For the care of succulents, the most important thing is planting. Here are some tips:
choose a sunny place protected from frost, on a well-draining soil or compost.
do not buy specimens slightly withered or with flaccid and dry segments, giving preference to healthy and unstained plants, which show signs of regrowth or floral buds.
How to cure succulents:
place them in flower beds raised at least 25 cm from the ground, formed by a gravel base and a draining compost and placed in a sunny place, with a minimum temperature of 5 °, since they need good drainage. The flower beds must be slightly inclined on a gravel or shards base, which must be equal to at least one-third of the total height of the flower bed.
A common garden soil that is not sufficiently drained is not enough, it must be replaced or supplemented with a suitable growth substrate.
the good mixture for the homemade compote includes sterilized garden silt (pH 4-5.5), mixed in two parts with a part of finely shredded peat or sphagnum substitute, a part of coarse sand or washed gravel and some slow-release fertilizer.
A flowerbed of various types of flatbread brings variety to the garden
How to cure succulents: a flowerbed with different varieties of succulents is a pleasure for the eyes!
Indoor succulents: how to cure them
Most of the plants that are grown outdoors in hot climates can also be kept without problems even as houseplants if you live in a colder area. For their ability to resist in arid areas, they do not struggle to settle in the warm and dry conditions of a heated house.
In general, succulents require heat, lots of light, and good ventilation to develop well.
A word of advice: always wear gloves when handling thorny plants!
Here are our tips for arrangement and care:
Low bowls are ideal for prostrate and crawling species, while large pots and urns are better suited to larger ones, such as attenuated agave.
To grow in pots at home, use small containers for single plants or large bowls to bring together different species, as long as they are compatible.
A respectable scenographic effect is guaranteed by the garden trays, filled with different species with similar cultivation needs.
For original and creative compositions indulge your fantasies with flower pots, while the hanging baskets will be the best answer to climbing or hanging species.
The focal point can consist of one or two erect plants (cleistocactus and cephalocereus), while the remaining space can be dedicated to smaller species, such as echeveria and haworthia.
Add some bright colors of flowering cactus (mamillaria or parody).
Even hanging baskets, where pendulous cacti (e.g. the vaporocatus flagelliformis) or climbing succulents (kalanchoe just to name one) make their appearance.
A pot of succulents is good for both home and garden!
Knowing how to cure succulents in pots is important because you can get through the winter by bringing them indoors
How to cure succulents in winter:
In order not to let them die, they should be placed in a protected environment, a greenhouse or a winter garden. Here you can control temperature, light, water and humidity, and set the ideal conditions for them to survive during the cold season.
To facilitate maintenance, when designing these structures try to combine groups of cacti and succulents that have similar cultivation needs.
Greenhouse or conservatory plants can also be grown in pots or in open flower beds, both on the ground and raised on the benches.
If you don’t have greenhouses, bring the more delicate ones into the house, if the outside temperatures in your area drop below 7-9 °.
How to cure succulents at home and in winter, in cool climates and cold areas, how to protect them from too hot and which soil to choose: we answer these questions
How to transfer them:
Remove it from the pot and slowly dissolve the roots to check for pests or diseases (in that case, first take care of them).
After digging a hole of the right size, place it at the same depth it had in the pot.
Spread the roots well and fill the space around with the compote, compacting well, and making sure that the stems of the leaves do not touch the ground.
Cover with gravel to reduce the evaporation of the soil and let it settle, before watering it, gradually increasing the amount of water, until it has stabilized and produces new growth.
In the pots, the earth must be well-drained and slightly acidic (pH 5.5-6.5). To prepare it, use one part of sand or gravel for every three parts of compost based on silt.
The epiphytes instead need slightly more acidic soil, one part of humus (peat substitute, sphagnum peat or leaf soil), and two parts of compost from the standard pot, with the addition of sufficient sand and gravel for drainage.
When the roots of the plants reach the walls of the container you have to proceed with the repotting.
For this operation, gently extract the plant, cut the dead or dehydrated roots, and dissolve the ones that may be twisted. Arrange some shards and fresh compote in the jar. Insert the plant at the same depth it had in the previous container and then cover the ground bread with compost, compacting it well.
How to cure succulents: the creeping Rhipsalis cereuscula is also suitable for cushions and beds next to taller succulent plants both in the garden and at home
How to cure succulents: the hanging rhipsalis cereuscula is perfect next to taller succulent plants both in the garden and at home
Succulents can be placed in both plastic and clay pots since the former retains moisture longer while the latter ensures better ventilation. Choose containers with one or more holes at the base proportionate to the plant but with a depth of at least 10 cm (15 for the species with tuberous roots).
They do not require special care. Light, heat, and ventilation are their main needs.
Rule number one is to create a group of plants with similar growing needs, while rule number two is to create well-draining soil.
For this, from the beginning, you must have prepared the ground well.
Prepare the base, spreading a thin layer of draining material (gravel or shards) at the base, and cover with a layer of earth, consisting of 2 parts of coarse sand and 3 parts of silt.
Extract the plants from the jars in which you purchased them and place them in the bowl or in the ground at the same level of depth, spacing them well to guarantee them enough space and adding more compost, and also pieces of rock or pebbles for a scenographic effect.
Water them regularly only after they have settled down.
If, on the other hand, you want to decorate your interior or balcony with a hanging basket, where you will host succulents with hanging or expanded growth habit, use one in wire to be coated with a layer of moist sphagnum moss 3 cm thick, or alternatively one of plastic that already contains a drain pan, placing a layer of pebbles or gravel instead of sphagnum.
Then fill the basket to the brim with a mixture of 1 part of coarse sand for 3 parts of silt-based compost, digging a hole in the center where you will place the plant.
Widen the roots well and fill with compost without leaving air pockets around the root system, watering only 2-3-days later, when the plant has settled.
Periodically check that there are no signs of disease or pests, feed and irrigate the particular species appropriately and transplant them as soon as they grow too much, to avoid regrouping the roots.
Shade or sun?
Most succulents prefer full sun, but some like filtered shade. The maximum daytime temperature in spring-summer should not exceed 27-30 °, while the nighttime temperature should be between 13 and 19 °. Some tropical species need more heat, with the minimum not lower than 13-19 °.
Succulents require good ventilation but must not be exposed to currents: in the greenhouse they may need screens or glass, covered with a special shielding paint, if the ventilation is not sufficient to maintain the temperature below 27-30 °.
In periods of excessive heat, however, plants grown outdoors should be transferred to the shade.
Should you water them?
All succulents should only be watered during the growing season.
Most of these plants grow during the summer, but the epiphytes and species of the wooded areas bloom between the end of autumn and the beginning of spring.
Here are some basic rules:
- Never provide water during quiescence, unless excessively high temperatures: in that case, water to avoid total dehydration.
- During the vegetative period, moisten the soil or compost evenly, leaving it almost to dry completely before watering again.
- Always water early in the morning or late in the evening, because drops of water under the strong sun could burn plants. Alternatively, immerse the pots in a basin of water, to make it absorb from the compote without wetting the stems and leaves.
- As soon as the earth is damp, remove the container from the water and let it drain. For epiphytic plants and those that love the shade, proceed only with light vaporizations to maintain a good level of humidity, without wetting them.
- Fertilizer for succulents
- Also during the growing season, fertilization is useful for promoting healthy growth and good flowering. For succulents, a standard concentrated product in liquid form containing all the main nutrients is sufficient, to be applied every 2-3 weeks only during the vegetative phase.
As for pathogens, the most common pests of succulents are the common mealybugs, the floury ones of the roots, the sciarid Diptera and the red spiders.
They are not particularly prone to diseases, even if an excess of nitrogen in the soil and inadequate cultivation conditions can cause black rot, a pathology that mainly affects epiphytic cacti and stapelia, deforming plants and causing their death.
If you find that a succulent is about to die, take healthy shoots or sections as cuttings.
How to reproduce succulents:
Finally, it is important to know the reproduction. They propagate from seed, from leaf or stem cutting, but also by division or by grafting.
- Cover the base of the pot with the shards and add a cm of coarse gravel mixed with coal. Fill the container with fresh compote for seeds, level it with a tablet pressing it up to 1 cm from the edge.
- Evenly spread the fine seeds directly from the bag on the surface of the compost, tapping with a finger.
- Then cover the seeds with sterilized fine gravel sand and water slightly, before labeling and putting the pot in a plastic bag, to be kept in semi-shade at a minimum temperature of 21 °.
Propagation from cuttings:
- Choose a healthy and vigorous stem and make a straight cut, detaching it as close as possible to the base. Cut the stem under a knot and, if necessary, cut the lower pair of leaves.
- Place the individual cuttings in a coarse sand compost and peat substitute in equal parts, preventing the leaves from touching the surface.
- Remove a healthy leaf from the plant by pulling it from the base and leaving a piece of stem attached, then wait 24-48 hours for the callus to form. Fill a pot with substitute fine peat and sand in equal parts, inserting the cutting so that the base is retained by the compote.
- And cover with gravel or crushed stone and labeled. After the new growth has developed for two weeks, the cuttings can be transplanted into silt-based compost.
You have no more excuses, now you are ready to go out into the garden or on the balcony and dedicate yourself to your succulents, because you know how to cure succulents!