Succulents - General Care

General cultivation notes for Succulents

Watering: Water sparingly, particularly in winter as succulents do not like sitting in very wet compost. It is very important not to over water these types of plants. They will often go for quite long period without watering and cope better with being under watered than over watered. Before watering test the moisture level of the compost with your finger. If the plant is standing inside a container/ saucer without drainage holes ensure that there is no standing water in the bottom. It is a good idea to put some pebbles or grit in the bottom of the container/saucer.

Feeding: In general succulents do not require much feeding and care needs to be taken not to overfeed them or use the wrong feed. A low nitrogen Cactus food can be used for most succulents but only during the summer and no more once a month.

Position: Succulents require plenty of natural sunlight

particularly in winter. A sunny windowsill is perfect for small plants. In summer if plants appear to be suffering on a very hot windowsill or conservatory then consider moving to a cooler position or even outside when there is no danger of frost at night.

Compost: Succulents and Cacti require a well-drained compost. You can buy ready-made cactus compost or make your own by mixing 3 parts John Innes No. 2, loam based compost with 1 part horticultural grit. This creates a mix with a nice open structure with good drainage. Some plants benefit from the addition of charcoal. (Please refer to labels for individual cultural information.)

Potting on: This can be done if the plant has outgrown the pot. Do this when the plant is in active growth between Spring and Autumn in the UK. Do not pot them on during winter as the growth rate will have slowed right down. Select a pot which is no more than 2 inches wider in diameter. The smaller the increase the better as many succulents are slow growing and it takes time for the roots to penetrate the compost.