A story on the University of Illinois website calls 2007 the year the succulent first started to become popular. In 2017, according to a survey by Garden Center Magazine, 15% of garden sales in the Midwest were succulents.
The succulent is popular for many reasons, all related to ease of care. Succulents.net says these easy care steps include not needing a lot of fertilizer, being able to tolerate dry/indoor conditions, and not requiring frequent watering.
Although they don’t need a lot of water, succulents still need it to live. With easy maintenance in mind, how often do you need to water a succulent?
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How often should you water a succulent?
According to Retro Den, the rule of thumb for watering your succulent is every other week during non-winter months.
During the winter months, when the temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it is recommended that you water your succulent only once a month.
For some succulents, once a week may be best, but be sure to monitor your succulent to see if it needs more or less frequent watering. Succulents with smaller leaves may need more frequent watering because they cannot store as much water.
How much water does your succulent need?
Happysprout.com suggests using what it calls the “soak and dry” method of watering your succulent. Using the biweekly rotation, soak your succulent thoroughly and wait for it to dry out until you water it again.
Retroden stresses the importance of not letting your succulent sit in water because a “succulent may come back from under-watering, but over-watering will cause a succulent to die out.”
Retro Den also highlights four variables that can affect how much water a succulent needs:
- If your pot has a drainage hole
- How it was planted
- Indoor vs Outdoor
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How much sun does a succulent need?
Architectural Digest says that succulents love sunlight and need six hours a day. This time also largely depends on the type of succulent you have. To best maintain the health of your succulent, introduce it gradually into full sun to avoid burns.
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What is a succulent?
Succulentsandsunshine.com explains a succulent as any type of plant that stores water in its leaves. They are usually recognized by their thick leaves. A succulent is normally found in nature in dry climates.
Types of succulents
There are many types of succulents, some more popular than others and some requiring a different environment than others. According to FTD by Design, here are 10 of the most popular indoor succulents:
- Donkey’s tail – sedum morganianum
- crown of thorns – euphorbia milii
- Flamboyant Katy – kalanchoe blossfeldiana
- jade plant – crassula ovata
- Aloe Vera
- Panda plant – kalanchoe tomentosa
- Pincushion Cactus – Mammillaria crinita
- Roseum – sdum spurium
- Snake plant – sansevieria trifasciata
- Zebra plant – haworthia fasciata
Succulents are not exclusively a houseplant. There are species destined to exist in outdoor climates. According to FTD by Design, here are 10 of the most popular outdoor succulents:
- Hens and chicks – sempervivum tectorum
- Stonecrop – sedum spp.
- Whale’s Tongue Agave – Agave Ovatifolia
- Ball cactus – parodia magnifica
- Plush plant – echeveria pulvinata
- Dudleya – echeveria spp.
- Pig’s ear – cotyledon orbiculata
- Zwartkop – aeonium arboreum
- Sunburst – aeonium davidbramwellii
- torch plant – aloe aristata
How to Propagate Succulents
On her blog, Martha Stewart explains that propagation is the process of growing new plants from clippings or other plants. She also says that succulents are some of the easiest plants to propagate. Stewart explains three different ways to propagate succulents:
How to propagate a succulent from cuttings
- Cut a piece of the stem from the succulent. Try looking for a stem with aerial roots or wispy roots extending from the stem. Aerial roots are signs that the plant is ready to spread on its own.
- After cutting it, let the cutting settle down. This should take three to five days.
- Once the callus has formed, place the cutting in a container with potting soil with the calloused end lightly in the ground. Do not completely submerge the cutting.
How to propagate a succulent from leaves
- Choose a plump, firm leaf from your succulent and cut it off. The leaves can also be removed from the stem, but generally should be separated from the base of the stem.
- Allow the leaf to settle before planting, as if using cuttings.
- Place the leaf on top of the soil, without burying it, and mist with water. It should take three weeks for the leaf to create tiny plants around it.
How to Propagate Succulents with Offsets
- Carefully remove the roots connected to the main plant while keeping the roots of the main mother plant.
- The roots of the lag can take a few weeks to develop.