To grow succulents successfully it is important to replicate their growing conditions with light, soil, and watering and that directly translates to leaving them alone for most part.
How to take care of Succulents in Indian ClimateSucculents are a favourite with all age group today for their ease of growing, their compact growing pattern, and carefree nature. Their popularity will keep growing for the next decade or so. With people gravitating towards green gifting options, succulents are a top choice because it can be gifted to almost anyone, irrespective of them being a gardener or not.
Succulents adapt to even harsh conditions. There are a few things that you should keep in mind while taking care of your succulents.
The best container for your succulentsSucculents don’t need very big pots. The most important factor when selecting planter/container for your succulents is drainage. Succulent planters need to have a sufficiently large drainage hole for quick draining after watering. Another factor that plays an important role in this is the potting mix that we will talk about later.
The best potting medium for your succulentUnlike other houseplants, succulents need a soil-less potting mixture customised for them. While the market is full of succulent potting mixes, you can make your own at home very easily. One of the biggest pressure points for succulents is the potting mix, the other being watering.
The potting mix needs to be well aerated and to let the roots breathe and avoid rot. A loose mix also enables the weak root system to flourish and make their way easily through the planter, as a healthy root system translates to healthier shoot growth. A well-draining loose mix also ensures that it doesn’t hold excess moisture.
A good succulent potting mix should contain equal part building material and drainage material. Perlite, coarse sand, wood chips, neem cake powder, compost, and cocopeat are great components. Mix them in equal parts and your good to go, or you can avoid all the hassle and buy a succulent potting mix off the shelf.
The correct way to water your succulentSucculents don’t require to be watered regularly and they do better on the drier side and are extremely drought resistant. They need to be watered only when the potting mix is completely dry and then some.
The right light for your succulent
One of the major concerns of plant parents is plants not surviving after they get it home from the nursery. Most of the plants in nurseries are maintained under the green house. Once you get the plants home do not put them in the sun directly, ease them into it. Introduce them to partial sun and then full sun gradually.
Although most of the succulents are good with the sun but they can’t tolerate the scorching sun of Indian summer afternoons. They do great with 3-4 hours of sunlight when they are outside and brightest indirect light indoor. Ideal places indoors for them would be near south-facing windows or balcony or in east or west facing balconies or windowsills where they get morning or late afternoon sun. Inadequate light will make the plant leggy. Good light ensures better growth and stunning colours.
Ventilation for your succulentSucculents require good ventilation to dry out the soil, especially in the winter season where it requires breathing. Non-ventilated containers and placements can suffocate the plants and cause them to rot due to build-up of moisture.
Ensure that air flows freely around succulents and don’t group them up with other tropical houseplants as they increase the moisture content in the air around them.
The right growing temperature for your succulentSucculents are hardy plants that thrive at an optimum temperature range between 15-45 degrees. They do go dormant in the winter season and require even lesser watering to survive.
The correct fertilizers for your succulentSucculents require diluted fertilizers in their growing season of spring and summer. Feeding it with any generic plant fertiliser once a month does the trick. One teaspoon of bone meal every month or a bi-monthly dose of 19:19:19 N:P:K foliar spray.
Winter care for your succulents
- Succulents can’t survive in freezing temperatures, so don’t leave them out.
- Damp soil in the winters can result in root rot. That’s why watering further reduces in the winter months.
- If the soil is not drying out easily in winters due to the moisture, add a layer of sand on top of the soil.
- If you do not want to move the plant here and there, choose a location at the temperature level of 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to repot your uprooted succulent?
The best succulents suited for Indian homes
Agave is a hardy evergreen succulent with a large rosette of narrow stiffly erect leaves with moderately spaced spines. They are slow-growing plants that thrive on a bit of neglect!
This succulent famous for a rosette of plump, stiff, upright leaves, Haworthias are a joy to grow and they come in many sizes and patterns and are extremely easy to grow.
Hens and Chick - Sempervivum tectorum
Snake Plant- Dracaena trifasciata
Where can you grow succulents?
What’s the Correct Pot Size?
How to Water Succulents?
What is the best light for succulents?