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Keep in mind succulents are an outdoor plant, however, they will not over winter here in Canada, so we bring them indoors as a houseplant. Most succulents are very hardy and, unlike many other plants thrive on neglect. That being said there are a few guidelines that you should follow in order to have a thriving succulent garden.
Succulents like light; they prefer indirect sunlight but can tolerate 1-2 hours of direct sunlight per day. If you wish to move your succulents’ outdoors during the summer introduce them to more direct sunlight in stages so they have an opportunity to acclimate to the increased amount of direct light and heat. Too much sun the plant will begin to look parched or burnt, too little and they will begin to lose colour and stretch for the light.
Succulents go through two different growing stages. During the winter months with low heat and light they will go into a dormant stage were very little watering is needed (usually just once a month). Spring and summer are their growing stage, growing and preparing to set flower so more frequent watering and fertilization is needed (watering once a week, fertilizing once a month). A general rule is that the soil needs to dry out completely before watering, so place a finger a couple of centimeters down into the soil and check to ensure that the soil is completely dry. Water the soil until it is moist but not saturated. When watering use ice cubes, you’re less likely to overwater if you just add ice cubes to the top of the soil. And let them melt. For tight spaces use a turkey baster to get the water to the soil, don't water the plants because if there is wound or opening on the stem and moisture get to it - that is when the rotting occurs.
A good fertilizer will have a low nitrogen reading like one for African violets or flowering houseplants. Use only half the recommended amount at the beginning of the growing season.
Succulents will occasionally require re-potting. Most species may only need to be repotted every 2-3 years. Use a pot that has drainage holes or use a layer of gravel in the bottom of a non-draining pot. Use a soil that is an amended formula of traditional potting mix with the addition of coarse perlite, pumice or crushed lava (ratio 1:1). This will allow for proper drainage and good air penetration to the roots. Succulents do not mind be crowded in a pot but if re-potting is necessary do it in the spring and make sure the soil is damp in both the pot you are removing them from and the pot they are moving too.
If succulents send out flower spikes or begin to become overgrown and you want to maintain a compact appearance, pinching back to prune will not harm the plant.
We are more than happy to create items like pictures below. Bring us the container and we'll design something perfect for you.
Want to try to propagate some of your succulents? Here is a link to a page that describes the process. How to Propagate your Succulents