How to Care for Dudleya Succulents

Have you ever heard of Dudleya succulents?

Well, it may be the first time you are hearing anything about them. The anonymity of this succulent plant genus is due to its small number of species and resemblance to other succulents from another naming.

Dudleya succulents are native to the states to the West of America, and some have their native homes in Mexico. There are between 40-50 species of Dudleya succulents. The dry summers and mild cold winter seasons favor the Dudleya in their native homes.

An exciting nickname for the beautiful flowered dudleya succulents is ‘Liveforever’. True to it, the dudleya plants can live for up to a century. Well, it all depends on how best you care for your dudleya succulents.

Want century-old succulents that you will gift your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren? Read on to find best practices for rearing the fun-to-see dudleyas.

How to Care for Dudleya Succulents
A native of West America @yamamotohl

Growing a Dudleya Succulent

Dudleya plants do well in warm, dry climates. However, it is not all bad news for chalky succulent lovers living in cold climates. Some species such as the D. cymosa are cold hardy.

Replicating the California climate when growing your succulents is making your succulent thrive with ease.

The Perfect Spot for Growing

Let us make things easy by making it simpler to keep your plants happy.

Optimum growing conditions characterize the perfect growing spot. You should be asking which these conditions are.

Water

Dudleyas are known to be happy in a dry climate. Unlike cacti native to the South American highlands and the Amazon forest, they will require far much lesser watering.

During summer it is advisable to cut down on your watering program considerably. For plants growing on sand, consider slight watering. The reason why no watering is essential during summer is that these plants are dormant over the same period — never mistaken this dormancy with a need for watering.

So when do you water this long-living plant?

Dudleya genus plants grow and bloom through fall. This is the perfect time to fill your watering cans. Water at the base of the plant and be careful enough to avoid the leaves.

How to Care for Dudleya Succulents
Care for Overwatering @addytude

Sunlight

Ever wondered why the ‘LiveLong’ succulents have a chalky appearance?

The plants love rays from the sun and should be left out for as long as the sun shines. The chalky appearance is useful when you overdo the sunshine exposure.

The whitish appearance on the surface of dudleya plants is due to the epicuticular layer of wax, otherwise known as farina. The core function of this layer is protecting the plant from any harm that results from too much sunshine.

Avoid disturbing this layer by touching the plant in any way.

Soils

The perfect soil mix for dudleya succulents is one that drains excessive water in the fastest way possible. Just like any other cactus plant, its roots are shallow. Too much watering weakens the roots. Rotting roots are also common phenomena of too much water. Conversely, dudleyas will require little watering after all.

Be sure to check out “How to Make Your own Succulent Soil at Home” for a guide on making your own soil. What could be better for your succulents?!

Temperature

Think about California and the scorching heat is wholly evident in your mind. To the grower, high temperatures can be an issue but not for a dudleya plant. They thrive in areas where the heat can be as high as what Californians live under.

How to Care for Dudleya Succulents
Temperature Can Be a Problem @onesuccydayatatime

Care for Diseases & Pests

Every living plant is prone to pests and diseases, and the dudleya succulents are no exception either. Ensuring optimal growth conditions is a sure way of providing healthy and vibrant looking plants. For instance, vent from too much watering and always maintaining good air circulation for your succulent friend.

If by any chance you notice any attack for your plants, take action immediately to wade off any further damage. Being keen when inspecting your plants is key to being aware of any attack. You will notice a change to the chalky white surface layer or holes on the foliage.

Some of the common pests that attack dudleya succulents are aphids, mealybugs, gnats, snails, and slugs.

For more guides to taking care of your succulents, check out “What to do When Succulent Leaves are Splitting?” or “Why is My Succulent Rotting?“.

Some Interesting Facts for Dudleya Succulents

Here are some interesting facts that every dudleya succulent owner needs to know.

  • Dudleya species are either branching or non-branching. The ground-spreading and low-level plants are termed as branching while those that only realize single rosettes are unbranching.
  • During summer seasons when no watering is done, the succulents may wilt but will regain the energetic plump look when watering resumes.
  • The dudleya species that flower are an excellent attraction for hummingbirds
How to Care for Dudleya Succulents
Some Facts About Dudleya Succulents @popon.purun

As days go by, dudleya succulents are becoming rare to find. You can only see a handful of them out in the wild. Some of these plants are now protected by the law with punitive measures for smugglers. If you happen to have one, breed it carefully as it can last a century.

Thank you for reading! Looking for more options on succulents for your home? Check out “10 Beautiful Flowering Succulents You Need for the Summer“.

Enjoyed learning about “How to Care for Dudleya Succulents”? 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 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! 🌵

Is Succulent Fertilizer Safe to Use?

If you’ve been taking care of succulents for a while, you’ve probably heard that fertilizer can burn your succulents. Sounds pretty scary, right? Nobody wants to burn their beloved succulent collection, so using fertilizer can seem a little intimidating!

But don’t worry! Fertilizer is completely safe to use on your succulents as long as you apply it properly. Today, we’re going to teach you the right way to apply fertilizer to your succulents so that you don’t damage them. We’ll even give you a few natural alternatives to chemical fertilizer just in case you don’t feel comfortable using chemicals on your plant babies. 

Let’s jump right into the post and get your succulents growing with fertilizer! 

Is Succulent Fertilizer Safe to Use
Use it Correctly @queenplantarina

Chemical Fertilizer 

If you’ve heard that fertilizers can burn and damage succulents, we’re sad to report that the rumors are true. Chemical fertilizers can damage your succulents if you use the wrong kind or apply them the wrong way. If you follow our tips, though, you won’t have to worry about damaging your succulents! 

The best kind of chemical fertilizer to use on your succulents is a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer like this one. Stay away from fertilizers that have high amounts of nitrogen or release slowly—they’re bad for your succulents and can damage them! 

To prepare your fertilizer, get out a big watering can and fill it with a gallon of water. Then add your plant food. Don’t follow the instructions on the back of the package—if you put in that much plant food, your fertilizer will be too strong and burn your succulents, which is definitely not what you want! Dilute the fertilizer to half strength instead by adding half the amount the box instructs you to. So if your box of plant food says to mix a whole tablespoon into a gallon of water, you should only use a half tablespoon.

Then take your diluted fertilizer and water your succulents as normal. Try to avoid splashing fertilizer on the leaves, though, as they’re the most easily burned part of your succulents. Be sure to check out “When You Should Water Your Succulents” for tips on watering your succulent correctly.

Since succulents don’t need much fertilizer, you only need to fertilize your plants a few times during their active growing season, which is usually in the summer. Even fertilizing your plants just once or twice a year will give them the nutrients they need to keep sprouting nice and healthy new growth!

Is Succulent Fertilizer Safe to Use
Fertilizer for Your Succulents @queenplantarina

Manure or Compost Tea 

Compost and manure teas are more natural alternatives to chemical fertilizers. They won’t burn your succulents, and in our experience, they do a pretty good job of providing them with nutrients! They’re a great way to fertilize your plants if you like to use natural, organic products rather than chemical ones. 

You’re probably wondering how you’re going to get your hands on compost or manure when you live in the city. Well, that part is surprisingly easy! Manure and compost tea bags are readily available for purchase on Amazon. That site really does have everything, doesn’t it?

Did you know that this article is sponsored by Amazon Prime! Amazon is offering our Succulent City community an exclusive offer of a FREE 30-day trial of their famous Amazon Prime Membership. Click here to get your free trial started and enjoy that free 2-day shipping!

To brew your manure or compost tea, grab one of your tea bags and put it in the bottom of a big, five-gallon bucket. Fill up the bucket with anywhere from one to five gallons of water depending on how strong or weak you want your fertilizer to be. We like to make ours on the weaker side because succulents don’t need super strong fertilizers. 

After you’ve filled it up with water, put the lid back on the bucket and leave it outside for two or three days to steep. Once the tea is done steeping, take the tea bag out and use the tea to water your succulents just like you normally would. You can water your succulents with this fertilizer as often as once a month during their active growing season.

There you have it! That’s how you use compost and manure tea. 

If you can’t get over the ick factor of watering your succulents with manure, don’t worry! There are other natural fertilizer options for you, like brewed coffee.

Is Succulent Fertilizer Safe to Use
Natural Pesticide @drsherikeffer

Brewed Coffee 

If you’re a little grossed out by manure tea or worried that it will stink up your house, then try out brewed coffee instead! Coffee grounds have lots of essential nutrients that your succulents need, like nitrogen, potassium, and magnesium. By brewing them, you’ll make the nutrients in the coffee grounds easier for your plants to soak up and utilize!

So to make this type of fertilizer, brew a cup of coffee and dilute it with water. You should use equal amounts of coffee and water for the best results. Once you’ve diluted your coffee, use it to water your succulents just like you usually would. You can brew up this fertilizer and use it on your succulents a few times during their active growing season. Be sure to also check out “Are Coffee Grounds Good for Succulents?” for more info on using ground coffee.

Casting Worm

Worm castings are another natural fertilizer option, but like manure tea, they’re a little gross! Worm castings are essentially worm droppings. You can mix them in with the soil and they’ll provide a host of beneficial micronutrients to your plants, including potassium, iron, copper, and zinc. They can even help repel pests like aphids and mealybugs that might want to feed on your outdoor succulents! 

Worm castings are best for outdoor succulents. If you use them on plants that live indoors, they break down too slowly and act as a slow-release fertilizer, which isn’t good for your plant. Plus, using worm castings indoors can get a little messy! 

But luckily, there is a worm castings product that you can use on indoor succulents. It’s called vermicompost tea. It’s essentially the worm castings version of manure tea. It comes in a handy spray bottle, so it doesn’t leave a mess! 

Vermicompost tea is easy to apply to your indoor or outdoor succulents during their active growing season—just spray it right onto the soil and they’ll soak it right up! You can even spray it directly on their leaves because it’s all-natural, or use it as a treatment for mealybugs. 

Take a chance to read “Are Grow Lights Bad for My Succulents” to see if the grow lights you’re using at home for your succulents are doing more damage than good.

Is Succulent Fertilizer Safe to Use
Worm Casting @queenplantarina

Phew, that’s a lot of different fertilizer options! They’re all great, so if you need help narrowing things down and picking just one, leave us a comment down below or head over to the Succulent City Plant Lounge to get some advice. It’s a great community of succulent lovers who are always willing to answer questions and swap gardening tips! 

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 “Essential Tools for Planting the Best Succulents” or even “The Best Soil Recommendations for Your Succulent”  today! 

Happy Planting! 🌵

How to Make Your own Succulent Soil at Home

Before you get down and dirty with creating the best succulent soil at home, we wanted to let you know we were able to work with Amazon and provide our AMAZING readers a 30 day free trial to Amazon Prime perfect for all gardening and succulent stuff! The best part about this is that you can get succulent planters within days! Let us know if you’re getting anything succulent related, we’d love for you to share it in our FB group.

No doubt 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!

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 like these, 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 breath. 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 breath.

4. Excessive Nutrients in Succulent Soil

This sounds pretty weird but it’s true. Soil containing too much 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

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!

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.

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.

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! ?

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