How to Get Rid of Mealybugs From Your Succulents

Growing succulents is a captivating narrative wrapped up in a pleasant storyline. Think of it, succulents are some of the most adorable plant groups nature has to offer. From their cute, unique looks to their easy to handle maintenance qualities, succulents are no doubt a living room’s required occupant.

These popular, eye-catching plants set an ambiance of tranquility and charm. These qualities make succulents almost an obsession to most plant lovers.

However, as with any narrative, there will always be a horde of antagonists— the bad boys. Succulents are not exempt from a bunch of life-sucking, little pests that spread like a plague. The most common types of these annoying, itty bitty creatures are the mealybugs. And really, they’re quite a bug to succulent lovers. Mealybugs are without a doubt, the bane in the life of every gardener.

 

What are Mealybugs?

Typically found in warm climates, mealybugs are teensy, fuzzy, elliptical insects that are usually grey-white or light brown in color. These wingless, soft-bodied insects form cotton-like mounds or powdery blotches on leaves, stem, and fruits of affected plants. This white cottony substance is usually the earliest sign of a mealybug invasion, commonly mistaken for mildew or fungus.

Mealybugs survive by feeding off the plants sap found in the tissues. They use their long sucking mouthparts known as stylets to draw out tissue sap. Given the fleshy nature of fat plants, it’s no brainer why succulents are their favorites.

As mealybugs feed, they secrete honeydew, a sugary substance that makes the plant sticky and promotes the growth of sooty molds. These molds attract bacterial and fungal attacks on the plant. Low levels of mealybugs don’t pose much of a threat to succulents. However, as they multiply, the result is a weak plant characterized by yellow and curly leaves.

Mealybugs are very cheeky pests. They hide in leaf crevices, joints where stems and leaves meet, and even in the soil. They especially like to hang out in new growth parts so they can get a good tissue sap suck.

How to get rid of mealybugs on succulents
@simplychivintage

Mealybugs Lifecycle

Want to battle? Know your enemy.

The mealybugs that invade succulents and other plants are either females or juveniles. The males are wingless and lack a mouth. They don’t even buzz around plants. They are short-lived, with mating as their only purpose of existence. You can easily mistake them for wasps or flies.

A mealybug will take 7-10 weeks to complete its full life cycle. Eggs hatch into nymphs in two weeks while nymphs mature to adults in 6 to 9 months.

Mealybugs can occur in multiple generations with overlapping lifecycles. This means that their populations can grow exponentially once they invade a plant. The small-sized eggs and nymphs make it hard for mealybugs to get noticed. They only attract attention once their population explodes.

Mealybugs secrete a sugary substance (honeydew) that attracts ants. These ants act as protection for the mealybugs in exchange for the sweet stuff.

These female mealybugs lay approximately 600 eggs during their entire lifetime. Good thing is that they die after they run out of eggs (albeit leaving a gazillion junior mealybugs to carry on with the cycle).

Where do Mealybugs come from?

Mealybugs sneak up on you. One day your plants are looking all neat and green then the next day a whitish mist of cotton-like substance plagues your succulents. Mealybugs can come from anywhere. Take a look at the most common causes of mealybugs below.

  • A new plant brought indoors.
  • Planing your succulents on contaminated soil.
  • Summer’s warm climate.
  • Bringing vegetables, fresh flowers, or fruits from the garden.
  • Fresh produce from the grocery store.
Adult mealybug on green leaf
@sentritex_biologicals

How to Get Rid of Mealybugs on Succulents

Fortunately, due to their slight lack of tenacity, there are a couple of ways to control mealybugs. You can use one or a combination of the following methods to combat against mealybug infestations on your beautiful succulents.

Quarantine Affected Plants

This is the first step to take when dealing with a mealybug invasion. Once they start multiplying, they spread like wildfire, jumping from one plant to the next.

Therefore, move the affected plant away from your other succulent plants. Be sure that the quarantined succulent plant is NOT within the same room as your other succulent plants.

Water Pressure

You can use mechanical pressure of water to hose off adult mealybugs and hopefully their eggs too. This is the simplest and the cheapest method.

To generate the desired pressure, simply place your thumb on a garden hose. You can also use your sink’s spray-faucet. Since mealybugs like hiding, a special succulent watering bottle may be helpful in reaching them in their leaf crevices. If you don’t have a set of these in your plant care kit, we highly recommend adding one. Keep a close watch on the plants and if the mealybugs rear their ugly heads, just repeat the treatment.

This method can work best in sturdier plants like cacti and agave but is unsuitable for brittle succulents like sedum morganianum, otherwise known as the burro’s tail.

Be careful not to drown your succulent with this method. Repot if necessary to avoid plant rot.

 

Isopropyl Alcohol

A very effective and inexpensive solution that knocks those bad bugs off your succulents. Depending on the extent of the invasion, you can use a spray bottle or a simple Q-tip to remove these pests. For small infestations, simply dip a Q-tip in 70% isopropyl alcohol and gently scrub the affected plant.

If the majority of the plant is covered by the pests, use a wash bottle and spray the plant with isopropyl alcohol. Don’t worry about drowning the plant since the alcohol will quickly evaporate. (Obviously don’t spray it too much either, be considerate).

Pay close attention to their hiding places and saturate them with alcohol. After the alcohol has evaporated, all mealybugs should be dead in a few minutes. The grayish bugs turn deep red while the cottony substance disintegrates.

The 70% isopropyl alcohol is completely safe for succulents and they won’t get burnt or damaged. This is because succulents possess a thick cuticle, some sort of barrier found on the leaves to prevent liquids from getting in or out of them. This is the adaptation that’s behind their water-saving prowess.

3 x 950ml Bottles of 99+% Pure Isopropyl Alcohol Industrial Grade...
Empty Amber Glass Spray Bottles with Labels (2 Pack) - 16oz...
3 x 950ml Bottles of 99+% Pure Isopropyl Alcohol Industrial Grade...
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$27.84
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3 x 950ml Bottles of 99+% Pure Isopropyl Alcohol Industrial Grade...
3 x 950ml Bottles of 99+% Pure Isopropyl Alcohol Industrial Grade...
-
$27.84
Empty Amber Glass Spray Bottles with Labels (2 Pack) - 16oz...
Empty Amber Glass Spray Bottles with Labels (2 Pack) - 16oz...
$19.98

Last update on 2020-10-21 / Amazon

 

How to get rid of mealybugs from succulent plants
@rojakpod

Azamax

This is an organic, broad-spectrum pest control product that is derived from neem oil. Not only is it effective against mealybugs, but also squashes aphids, spider mites, and other pests. This all-natural insecticide is highly lauded as an effective pesticide.

Azamax is dangerous to aquatic life so avoid using it near water features.

 

Neem Oil

We’ve mentioned this in some of our previous articles but this antiseptic and antifungal pest control solution is an excellent fit for combating mealybugs. It keeps your succulent plants safe too!

We recommend this Neem Oil from Oleavine, it’s affordable and gets the job done! For general pest control simply add 1 Tablespoon per 1 Gallon, this Neem Oil is pretty strong!

Check the product label before using as it has to be diluted before using. Applying neem oil during the day may burn your plants due to the effect of the sun on the oil. Try applying neem oil on your mealybug infested succulent plant at night instead.

Last update on 2020-10-21 / Amazon

Biological Control Methods

You can introduce predators on your succulents that would love to feast on mealy bugs. A great example is a ladybug. They feed on several problematic pests, mealybugs included.

Alternatively, you can opt for the mealybug destroyer. Not kidding, that’s what a Cryptolaemus Montrouzieri does— it will literally crush mealybugs.

Introducing predators to snuff out mealybugs is a low-effort solution. This is best practiced in your outdoor garden as it might be tricky in houseplants. (You don’t want more bugs in your home anyways right?)

 

How to get rid of mealybugs using ladybugs
@gardenactivist

4 Tips to Keep Mealybugs Away

  1. Regularly check for any pests. Catching pests especially mealybugs early on makes a huge difference.
  2. If you spot ants around your plant, that may be a sign that mealybugs are present. Isolate your succulent plant and begin treatment right away.
  3. Be mindful to check for pest infestation when introducing a new succulent into your succulent garden.
  4. Use a potting mix that is free of any pests or eggs to your succulents.

If all else fails, it’s okay. Sometimes we can’t fix every issue that arises with succulents but that’s the beauty of plants in general. Growing these beautiful succulents comes with growing pains.

Did this article help answer your succulent-care questions? 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 Different Types of Planters or even The Right Way to Propagating Succulents Successfully today!

If you enjoyed this article, give us a comment below! Let us know how you handle these pests, maybe we can learn something new too. Or come join the conversation in our exclusive Facebook group, Succulent City Plant Lounge. Also, be sure to subscribe and check for new activity on our Succulent City Youtube channel. We will be releasing some quality packed videos sure to delight all succulent enthusiasts.

 

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12 Stunning Minimalist Succulent Planters

Minimalist designs have become increasingly trendy in recent years, and no plants are more minimalist in nature than succulents.

As Elle Decor describes, minimalism is a return to the basics. Homes with minimalist aesthetics are free of clutter and have simple color schemes. They’re open and airy with simple black and white tones.

Like minimalist homes, succulents are rather minimalist plants that require little work. Many of them are small with muted tones and their looks aren’t overbearing, making them perfect accent pieces to other simple decors.

Of course, no matter what types of succulents you prefer, they need a home of their own. Check out these stunning minimalist succulent planters that’ll flawlessly match your aesthetic.

Don’t forget! With your new planters you see below, grab yourself 2 FREE audio books to learn how you can replant your beautiful succulents. Just follow the link to learn more!

1. Mid-Century Modern Planter

These planters are just about as simple and clean as it gets! Coming in two sizes, these simple ceramic planters are the perfect addition to your home. Plus, the wooden stand adds a splash of tasteful color.

2. Round Planter Bowl with Wood Stand

In a similar fashion, this planter bowl replicates the mid-century modern look, wooden stand, and all. However, it’s ideal for those looking for more of a centerpiece than a single planter. The large 10-inch wide bowl is ideal for holding many different types of succulents at once.

By the way, not only have we been able to get you 2 FREE audible books, we were also able to get our readers a 30 day FREE trial for Amazon Prime just sign up right here! Listen to your favorite books while browsing for new succulent planters, how fun!

3. Two-Toned Textured Planter

If you’re looking for a little texture, these stone planters bring the quirk. At 3 inches deep they’re great for those small desktop succulents. And though they have some color (these planters come in green and beige), the colors are muted enough to blend in seamlessly with their simple, minimalist surroundings.

4. Ceramic Cone-Shaped Planter with Brass Stand

Into the texture but not quite the colors? Go a bit simpler with this textured, cone-shaped planter. The small brass stand adds a modern feel to the otherwise super minimalist design.

5. Ceramic Glaze Planter

At only about 2×2 inches, these cute planters are minimalistic by nature. The ceramic planters come in five different glazes, but the colors are soft enough so that they’ll complement any room in your house instead of overtaking it.

6. Ceramic Hexagon Planter

If you’re trying to keep it super simple, these small ceramic planters are exactly what you’re looking for. The included bamboo trays (along with your beautiful succulents, of course!) add just a tiny pop of color to the otherwise clean design.

7. Brass and Glass Geometric Terrarium

The only thing more minimalistic than all white? All glass! This terrarium allows you to check out your succulents from all angles. Plus, the brass edges add just the right amount of oomph.

8. Geometric Hanging Planter

Are your walls looking a little bare? Instead of putting up another photo or painting, why not hang these geometric planters. Fill them with succulents like air plants for a simple, easy-to-maintain look. Or, for a more dramatic addition, the draping burro’s tail succulent would look absolutely stunning in these wall planters.

9. Unglazed Cement Planter

For a truly earthy look, these unglazed cement planters are the way to go. Nothing is more minimalist than pure cement. Plus, it’s really making a design comeback, so you’ll be right on trend with this decor.

10. Set of 3 Cement Planters with Wood Stand

If you’re into the cement look, this set of three succulent planters complete with matching wood stand will help bring succulent plant life into your home. Simple yet attractive, this set will help keep your succulents organized in style.

11. Concrete Skull Planter

You can go minimalist while still adding a bit of flair. These cute cement skull planters bring some unexpected life (or death?) to your aesthetic. Plant your succulent and you have yourself a minimalist chia pet.

Concrete Skull Planter | Succulent City
24.95

Hand-poured concrete skull planter, great for any small cacti or succulent. These pieces sit about 5 inches tall, and have a small drainage hole.

12. White Matte Ceramic Planter

There’s no denying that at its core, minimalist design favors black and white tones. Go back to basics with these simple, white matte planters. The geometric design comes in a few different shapes — and you get all six!

Our Pick
OAMCEG 2.75 inch White Ceramic Succulent Planter, Set of 6
$14.99

BEAUTIFUL, STYLISH MINI SUCCULENT POTS - Set of 6 White Ceramic plant pots, features a drainage hole and bamboo tray at the bottom for proper draining of live plants.


10/22/2020 03:36 am UTC

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Did any of these planters spark your interest, and now you’re ready to buy every single succulent to fill them? We have a solution for you! Have you heard of Succulents Box? They offer more than 200 varieties of succulents, that are organically grown in California, along with monthly subscription boxes of fresh succulents and air plants! Starting at just $5/month, you could be on your way to creating a beautiful succulent garden, all from the comfort of shopping at home! Click this link to learn more about Succulents Box and start your subscription today!

Check out our article on the 6 Best Marble Planters for Succulents if you want some more inspiration! And to help you decide which succulents would look fabulous in your new planters, check out our additional articles on 7 Best Succulents for Low Light Environments, 5 Succulents with Red Flowers, or Everything About Dolphin Succulents.

Thanks for reading and learning with us. If you have any other awe-worthy planters that you’d love to share, head over to our exclusive Facebook group, Succulent City Plant Lounge, and display them!

If you’d like this read 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.

Happy planting! ?

6 Best Indoor Succulents And Everything You Need To Know

When it comes to being a plant parent, succulents are easy fan favorites. Most types of succulents are easy to take care of, requiring relatively little attention compared to flowers and other houseplants.

And though succulents are a great, low-maintenance way to bring some green life into your home, some species of succulents are rather fussy when it comes to the amount of sunlight and temperatures they need to survive, while others can’t deal with the dry air that comes with being indoors.

Worse, some succulents are even known to be toxic to animals, so even though they might thrive in indoor environments, they might not be the best roommates for your furry friends.

Luckily, some succulents were seemingly made to sit atop your mantle without posing any threats to your animals or needing much effort when it comes to their watering schedules and positioning in the sun. Check out the best indoor succulents to add to your collection.

1. Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)

Hanging Burros Tail Succulent Plant
Burro’s Tail Succulent Image: @plant.heart.city

The Burro’s Tail succulent is unlike the short, stubby plants you might picture when you hear the word “succulent.” As it ages, it gets pretty leggy, making it a great hanging plant as opposed to one you might place on a table or mantle. Even so, the Burro’s Tail thrives indoors where temperatures remain around the 70s. According to Nell at Joy Us Garden, a Burro’s Tail does need at least 4 hours of sun a day, but a bright shade or a partial sun will do. Plus, the ASPCA reports that this succulent won’t do your pets any harm.

We have an article you can check out here all about Burro’s Tail.

2. Haworthia

Potted Haworthia Succulent Plant in Bucket Planter
Haworthia Image: @hinterland_plants

According to Baylor Chapman, author and founder of florist company Lila B. Design, Haworthias are “tough, tough, tough” — in a good way, of course. According to Our House Plants, Haworthias can survive through just about anything, and even tolerate periods of neglect pretty well (meaning you can go on vacation without checking in to make sure your friends remember to come over and care for it). They do best without a lot of direct sunlight and are perfectly fine in average temperatures.

At only around three to five inches tall, the small plant can pretty much go anywhere in your house without having to be repotted. And though its relative, Aloe Vera, is very poisonous to both humans and animals if ingested, the Haworthia is a safe indoor companion.

Check out our article about this interesting Zebra Plant – Haworthia Fasciata!

3. Copper Spoons (Kalanchoe orgyalis)

Copper Spoons Succulent Plant
Copper Spoons Succulent Image: @ecophilia

What sets this taller, tree-like plant apart from other succulents is its velvety copper leaves. It has a high heat-tolerance, so you can place it in those full-sun spots in your house that many other plants can’t handle. Plus, “it’s indestructible!” Flora Grubb Gardens garden designer Daniel Nolan told Sunset. “You can go on vacation for a month and not kill it.” Though Copper Spoons can apparently get up to a meter tall, they’re slow growers and when grown indoors, remain relatively small.

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4. Echeveria

Echeveria Succulent Plant Close Up
Echeveria Succulent Plant Image: @erikassucculents

According to Certified Urban Agriculturalist Bonnie L. Grant, “Echeveria care is practically foolproof.” It doesn’t get much better than that! Youngs Garden Shop explains that these succulents prefer placement in bright filtered light, such as natural sunlight through a window, and urges keeping it in that same spot as “dramatic changes in lighting can stress plants out.” They don’t need any fertilizer and you only have to water them once the soil is dry, so your life with an Echeveria will be pretty stress-free!

5. Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

Ponytail Palm Succulent Plant
Ponytail Palm Image: @jensjunglelife

If you love the look of palm trees but don’t live in the right climate, consider a Ponytail Palm. Though they are a type of succulent, their long leaves and thin trunk are deceiving! Like palm trees, Ponytails do best in full sun but are capable of surviving in lower light as well — it just might not get as large. Though Ponytails can reach about eight feet tall fully grown, they don’t need to be repotted and don’t require much watering.

6. Air Plant

Hanging Air Succulent Plant
Air Succulent Plant Image: @botanicalware

For those who can’t stand the thought of having to clean up any stray clumps of dirt in the house, you’re gonna love this: Air Plants can grow without soil. Seriously! According to Nell at Joy Us Garden, these special succulents grow by attaching themselves to other plants (but don’t worry — they’re not parasitic). They thrive in bright, indirect light, and as for temps, they like it pretty close to the same way we all do — below 90 and above freezing. Simple.

When it comes to watering, Air Plants do differ a bit from your typical succulents. You can easily spray them with water from a spray bottle, which you should do about one to two times a week, depending on how dry or humid the air in your house is. “But what they really like is to be soaked,” according to Nell from Joy Us Garden, a process that will keep your Air Plant happy for as long as two weeks. “The best way to water an air plant is to submerge it in a dish of water for 12 hours,” according to HGTV. “Air plants only take up as much water as they need, so you won’t overwater by doing this.”


Did you enjoy reading this post? If so, you’ll really enjoy the ebook about All the Types of Succulents for Indoor & Outdoor. 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.

Last update on 2020-10-21 / Amazon

Comparison: Air Plants vs Succulent Plants

So you’ve just been at a store and bought a plant but can’t really tell whether it’s a succulent or an air plant. You’re not alone…

Every succulent enthusiast has been there. Hordes of plant lovers mistake air plants for succulents and we totally understand why.

Both have massive decorative powers adding a natural spice to your home décor design. Quirky and unusual in looks, you’d be forgiven to think they hail from a different planet.

Despite the confusion, there is a world of difference between succulents and air plants. Several factors differentiate the two, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves here, aren’t we? What exactly are air plants and succulents?

Differences Between Air Plants and Succulents

Tillandsia, commonly known as Air plants, get most of their nutrients from the air, which is the origin of their name. They are quite a sight to behold due to their beautiful appearance. They are very easy to maintain and up-keep making them the obvious choice for many environments like offices, schools, homes, restaurants, and any other settings at all seasons.

If you want to brighten any area, then these beauties, which grow without dirt and come in various colors and sizes, will come in handy.

Air plants do not need soil to grow or depend on frequent watering like traditional plants. These make them a popular choice for indoor plants and home décor.

Air plants have thin, spiky, tendrils. Whereas succulents possess thickened and fleshy leaves or stems, a feature that helps them retain water. If you are a forgetful gardener, then these plants will do you a service as they can survive in limited water areas for extended periods. They are easy to care for and to maintain and if well handled, succulents can brighten any indoor space and make it beautiful.

Succulents can be planted alone or with a combination of their peers to bring out a stunning look. They come in a variety of colors and an attractive quality which encourages you to touch them. These beauties do not attract bugs and it is very difficult for most of them to overgrow. Their leaves may be rounded, spiky, needle-like, ruffled, or berry-like.

Distinguishing air plants from succulents can be quite confusing. If you’re in a quandary deciding whether to go for the alluring succulents or the delicate and wispy air plants, the following pointers will prove valuable.

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Air Plants

Air plants are a small group of plants made up of one genus known as Tillandsia. The genus has approximately 650 species all showing marked similarities in their phenotypes.

On the other hand, succulents are a much bigger and varied plant group. Although succulents are not recognized as a plant group on their own, they’re part of larger families in the plant kingdom. With about 25 families and tens of genera to choose from, succulents offer a wide variety for gardeners to choose from.

See a wide variety of popular succulent types here or check out the rare ones.

Growing Air Plants

Air plants are epiphytes, which means that they don’t need the soil of any kind for them to grow. Their roots are exposed and their main purpose is to attach or wrap themselves on objects to keep the plant from moving.

Since they do not need soil, all you have to do is soak them in a container of water for 30 minutes, then allow them to dry completely, preferably overnight, while placed upside down. Once dry, flip the plant to its right position then place it in its container.

On the other hand, succulents just like any other plant, need soil and water to grow. When growing them in pots, ensure that the pots have drainage holes to allow excess water to drain out.

Succulents also need direct sunlight to develop their best colors, therefore, ensure that wherever you place them, they can get access to a few hours of direct sunlight. A south or west-facing window is your best bet when growing indoor succulents.

Read our more in-depth article 7 Fantastic Succulent Care Tips .

Maintenance for Air Plants

Air plants are tough in nature which makes them pretty easy to care for and a good choice for a wide range of people. These low-maintenance plants do not need regular watering, which means you can water them once in a week.

To water them, soak them in water for anywhere between fifteen minutes and an hour, then allow them to dry completely before putting them back in their container. This is done to avoid molds.

On the other side of the ring, to keep your succulents healthy and happy, ensure that they get enough sunlight for about six hours a day. Rotate them often so as to ensure that they get sunlight on all sides to avoid leaning on one side. They tend to lean towards the sun – a phenomenon popularly known as etiolation.

They do not need to be watered too often since they have water-storage tissues that store water for a long time. However, if the weather is too dry, you may need to increase the frequency of watering. Ensure that before watering, the soil is dry as too much water can kill the plant. The best soil to use is commercial cacti mix which is well-draining to ensure the plants don’t sit on wet soil for a long time. They hate it.

(If you want to see more gold-tinted planters like the picture above, view more here).

Colors of Air Plants

Depending on species, air plants come in a variety of colors. A certain species can also have a variety of colors, so the color range is almost endless! Although air plants are typically green in color, they have beautiful multi-colored hues. Some of the colors include bright red color, violet, deep burgundy, deep red, and more.

The colors change depending on factors like sunlight and lifecycle.  Indirect sunlight is the best for air plants and the gentle morning sunlight, which is diffused by the clouds, encourages color changes.  These plants change colors during their lifecycle as they bloom and most of them change colors as they start to bloom.

Succulent plants come in a variety of colors and you can mix them to create a stunning appearance in your space. Some of the colors you can find include blue-green, variegated, white, chartreuse, red, burgundy, pink, yellow almost black, and more. To get your succulent plant to produce better colors, ensure that they get enough sunlight.

Watering Air Plants

Contrary to the thought that air plants do not need water, they actually need some water to have the right moisture for their leaves.  You can water your air plant through misting, where you use a spray bottle to sprinkle water on the plants every two days.

The other method (better) is to soak the air plants in a bowl of water for about 30 minutes.  After watering, allow the plant to dry before putting it back to its container.

While air plants have to be dipped in water and soaked, succulents only take up water from the soil. An excellent way to do this is by using the “soak and dry” method. Simply let loose a deluge and let the excess water drain off. Good thing most pots have drainage holes, so the excess water runs out without much fuss. Do not water them again until they are completely dry.

Houseplants are a great way to liven up homes and while there are many options to choose from, succulents and air plants are top on the list.

They are both low- maintenance, easy to up-keep plants which make them ideal for a majority of people. They are hard to kill and easy to use in a variety of spaces to provide a beautiful look and feel. What’s more, you can have these plants together, as the air plants only require a place to wrap their roots around for support.

Air plants can be displayed in diverse ways like hanging from the ceiling, on branches of larger houseplants, on driftwood, on the walls like art, and many more ways. Succulents can only be grown on soil which means they have to remain upright, though you can place them in different parts of the house.

Whether you’re an air plant or succulent plant fan, we hope you realize some of the major differences between these two plants now after reading this article.

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Did you enjoy learning about Air Plants vs Succulent plants? If so, you’ll really enjoy the ebook about All the Types of Succulents for Indoor & Outdoor. 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.

Please let us know what you’re favorite is.

And like always, happy planting!

7 Succulent Care Tips

Succulents may not be a real scientific plant family, but they do have a lot of the same characteristics. Succulents are all drought tolerant. They have shallow roots that soak up as much water as possible and swollen leaves that store it for a not-so-rainy day.

Because succulents have these shared traits, you can care for each species in roughly the same way. Succulents require a lot less water than other plants and need lots of sunlight. They all need soil with good drainage, too, and a few other things that we’re going to talk about today.

Here’s our list of seven general succulent care tips that will keep your plant looking nice and healthy!

Keep the soil dry

Succulents, especially cacti, are super sensitive to water. Succulents are resilient little plants that can survive almost anything, but not overwatering. Their roots will rot and they’ll start to attract pests like mealybugs. You’ll have no choice but to toss your beloved succulent in the trash. Unfortunately, we’ve been there.

If you don’t want to make the same mistakes that we did, then make sure you let your succulent’s soil dry out completely in between waterings.Check out this post on how to water your succulents properly, too.

Sloth succulent planter
@botanicalsmh

Use the right soil

Using the right soil can also stop your succulent from rotting. The best soil for succulents will have sand and gritty stones in it like perlite and pumice to promote drainage. Perlite and pumice are porous, which allows water to pass through them easily and helps water drain out of the pot faster.

Commercial succulent and cactus soils have these kinds of ingredients, so they’ll do the trick. But you can also create your own custom soil blend using a few simple ingredients. We like to use three parts of regular potting soil, two parts of a gritty sand like builder’s sand, and one part of either perlite or pumice in our mix.

Still unsure of what soil to use that’s best for your succulent? Be sure to read our in depth guide for succulent soil, it’s helped hundreds of people so far.

Give your plant some air

Something that’s important for succulent health but isn’t often talked about is airflow. Succulents need to have a little room to breathe (I know I do sometimes), so you shouldn’t place them too close together in arrangements if you can help it.

Tight arrangements look great, but may have drainage issues. In order for the soil to dry out properly, enough air has to get to the soil and the roots, and tightly packed arrangements prevent that. If you space them out a little, your plants will have much healthier roots and more room to grow.

Space is good!

Give your succulent plenty of sun

Good ol’ sun rays!

Most succulents come from sunny, warm environments like the desert and the tropics, so they need lots of sunlight to stay healthy. Even succulents like the Snake Plant that can thrive in low light conditions love to get several hours of bright, indirect sunlight every day.

Try to give your succulents between six and eight hours of bright sunlight each day. Your plants will appear more vibrant and healthy if you keep them near one of the sunniest windows in your home, like a south or west facing window.

Giving your succulent babies plenty of sun will also prevent them from getting etiolated. Etiolation happens when a succulent isn’t getting enough sunlight and starts stretching towards the nearest light source, often growing sideways. Etiolated succulents also grow tall very quickly and end up looking quite “stretched out.” It’s definitely something you want to prevent from happening, so put your succulents someplace where they can soak up the sun!

Succulents on top of wooden benches
@lachicabotanica

Don’t let your succulent get too cold

Some succulents, such as Hens and Chicks and Sedums, can survive in freezing temps. But most succulents will actually get brown, mushy leaves if you leave them out in the cold. This is because the water they store in their leaves starts to freeze, which destroys their tissues. Once it happens, this damage is irreversible, so you want to make sure that you bring your outdoor succulent inside when it gets too chilly.

Every succulent has a different range of temperatures it can tolerate, so make sure you do a little research to find out when it’s time to bring your particular succulent inside for the winter.

Use fertilizer

Succulents are known for being slow growers, but fertilizer helps them pick up the pace. It also encourages flowering succulent plants to bloom, so if you want to see your baby flower, pick up some fertilizer.

For most succulents, we recommend using a low balanced, water soluble fertilizer. Balanced fertilizers contain equal amounts of the three main nutrients that your plant needs—nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. You’ll know a fertilizer is balanced if it has three identical numbers on the package, like 8-8-8 or 10-10-10.

“Low balanced” just means that the fertilizer isn’t very concentrated. Succulents need a lot less fertilizer than other plants, and can get burned if you use a fertilizer that’s too strong. That’s why we recommend low balanced fertilizers like 8-8-8 and 10-10-10 blends. Stay away from concentrated fertilizers with high numbers on their packaging, like 20-20-20 blends.

Even though you’re using a low balanced fertilizer, you should still dilute it to half strength to make sure that your plant won’t burn. If you’re using a water soluble fertilizer, you can do this by dissolving half as much fertilizer as the package recommends into the same amount of water. So, if the package tells you to mix one tablespoon of fertilizer into a gallon of water, you should only use half a tablespoon of fertilizer for the whole gallon.

Some people fertilize their succulents weekly, but we like to fertilize ours less often. Once a month is our sweet spot. The best time to fertilize is when your succulent is actively growing, which is usually in the summer, but can vary from species to species.

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Succulent geometric planter
@unique.glass.florariums

Figure out the species of your succulent

That brings us to our last point! If you can, figure out which types of succulents you own. Not all succulents grow during the same time of year, so figuring out which species you have will help you administer fertilizer at the right time. Each succulent has slightly different light and water requirements, too. Knowing which succulents you have will help you give better overall care to your plant babies.

You can start off by figuring out if your succulent grows better in the summer or winter here.


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 Best Soil Recommendations for Your Succulent or even Best Lighting Practices for Succulent Growth today!

We hope that this post has helped you learn all about how to take care of succulent plants! If you need more guidance, check out some of our other posts. Happy planting!

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