While we’re waiting for the warmer weather to settle, here are some tips on how to care for all those succulents that you’re going to have this summer:
Light – Although you would think that because succulents and cacti mainly originate in the desert they would be down with full high-beaming sun, I was told that for many species full midday sun can actually burn your plant. For many species brightly lit areas with lots of sunlight are perfect but not somewhere with full midday sun.
Water – This is the bit I was most surprised about. During the warmer part of the year most succulents and cacti go through a ‘growing’ phase where they are most active and need water and nutrients. When it cools down during the year they go into a dormant phase and need much less water (this is the point where you can neglect your plants a little). During the warmer months in their growing phase succulents should be watered once a week but rather than pour a cup of water now and then into the pot , wait until the dirt is completely dry and then soak the plant in water for a few minutes.
Soil – Succulents are usually found in gritty or sandy soils, and you should make sure this is what you use in the event that you replant them.
Pot – As with all plants, make sure the pot you use for your plant has a drainage hole in the bottom. This is where I think I went wrong in the past – planting cacti in tea cups unfortunately doesn’t allow for the right drainage (= dead succulent). If you can, plant your succulent in a terracotta pot, as apparently this improves drainage.
Re-potting – Although an annoying process to go through, if you’re a nice and caring succulent owner there will be a point at which you have to re-pot. My succulent guy says to do this every year or when the plant starts to look uncomfortable in the pot. Fingers crossed you get to that point!
Pay attention – Although these tips apply generally to most succulents and cacti, they are all different and the only way to make sure you are doing the right thing is to pay attention to how they are growing – apparently yellowing can mean too much sunlight (or over watering) whilst leaning towards the light source can mean not enough.
Have a look at these great examples of out-0f-the-garden-box ways to display succulents.
Succulents combined with hanging glass vases makes a spectacular display.
High tea just got new meaning! I found this display of tea pots at the Yellow Aloe Nursery in Clanwilliam over the weekend. They are well worth a visit!
The picture below left was also taken at the Yellow Aloe and the one on the right while visiting the Vlok family on their gorgeous farm just outside of Calvinia.
Hope you found this post inspiring and just in case you’ve missed it, have a look at the gorgeous succulent wreath Germarie made last week!