The Ultimate Guide to Succulents: from a former plant killer

You read that right! I used to be a plant killer! I honestly thought I would kill any plant that came to my house! It’s still pretty true because I still don’t get most plants, but after 6 months of research and experimentation I have succulents down! I got my first succulent from a friend that told me to water it every few weeks and put it in a sunny window. I followed her advise and my succulent struggled. I just didn’t understand it! I researched and I got serious about taking care of my cute succulents and eventually decided to try to propagate them! It is really fun to care for succulents and I want to share all my info with you!

Where to buy Succulents

You can get succulents from any local nursery, home depot, lowes, or even a grocery store. I have gotten some from Etsy too! When I wanted to give out succulents at my sister’s baby shower, I got some succulent clippings from this Etsy seller and they came so quick and were great!

How to care for Succulents

Succulents like a lot of light and water every week- two weeks. I have all my succulents in an east-facing window that gets a lot of morning light. Some of them aren’t getting enough light because they stretch out. If succulents are getting too much light, they will get sunburned.

The one in the back is really stretched out!

I have learned with succulents that it is better not to water them than it is to over-water them. What works for me, is I look at them every day and when they start to get wrinkled leaves is when I water them. I like to put them in my sink and water them until water starts to drip out the bottom.

The big one looks a little wrinkly, so it’s time to water! The tiny ones I propagated from leaves!

From a lot of trial and error, I have found that succulents prefer to be a little crowded in their pots. I have done just one per pot, but my succulents look so much happier now that I’ve put them together in pots.

Propagating and Rooting Succulents

2 little succulents growing off leaves of another succulent!

When I bought some succulent cuttings from Etsy, I bought a cactus soil mix (miracle grow brand that I got from Walmart Pickup) to plant them in when they got to me. Then I pulled off some leaves at the bottom so I had an inch of stem that could be planted. I watered the cuttings every 2-3 days for a month! Some rooted fast and I had a few that never even got roots. They don’t need much light when they are getting roots, so I kept them on my kitchen counter out of direct light.

The big one is a rooted cutting and the small ones grew from leaves! You can even see the shriveled parent leaves in the soil!

When I pulled the leaves off the bottom of the cuttings, I saved the leaves to try propagating them! The first key to getting a good cutting is to make sure that they are pulled off right at the stem. If the leaf breaks and leaves some on the stem, it won’t grow. Then, I left them out on the counter for a week so that they could dry out and scab over. When the week was up, I put them on top of soil and misted them with a spray bottle every morning. It takes months for the leaves to grow roots and leaves. When the roots start to form, you have to put some soil over the roots so they don’t dry out. Not every leaf will get roots and a new plant, but most of the ones I tried turned into a plant as long as the roots didn’t dry out.

Beginning propagated leaf. The pink at the end are the new plant!

It is a great experiment in growing and my kids loved to see them grow too!

How I don’t kill my Succulents

Know the signs when your succulent needs water and don’t water them until they show those signs! Mine get a little wrinkly and that’s when I know it’s time. I love that they give me that obvious sign that, that is what they need.

My favorite succulent

What are your questions about growing succulents? Drop them in the comments! I’d love to update this post to address them all!

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