Succulents for Beginners – Care for your Succulents


Have you been drooling over cute Succulent arrangements on Pinterest? Maybe spent some time browsing the cute mini fairy garden figurines? You’re not alone! Succulent plants have been all the rage lately and for good reason! They are beautiful and interesting with a wide range of both colors and shapes making them the perfect compliment to almost any decorating scheme. If you’re like I was and you have no idea how to get started never fear my succulents for beginners article will soon have you planting and arranging with confidence!

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase using one of my links I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you!

Succulents for Beginners

Getting Started

Choosing Healthy Plants

When buying any sort of plants it is important to look for healthy specimens. There is no point putting time and effort into your arrangements if you start out with unhealthy plants! If you want to buy locally look for plants with no scars, bumps or damage to the leaves. Keep an eye out for plants that might have been overwatered, succulent leaves should be firm. Bright and vibrant colors are also a pretty good indicator of health.

Another choice is to buy from a trusted Succulent Nursery. My favorite is Cacti Creations a family owned nursery based in San Diego. The plants I have gotten from Cacti Creations have been healthy and happy, not only that, but the variety I have received has far outstripped the variety available in my local stores.

Here is a picture of the Goodie Bag I received from them!

Click the link below to check out their store and order yourself one! As an added bonus you can enjoy 30% off with the Promo Code: TalesFromHome until Feb 10th 2018

Cacti Creations

Choosing a Planter

Almost as important as picking out your plants! Although succulents are not overly picky about where you put them but they do have a few needs. Succulents require good drainage to be healthy. Plants kept in soil that is always wet will eventually develop rot. It follows then that no matter what container you choose it should always have drainage holes. If you are planting indoors and concerned about dirty countertops or shelves the plants can always be watered in the sink. Or you could always craft up a cute little tray to put under the planter. Many planters even come with trays that match.

If you are interested in a homemade planter then this great DIY Spring Planter made using dollar store materials might be just up your alley! You might also be interested in our article regarding Fairy Gardens!

Planter Size

You should also choose a pot that is the right size for your plant. If you are planting your Succulent by itself then a half an inch between the plant and the edge of the pot seems to work just fine. If you are planting your Succulents together in one big happy family then use your best judgment and try to leave them a bit of space for them to grow. Otherwise, you will be repotting them sooner rather than later!

Succulents for Beginners

Planting & Care

Choosing a Soil


Succulents should always be planted in well-draining soil. The easiest way to do this is to simply buy a succulent or cactus soil mix. If you are the DIY type, however, you can make a suitable soil for your succulents by mixing a light potting mix with coarse sand, gravel or perlite in a 4:1 ratio.  If you are planting outdoors in flower beds, planting your succulents in mounds can also help with drainage.

Watering your Succulents

One of the biggest mistakes people make in caring for succulents is in watering them. People either water them too much or not enough. Succulents like to be watered thoroughly (water them until the soil is good and soaked) but sparingly. They are, for the most part, arid land plants after all. Succulents should be watered when the top inch or so of soil is completely dry during the warm months when the plants are growing. During colder months when the plants are dormant you should allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. If the leaves on your succulent plants are mushy then you are probably watering your plants too much. If the leaves on your plant develop wrinkles then you are not watering your plants enough.

Fertilizing Succulents

Succulents are plants that are not accustomed to living in highly fertile soils, as such, they should be fertilized sparingly. Succulents should only be fertilized during growing season and never when the plants are dormant. It is best to use a cactus or succulent mix and follow the directions on the package however you can also use all-purpose fertilizer at 1/4 the recommended amount if necessary. Most succulents in flower beds can live their lives without being fertilized at all. Plants in containers sometimes need a bit of a boost to look their best as nutrients get washed out of the soil when watered.

In Conclusion

I hope that this guide – Succulents for Beginners has helped you take the succulent plunge with confidence! I know that the information above has helped me move forward in my dream of having beautiful succulent arrangements as part of my household. Please do contact me with pictures of any arrangements you might make! I love looking at them! I can’t wait to do some actual arrangements with mine! Currently, they are all living in temporary pots while I put together their real home – a Fairy Garden!. Stay tuned to the blog for more on that project in the future!

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  1. Great post. I love having succulents in our home, they bring a beautiful dash of colour. I’ll look forward to reading about your fairy garden, what a fab idea!

    1. Author

      They really do! And they come in so many colors that they match pretty much any decor. My kids are super excited about the fairy garden so we can’t wait to get started on it.

  2. They have become so popular. I gave them as gifts to teachers and they loved them

    1. Author

      That is an excellent idea! I never thought about using them as a teacher gift. Brilliant!

    1. Author

      haha! Isn’t it nice when you accidently do something right?

  3. I have plans for adding plants to our house this year, I need all the advice I can get! X

    1. Author

      Good luck! So far I have only really had success with the succulents. I want to try Orchids too but I have failed at all other plants so far.

  4. Thanks for this! I’m normally terrible at caring for plants. I bought cacti and aloe vera about 5 months ago now and they’ve lasted well on my kitchen windowsill. I’m determined to keep them alive. I water them every few weeks with quite a bit of water, so hopefully that’s why they are thriving!

    1. Author

      I have this problem with anything but the succulents so far. Theres something to be said for plants you can forget to water now and then lol

  5. I should’ve read this post sooner. I managed to kill an entire pot of various succulents… lol Only I can kill plants that don’t need much water to begin with

    1. Author

      I have killed may plants in the past. your not alone lol

  6. Aha! I have been looking for a post on succulents because I have been itching to have a few in my living room. Thank you x

    1. Author

      I am loving mine! In fact I am planning to order more. They are addictive.

  7. Brilliant post! I LOVE cacti! I bought 2 different ones about 20 years ago and both are going strong and one has had so many offsets, I’ve got quite a few of them now! I bought them from a nursery and they were in great condition. But I bought one from a garden show a few years back – when I got back to my hotel, it was riddled with bugs and the next day, it looked like someone had deflated it like a balloon. So you have to be so careful where you get them from – I’ve learnt my lesson! But I’m also interested in succulents so your advice is very helpful, thanks for sharing!

    1. Author

      So true! I rescued one from a local place and ended up with mites as well. A few dabs of rubbing alcohol on a cue tip seems to get rid of them without hurting the plant! I’m glad you found the post helpful!

  8. I wanted to have my own succulents but it’s not that easy to take care of them. Thanks for sharing this article! It helps a lot.

    1. Author

      Don’t feel bad, I’m a known plant killer myself! Succulents (and one lone poinsettia who keeps surviving and turning red in the summer instead of the winter) are about the only things I can keep alive indoors.

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