Everything You Need to Know About the Snake Plant

Sansevieria Trifasciata— Snake Plant

Many succulents are short and squat because they’ve adapted to grow in arid climates, but not the snake plant! It’s a tropical plant that’s known for its beautiful tall leaves and color variations. Some varieties have leaves with thick, buttery yellow edges, while others have striking dark green stripes. Interior designers love this plant, and so do we―it compliments pretty much any style of decor and looks great in arrangements!

Succulents are known for being hardy, and snake plants are no exception. They’re one of the easiest types of succulents to care for, so we love to recommend them to new gardeners and people with black thumbs.

Even if you forget to water your snake plant for a month, you probably won’t kill it, so don’t let your lack of gardening prowess stop you from owning this wonderful plant!

Even though snake plants are tough, you’re still going to need our advice to keep your plant looking its best. In this article, we’ll give you lots of helpful care taking tips with some fun snake plant facts thrown in for good measure, so keep reading!

Snake plants in white planters sansevieria trifasciata
@succsandpups

Sansevieria Trifasciata— the Snake Plant

History and Origin

Snake plants are native to tropical West Africa and are an important part of African culture. Nigerians believe that the plant provides spiritual protection. They use it in a ritual to remove the evil eye, a malevolent stare that casts a curse on its victims. This succulent is also associated with several African gods, including the god of war.

The Chinese also think that this plant brings good luck like the jade plant. They believe that the gods will bestow the eight virtues, which include long life and prosperity, onto its caretakers. Even if this succulent didn’t bring us good luck, we’d still keep it around because it’s so pretty!

Sansevieria Trifasciata

Snake plants are a type of Sansevieria, which is a genus made up of seventy different flowering plants. These plants are grouped together because they all have shared characteristics like narrow, upright leaves and short, thick roots.

Because the snake plant belongs to the genus Sansevieria, its full scientific name is Sansevieria Trifasciata. The second word in its name, Trifasciata, comes from Latin. It means “marked with three bands.” Several snake plant varieties are variegated, which is just a fancy way of saying that their leaves have different colored streaks. These colorful markings are why snake plants got the name Trifasciata.

In addition to its scientific name, the snake plant has a few nicknames. It’s often called mother-in-law’s tongue because of its sharp, pointed leaves. If you ever buy this succulent for your mother-in-law, don’t tell her what it’s called!

Snake plants are also known as viper’s bowstring hemp because they have strong fibers that were once used to make bowstrings.

Snake plant in black planter
@perryscorners1855

How to Care for Snake Plants

Best Soil for Snake Plants

Snake plants are sensitive to water and prone to root rot, so it’s important to plant them in soil that drains well. Commercial succulent or cactus soil is great for them because it has added sand that helps with drainage. Read our best soil article to understand what the best soil mix is for your succulents.

You can also make your own succulent soil from scratch. You’ll save some money and get to control exactly what goes into it, so try it out if you can. There are lots of homemade soil recipes floating around on the Internet, but we like to use three parts of potting soil, two parts of coarse sand like builder’s sand, and one part of pumice.

We won’t lie, though―as much as we love a good DIY, we usually use commercial succulent soil because it’s more convenient.

We highly recommend this soil mix by Bonsai Jack. It is one of the best soil mixes on the market. It doesn’t need to be mixed with any other soil, it helps fight root rot, perfectly pH Balanced & is pathogen-free (ie: won’t kill your plants). This soil is the go-to for our office plants. Go ahead and get the 7 Gallon Bag if you are plant nerd like us :). Pick up some of our favorite soil by clicking here: Bonsai Jack Succulent Soil.

Our Pick
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
09/25/2021 12:00 pm GMT

Repotting Snake Plants

Unlike other succulents, snake plants prefer to be a little squished in their pots. You don’t have to repot these guys until they’re busting out. Wait until you see obvious signs of overgrowth, like excessive top heaviness that makes your plant topple over or roots that stick out of the drainage hole. You can expect to repot your snake plants every three to six years.

Here’s some nifty geometric planters in case you want to get fancy.

Repotting a snake plant is pretty easy, but there are still a few things you need to know. Snake plants like to be root bound, so each time you repot yours, choose a pot that’s only a few inches larger than the old one. The pot you pick should definitely have a drainage hole because snake plants can rot if they sit in any water.

When you’re ready to repot, get your succulent soil and fill the new pot about a third of the way full. Support your succulent by placing your hand on top of the soil and gently turn the pot over. Your plant should pop right out, but if it doesn’t, try tapping on the sides of the pot a little. If it just doesn’t want to come out no matter what you do (we’ve all been there), try watering it. Soaking the soil will loosen the roots and make it easier for you to get your plant out. 

Now, place your plant in the new pot and see where it sits. If your plant sits one to two inches below the pot’s rim, you’re good to go! If not, add or remove soil until it’s positioned properly. Allow your succulent some time to adjust to its new pot before you water it―a few days is usually enough.

Hold off on fertilizing it for a few weeks, too, so that you don’t damage its unestablished roots.

ALSO READ:

Snake plants in modern planters
@my_green_home_and_me

How Much Water Does a Snake Plant Need?

Succulents need a lot less water than other kinds of plants, and they also need a different watering schedule. Succulents do best when you let their soil dry out completely between waterings, which usually takes about a week.

Snake plants require a bit less water than other succulents, so you may want to water yours every week and a half to two weeks instead of every week.

How to Water a Snake Plant

To water your snake plant, fill up a watering can and pour water onto the soil until it starts to run out of the drainage hole of the pot. Make sure that your succulent doesn’t sit in any water―if you keep your pot on a saucer, lift up the pot once or twice a day and drain any excess water. Make sure that the soil is dry to the touch before you water your succulent again.

Considering that succulents need less water than other plants, it sounds a little strange to flood your snake plant with water every other week. But trust us―this watering schedule works!

If you’re still unsure how much water you’ll need, read our complete watering guide for succulents here. (It’s helped over 2000 succulent lovers to date!)

Snake Plant Light Requirements

Snake plants love indirect sunlight, but they’re pretty adaptable and can survive in full sun and low light conditions. Because they only need indirect sunlight to thrive, they make great houseplants like these.

To keep your snake plant healthy and happy, try placing it near an east facing window. These windows provide a few hours of direct sunlight in the morning and indirect sunlight for the rest of the day, which is perfect for this plant. If you want to keep it close to a brighter south or west facing window, just make sure that you shield it from the sun’s rays by closing the blinds a little. Too much direct sunlight will burn the leaves of your snake plant.

Outside, the best place to put your snake plants is in the shade. While they can be planted in areas that get full sun, we don’t really recommend it. In full sun they’re much more likely to develop symptoms of sun damage, like dark brown spots on their leaves. You’ll also have to water them more often because the heat from the sun causes the soil to dry out faster. If you’re not always great at remembering to water your plants, keep them in the shade!

If you’re dying to plant this gorgeous succulent in a sunny spot in your garden, we get it! We think it would look fab out there too. Just make sure you keep a close eye on it and have shade cloth on hand in case it starts to burn.

Snake plant Sansevieria Trifasciata
@plantsandcindy

Snake Plant Temperature Requirements

Just like real snakes, snake plants don’t like the cold! They can’t tolerate temperatures below 40°F. If you leave them outside in freezing temperatures, the water inside their cells can freeze, expand, and burst their cell walls.

This will cause tissue damage and make the leaves look brown and mushy in certain spots. Your plant can even die if it’s left outside in the cold for too long! If temperatures in your area drop to forty degrees, make sure you bring your outdoor snake plant inside or put some frost cloth over it to keep it as warm as possible.

If you keep your plant inside, that’s ideal. Snake plants do best in temperatures between seventy and ninety degrees, so indoor environments are perfect for them. They’ll reward you for keeping them indoors by purifying the air you breathe. They remove toxins like formaldehyde from the air and release lots of oxygen, improving the air circulation in your home.

Best Fertilizer for Snake Plants

Fertilizer can encourage your snake plants to flower and help them grow faster. You can fertilize them as often as once per month during the spring and summer months.

To get the best results, use a balanced fertilizer. You can tell that a fertilizer is balanced if it has three identical numbers on the package, like 8-8-8. These numbers indicate that the fertilizer contains equal proportions of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, the three main nutrients in fertilizer. We recommend that you pick up an 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 formula and dilute it to half strength before applying it to your succulent.

Pests

Succulents can sometimes get infested with pests like mealybugs. Plants that are kept outdoors and ones that are overwatered are more susceptible to infestations, but any plant can become infected.

The two main pests you need to watch out for are mealybugs and spider mites. They stymie your plant’s growth and suck the sap from its leaves, wounding them in the process. If they’re left on your plant long enough, they can even kill it. That’s why it’s so important to get rid of these nasty little critters as soon as you spot them!

Mealybugs are often mistaken for mold because they’re white and fuzzy. If you see lots of white, fuzzy spots on your plant, grab some isopropyl alcohol and put it in a spray bottle or on a q-tip. Spray or wipe the affected areas with the alcohol. Do this as many times as it takes to get rid of all the mealybugs.

Because they’re so small, you probably won’t be able to see the spider mites on your plant, but you will be able to see the damage. Spider mite damage appears as small yellow and brown spots on your plant’s leaves. These mites are related to spiders, so they’ll also leave webbing on your plant that looks similar to a spider web. If you see any of these warning signs, start spraying your succulent’s leaves, especially the undersides, with water and insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Propagating Snake Plants

One of the reasons why we love succulents is because you can get baby plants from them for free through a process called propagation.

Division is one of the most popular ways to propagate snake plants because it preserves the variegation patterns of the mother plant. If you want your new snake plant’s leaves to have the same thick yellow borders as your old plant, then don’t propagate it with leaf cuttings or rhizomes―divide your plant instead.

Propagating Leaf Cuttings

To take a leaf cutting, grab a sharp knife or a pair of shears and cut a leaf off of your plant. You want to make the cut pretty close to the bottom of the plant.

Now, take that leaf and cut it up again into a few different sections. As you’re cutting, make sure that you note which end of each section is the bottom. The “bottom” of each cutting is the side that was closest to the roots of the main plant when it was still attached.

If you plant the top sides of the cuttings in soil, they won’t root, so that’s why this step is so important. We like to take a non-toxic sharpie or pen and mark which sides we need to plant so that we don’t get confused.

Leave these cuttings to dry out for a few days. Then, fill a planting tray or pot with succulent soil and plant the cuttings bottom side down in the soil. You should keep them in bright, indirect sunlight and mist them with a spray bottle once a day to keep them moist.

Propagating succulents from leaves isn’t an exact science, and not every leaf will take, but you should see some roots and buds after a few weeks. Once your baby succulent grows a bit larger, you can water it the same way you water your mature snake plants.

3 snake plants in modern white planters
@philodendro

Propagating Rhizome Cuttings

Propagating rhizome cuttings is pretty much the same process as propagating leaves. If you’re not familiar with rhizomes, they’re kind of like roots, except they grow horizontally. Plants that have them use them to store nutrients. Rhizomes sometimes sprout up through the soil near your main plant and grow new leaves. They can be cut and used to grow new succulents.

It’s important to wait until a rhizome sprouts a leaf before you cut it. Once that happens, take a sharp garden knife and cut the rhizome as close to the bottom as you can. Allow the cutting to dry out for a few days, and then plant it in soil, cut side down. Water this cutting the same way you watered the leaves.

Dividing Snake Plants

You can also cut your snake plant in half with a sharp knife to gain a brand new plant. Like we mentioned earlier, division is the best way to ensure that your new plant will have the same variegation as your main plant.

Cut your plant and its root structure in half right down the middle. Plant each half in its own pot with some succulent soil. Allow these plants to take root for a few days before you water them, and then water them as normal.


By now you’re probably dying to run to your local garden center and pick up one of these plants. We don’t blame you! Snake plants are beautiful, low maintenance houseplants that anyone can grow and enjoy regardless of their gardening skill level.

We love their gorgeous tall leaves, color variations, and greenish white flowers. We hope that this guide has helped you figure out how to take care of a snake plant once you get it home from the nursery, whether or not you have a green thumb!

Last update on 2021-09-25 / Amazon

Leave a comment below about what you enjoyed learning about in this article, we’re curious! And if you have a new snake plant after this, let us know the progress of your succulent baby, happy planting!

Enjoyed learning about Snake Plants? If so, you’ll really enjoy the ebook about The Right Way to Propagating Succulents Successfully. With this ebook you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents.

What Causes Succulent Rotting and How to Prevent it?

Why is My Succulent Rotting?

If you’ve taken care of a succulent for quite some time now, you know that at least every succulent enthusiast will eventually encounter rotting. It’s like a right of passage if you will. Guess you’re staring at it right now, that’s why you’re here! Don’t beat yourself up over it, it happens— trust us.

Rotting can be such a motivation- drain, especially when you’ve been doing your best to have a beaming succulent plant. Why does it happen?

Is it because of a random disease in succulents?  Pest attacks- like those dang mealy bugs?

What exactly causes succulent rotting?

why is my succulent rotting
succulent freckles @succswithoutyou

Why Your Succulent is Rotting

A succulent can end up rotting for a couple of reasons. Continue reading and we’ll outline the reasons for you!

The Cold Winter Season

The first one is the winter cold. Yes, as much as succulents are termed as hardy with a tolerance for extreme conditions, not all of them can bare the combination of frost and low temperatures. Leave them outside during the cold months and rotting is what they’ll do. Here’s our guide on How to Take Care for Succulents in the Winter.

Avoid this scenario and get yourself a grow light, like this one! Bring your succulent babies inside and keep them warm with you during the cold, winter months. Aside from this grow light, check out our article on the additional Best Grow Lights Reviewed by Succulent Lovers.

why is my succulent rotting
brittle baby @inas_eden

Overwatering Your Succulents

The second one is overwatering. The most common. If you just started planting succulents you’re probably already doing it. For the caring soul you are, watering is something high up on your list as far your plants are concerned. You do it with your all but you have to be mindful when watering your succulents.

Being the houseplants that thrive with a bit more neglect, compared to other houseplants, you need to be a bit more conservative with your watering.

That will be great for any other of your plants except succulents. Plenty of water is a sure way of killing those babies. Because as soon as rotting kicks in, the damage is done. Saving the plant is still an option but not in the way you envision.

More on that later though. In the meantime, let us help with our article When You Should Water Your Succulent.

why is my succulent rotting
stop over watering @leafyroomies

The Wrong Succulent Soil Mix

And finally, your regular potting soil. If you didn’t get this aspect right during the potting stage, then it doesn’t matter how little you water your plant. The water will still be around for periods that aren’t ideal for a succulent.

The right succulent soil mix needs to be well-draining. Your succulent stores the water it needs within its leaves, so any access water that remains in its soil is only going to become harmful for your little baby. Here’s succulent soil mix we swear by. Give it a try if you haven’t already!

Those reasons aside, how do you tell that it’s rot you’re dealing with? It’s important to be sure so as to not end up applying the wrong remedy.

Before we continue… We’re just so excited to share with you about our sponsorship with Amazon! And to celebrate, they’re offering a FREE 30-day trial of their Amazon Prime Membership… You know, the membership where you can get FREE 2-day shipping on all your succulent needs?! Click this link to learn more and sign up today!

Okay… back to succulents.

why is my succulent rotting
get yourself the right potting mix @succulent_journey

Diagnosing Rotting in Your Succulent Plant

Rotting, especially due to being overly generous with water, has unique tell-tale signs. For an overwatered succulent

Consider these as precursors to rotting.

Here’s what you’ll see when the plant is really in the red as far as rotting is concerned:

  • Dark brown to black spots appear around the stem area
  • The affected parts become swollen and acquire a black coloration.
  • If the rotting has kicked off from the roots, the plant comes off as unhealthy with droopy leaves.
why is my succulent rotting
splitting Jade leaves @the_orchid_queen

Can a Rotting Succulent Be Saved?

That depends on the extent of the rot. If it is just a few roots that had started to catch on, simply cutting them off will salvage the plant— here’s a trimming set that will come in handy! But if the rotting is present in a larger part of the root ball and the stem, it’s farewell for your succulent – well, to some extent.

Not to worry though. Thanks to the ease of propagation of succulents, you can still end up with a new plant of the same kind. To do this, only pick out the parts that aren’t affected by the rot and set them up in a well-draining soil mix.

In both severe and mild rotting attacks, be sure to keep the following in mind:

  • Use a fresh potting mix. Even if the previous was well-draining, don’t include it in propagation or repotting. That will be a zero-sum undertaking.
  • If you’re going to use the same pot, clean it thoroughly. Get another if you don’t trust your idea of thoroughness. If you’re in need of some new planters, these are adorable, but read on here for 12 stunning succulent planters that are a MUST.
  • Any rotting part is cut off, no matter how small or insignificant it may appear. Only explicitly healthy parts should be considered. That way, you eliminate the possibility of the same problem recurring.
  • The cutting tool should be clean (possibly sterilized) and sharp. Jagged parts and infections aren’t exactly needed here (or anywhere else).
  • Cut parts should be left to dry out before being inserted into any medium.
why is my succulent rotting
let’s save your babies @terracottacorner

Preventative Measure for Rotting Succulents

It will be utterly useless for you to eliminate rotting parts and propagate a new succulent plant, and still end up with the same problem. So, after separating the good from the bad, your care routine should incorporate the following to keep rotting at bay.

A Well-Draining Potting Mix

Your regular potting soil is great. But not with a succulent. That’s if you want a healthy beaming succulent plant. Long periods of wet soil won’t assure you of this.

So, grab a commercial cactus/succulent mix. Or tweak the drainage capabilities of that regular potting soil by adding sand and pumice/perlite.

why is my succulent rotting
succulent lover’s dream patio @minigardens_minsk_brest

Ideal Watering Frequency

If you’ve been too heavy-handed with watering, it’s time to go easy. Remember: too much water is the leading cause of rotting in a succulent plant.

So, how easy should you go so as not to kill your succulent?

Let the top part of the mix be your guide. This top part should be allowed to dry out completely, between watering sessions, ideally 1-2 inches down the mix.

Keep in mind the growing seasons too. Periods of growth need water (not too much of it) while in dormancy, the amount reduces considerably. That means keeping up with a uniform watering routine can still turn out to be detrimental. So, use the above guidelines during seasons like summer and spring, and cut back during winter.

Use a Clay Pot

Well, if you can help it. Clay is so much better aerated which is a major boost to the drying rate of the potting mix. This gives the succulent roots great breathing space and hence reduces the chances of rotting by a huge margin.

Get your clay pots, here. They’d also be great to try DIY painting activities with!

For any other pot type, ensure the drainage holes at the bottom are large enough to let off the water as easily as possible.

why is my succulent rotting
grow baby, grow @succulentheaven21

Obey the Succulent Hardiness Value

Very vital if you’re growing your succulents outdoors. All factors adhered to, rotting is still imminent if you’re keeping a succulent in the cold when it should be inside.

So, know your zone. Know the zone your plant is suited for. Can it brace the cold and the accompanying frost? If not, bring it inside as soon as winter kicks in.

Knowing your zone (and that of the plant) is as easy as logging on to the USDA plant hardiness zone Map and typing in the name of your area.

The main reason why your succulent will rot is too much water. But it shouldn’t be the end of your plant. Just cut up the affected parts and start over again. This time around, be sure to adopt good care routines above so that you’re not stuck into an endless loop.

ALSO READ:

why is my succulent rotting
no rotting here @succulentlovestory

Have you been through the rotting cycle of succulents and have some additional tips for us, drop a comment down below, or join our Facebook group, Succulent City Plant Lounge, and share your thoughts there!

We have dozens of helpful guides on ensuring you become a good succulent parent you can be! Give our articles like, Can Succulents Survive in My Work Environment and Your Ultimate Guide on How to Take Care of Air Plants, a look today and get inspired!

Did this article help answer your succulent-care questions? We sure hope so! If not, no worries. Succulent City is devoted to aiding all succulent lovers, and that’s why we created a line of ebook guides! Check out our in-depth tips on The Correct Way to Water Succulents or even Succulent Drainage Requirements today!

Thanks for reading, happy planting!?

All You Need to Know About Stonecrop Succulents

All you need to know about stonecrop succulents

Stonecrop succulents, also known as Sedums, are a hardy little group of plants that are perfect for outdoor gardens! They can survive in below freezing temperatures, poor soil conditions, and hot, sunny weather. No matter what growing zone you live in or where you plant them in your garden, they’ll be able to thrive!

Sedums come in colors like green, red, purple, and yellow. They usually produce yellow, pink, or white blooms that attract birds and butterflies. They’re just as pretty as they are hardy, so they’re fantastic plants to have in your garden!

Caring for sedums is pretty easy, but you’ll still need a few essential tips—so keep reading!

All You Need to Know About Stonecrop Succulents
@succy_place

Origins

Most varieties of sedum are native to Europe and Asia, so they can handle a temperate climate. Sedum is grown in many gardens in North American today because of their cold hardiness and pretty appearance. Sedum has beautiful, showy flowers and glossy leaves in colors like green, blue, maroon, purple, orange, and gold.

Most varieties of sedum are creeping, which means that they spread out as they grow and fill up bare spaces in gardens. Some varieties of sedum, though, are tall. Tall varieties grow up instead of out and get to be about 2 or 3 feet high. They’re prized for their beautiful flowers!

Caring for Sedums

All You Need to Know About Stonecrop Succulents
@succy_place

By now we’ve probably convinced you that you need some beautiful stonecrop succulents in your garden, so now you need to learn how to care for them! Well, we’ve got your back! You’ll have no problem caring for sedums even if you have a black thumb as long as you follow these tips.

Soil Requirements

The easiest way to kill a sedum is to let it sit in water! Planting sedums in porous soil that drains quickly helps prevent water from pooling and damaging their roots.

If you’re planting your stonecrops in pots, make sure that you use ones with drainage holes and fill them with a porous succulent soil.

If you’re planting stonecrop succulents out in your garden, you should test the soil to make sure it drains quickly enough before you put the succulents in the ground. To do this, dig a hole that’s a foot deep and fill it with water. If the water drains in thirty minutes or less, your soil is ready for your stonecrops! If not, you’ll need to mix three inches of something gritty, like perlite or sand, into the soil to make it more porous.

Our Pick
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
09/25/2021 12:02 pm GMT

 

Water Requirements

All You Need to Know About Stonecrop Succulents
@succy_place

Overwatering is another major cause of death for stonecrop succulents! Stonecrop succulents that are kept outside don’t need a whole lot of water. During the winter when they’re dormant, they may not need any water at all if your area gets rainfall. During the spring, summer, and fall, you’ll only need to water them once a week if they’re a tall variety. Creeping sedums can get by on even less water.

If you’re growing sedum indoors, your plants will need more water than ones kept outside. We recommend that you water your sedums about once a week during the spring through fall. During the winter, cut back on watering your plants. Once every three to four weeks should be sufficient—you only want to water them enough to keep their leaves from drying out and puckering.

Before you water your sedums, make sure the soil is completely dry. You can test this by sticking your finger about an inch deep into the soil. If it’s wet, put down the watering can! If it feels dry, your succulent is thirsty and needs a drink, so proceed with watering!

You should follow the soak and dry method when watering your sedums. To do this, grab your watering can and pour water onto the soil until it starts running out of the drainage holes of the pot. If your sedums are outdoors, pour enough water on the soil until it feels wet about an inch down. Don’t water your plants again until the soil feels completely dry to avoid overwatering them!

Light and Temperature Requirements

All You Need to Know About Stonecrop Succulents
@succulent_crazy_sisters

Outdoors, sedums can thrive no matter where you put them in the garden. You can plant them in partial shade or full sun and they’ll do well. Here’s some great outdoor pots if you don’t plan to have them in the regular ground or soil. Our team member has one of these bad boys actually!

Our Pick
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
09/25/2021 01:14 pm GMT

Indoors, sedums need bright sunlight, so keep them near the sunniest window in your home or under a grow light.

Our Pick
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
09/25/2021 12:00 pm GMT

As for temperature, sedums are pretty hardy. Most varieties can survive in below freezing temperatures of negative twenty or thirty degrees, so they’re the perfect outdoor succulents for cold growing zones. No need for ridiculous plant covers!

Fertilizer Requirements

Stonecrops don’t absolutely need fertilizer. Since they can survive in poor soil conditions, they don’t need extra nutrients from fertilizer to keep growing. If you want to save money or time, it’s a step you can skip.

But if you want your stonecrops to be the healthiest they can be (we know you do!), then they’ll benefit from a few applications of diluted fertilizer during the spring, summer or fall.

Diluting water-soluble fertilizer is easy—just use half as much fertilizer as the directions call for. So if the back of the box says to dissolve 1 tablespoon of fertilizer in a gallon of water, you should only use ½ tablespoon.

If you’d rather not use chemical fertilizer, you can apply a layer of organic compost to the soil once during the fall.

Miracle-Gro 4001234 Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food, 6.25 lb
Joyful Dirt Premium Concentrated All Purpose Organic Plant Food...
-
Miracle-Gro 4001234 Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food, 6.25 lb
-
Joyful Dirt Premium Concentrated All Purpose Organic Plant Food...

Last update on 2021-09-25 / Amazon

Propagating Sedum

Succulent propagation can seem kind of intimidating, but propagating a sedum is super easy! All you have to do to be able to grow brand new plants is take a couple of stem cuttings. We promise your sedum won’t even notice those stems are missing!

To take some cuttings, grab a sharp garden knife and cut the stem of your sedum below the leaves. You want the whole cutting to be at least three inches long, so keep that in mind when you’re cutting the stem.

Any leaves on the bottom inch of the cutting should be stripped, and then the cutting should be planted in some moist succulent soil. You should keep the soil just barely moist at all times over the next week or two. You can mist the soil with a spray bottle to keep it damp. Once the cuttings take root you can water them normally, just like you would any other sedum.

Our Pick
Durable Japanese stainless steel blade w/ leather sheath and sharping stone (7 inches)
09/25/2021 06:19 pm GMT

Make sure you keep your cuttings in a place with bright but indirect sunlight. Sedums can’t handle harsh sunlight or freezing temps until they’ve matured and grown a bit!

ALSO READ:

All You Need to Know About Stonecrop Succulents
@worldofsucculents

Now that you know all about stonecrop succulents, are you going to plant any in your garden? Let us know in the comments section below!

If you already have these and want to ask specific questions in how to care for them even more, be sure to ask our exclusive members for TIPS and TRICKS that they find to be super useful. (It helps our team members a lot).

Enjoyed learning about All You Need to Know About Stonecrop Succulents? If so, you’ll really enjoy the ebook about The Best Soil Recommendations for Your Succulent. With this ebook, you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents.

Happy planting! ?

The Ultimate Guide to Beheading Succulents

Ultimate Guide to Beheading Succulents

BEHEADING!? Relax…

It’s really far from what it sounds. This post isn’t about some sort of capital punishment for succulents. Sure, it does sound gruesome and cruel, but nothing could be further from the truth. Beheading succulents isn’t as bad as you think!

You’ve probably heard of Mike who lived for a whopping 18 months without a head! Apparently, Mike was a chicken, so named by his owners after he became popular in the 1940’s for refusing to die.

Except for very weird cases like Mike’s, beheaded animals and humans always end up dead. No amount of surgery or medical antics can be employed to bring back life

However, with succulent plants, beheading is a practice for rejuvenation and life continuity. What’s not to like about a healthy long living succulent baby?

Beheading succulent plant with tweezers
Beheading a Succulent Plant @juicyplants

Beheading Succulents

Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. Succulents are mainly grown as indoor ornaments to add charm and beauty to the home. When these beautiful succulent plants overgrow, become elongated due to insufficient light or even get infested by pests, then it’s time to bring in the guillotine.

In a nutshell, succulent beheading is chopping off the terminal head of a succulent. This results in a stem stump and the chopped terminal mother plant, both of which are very useful. This is a practice mainly employed in plants with a pronounced stem and rosette-shaped succulents.

Beheading succulents might take a bit of courage in the beginning, but once you’ve done it, you’ll discover it’s a clever way to multiply your succulents and keep them gorgeous.

The following genera of succulents will respond well to beheading.

  • Graptopetalum
  • Echeveria
  • Crassula
  • Sedum
  • Graptosedum
Echeveria imbricata succulent plant specie
Echeveria Imbricata @milicientah

Reasons for Beheading Succulents

1. Correcting Morphology

Succulents come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Some look like stones, others resemble some animals while others will simply blow your mind away with their beauty. With their great variety, they make the best aesthetics for the living room or office. (I can assure you, it keeps our office vibrant).

However, your beautiful succulent plant may begin to change its appearance due to a number of reasons. If you notice your succulent growing thin, tall, and looking stretched, then etiolation is taking root. You may also note that the plant looks paler than its usual color.

With their great variety, they make the best aesthetics for the living room or office. (We can’t get enough of these modern planters).

Our Pick
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
09/25/2021 12:00 pm GMT

An etiolated plant is one that has been grown in insufficient light resulting to pale color, thin or stretched appearance. Light is an important component for photosynthesis to take place. Photosynthesis ensures the plant has enough carbohydrates or food for its growth and to perform basic metabolism. This explains why a succulent or any plant, in general, becomes weak and pale when there is insufficient light. Since plants cannot survive in insufficient light, they’ll sort of “move” and use mechanisms to get light.

 

Dying succulent plant
Dying Succulent Plant @mysuccastashwish

How do you tell if your succulent isn’t receiving enough light?

There are four sure-fire signs of detecting etiolation in your succulents. When detected early enough, it can be corrected.

  1. The lower leaves will begin to point downwards. This is the earliest sign that your succulents are craving light. This mechanism attempts to expose the surface area of each leaf to any available light, thus increasing the plant’s ability to photosynthesize. A succulent with droopy leaves doesn’t look attractive. Once you notice this, quickly move the plant to a well-lit area preferably near a large window.
  2. The plant bends to a particular direction. It will detect where the most available light is coming from and bend towards that direction. This bending is dangerous and may lead to breaking of the stem depending on the weight of the leaves.
  3. An elongated stem with scanty leaves. This shows that the stem is growing at a quicker rate than the formation of new leaves. This results in larger stem internodes. Stem elongation is also a mechanism to provide more light to the leaves for photosynthesis to take place. This lack of leaf compaction on the stem leads to an ugly, stretched plant, quite the opposite of what beautiful really is.
  4. Though rare, pale color may also be a sign that your succulents are devoid of light. The pale color is due to the plant’s inability to form chlorophyll – the stuff that gives leaves their green color.

As earlier indicated, etiolation can be corrected in its early stages. This is by exposing the plants to bright light for a minimum of four hours per day. However, bent and stretched plants can never be corrected, sadly.

Beheading is a solution to save ugly, bent, and stretched plants. Chopping off the crown of your etiolated succulent and then replanting it ensures you end up with a vigorous and beautiful succulent plant.

The quickest way to the grave for your succulents is when they can’t take up water and nutrients due to rotting roots and stems. The main culprit for root or stem decay is overwatering although cold weather may also be a factor.

2. Stem Rot and Root Decay

A succulent with a rotting stem or root can be salvaged by beheading. The beheaded crown is replanted while the rest of the plant containing the rotting parts is discarded.

Don’t drown or deprive your succulent with the right amount of water, read our full in-depth guide about when you should water your succulents in order to properly care for them.

3. Propagation

The third reason for beheading your succulent is for propagation purposes. This is simply multiplying your plants through stem or leaf cuttings. Scientists call it asexual reproduction. Unlike leaf cutting, propagation by stem cutting or beheading is quicker and has a higher success rate.

Not sure what is the best method? We have a propagation guide shared by over 2000 succulent lovers.

Beheading results in two plant parts: the crown and the stem. Both are used in propagation. The crown is replanted in a separate pot containing well-draining soil and in a few days, it takes roots and becomes established. The stump is also replanted and in a few weeks, new baby plants begin to grow from its sides Once the baby plants become bigger, carefully snip them off with a sterile knife and plant them individually.

What is the Best Time to Behead Succulents?

Timing is crucial when it comes to beheading succulents. The best time to carry out this exercise is during spring, just after winter. The reason for this is that at this time, your plants are out of their dormant state and are now starting to grow. In such a state, your succulents will develop resilience to beheading and they’ll also be less susceptible to pests or shock.

Beheading is always followed by growth, so avoid beheading your plants during the winter months as this is their dormancy period.

If you’re confused about what season a succulent plant is dormant, learn more about winter and summer succulents here.

How to Successfully Behead Succulents

Tools you’ll need

  • Sharp and sterile scissors, shears, or knife
  • A trowel (Here’s an awesome 3 piece kit).
  • Succulent and cacti soil/potting mix. 
  • Extra containers
  • Garden gloves (in case you’re dealing with spiny varieties)
Our Pick
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
Beheading succulent plants
Succulent Beheading @juicyplants
Our Pick
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
09/25/2021 12:02 pm GMT

Step 1: Ensure you have a sharp and sterilized cutting tool. This could be a pair of scissors, shears or just a knife. You want it sharp because a blunt tool will crush the succulent making it harder for the plant to heal and develop roots.

A sharp cutting tool results in a clean, precise cut that heals quickly and roots effectively. Sterilization prevents the introduction of bacteria or fungi in the freshly cut wound of your succulent. You can quickly sterilize your tool with isopropyl alcohol. You can behead the plant while it’s still in the soil or you can pluck it out to get the right spot. Strip all the dead, dried leaves from the lower part of the stem.

Step 2: Decide on how much to cut off. Leaving an inch or two from the crown ensures that the plant will remain steady while planted and that it’ll also provide enough room for new roots to grow. Avoid jagged and diagonal cuts. Let the cut be precisely perpendicular to the stem. In case you mess up, don’t be shy to try a little higher on the stem.

Step 3: Congratulations! You just beheaded your first plant. Now leave the cuttings to dry and callous before you plant them. This is to avoid rot and bacterial infection on the freshly cut wound. Place them in a dry area with indirect sunlight and wait a week.

Step 4: Now it’s time to replant the cuttings. Stack some grainy soil in a pot and stick the beheaded crown in the soil. You can leave the stump as it is or replant it in new soil.

Step 5: Place them in an area that’s shaded, away from direct sunlight. At this point, you might be tempted to water it, please don’t. That’s a recipe for failure. The beheaded top doesn’t need water right now for two reasons; one, it has enough water stored in its leaves, and two, it has not yet developed any roots to take up water from the soil.

Watering your plant immediately after planting your beheaded succulents is not only unnecessary, but also dangerous as it may result in plant rot.

Beheaded succulent plant
Beheaded Succulent Leaves @juicyplants

What’s next?

You may be wondering… so how will you know when to start watering your plants?

The simple answer is either, as soon as roots form or when the stored water in the leaves is depleted. To check whether the roots have formed, gently tug the plant and check for resistance. Give it at least three weeks before you tug it.

To find out whether your plant has depleted its water reserves, simply check for signs of wrinkling. The amount of time taken for your plant to drain out its water storage will most likely be equal to the time taken for rooting to take place.

Once you notice any of these signs, then start watering your plant like any other succulent. Give it a good drench and wait for the soil to dry out before doing so again.

After the plant is established, gradually introduce it to direct sunlight but be careful not to subject it to sunburn. (Yes, even succulents get sunburn).

It will take between 4 to 6 weeks for the stump to develop baby plants as well as the beheaded top to be well-rooted.

 

ALSO READ:


Enjoyed learning about Beheading Succulents? If so, you’ll really enjoy the ebook about Replanting Practices to Keep Your Succulents Safe. With this ebook you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents.

There you have it! How to behead succulents the right way, that wasn’t so scary, was it? Let us know how your succulents are growing after beheading here on our exclusive facebook group, Succulent City Plant Lounge.

What is Root Rot and How Do You Fix it?

What is Root Rot & How Do You Fix it?

Root rot is a condition where plants rot, or decay, causing the plants to die if they are not treated.

What causes root rot in succulents, you might ask? Well, the most common cause of root rot is overwatering. Giving your succulents more water than they need, end up decaying— as it is often forgotten that succulents have immense water- storing capacity.

Root rot could also be because of poor soil drainage— either water is not being drained in the soil as fast as it should be, or there is a blocked drainage often caused by compacted roots.

Root rot can also be caused by the presence of harmful bacteria or fungus in the soil.

What is Root Rot & How Do You Fix it?
8 Varieties of succulents and cacti! @bodrum_kaktus

Signs That You Are Overwatering Your Succulent

There are three main signs, that we have conducted, to help you figure out if your succulent is being overwatered:

  • The leaves will be translucent or rather light in color.
  • The leaves will feel soft, mushy and squishy.
  • The leaves will start falling off because of the added weight.
What is Root Rot & How Do You Fix it?
Succulent Focus

How to Identify Root Rot in Your Succulents

1) Checking the Roots

Succulents are tolerant to multiple uprootings so you shouldn’t be worried. Be sure to be gentle when doing so though.

Remove your succulent from the pot, shake off the soil and check the color of the roots. Healthy roots should either be white or yellow. If the roots are either dark brown or black and they feel slimy and wet when you touch, then that is definitely root rot. It will also likely break off as you pull it from the soil.

Remember to be keen on the smell. A rotting smell can vary from mild to foul. If the smell is foul, it most likely means the rotting has spread too far, and it may be too late to save your little succulent baby.

But that’s what we’re here for— to help you avoid that!

What is Root Rot & How Do You Fix it?
Succulents in the garden.

2) Checking the Stems and Leaves

If unfortunately, you’re noticing root rot when it’s at the stem and leaves, the rot is at its advanced stages.

During this stage, the leaves start turning yellow and pale and if not attended to quickly, they become mushy and eventually die out. There is nothing that can be done to fix the damage once the leaves become mushy, as it can no longer support itself.

It is difficult to fix root rot when it starts showing on the leaves and stem that’s why you need to always be keen on your succulent. The idea that it’s easy to take care of your succulents is true, but that doesn’t mean you should entirely neglect their signs. Remember root rot happens gradually.

Here’s an important note – it’s overwatering/root rot if it’s only the lower leaves that are turning yellow. If it’s the whole plant turning yellow, then it may be a nutrition deficiency.

What is Root Rot & How Do You Fix it?
Top view of a beautiful succulent garden.

How to Prevent Root Rot in Succulents

Water your succulents less frequently, and when you do, use large volumes of water.

Use pots that have drainage holes. Terrariums and teacups may look fancy and all, but rest assured, you will constantly be dealing with root rot. Stick to your traditional planters with drainage holes for the best growth!

Use soil that does not retain water and drains fast. You can either buy succulent soil, or you can make your own from your backyard- we have an article all about how! Creating your own succulent soil can be a fun project for the family if you need help deciding whether you want to create your own or not.

Don’t line the base of your pot with rocks, gravel or ceramic pieces. This will retain water, rather than help to drain. However, you can mix the three all throughout your soil to improve drainage flows in your pot.

8" Self Aerating + Self Watering High Drainage Deep Reservoir...
Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix, 4 Quarts,...
$13.97
$11.96
8" Self Aerating + Self Watering High Drainage Deep Reservoir...
$13.97
Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix, 4 Quarts,...
$11.96

Last update on 2021-09-25 / Amazon

 

What is Root Rot & How Do You Fix it?
High quality green succulents.

Letting Your Soil Dry Out Naturally

If you know that you overwatered your succulent and you suspect any rotting, unpot your succulent and leave it to dry for a day or two. Keep the root ball and the soil both intact. Once the plant and the soil in the pot have dried up, re-plant you’re succulent. Water it sparingly, just enough to make the soil damp and after that do not water for the next 2 weeks. This will allow for complete healing. When you’re ready to repot your succulent, check out our article on How to Repot Your Succulent— the Right Way!

What is Root Rot & How Do You Fix it?
Succulent plants out in the sun.

Trimming the Infected Part

You can also fix the root rot by trimming the rotten part to avoid the spread of the rot. Dig up your plant, cut out the infected area- whether stem or root. Let the plant dry out naturally, but keep the plant out of direct light.

Pour out the soil mixture and clean your pot with an anti-bacterial soap and water to ensure that there are no remnants of any fungus left. Add new soil to the pot and do not cover up the cut area, this will allow it to breathe as it self-heals. You can add more soil to cover the base once a new tissue develops.

If you have planted many succulents in one pot, you will have to repot the non-infected plants separately to avoid the spread of rot. You may even have to trim them up if they have been growing together for a while. Read exactly how you can trim your succulents the correct way here for some pointers.

Our Pick
sincerely gift Succulent Gardening Tools Set
$10.99

Includes 1 pruning scissor, 1 stainless steel shears, 1 Folding Scissor, 1 wooden rake, 2 wooden spade, 1 stainless steel tweezer & 1 wooden cleaning brush.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
09/25/2021 12:00 pm GMT

 

What is Root Rot & How Do You Fix it?
Tiny succulent plant in white square planter!

Propagating the Healthy Part

If the rot is advanced and you still want to save your succulent, the only other option would be to propagate the healthy part so that it can grow new roots. You can either propagate from the stem or leaves.

How Do You Do This You Ask?

Take a new pot and put in the new soil mixture. Cut off the healthy part and place it on top of the soil. Try these shears out from Vivosun. Push a little bit of the stem into the soil. Do not water until after one week. After the one week, you can water, but sparingly to avoid overwatering. When a root is developing it does absorb so much water.

However, there is a slimmer chance of you saving your succulent if the stem is too mushy that the plant cannot support itself.

As well, if the plant has caved in and is smelly the rot is too far gone and nothing much can be done.

Our Pick
VIVOSUN 6.5 Inch Hand Pruning Shears
$5.04

These quality snips come with stainless steel precision-sharpened blades and are ready to tackle all of your deadheading, trimming, and shaping needs.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
09/25/2021 11:59 am GMT

 

What is Root Rot & How Do You Fix it?
Dying succulents.

Root Rot Free

Yes, it is possible to save a succulent with a rotting root, but only if you can address it immediately. Depending on the extent of the rot, you can either let it dry naturally, trim the infected parts, or propagate the healthy parts. Otherwise, avoid overwatering— succulents can survive with very little water!

What is Root Rot & How Do You Fix it?
9 Succulents in a square planter with great drainage.

Did you learn anything new today about root rot? We’ve all struggled with it at some point in our succulent- lives— especially early on in our journey. But hopefully, with this guide, you’ll be able to help yourself and other fellow succulent newbies!

Do you have a root rot or succulent story? Share your experiences on our Instagram, or in our exclusive Facebook group today! We are also about to kickstart our Succulent City Youtube channel. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out on the new videos.

By the way, we wanted to mention that this post is sponsored by Amazon Audible! They are offering all of our Succulent City community an exclusive offer of 2 FREE Ebooks when signing up for a free trial! You can sign up for a free trial here! What could be more relaxing than listening to your favorite book while tending to your succulents?

Did you enjoy learning about root rot and how to fix it? If so, you’ll really enjoy our ebook about Essential Tools for Planting the Best Succulents. With this ebook, you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll help your succulents grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents.

Thanks for reading, happy planting! ?

 

ALSO READ: