Keeping succulents here in the UK can be a challenge. But a challenge worthy of any plant lovers out there. They make a beautiful addition to any collection for your home and gardens.
Two of the biggest challenges with keeping succulents in the home as house plants is their lighting requirements and watering needs.
Hailing from desert climates such as you find in Africa, South Africa and South America it can be difficult to recreate the right conditions in our homes. But fear not. They can adapt to life in our homes well given the correct treatment.
There are various varieties of succulents that one can find in the UK and most require very similar treatment. I’ll be giving general care tips later.
I fell in love with succulents when I discovered them about 15 years ago. I was attracted to them because they were like cactus without the spikes. I wasn’t a fan of spiky plants at that time so I was overjoyed to find these cute little plants.
Well the first batch I bought didn’t fare well unfortunately, over watering being the main cause and of course light requirements. These were new to me and I treated them as I did my other plants, not realising their needs were different to the usual leafy houseplant. However I did not give up on them.
Over the next few years I researched each new succulent I purchased and in no time I had them thriving. I haven’t looked back since and they have become a staple in my collection ever since.
Care tips to keep your succulents thriving indoors:
- Light requirements:
- In order to keep your succulents compact and looking great as opposed to stretched out they need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. Southeast and southwest facing window sills work well and south facing windows will be great for the majority of the succulent types. It’s best to research the individual plants as some need less direct sunlight than others but in the home most do well with as much as you can give them.
- Watering needs:
- In my experience the vast majority of succulents like to dry right out between waterings. I usually wait till I see a tiny amount of wrinkles appear on the leaves before giving them a good soaking. I’ve found bottom watering to best suit them. They do not, in general, like to be misted as this can cause the leaves to rot.
- Soil requirements:
- My succulents do really well in a mixture of cactus soil, succulent soil and orchid bark. I tend to mix 30% of each soil and 40% orchid bark.
- How to propergate:
- Succulents are one the easiest plants to propergate. Just one little leaf can give you a whole new plant. I tend to place the leaves on a tray and allow them to sprout roots, which they will do rather quickly, then place them on some shallow soil to allow the roots to acclimate to the new soil environment. In no time you will see tiny baby plants appear at the base of each leaf. I mist them occasionally. They can easily be propergated by cutting the top off and planting directly into soil.
So if you have tried and failed to keep these beautiful spike-less cactus I would definitely recommend having another go. I’m glad I stuck with it as succulents have become a favourite of mine. Once you get the hang of their needs they become easy houseplants to care for. 🍃