look up some sources on how to take clippings, and then how to take care of them! For starters:

https://gardenerspath.com/how-to/propagation/succulents-five-easy-steps/ (info is a bit further down in this one)

https://www.wikihow.com/Propagate-Succulents-from-Leaves

Some sources that I found really good starts for beginners:

https://www.succulentsandsunshine.com/succulent-dormancy-table/

https://www.succulentsandsunshine.com/guide-growing-succulents-indoor-house-plants/ (since most people tend to buy succulents for indoor decor)

https://www.succulentsandsunshine.com/how-to-propagate-succulents-from-leaves-and-cuttings/ (because I love this site I thought I'd add their take on propagationtoo!)

*Also side note, I found the coffee grounds thing interesting! And it's super cool to see other succulent lovers post about succulent care!

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Re: Succulents and Cacti
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Post # 5

Thanks for the additional information! It's always great to see other succulent-loving witches, and I'm glad you added stuffabout propagation; I didn't even think to add it. Whoops.

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