Succulents - Care & Maintenance

LIGHT

Succulents are versatile and can tolerate both shaded to high sun exposure areas.

Outdoors

  • Sunlight can be filtered but morning sun is best.
  • Succulents like 4-6 hours of sun or bright light per day in order to thrive
  • In hot climates, it is best to keep them out of direct afternoon sun as succulent leaves can burn under extreme heat conditions
  • During the colder winter months plants will usually remain dormant and may not exhibit the brighter colors seen during the sunnier months

Indoors

  • Succulents can survive indoors but will need to be near a window (south facing is best).
  • They should receive at least 6 hours of light a day.
  • Succulent colors will not be as brilliant in low-light environments and the plants may grow tall and "leggy", as they stretch in search of light.

SOIL

Succulents need well-drained soil as they do not like soggy roots

    For regular container gardening

    • Use a cactus mix or add sand, gravel or volcanic rock to potting soil for better drainage
    • Make sure the container has a drainage hole or add a layer of crushed rock at the bottom before adding your planting medium

    For vertical planter gardening

    • Use a regular organic potting soil, as when hung vertically the planter provides for excellent drainage and a more compact soil is required in order to hold the plants in the planting cells
    • Line wooden frame kit planters with the sphagnum moss provided in order 

      PLANTING

      Succulent plants shipped from Planted Places come directly from the growers and are already rooted in 2" or 4" pots ready for planting out. Some of our smaller gift kits provide additional succulent cuttings that will need to root in the planter before they can be hung vertically.

      Planting in a Planted Places vertical panel planter

      • If planting in a vertical planter, lay the planter flat while planting
      • Remove succulent plants from their 2" or 4" pots and plant them into your planter panel, making sure that the soil surface level remains the same depth on the plant as it was in their previous pot
      • Ensure the planter cell is completely filled with soil and that the succulent is securely planted by compacting the soil down around its roots and stem and adding more soil as needed to fill the cell
      • Vertical planters should be left to lay flat for a few days to allow the soil and plants to settle before hanging vertically

      WATER

      Succulents do not like wet feet, so once succulents are established let roots dry out completely before watering.

      Initial watering

      • You will want to water your succulents thoroughly after planting to allow the soil to settle and become more compact, thereby acting as a glue to keep your plants together.
      • Allow the soil to dry slightly between watering.
      • Making sure there is enough soil and water to hold your plants in the planter, will ensure your planter can hang vertically on a wall without any problems.

      Ongoing watering

      • Succulents do not like too much water, overwatering is often the #1 reason for them not thriving.
      • For succulents planted in containers, it is important to wait until the soil is completely dry before watering again. This is usually about 1-2 weeks, although you may need to water more frequently during the hotter months.
      • Always water your plants thoroughly and slowly, so that the entire root zone is moistened.
      • To water a small vertical planter it may be best to take it off the wall and water it under a tap to make sure it is watered thoroughly.
      • Drip irrigation works well with most succulents, especially for larger vertical planters attached to the wall.
      • For succulents in drip-irrigated vertical planters, it is best to keep the soil slightly moistened at all times to better hold the plants in the planting cells; drainage of vertical planters is really good, so roots shouldn't become soggy.
      • It is not good enough to just spray a vertical living succulent wall on the surface, the roots need to receive the moisture and get wet, and then dry out again, in order for them to thrive.

      FERTILIZER

      Most succulents need very little fertilizing. Watering with a well-balanced fertilizer, once a month should be all that they need in order to thrive.

      TEMPERATURE

      Many succulents can survive a wide temperature range, but there are some things to be aware of.

      Cold weather care

      • Certain succulent varieties such as sedums and sempervivums are extremely hardy and will need little winter care
      • Hardy succulent varieties may shrink, wither or change color during the colder months, but this is part of their natural dormancy at this time of year and they are able to withstand freezing temperatures
      • For less hardy varieties it is usually the combination of water-logged soil (from rain or snow) and cold that creates trouble, however, vertical planters can alleviate some of this problem due to their relatively good drainage capability
      • Keep the soil as dry as possible during the winter months - supplemental watering and feeding should be stopped around late Fall
      • Ensure adequate air circulation around plants and hang planters in sheltered areas on patios or porches for protection from the elements during winter
      • Temporarily cover sensitive succulents with fabric or special frost covers when freezing temperatures are forecast, try not to let covers touch the leaves and remove as soon as possible to allow air to circulate

      Hot weather care

      • Although succulents like light and sunshine, extreme heat can cause damage and burn succulent leaves
      • Younger, less established plants will be less tolerant of extreme temperatures and should be protected against extreme heat conditions
      • Cooler morning sunshine is best for plants, whereas the hotter afternoon sun should be avoided - take this into consideration when planning on where to place your succulents or vertical planter
      • During the hotter months, your plants may require more frequent watering as this will also cool their roots and leaves and provide the plant with added protection against the heat
      • Watering should be done in the morning in order to best prepare plants to endure the heat of the day