So, you want to level up…
If you’re looking to go from succulent novice to succulent savant, it’s going to take a little more than having your watering schedule down. Truly knowing your succulents, their individual needs, and how they interact with the environment around them can’t be learned from a book. It takes time and experience to develop your succulent intuition, but we’ve got some insider secrets on where to start.
Know the warnings signs.
Succulents are pretty good at asking for help when they’re under less-than-ideal-conditions, and they’ll show you signs. Here are just a few of the ones we think are the most important to know:
- Bloated leaves that fall off with the slightest touch: Your succulent is in early stages of being over-watered.
- Rubbery leaves that bend easily: Your succulent is under-watered.
- Thin pink or white roots growing above the soil: These are aerial roots, which grow when your succulent is trying to get water from the air. Remove them and water your succulent more frequently, or leave them be.
- Yellow, translucent leaves: Your succulent is very over-watered.
- White cobweb-y looking things on your succulents stem and leaves: Your succulent has mealybugs.
- Large gaps on the stem between the leaves of your succulent: Your succulent isn’t getting enough light and is stretching.
- Your succulent is developing light brown or grey dry patches on its leaves: Your succulent is getting sunburned and needs to be moved somewhere with less direct light.
Changes in color, slowing of growth, and soil conditions are some other things to keep an eye on, which brings us to our next point….
Keep a care journal.
It’s like a diary, for you and your succulents (or any other house plants really.) What do you write in it? Everything. Watering schedule, lighting, repotting, fertilizing, blooms, bugs, wilting: it’s all knowledge that will help you get to know your plant better. Having it all written down will help you to notice changes can help prevent or fix potential problems! Or worse, the demise of your succulent. (Major thumbs down.) Plus, who doesn’t love a reason to create a cute journal? Need some inspiration, check out our minimalist template here.
Keep An Eye On Them.
Succulents are such low maintenance plants that it’s actually easy to forget about them! (It’s okay, we’ve all done it.) Every other day or so, take a moment to check them out. How does their soil feel? Are they changing in color? Do you see any new growth? You’d be surprised how quickly your succulent can change or have a new development. Not to mention, spending time with your plants is good for your health.
Pick Up Your Pot.
Now hold it to your third eye… No, we’re totally kidding. (Though we haven’t tried it so, who knows?) Just pick up the pot right after you give your succulent a good soak. Then, do it again a few days later, and again, and again. You’ll start to learn what wet, mostly dry, and totally dry soil feels like just from its weight in your hands. Eventually you won’t need to stick your finger in the soil to find out how dry it is, you can just feel the weight of the pot and make your watering decision from that.
Pro Tip: Watering schedules do need to be adjusted with the seasons and changes in temperature and light. If watering is something you’ve struggled with in the past start here.
Well there you have it! Remember, growing an intuition doesn’t happen overnight. You can’t cram for it like an exam. It comes with time, attention, and experience. These tips will simply help you get there. Plus, we’re here to help you on your succulent journey. If you’re having trouble with a particular issue or just don’t know what you’re doing wrong, shoot our succulent savants a message at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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