Don’t we all just love succulents? They seem to be designed to be the perfect indoor plants – they are extremely resilient and said to thrive on a little neglect. While it’s true that they don’t need a lot of attention, with just a little TLC succulents can transform into the most gorgeous plants in the world. They are perfect to lighten up that neglected corner of your living room and bring a burst of life to your home. If you’re wondering just how much (or how little) care do these fleshy beauties really need, here’s a quick guide.
The Right Soil
Just like with any other plant, having the right soil is essential for keeping your succulent house plants happy and healthy. Succulents thrive best in a fast-draining potting mix that’s suitable for cacti as well. Such a mix is available in any well-stocked nursery, but if you can’t find one, consider enriching a regular potting mix with sand, gravel or volcanic rock in order to ensure the plants get adequate drainage and aeration. For optimal soil conditions, make sure the container you’re planting them in comes with drainage holes at the bottom.
Frequency of Watering
Succulents are plants native to deserts and don’t need any watering, like, ever – right? Wrong! Regular watering is required to keep your succulent collection alive. How regular? Around once a week is just right. And remember to occasionally drench the pot in water until it flows out to remove any salt built-up from the soil.
For the best results, find your succulents a good spot under the sun. However, consider that not all succulents are from the same family and some species might need more or less sunshine than others. Learn to read cues from your succulent house plants in order to figure out their sunlight needs. Plants that get too much sun will turn into a yellowish colour and have scorched leaves. On the other hand, the ones that don’t get enough sun will get leggy.
Dealing with Disease
Even the healthiest succulents house plants can be affected by disease. One symptom can be an orange, tumour-like growth near the stem. This means the plant is infected by a microscopic mite. In that case, the best treatment option is to completely remove the infected tissue and replant the succulent in a different container to see whether it continues to grow healthy. After using a tool on an infected plant, remember to always clean it in order to prevent the spread of disease.
Some succulents can also be affected by a disease that causes bruised tissue and pockmarks on their leaves. The remedy for this is quite simple. Just mix 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon with half a litre of isopropyl alcohol, shake it well and leave it over night. Strain it the next day and spray it on the affected plant. If this doesn’t work, try contacting a nursery for additional help.