Ah, the succulent. Such beauty encompassed in a small container. The word “succulent” is actually derived from the Latin word “sucus” which means juice or sap. Apart from being one of the most selected subjects for plant photography, they also work great as living room decor. People usually choose them for the riveting appearance.
Thus, it’d be a shame to have one die on you.
Sadly, this is a common occurrence; especially for those of us who are newer to the gardening game. Ever had one die on you and left you wondering why or how it died? Maybe you even doubted yourself and the way you cared for it. This article, then, is for you.
Ways To Kill Your Succulents And How To Avoid Them
1. Physical destruction
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. If you stomp on your succulent, or any object for that matter, they will die. To further expound on the spectrum, here is a list of what “physical destruction” encompasses:
- Excessive pulling
- Chewing (trust me, they may look delicious to your cats or babies)
- Running it over with your car
- Pounding it with a mallet
- Any physical action that causes impact upon contact on a target intending to cause damage, harm, or plainly destruction.
The solution here is simple: do not do any of these. If you don’t want your plant anymore, which I imagine is the only reason you’d even think of any of the above, simply give it away or, better yet, sell it! That way, you can even make a quick buck. Who knows, that might even be the start of a flowering business for you.
Also, some chemicals and components of a plant may be poisonous and/or fatal to your pets and babies. So, it is best that you restrain any living organism in the house which you care about from consuming the leaves and the rest.
There Are People That Are Simply Not Good In Taking Care Of Succulents....but that’s okay! Try plastic but still realistic succulents 🙂
2. Never Repotting
Death occurs when it is the end of its timeline; no matter the cause. One is as good as dead when you have stopped growing. Have you ever had a succulent for a long time up to the point that you have wondered why it wasn’t growing? That is because of the pot you’ve put it in.
Succulents need space to grow to avoid dying. These plants are relatively small, but they’ll stay that way unless you give them a bigger pot. Thus, consider repotting them when you get the chance. This may night be necessary during its infancy stages, but if you want them to grow a lot bigger than when you got them, they’ll need a new home.
If you’re at the stage where you’re wondering which of the many different types of soil you should you, best to educate yourself before repotting to give yourself the opportunity to learn and even experiment.
However, don’t expect them to all be the same as well. Some succulents comfortably reach 10-feet or so, but others only about reach a foot or two taller than its original size. Also, when you re-pot, remember to water the soil beforehand. This is a good tip to remember to promote their growth. After all, new soil or potting mix tend to be dry or damp.
3. Overfed or overwatered
We love our succulents, so it goes without saying that it is our full intention to take care of them and raise them well. However, just like any overprotective and loving mother, we tend to give it too much. But how much is too much?
Let’s discover the ideal feeding habits we should employ when taking care of succulents.
Succulents are known for thriving in arid weather conditions. They also store water in their stems, roots, leaves. Because they are so tough, it becomes a popular misconception to think that we won’t have to water them often. If this was your initial thought, then this would be the first mistake.
Succulents still need to be watered enough. Do not just spray a bit on the leaves; rather, give them a good soak. Just make sure you do not forget about the basics; having drainage holes at the bottom of its container. Before thinking about watering them again, make sure to check if the soil has dried out. These plants very much appreciate well-drained soil.
One way to avoid overwatering is by jotting down on your calendar when you watered the succulents. Check the soil a week after if it has dried out. If not, check every two or three days. When you water them again, jot it again in your calendar.
When you’ve decided to place the plants outdoors, it’s a whole new game. And with a whole new game, must come a whole new game plan.
If you’re taking the plants that have acclimated to indoor conditions to the outdoors, give them a partially shaded area to live in first. This is just like how our eyes first adjust when we leave the house to go out in the sun. Generally avoiding the intense midafternoon sun would be a good idea to avoid killing your succulents.
As with the indoor succulents, check on the soil weekly. You can apply the same principles as well.
Have You Ever Wondered Which Type Of Succulent To Choose?See article 7 Succulent Types That Beautify Your Home
4. Underfed or underwatered
However, another way to kill your succulents is by not giving them enough water as well. They can dry up. Thus, maintain the practices stated above, and you should be fine. Employ two-thirds soil and one-third drainage component, like perlite, to your soil for a healthy balance.
Outdoor succulents require more water because of being directly under the heat of the sun. However, they also do not do well in complete shade. While it does love to soak up the sun, as all plants would, give it only a reasonable amount. Because while all plants do love the sun, how much sun a plant needs varies from plant to plant.
5. Doing Away With Plant Food
Some people think that plant food is optional. In some cases, that may be. But for succulents, it is mandatory. Remember, your succulents are growing in the pot you placed them in and not in their natural habitat. Thus, they will only be getting nutrients, like calcium, if you provide. You’re the provider.
Thankfully, food for succulents and cacti aren’t expensive. For every gallon of water, you’d only be needing a drop or a pinch of it every time. Do not forget this the next time you’re out grabbing the household needs.
Taking care of succulents
Taking care of succulents isn’t necessarily the hardest thing in the world. A few key principles to note, that aren’t even that niché. Have fun with it and we wish you happy gardening!
About the author
Emma is a part-time property developer, part-time home improvements and gardening blogger at Fixtures and Flowers, and full time Mum. Given her background, Emma has a lot of advice, tips and tricks that she loves sharing on her blog.