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!
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Succulents for Beginners
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
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!
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.
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.
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!