Did I ever mention how obsessed I am with succulents? Maybe just a few times, like in this post and all the others. Move over pineapples, this year’s hot Summer motif is the cactus! As if the plants themselves weren’t adorable already now I cannot get enough of cactus themed everything. As obsessed as I am, all I have is a dish towel, a water bottle and a notebook. I think that shows some restraint. However, after doing my research for this post I think I’m going to acquire a lot more. If you love them – you’re welcome. If you hate them – you’re still welcome! I think you’ll win serious brownie points by gifting one of these to the succulover in your life.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links
Cactus Gifts For Every Succulent Lover
The Beach Bum
The Girl Boss
Yep, there goes my bank balance because I literally added everything on this list to my wishlist. Sigh…
Do you struggle to keep your succulents alive? Last Spring I posted Succulents for Beginners, a general beginners guide to planting and caring for your succulents. It was a big hit and I’m so glad it’s been useful to tens of thousands of people. During the Summer I followed up with another post on how to propagate your plants. But I have left you hanging, succulovers and for that I apologize. You’ve now purchased your succulents, chosen a whimsical planter and even learned how to propagate the clippings but what about the middle part? How do you keep your succulents alive in the first place?!
After a disastrous first round (RIP) I have managed to keep my second lot of succulents alive. That’s a year now despite quite frankly, sometimes forgetting they exist. Considering I kill every other other plant (that isn’t a cactus/succulent), I call that a victory. One of them even survived a near fatal Labradoodle munching attack. Did I mention they’re hardy little guys?
8 Key Steps To Keeping Indoor Succulents Alive
Space. Avoid overcrowding. I’m guilty of this, especially if I buy a pre-arranged dish garden. I later re-pot them if they begin to suffer. Your succulents need space to breathe and grow. There’s nothing stopping you planting multiple succs in one terrarium/container just make sure they aren’t on top of one another. Even succulents like personal space.
Light. Give them enough of it. Because succulents are hardy and need less watering than normal plants, people tend to think they don’t need to be cared for in other areas either. Don’t neglect your babies! Succulents love light just not direct sunlight. Make sure they are positioned to get a few hours of light a day. If your plants don’t get enough light they’ll stretch toward the light and get ‘leggy’. This is a good time to propagate.
Temperature. Make sure they’re warm enough…and cool enough! Succulents like to be warm in the Summer and cooler in the Winter months.
Ventilation. If you can, have some air flow around your plants. An open window or where all else fails, an air vent. This helps with the draining/drying of the soil and you can keep track of their watering needs.
Watering. Don’t over-water. Succulents only need to be watered when their soil is completely dry so check if the soil is still soggy before their next drink!
Drainage. They love well draining, gritty soil. Ideally your container of choice needs to have a drainage hole so that the soil doesn’t remain soggy and drown your succulents.
Food. Give them a treat! Get a plant food made specifically for cacti & succulents and feed them once in a while.
Species. Knowing which varieties you have and their specific needs is a good start to knowing how to keep them alive.
My love of succulents is not a secret. It couldn’t possibly be, even if I tried. In Succulents for Beginners, I outlined how to plant a succulent and keep it alive. So be sure to check back there for the nitty gritty. I was at a loss for where to plant my newest cactus (Blue Candle Strawflower) and crassula. A quick trip to the dollar store to buy a birthday balloon for Darby (yes, the dog) solved my conundrum! I picked up this large white coffee mug to serve as my succulent planter and some white stones to decorate. The plants cost around $3 the week prior so for a grand total of $5 I put together this little cactus garden, knocking the socks off the $15-20 pre-made counterparts!
Since this mug has no drainage holes, I lined the bottom with a mixture of pea gravel and well draining soil. I then added some soil and planted the cactus. Those suckers will stab you so be careful to grip it in the right place! Once I secured it in place I added the crassula, dispersed around the free space slightly.
You can add colorful sand, pebbles or moss to decorate the planter or leave it au natural. That’s the fun part and entirely up to you. You can plant these bad boys in virtually anything so be creative. I have a white container theme going on so this mug was perfect for me.
If you are really interested in keeping and propagating succulents then I would advise you to buy the industrial sized bag of pea gravel for drainage. I find the small single-serve bags of pebbles over-priced and gimmicky.