How to care for succulents

How to care for succulents: care to be distributed to succulent plants in pots or in the garden. From natural remedies to cultivation instructions (irrigation, fertilizers, soil ...).

The fat plants they can furnish our home bringing a touch of elegance and nature. They adapt to any environment and fortunately there is no need to have a green thumb to treat succulents!

How to wet succulents: watering succulents

These must be watered only in the summer months because by mid-November most of the fat plants must receive the last irrigation. The only exception is the Lithops and those succulents that are in full bloom between November and December.

The succulent plants they are native to arid territories of southern Africa and should be moderately irrigated until the end of flowering. In cold periods the fat plants they must not receive water, they absorb it from humidity and any addition of water would cause rot.

For the succulents with flower, such as Ariocarpus for example, be careful not to wet the flowers because water could penetrate at the level of the vegetative apex through the inflorescence, causing widespread rot.

When to wet succulents?
It starts to get wet from late winter in the south (March), in early spring in the north-central (April) and in the far north the succulents begin to irrigate around May.

Irrigation ends between August and September in northern Italy and escalates to November in the south. With the last irrigation it is necessary to add potassium sulphate fertilizer.

Potassium sulfate is very useful for strengthening tissues and increasing the resistance of succulents to cold. It protects succulent plants from any rot, disease and adverse weather conditions (frost, snow, wind…).

Where to buy potassium sulfate? In garden centers, at agricultural consortia or by taking advantage of online sales. On Amazon, a 1.25 kg pack of potassium sulphate is offered at a price of 19.20 euros with free shipping. It is useful for all plants that fear the cold.

For all information, I refer you to the page: Vitax potassium fertilizer

On the package we read Sulphate of Potash which means precisely Potassium sulfate, do not be fooled by the images, potassium sulphate is widely used in the cultivation of berries but it is perfect for all plants, including succulent.

On the contrary, nitrogen-based fertilizations which lower the cold resistance of plants are absolutely to be avoided. Nitrogen fertilization should be suspended by September.

Water for succulents

Warning! The water you use to irrigate the succulents must not be calcareous! The succulents areacidophilic plantsand if you use tap water for irrigation (rich in limestone) you risk changing the pH reaction of the soil and causing severe damage to the plant. If you live in an area where tap water is particularly calcareous, follow the instructions on the page dedicated toirrigation of acidophilic plants.

Succulents in the house, where to place them

Succulents should be positioned south of the house, perhaps on a well-lit window sill and away from humidity.

Succulents: temperatures

The natural habitat of fat plants it is characterized by winters that are often very cold and dry, therefore many succulents enter a state of vegetative rest that will last until March. It is for this reason that succulents bear relatively low temperatures without serious damage.

Not all fat plants however they are so resistant, others need more care; for example those originating in the tropical belt such as Epiphyllum, Hoya and Hylocereus (visible in the photo) can not withstand temperatures below 13 ° C. With due exceptions, thefat plantsthey cannot tolerate temperatures below 5 ° C.

These plants need shelter for the cold months, they cannot be outdoors, they must be kept indoors in a position as bright as possible but not on the windowsill because they must avoid direct sunlight. Cure these particular succulents is more challenging because they will not have to be irrigated but a nebulizer must be used to saturate the air with humidity (the area surrounding the aerial part of the plant) approximately every 4 days.

Cold-resistant succulents

Those who live in northern Italy may be interested in species ofsucculents resistant to low temperatures. Thecold-resistant fatty plantsthey can bear even temperatures close to -10 ° C, they are species belonging to the generaAgave, Echinopsis, Echinocactus, Gymnocalycium, Mammillaria, Notocactus, Rebutia, Trichocereus... even in this case, however, we must keep thefat plantsprotected from rain and humidity. The cold resistance of succulents can be improved by exploiting potassium sulphate.

The repotting of succulents

Betweencarenecessary forcultivation of succulentsfigure therepotting. The firstrepottingof succulents must be done immediately after purchase! THErepottingsubsequent ones must be carried out every 2 years.

When repotting, be sure to use a specific soil forsucculent plantsor, during repotting, modify the universal soil making it more draining: add materials such as sand, large pozzolan stones, gravel or expanded clay. When repotting, cut off roots that are too long or dry with a disinfected blade. For all instructions, please visit the pagehow to decant succulents. If you have decided to prepare a DIY soil for succulent plants, keep in mind that these plants are used to living in substrates that do not retain water at all, these are soils rich in sand, gravel or rocks.

Multiplication of succulents by cuttings or sowing

Sowing is the best method to multiply any type of plant, it offers more resistant daughter plants but takes much longer. In addition tosowing, for the propagation of succulents it is possible to exploit the cutting technique. All information on thesowing of succulentsand the multiplication of succulents by cutting, we refer you to the page dedicated toSucculent plant propagation.

When to sow succulents?

The best period goes from the second half of winter to early spring (January-April) using a seedbed and taking care to choose a good soil. The recommended one is a carefully sieved compound for cactaceae to which a little sand is added if necessary to make it softer.

Succulents, cure diseases

The diseases that can most commonly affect thefat plantsgrownin homethey are linked to water imbalances and water quality. Remember to always irrigate with water with a neutral or slightly acidic pH (see paragraphwhen to wet succulents) and to suspend all irrigation by November.

Other very common diseases of succulent plants are cochineal and rot linked to fungal diseases.

    • Rot of succulents
    • Cochineal on succulents

Video: Succulent: 5 basic tips for beginners (January 2022).