How to Make Succulent Soil at Home

How to Make Your Own Succulent Soil

Succulents are pretty and vibrant, but they can be quite picky at times. Unlike your average indoor plant, succulents are somewhat choosy with their soil and that’s probably what makes them so special.

Whether you’re an old pro to succulents or the new kid on the succulent- block, getting the preliminaries right the first time will go a long way in your succulent adventures. And nothing has more impact on growing succulents than the type of soil used.

Succulents, these cute, green, little aliens, don’t get along too well with the mundane, conventional gardening soil. They think it’s overrated and a bit boring. At least in its pure form.

Though succulents thrive with neglect why do they demand a more thought-out type of soil you ask? Let’s find out!

If you dont want to make your soil, we also suggest these great alternatives 

Vendor
#1 Pick
Bonzai Jack
2nd Choice
The Next Gardener
Popular Brand
Hoffmans
Image
Bonsai Jack Succulent and Cactus Soil - Jacks Gritty Mix #111 - 2...
The Next Gardener Succulent and Cactus Bonsai Gritty Mix Rocks,...
Hoffman 10410 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix, 10 Quarts
Rating
Prime
-
#1 Pick
Vendor
Bonzai Jack
Image
Bonsai Jack Succulent and Cactus Soil - Jacks Gritty Mix #111 - 2...
Rating
Prime
2nd Choice
Vendor
The Next Gardener
Image
The Next Gardener Succulent and Cactus Bonsai Gritty Mix Rocks,...
Rating
Prime
Popular Brand
Vendor
Hoffmans
Image
Hoffman 10410 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix, 10 Quarts
Rating
Prime
-

Last update on 2021-01-19 / Amazon

Make Your Own Succulent Soil
perlite and soil @whitneykshaffer

What Type of Soil Do Succulents Need?

The word succulent means a plant possessing thick, fleshy stems and leaves primarily as an adaptation to store water. In other words, succulents are desert- denizens that have recently been tamed to spice up the living room décor, by using minimalistic planters, by their unique but beautiful looks.

These plants are native to the desert regions of Africa, Central America, Mexico and some parts of Europe. They have lived in the hot and dry desert all their lives and hence have a few survival hacks to combat life in the desert. One of these coveted adaptations is their ability to store water.

You see, it barely rains in the desert. And when it does, it pours— quite literally. Succulents store this water in their leaves and stems for use in the subsequent weeks before it rains again. So for succulents, their roots don’t take up water all the time as they already have enough tucked away in their leaves. This is clearly backed up by the type of soil found in the desert. It is sandy and the hot weather helps the water to drain quickly therefore succulents don’t sit on soil with needless water.

Damp soil for succulents is not only unnecessary, but it’s also dangerous as it may lead to root rot and a host of pests not to mention the fungal diseases that accompany wet soil.

So what kind of soil is cool for succulents?

how to make succulent soil at home
planting succulents @soymicroscopio

Succulent Potting Mix Checklist

The biggest threat to succulent survival is root rot. It attacks the main channel for water and nutrient uptake of the plant leading to a weak, shriveled plant. Such a plant’s fate is almost sealed –death is inevitable.

Planting your succulents in the right soil can’t be stressed enough. A good succulent potting mix should have the following components:

 

1. Succulent Soil Should be Well-Draining

It definitely had to be top of the list. (If you’ve been reading our recent articles, we mention this a lot because of how important it is). Succulents and damp soil is just a disastrous combination.

When making your own succulent potting mix, you want to end up with soil that will drain well and quickly. Loose and grainy soil is the perfect substrate for growing succulents.

how to make succulent soil at home
time to plant! @plantoolio

2. Your Succulent Soil Needs to Have Good Aeration

It’s important for the roots to have some space to breathe. This will not only make it easier for soil and nutrients absorption, but it will also create a sustainable environment for beneficial microorganisms in the soil.

3. Non-Compacting and Breathable Succulent Soil

Sticky and compact soil is terrible for succulents. The roots hate it because it retains moisture for long periods and makes it difficult for the plant to breathe.

4. Excessive Nutrients in Succulent Soil

This sounds pretty weird but it’s true. Soil containing too many nutrients, especially nitrogen, may lead to lanky, brittle, and unpleasant plants. Nobody wants such kind of goofy-looking plants, do they?

how to make your own succulent soil at home
succulent soil @bloomedroots

What You Need to Create Succulent Soil at Home

  • Gardening gloves to protect yourself from anything sharp (just in case)
  • Measuring cup to make things easier
  • A trowel –just a fancy name for a small shovel
  • A bucket, pail, or plastic bin
  • Common gardening soil
  • Perlite or Pumice to incorporate into the soil mix
  • Coarse sand to also incorporate into the soil mix
SEUROINT 6 Pairs Garden Gloves, Men and Women Gardening Gloves...
Fox Run Brands 4-Ounce Mini Measuring Glass, Regular, Clear
Garden Guru Super Strong Garden Trowel - Stainless Steel -...
Espoma Company (VFGS1) Organic Vegetable and Flower Soil
Espoma PR8 8-Quart Organic Perlite
Bonsai Pumice - Professional Sifted and Ready to Use American...
SEUROINT 6 Pairs Garden Gloves, Men and Women Gardening Gloves...
Fox Run Brands 4-Ounce Mini Measuring Glass, Regular, Clear
Garden Guru Super Strong Garden Trowel - Stainless Steel -...
Espoma Company (VFGS1) Organic Vegetable and Flower Soil
Espoma PR8 8-Quart Organic Perlite
Bonsai Pumice - Professional Sifted and Ready to Use American...
-
-
$15.99
$9.55
$13.65
$24.93
$18.09
$11.99
SEUROINT 6 Pairs Garden Gloves, Men and Women Gardening Gloves...
SEUROINT 6 Pairs Garden Gloves, Men and Women Gardening Gloves...
$15.99
Fox Run Brands 4-Ounce Mini Measuring Glass, Regular, Clear
Fox Run Brands 4-Ounce Mini Measuring Glass, Regular, Clear
$9.55
Garden Guru Super Strong Garden Trowel - Stainless Steel -...
Garden Guru Super Strong Garden Trowel - Stainless Steel -...
$13.65
Espoma Company (VFGS1) Organic Vegetable and Flower Soil
Espoma Company (VFGS1) Organic Vegetable and Flower Soil
-
$24.93
Espoma PR8 8-Quart Organic Perlite
Espoma PR8 8-Quart Organic Perlite
-
$18.09
Bonsai Pumice - Professional Sifted and Ready to Use American...
Bonsai Pumice - Professional Sifted and Ready to Use American...
$11.99

Last update on 2021-01-19 / Amazon

 

Let’s Get Started Making Succulent Soil

Making your own succulent mix at home is so much fun. You get to decide just how grainy you want it to be (if you care about the aesthetics). Plus, it’s a lot cheaper than the regular commercial cacti mix sold in stores.

And did I mention that the procedure is so easy?

A plethora of recipes for making succulent soil abound. However, for this guide, we’ll stick with the basic procedure that is super effective and works wonders every time!

how to make succulent soil at home
DIY time @plantannaplant

Measuring Succulent Soil

Measuring out your ingredients is paramount to achieve the desired drainage, compactness, and aeration. The best mixing ratio of the three ingredients is two parts sand, two parts gardening soil, and one-part perlite or pumice.

Translating this to cups makes it 3 cups of sand, 3 cups of soil, and 1.5 cups of perlite or pumice.

The purpose of pumice or perlite is to aid in aeration and drainage. Pumice is particularly useful in holding together nutrients and moisture. Either can be used or better yet combining the two ingredients to end up with a rich potting mix.

On the other hand, sand is used to make the potting mix less compact as well as to increase the drainage. As for the gardening soil, its main role is to provide nutrients for the succulents.

how to make succulent soil at home
time to make your own @lowkey_plantobsessed

Mixing Your Succulent Soil

Put on your gardening gloves and let’s get to work!

Start by slightly moistening the garden soil to prevent the dust from coming up the bucket or mixing container. Next, put in the sand and mix thoroughly. Doing this using hands is more effective. Lastly, scoop in the perlite or pumice. Give it a good stir until the mixture is uniform.

Good job! You just made your very first succulent soil! I told you it was that easy, it’s just a matter of knowing what types of ingredients to include in your succulent soil that allows your succulent to grow the best it can.

You can use this soil for potting, repotting, and even store it for future use.

If you ever find yourself where you don’t feel like mixing your own, there are lovely premixed soils you can always get as well.

Tip: A neat trick before potting the succulents is to avoid getting the soil too moisturized.

You can begin watering as usual once the soil dries out completely.

ALSO READ:

how to make succulent soil at home
perfect mix @vividroot

Was making succulent soil as hard as you thought it was? Let us know in the comments below, we want to hear your thoughts. For some more tips on succulent care, check out this article here!

If there’s some tips and tricks you want to share with our succulent friends, you should let us know in the Succulent Plant Lounge — our exclusive Facebook group filled with a community of succulent lovers that chime in on each other’s posts answering popular questions about succulents and giving their insights about tips and tricks for succulent care!

Enjoyed learning about How to Make Your Own Succulent Soil at Home? 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.

Have fun, and happy planting! ?

How to Tell If Your Cactus is Dying

How to Tell if Cactus is Dying

It’s been some time since you got that cactus. You’re doing all you can to make sure it thrives. Watering. Fertilizing. Sunlight exposure.

You name ’em!

But you haven’t seen a slightest change in quite some time. Is the little thingy really growing? How do you know you’re doing the right thing as far cacti care is concerned?

Worse still, is your cactus dying?

Maybe yes. Maybe no.

One thing with cactuses is that they take time (years) to show any considerable change in size – most of them. Even then, as the plants are growing, you have to be on the lookout for any signs of deviation from normal growth patterns.

This is how you tell your cactus is dying.

How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@designs4seasons

Signs That Your Cactus is Dying

Discoloring cactus

A cactus plant will take on a tinge that is not naturally its own. Depending on where the problem is coming from, the change in color may start at the top end of stem segments or from the base the soil. Dying is guaranteed if rapid action is not taken.

Droopy leaves on cacti

Dying in the few leaf-bearing cacti (like epiphylum) is signaled by downward pointing leaves that lack vigor.

This gives the cactus plant a general unhealthy look (because it is, right?). It will also appear under watered even when you’ve excelled in quenching it.

How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@lindastarguitar

Soft segments around your cactus

The change of colour above may be accompanied by squishy stem segments that appear swollen.

This also means they can break off easily with minimal force applied.

Try pulling a spine off. That’s a dying cactus if you manage to pull off the specialized leaves.

Instability in your cactus potting soil

You’ll know this if the plant has a lean. Not bent – just the whole plant leaning to a particular side. A dying cactus is shaky in its potting mix and may appear as though it’s about to fall off – well, it will definitely fall off if you moved it, for a severe case. A sign of lack of roots. Or the existing ones may be too weak to properly support the plant.

This is assuming you potted the plant just right.

How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@plant_n_grow

Foul smells coming from your cactus plant

Now, that’s a really bad sign. A foul smell means a large part of the cactus is completely rotten and there is nothing you can do to save it.

In other words, it is no longer in the dying process, it’s actually deceased now. All you can really do now is dispose of your fighting cactus plant and obtain a new one whether it be from a purchase or from a friend.

How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@plant_n_grow

Why is Your Cactus Dying?

Overwatering

The age-old sure way to kill a cactus is by treating it to frequent watering sprees. It may look like a sensible thing to do. Only that with a cactus, the more frequent it is getting water, the higher the chances of it dying. Make sure to check out our article on how often to water your cactus if you need a refresher.

This is so because the water is such a perfect condition for rot.

Inappropriate potting medium

If you didn’t get the memo – your regular potting soil is a no-go zone for a cactus. It just holds on to water for way longer than your plant would prefer.

So, even if you get the watering correct, the soil mix will pull you back a couple of steps. The long periods of dampness are a nice condition for rot. And before you know it, your plant is exhibiting signs of dying.

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.
03/02/2021 03:37 am GMT

A wound becoming infected

It may have happened that a part of the stem broke off leaving an open patch.

Such a part is just what bacteria and some pests need to wreck havoc on your cactus. It is soft therefore making it an easy target for insects with munching tendencies. Bacterial infection may come about mainly in the cold weather or when the plant is not exposed to enough sunlight for the injured part to callous over time.

Such wounds cause the plant to start dying from top.

Wrong pot size

Getting the wrong size of a pot for your cactus is a sure way of kicking off its dying process. It could be too small or too large.

Small or large in this case will depend on the size of your cactus.

A pot that is smaller than your plant will choke up its roots as there is little breathing space. A larger than life pot on the other hand is bound to keep so much water sparking off rotting in both the roots and stem. Talk about a double tragedy… you’ll have to find the right balance that’s good for your specific cactus.

 

How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@kelseyemstevens

How to Save a Dying Cactus

Whether or not your plant can be saved, depends on the extent of rot. For instance, as you’ve seen above, a foul smell emanating from your cactus is a sign that you’ve lost that plant.

But in cases where dying is just getting started, it’s possible to salvage the plant or part of it for propagation purposes.

If the rot is starting off at the top of the stem, cut away small pieces of it (the stem) as you move down to the base of the plant. You want to make sure the any rotten material is done away with for good. Only stop when you reach healthy tissue.

If the plant is taking a beating from the roots up, you’ll have to take the propagation route. Just as above, cut up the plant until you have only healthy tissue before you stop. Let the cut part dry and set it up in a well-draining mix.

How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@designs4seasons

Also, make sure to check other aspects like the potting medium, the size of the pot and your watering. Make the following changes if you haven’t already:

  • Repot the plant remnant in a pot that fits it exactly, leaving just enough space for the soil mix. Also, remember to use a commercial cactus and succulent mix or create one by mixing regular potting soil with coarse sand and pumice.
  • Water only when the top part of the mix is dry.

Additionally, if pests and diseases were a part of the problem, apply the appropriate chemicals so as the remaining part of the plant is free from these past ghosts.

Now you’re in the know about dying cactus plants. The signs, reasons, handling and preventing. Time to check around your cacti collection and do the necessary.

ALSO READ:

 

How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@lucyonthego1

Have you learned how to tell if your cactus is dying or not? Let us know what we missed out and we’ll be sure to include it in the article, we want to help as many cactus lovers as we can.

REMINDER: We have an ~exclusive~ Facebook succulent group where you can join in on fellow succulent- lovers’ conversations and post your own experiences & photos! Check it out now!

Calling all succulents lovers— rookie or veteran! Succulent City has developed a line of 12 ebooks (see here), ranging on topics from indoor & outdoor succulents, essential tools, good soil to use, and more! We even threw in a complimentary ebook to help get your succulent journey started you just have to insert your email on our front page for this. With our ebooks you’ll be a succulent guru in no time, have fun!

Thanks for reading and happy cacti planting! (:

7 Best Succulents for Beginners

7 Best Succulents for Beginners

There are two types of people in this world: those who have that “green thumb” and can manage to make even typical garden weeds look like intricate floral arrangements and those whose homes are basically planted cemeteries.

I’m definitely of the latter persuasion, which I learned when I somehow managed to completely botch my first foray into succulent parenthood (it turns out that, while succulents are just about the easiest, most low-maintenance plants there are, they still do need some water and sunlight).

To be fair, I wasn’t really aware that there are many, many different types of succulents (something I probably could’ve found out with a simple Google search, but I digress) — including those that are perfect for people still working on turning that thumb green.

The best succulents for beginners have a few things in common.

For one, they require very little vigilance. Maybe you’re looking to bring a little life into your house without also having to worry too much about actually keeping it alive with a precise watering schedule. Secondly, they can survive in just about any climate. And, of course, they look gorgeous, bringing a modern feel to your space without needing any kind of special arrangement expertise.

So if you’re wondering where to begin, here are a few ideas to lead you in the right direction.

ALSO READ:

1. Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusonii)

Golden Barrel Cactus and Picture Frames
Golden Barrel Cactus Image: @flowersbyren_

Affectionately (and hilariously) known as the “mother-in-law’s cushion,” the Golden Barrel Cactus is one of the best succulents for beginners because it’s very drought-tolerant and doesn’t require much attention to do its thing. According to House Plants Expert, this cactus thrives indoors as long as it has enough sunshine. In the warmer months, you’ll need to water it when its soil starts drying out, but in the winter you’ll find you barely have to water it at all.

They grow fast, so you will have to repot it when it’s young. In fact, Tom Jesch from Altman Plants explained in a YouTube video that they can get up to 400 pounds in the wild. Assuming you don’t have that much room for a succulent, you don’t have to worry all that much about a giant cactus taking over your home. The growth rate slows down as it ages, and takes about 10 years to reach a full 10 inches across, so you’d have to have it for a while before it got that big.

2. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera in White Potted Planter
Aloe Vera Image: @aloegal604

Not only is Aloe Vera the perfect succulent for people prone to getting sunburn, but it’s also a pretty easy plant to take care of. They thrive indoors and don’t need much sunlight — according to the Farmer’s Almanac, indirect sunlight or even artificial light will do. Best of all, you only have to remember to water it every three weeks. As Nell from Joy Us Garden wrote, “easy does it” when it comes to watering an aloe plant.

3. Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)

Sago Palm Succulent Next to Blonde Female
Sago Palm Image: @monicaraymondlynch

You can grow the versatile Sago Palm indoors or outdoors, and it can even survive in temperatures below zero. While young plants require a little more attention (they’ll need watering once a week or so, according to the San Francisco Chronicle), as they mature you’ll only need to water it when the soil dries out. The Sago Palms are also incredibly resistant when it comes to pests, which means you don’t have to worry about it falling victim to any mites hanging around your house.

4. Zebra Haworthia (Haworthia fasciata)

Two Zebra Haworthia Succulents in Blue & Tan Planters
Zebra Haworthia Image: @stayinalivesucculents

This gorgeous “zebra plant” looks a lot like Aloe Vera, but you’ll be able to tell it apart from the healing plant thanks to its white stripes. Like Aloe, Haworthia succulents don’t need direct sunlight or much water, making them a great addition to the home of someone missing that green thumb. These particular succulents also tell you when they need watering — well, sort of. According to Vegged Out, a Haworthia’s leaves are a good indicator of whether or not they need a drink, taking a lot of the guesswork out of caring for your plant.

5. Echeveria

Echeveria Succulent in Tiny Planter
Echeveria Image: @hollyoftherain

According to Certified Urban Agriculturalist Bonnie L. Grant, Echeveria succulents were basically made for people without much succulent know-how. “The Echeveria succulent plant is just such a specimen, thriving on brief periods of neglect and low water and nutrients,” she wrote for Gardening Know How. “Echeveria care is practically foolproof and grows well in either containers or toasty garden beds.” Sold.

6. Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa)

Panda Plant Succulent Close Up
Panda Plant Image: @jialailai

Panda Plants have a cool name and even cooler leaves, which have a velvet look to them and are soft to the touch. While they need a good amount of (indirect) sunlight, they’re pretty forgiving when it comes to watering. They typically store water in those fuzzy leaves of theirs which lets you get away with forgetting a watering cycle every once in a while.

7. Living Stones (Lithops)

Living Stones Succulent in Planter Held in Hand
Living Stones Image: @jardines_flora

Living Stones might not be the prettiest succulents on the list, but hey — they’re easy to care for, and that’s what’s important, right? While you may not want these as standalone plants, they’re cute little additions to terrariums that look like you made a lot of effort when really, they’re good at taking care of themselves.

Calling all succulents lovers— rookie or veteran! Succulent City has developed a line of 12 ebooks (see here), ranging on topics from indoor & outdoor succulents, essential tools, the best soil to use, and more! We even threw in a complimentary ebook to help get your succulent journey started you just have to insert your email on our front page for this. With our ebooks you’ll be a succulent guru in no time, have fun!

How to Grow Hens and Chicks Succulents

How to Grow Hens and Chicks

Growing hens and chicks (Sempervivum tectorum) plants in your garden is quite simple, especially if you want a lot of them. Their offsets keep coming!

Hens and chicks have beautiful rosettes that come in colors like red, green, blue, and copper. They grow like nobody’s business and produce tons of baby plants cutely called chicks, so it’s likely that you’ll never have to buy more than one Hen.

Hens and chicks are easy to care for and can thrive indoors or outdoors, so they’re the perfect plant for pretty much everyone!

If you want to keep your Sempervivum tectorum looking like spring chickens, then you’re going to need our advice! Find out how to grow hens and chicks in your own garden.

How to Grow Hens and Chicks Succulents
Growing hens and chicks (Sempervivum tectorum) plants is quite simple, especially if you want a lot of them. Their offsets keep coming! @joske.anoebis.goa

Hens and chicks

I bet you’re probably wondering why this plant has such a weird name! It’s called hens and chicks or hens and chickens because it produces a lot of offsets, which are also known as chicks.

In case you didn’t know, offsets are baby succulents that sprout from mature plants, in this case, called Hen. The mother plant “hatches” baby chicks just like a hen does, so that’s how it got its quirky name hens and chicks!

Binomial nomenclatureSempervivum tectorum
Other namesHens and chicks, hen and chickens, hen-and-chicks, hens-and-chickens, houseleek, roof houseleek, hen-widdies
SizeThey can grow up to be up to 4 inches tall
pH6.6 to 7.5
SunFull Sun to Part Sun
ClimateCold Hardy, Winter Vegetables
Growing LocationsThroughout the US
GroundSandy, Excellent Drainage
WaterLow, Drought Tolerant

Sempervivum tectorum

Hens and chicks are also called Sempervivum tectorum. Serpevivum means “always living” in Latin. Sempervivum plants got this name because they sprout many offsets that live on after the mother plant dies.

Sempervivums are also called houseleeks because they used to be planted on thatched roofs to keep them from catching on fire during lightning storms. They store a lot of water in their leaves, so it makes sense that they would prevent fires from spreading.

How to care

Hens and chicks are native to the mountains of Europe, so they’ve adapted to cold weather and are considered a winter vegetable. Even though they’re tough and can withstand less than ideal conditions, there are still a few things you need to know to keep them healthy. Here are some of our best caretaking tips for hens and chicks.

The best soil

If you’ve read our other plant guides, you already know that you need to put your plants in well-draining soil. We talk about drainage so often because it’s super important!

If your hens and chicks get waterlogged, it may get mushy leaves, start to attract pests, or die from root rot. Nobody wants that!

Planting your succulent in cactus or succulent soil will prevent your plant from sitting in water and meeting an untimely end. Commercial succulent soil is a good choice because it contains porous materials like perlite and pumice that improve drainage and keep your plant nice and dry.

We highly recommend this soil mix as it is one of the best soil mixes on the market. It doesn’t need to be mixed with any other soil, 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. We like to get a large bag as we propagate a lot of plants. It is useful to always have soil on hand for any plant project.

Hoffman Horticultural Perlite, 18 Quarts, Size: Single
Nature's Footprint Pumice Soil amendment, 3-Gallon
Bonsai Jack Succulent and Cactus Soil - Jacks Gritty Mix #111-1...
Hoffman Horticultural Perlite, 18 Quarts, Size: Single
Nature's Footprint Pumice Soil amendment, 3-Gallon
Bonsai Jack Succulent and Cactus Soil - Jacks Gritty Mix #111-1...
-
-
Price not available
$29.05
$21.95
Hoffman Horticultural Perlite, 18 Quarts, Size: Single
Hoffman Horticultural Perlite, 18 Quarts, Size: Single
-
Price not available
Nature's Footprint Pumice Soil amendment, 3-Gallon
Nature's Footprint Pumice Soil amendment, 3-Gallon
$29.05
Bonsai Jack Succulent and Cactus Soil - Jacks Gritty Mix #111-1...
Bonsai Jack Succulent and Cactus Soil - Jacks Gritty Mix #111-1...
-
$21.95

Last update on 2021-01-19 / Amazon

 

How to water

Watering your hens and chicks plants every two weeks is usually enough, but watch out for signs of under watering like dry, wrinkly leaves.

Fill up a watering can and douse the soil until water runs out of the pot’s drainage hole. In between these deep waterings, let the plant’s ground dry out completely.

Doing this encourages your hens and chicks to develop a healthy root system because its roots will grow deeper as it searches the soil for more water. Letting the soil dry out also prevents root rot.

Light requirements

Hens and chicks can handle anything from partial shade to full sun. Their fleshy leaves are a bit delicate and can burn during the hottest months of the year, so if you keep your succulent outdoors, watch out for signs of sunburn like brown, faded, or crispy leaves.

It’s a good idea to invest in some shade cloth to keep your outdoor succulents cooler on hot days. You should also water your plants more frequently during hot weather to cool down the soil.

Temperature and climate

Hens and chicks are cold hardy plants, which means they can survive in below-freezing temperatures. Even if the temperature drops to negative 40 degrees, your plant baby will still be ok. Sempervivum tectorum can thrive in winters thanks to their cold-hardy attributes.

A lot of plants can’t handle temps like that—the water they store in their leaves freezes from the cold and make the leaves brown and mushy. Their ability to survive in cold weather is just one of the many things that make Hens and Chicks remarkable!

Even though this succulent is cold-hardy, it grows best in mild temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees. So growing hens and chicks indoors is not only possible, but also good for them as long as they get enough light.

Keep them near a bright window like the south or east-facing window for the best results.

Fertilizing

Hens and chicks can survive in nutritionally poor ground, so you don’t absolutely need to fertilize them. You probably want your plant to grow more quickly and look more vibrant, though, so you should fertilize it once every month or two during the spring and summer.

The best fertilizer for hens and chicks is a low-balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. Low-balanced fertilizers are milder and have less of a chance of burning the leaves of your plant. When you’re buying a fertilizer, look for one that has three small, identical numbers on the package, like 8-8-8.

Even though you’re using a mild fertilizer, you should still dilute it to half strength. Hens and chicks don’t need as much fertilizer as other plants, so you don’t want to give yours as much as the package calls for. Standard fertilizers generally call for 1 tablespoon of fertilizer per gallon of water, but you should only use ½ tablespoon.

Our Pick
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
03/02/2021 03:36 am GMT

 

Do Hens and Chicks Bloom?

Some succulents use up all of their resources in order to produce flowers and seeds, which leaves nothing for the rest of the plant. Succulents that die after they flower are called monocarpic succulents.

Hens and chicks flower and die after about three or four years. Your plant may flower earlier if it’s under stress from not getting enough water or sunlight. It flowers early to try and spread its seed in the hopes that the new plants will grow somewhere with better conditions. Even if you take care of your plant perfectly, though, it will eventually flower and die.

When this happens to your hens and chicks, try not to be upset! You can save the seeds from the flowers and plant them to grow brand new babies.

Plus, your main plant probably produced a lot of chicks before it died that will grow and take its place.

Growing and Propagating

Hens and Chicks have no trouble growing and propagating on their own, but if you want even more plants, you can grow them from seed. You can harvest seeds from your mature plant after it flowers or purchase them online.

Our Pick
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Mother plant

If you’d rather not go to the trouble of growing succulents yourself (we don’t blame you), your hens and chicks plant will do the work for you. It produces lots of offsets that you can divide from the mother plant and put in their own pots.

Growing from Seeds

Grab a pot or planting tray and fill it up with some succulent or cactus soil.

With clean hands, take the seeds of hens and chicks and place them on top of the soil. Since the seeds are so tiny, it can be hard to see where you’re putting them, so just do your best to space them out a little.

After they’re in the soil, make sure you remember to mist them with some water. Keep them moist over the next few weeks until they germinate. Give them access to plenty of sunlight and keep them in a warm room that’s between 70 and 75 degrees if you can.

It’s unlikely that all of your seeds will germinate, so keep that in mind. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work out the first time… keep trying!

Dividing Offsets

Hens and chicks seeds don’t always produce new plants that look like the mature plant they came from. If you want your chicks to retain the characteristics of your hen, the best way to do that is by dividing offsets.

Most hens and chicks varieties grow offsets from a stem that’s attached to the mother plant. That stem is called a stolon. It’s best to wait until the stolon withers to replant these offsets. By the time the stolon withers, the offsets will have developed root systems of their own and have the best chance of surviving.

To separate this kind of offset, break or cut the stolon and carefully loosen the soil around the chick. Lift it up out of the soil and transplant it to a pot filled with succulent soil or a new spot in your garden. Wait a few days to water them so that they get a chance to adjust to their new environment.

ALSO READ:


There you have it! Those are all the things you need to know to become an expert hens and chicks gardener.

If you’d like this guide you’re going to love our full in-depth ebooks! With so many of our succulent lovers asking for more, we listened and can’t wait to share it with you here! With our very detailed ebooks, you’ll get more information than these short articles, some ebooks are 30+ pages, perfect for a weekend read.

Even if you think you have a black thumb, don’t chicken out! Go buy yourself one. We know you’ll do a great job taking care of it. Happy planting!

What’s the Difference: Soft vs Hard Succulents

Hard vs Soft Succulents

Did you know that some succulents can survive in extreme, below freezing temperatures? A few species of succulents can even be outside when it’s negative thirty degrees!

Some succulents can withstand cold winter weather, but others just can’t handle it. You may be wondering… why? Succulents have similar characteristics and adaptations, so why can’t they all brave the cold?

The answer is that some succulents have adapted to colder temperatures because they grow in harsh, alpine climates. This group of succulents is called hard or hardy succulents.

Succulents that are native to warmer, arid climates don’t do well in chilly weather. They’re called soft or tender succulents. They can die if you leave them out in the winter, so it’s important to figure out which type of succulent you have so you can prepare it for colder weather!

If you want to learn the complete differences between hard and soft succulents and figure out how to identify and care for your own plants, then keep on reading!

What Makes Succulents Soft?

Soft succulents are much more sensitive to frost than hard succulents because they’ve adapted to warm environments like deserts. So when temperatures drop below freezing, they don’t have the kind of adaptations that they need to deal with the cold.

If you’re worried that your plants will suffer any frostbite during the winter seasons, here’s everything you need to know about taking care of succulents during winter

The water that’s stored in their cells actually starts to freeze when it gets too cold. If your plant stays outside long enough and fully freezes, its leaves will turn brown and get soft and mushy.

Sometimes you can save frozen succulents by pruning the brown, soggy parts, but some succulents sustain such extensive damage that they die. That’s why it’s important to figure out whether or not your outdoor succulent is soft, and bring it in for the winter if it is!

What Makes a Succulent Hardy?

On the other hand, hardy succulents won’t freeze if you leave them out in below-freezing temperatures.

Most hardy succulents will be fine down to negative twenty degrees. A lot of them are from cold, mountainous regions, so they’ve adapted to winter weather much better than soft succulents. They’re tough little plants that can withstand a lot!

We made a list of 7 Cold Hardy Succulents For Northern Climate You Didn’t Know About!

Is Your Succulent Soft or Hard?

Unfortunately, you can’t really tell if a succulent is soft just by looking at it.

Soft succulents all have different appearances. Some have tender rosettes that look like they’d be damaged by frost, but others have spiky, rigid leaves that look like they should be able to withstand it. So if you make assumptions about your succulent’s cold hardiness based on its appearance, you might accidentally kill it!

Instead of going off appearance, you’ll have to do some research to learn which species are soft and which ones are hard. Some of the most common soft succulents are Echeverias, Aeoniums, Crassulas, Haworthias, and Senecios, but those aren’t the only ones. The most common kinds of hardy succulents are Sedums and Sempervivums.

Soft vs hard succulent plants
@succulentsyndrome

What we like to do to figure out if our succulents are soft or hard is to look up which growing zones they do best in. The USDA has a plant hardiness map that divides the country up into different growing zones based on the coldest temperatures they experience during the winter. (It’s quite neat!)

You can enter your zip code on the USDA website to find out which growing zone you live in. Then you can look up your succulents and see which growing zones they’re best suited to.

If there’s a mismatch between your growing zone and the zones your plants prefer, then you’ll know you need to bring them inside for the winter!

If you can’t move your succulents inside try using some type of plant protective covering like this for a temporary solution.

How to Care for Succulents in Winter

If you have soft succulents, the best thing you can do is bring them indoors when it starts to get cold. We like to move our succulents inside in September. That way we know there’s no chance of our succulents getting damaged by the cold!

Here are some cute owl planters we found perfect for the fall season when you bring in your succulents. If you get one of these please share it with us on Succulent Plant Lounge, people would love this!

Sunlight is Key!

Make sure that your outdoor succulents get plenty of light when you move them indoors. They’re used to more sun exposure than they’re likely to get indoors, so put them near the brightest window in your home to keep them healthy.

If you live in those places where the sun shines for less than 4 hours in a day, having a grow light might be your best bet during the winter season. Here’s a list with the best grow lights for succulents.

You should also water them less frequently than you did when they were outside. There’s less airflow inside because there’s no wind, so the soil dries out slower. Many soft succulents also stop growing during the winter and go dormant, which reduces their need for water.

So be careful with the watering can!

Hard vs soft succulent plants
@sexysucculents_

Watering During the Winter

Even though your hardy succulents can handle winter weather much better than your soft ones, there are still a few things you should do for them to keep them healthy through winter.

Succulents in pots are much less insulated from the cold than ones in the ground. If you can, try to transplant your potted succulents into the ground a few months before cold weather hits.

You should also be mindful of how much water your outdoor succulents are getting. If they’re cold and wet, you can run into some problems. Try not to water your succulents too much in the days leading up to a cold snap.

We want to make it easier for you, and that’s why we made a guide telling you “When Should You Really Water Your Succulents

If the winters in your area tend to be cold and rainy rather than cold and snowy, you may want to put your succulents under a covered porch or the overhang of your roof.

Tip: Use this manual air duster to get some of the water off that is sitting like a pool of water. Protect your succulents!

Snow can actually insulate your succulents from the cold without making them too wet, so it’s ok to leave them uncovered during a snowstorm. Succulents that have to deal with cold weather and rain at the same time, though, have a much higher risk of rotting. So if your area gets cold, rainy winters, try to shelter your succulents from the rain as much as you can!


There you have it! That’s the difference between hard and soft succulents. If this post helped you figure out what kind of succulents you have, let us know in the comments below. Happy planting!

Calling all succulents lovers— rookie or veteran! Succulent City has developed a line of 12 ebooks (see here), ranging on topics from indoor & outdoor succulents, essential tools, the best soil to use, and more! We even threw in a complimentary ebook to help get your succulent journey started you just have to insert your email on our front page for this. With our ebooks you’ll be a succulent guru in no time, have fun!

Also, if you didn’t know. We have a Facebook Group where fellow succulent lovers chat with each other and help grow succulent plants together. Think you would like to join the conversation?

 

>