When keeping any plants in the home, it’s essential to consider how they survive in their natural environment. Succulents are a broad classification of plants that includes, but is not limited to, Echeveria, Sedum, Crassula, Haworthia, and the list goes on. While it’s a very diverse grouping, they all share some key physical characteristics and environmental needs.
The common trend among them in nature is that they tend to grow in more arid, mountainous regions and deserts. Succulents thrive in places with much bright direct sun and are used to receiving much water reasonably infrequently. Since they are accustomed to receiving water so irregularly, their thick leaves work as water storage. They can’t tolerate sitting in water for extended periods of time, so they require a fast-draining substrate. Some are even lithophytes, which means they grow right on rocks.
In the home, succulents have a reputation for being very easy and low-maintenance plants. They’ve definitely earned that reputation since they don’t need much hands-on maintenance. The most important part of keeping succulents is giving them proper lighting. Succulents want a south or west exposure, so they get some direct sun. They can tolerate an east-facing window, but a north exposure will likely produce leggy plants.
As a rule of thumb, succulents will want water approximately biweekly to monthly or when their soil is completely dry. Since they can’t tolerate sitting in wet soil, it is necessary to use soil with additives to promote drainage. The mix we’re using today is a fast-draining potting mix ideal for succulents and cacti. When watering, make sure to moisten all the soil evenly and allow water to drain through the bottom of the pot. It may seem like much water, but it should dry out sufficiently between waterings if the plants are in a bright enough spot.