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Succulents 101: A Handy Guide for Beginners

Succulents 101: A Handy Guide for Beginners
Succulents 101: A Handy Guide for Beginners

Calling all succulent parents!

Whether you’re taking your first crack at plant parenthood or you’re just getting started with succulents in particular, consider this your crash course to succulent care! 🌱

You’ve heard it said a hundred times: succulents are extremely hardy and resilient plants. However, there are some common pitfalls that are sure to ruin your chances of growing healthy, happy succulents, starting with over-watering.

Watering

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  • Succulents are desert plants, so when it comes to water, less is more! 
  • The trick to watering succulents is to drench them infrequently.
  • Pour water around the base of the succulent, enough so that it comes out of the drainage holes.
  • Then let the soil COMPLETELY dry out – test this by sticking your finger about an inch down into the soil. If it’s still damp, wait. If it’s bone dry, water.
  • In the summertime you’ll likely water your succulent every 7-10 days; in the wintertime far less frequently, once or twice a month.
  • Here’s our Complete Guide to Watering Succulents Without Killing Them.

Sunshine Central

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  • As a general rule, make sure your succulents are getting at least 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight a day.
    • Because the succulents you receive from us are babies, prolonged direct sunlight can cause sunburn, which is irreversible. As they mature, you can slowly introduce them to longer periods of direct sunlight.
  • A south- or west-facing windowsill is a great place to start!
  • If your home or office doesn’t get much sun, or if you live in a place with dark, cloudy winters, supplementing with a grow light may be just what your plant needs!

Potting

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  • Your baby succulents will arrive in 100% biodegradable pots that have holes for drainage.
  • These earth-friendly pots should be placed right into any new pot of your choice!
  1. Pick a pot that’s big enough to hold the succulent and its original pot, then place the whole succulent–pot and all–right into the new one. We like using terra cotta pots because they’re affordable and almost always have a drainage hole,* but just about anything can be a pot! An old mug or dish (one that’s at least a couple inches deep), tin cans, jars, wooden boxes or crates, old tea tins… you name it! *If the pot of your dreams doesn’t have a drainage hole, add a layer of rocks to the bottom of it before planting your succulent.
  2. Surround any space between the biodegradable pot and the new pot with cactus soil.
  3. After a few months the earth-friendly pot will have completely degraded!

Get the full potting guide.

Fertilization

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A little bit of fertilizer can go a long way in helping your succulents to grow and stay bug-free!

  1. Repotting your succulents is the perfect excuse to mix in some granular fertilizer to your cactus soil. This time-release granular fertilizer is great.
  2. If you’re not ready to repot your succulents, wait until you’d normally water them to add some liquid fertilizer to your watering can! This Bayer 3-in-1 is perfect and also works well to fend off bugs and dark spots. *Whichever fertilizer you choose, make sure to only use 25-50%of the recommended dose.

You only need to fertilize a couple times a year, and it’s a pretty simple process. For more, check out our Fertilization Facts!

Propagation Station

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Propagating is the process of creating new plants using leaves, cuttings or offshoot of a parent plant. Once you have one succulent, you can build a whole army!

For step-by-step directions on how to propagate your succulents, check out our Propagation Guide.

Healing

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Every once in a while, the sheer joy of opening your Succulent Studios subscription box may be suddenly replaced with the sheer terror of seeing your new plants in a sad, broken state. When this happens, do not hesitate in reaching out to us so we can make good on our 100% satisfaction guarantee. Seriously, take us up on it.

But as for your busted succulents, don’t lose hope! Succulents are miraculously hardy. They can grow new roots, and their broken bits can even grow brand new succulents! Here’s our Guide to Healing Busted Succulents.

Wintertime Care

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  1. If you live somewhere that drops between 30-40 degrees (or lower, of course) bring your succulents inside.
  2. Slow down on water. Many succulents go dormant in the winter and don’t need as much water. Watering one to two times a month should be enough unless otherwise noted on their care card. Make sure they have well-draining soil and keep an eye on the moisture!
  3. Check out our full Guide to Caring for Succulents in Wintertime.

As always, feel free to reach out on social media @sucstu or hello@succulent.studio with any questions or concerns! We’re always happy to help ya grow! 🌱🌵