How to Care for Succulent Plants

Care for Succulents

(Highlights from Floral Management Magazine, November 2010)

Unlike most plants, succulents get their fix of carbon dioxide for photosynthesis overnight. This allows the stomata to remain shut during the day, reducing water loss through evapo-transpiration.

Although known for easy care and long-lasting attributes, succulents do require specific care and handling for optimal performance. Generally, succulents like it bright, warm and dry.

Light – Most succulents like a bright or sunny location, but some should avoid  direct sun. In winter, a direct, southern exposure is ideal for most. In the summer, Medium to high light is generally required, with a preference for a south or west exposure area. If plants are near the window at length, turn them regularly.

Outside, the type of succulent will determine its best location. Some, such as Crassulas and Gasterias, can tolerate a range from full sun to light shade. Sedums, and many Crassulas, Sempervivums, Echeverias, and aloes will change colour in full sun, and some succulents, especially variegated types, are prone to sunburn. Overexposure to light can cause brown or yellowish lesions on stems. Underexposure usually leaves many cultivars a greenish, gray colour.

Temperature & Watering – If you’re comfortable, your succulents are likely comfortable. Temperatures in the 70’s are fine. Open a window or run a ceiling fan, as succulents thrive with steady air movement.

The most important thing to remember is to not over-water succulents – they can withstand drought better than wet soil, which leads to rot.  Let the soil dry out between waterings. Use tepid water, as very cold water can cause soft spots on stems or water-logged lesions. Probably every two or three weeks is fine.

– Floral Management Magazine, November 2010

www.safnow.org – Care for Jade Plants

Blog article on succulent arrangements

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