Succulent Care

Caring for Succulents


I remember when I first started getting succulent and cacti, they were spoken of as being easy and low maintenance plants. While that’s true in some places, here in Seattle, that’s not quite the case. Quickly, my already slightly sad looking plants began to etiolate, the colors faded, and they would quickly look nothing like they had when I bought them. I let them get too dry (after overwatering quite a few), because the internet scared me from watering them too much, saying, “they hate water!” However, each plant has different likes and dislikes. In the Summer, I’m watering succulents twice a week. I water my Lithop collection three times a year. It seems like my tall cacti are always thirsty, and I know, because they’re suddenly bent in half!

It took me a while to find routines that helped my collections grow healthy and beautiful, see below for general care tips!

Keys to Keeping your Succulents Happy.


Succulents need large amounts of bright, direct light to keep them tight and compact. Without it, they will quickly etiolate and you will see gaps appear between the leaves. Indoors, a bright window often isn’t sufficient enough to prevent them from stretching. Bright light also helps brings out beautiful stress colors that Korean succulents are notorious for.


Succulents are drought-tolerant, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like a good watering. When withholding water for extended periods of time, the growth of the plant can be stunted. It is important to allow your soil to dry completely prior to watering again. Wrinkled, flexible leaves are a sign of thirst in succulents, I recommend bottom watering for succulents, as they can be prone to crown rot if they have water trapped between the leaves of new growth.


Having adequate drainage in your pot and soil will prevent soil and roots from becoming overly saturated. “Wet feet” in succulents can quickly lead to root rot, so a soil and pot combination that drains quickly and thoroughly will help keep your succulents healthy.

Pot Material

The material of your pot matters, believe it or not! Terracotta is porous, and will wick away excess water from the soil, and then evaporate. A glazed ceramic pot will trap moisture within the soil, leaving the only escape to be through the top of the substrate, or through the drainage hole. A plastic pot will also trap moisture, but not as much as a glazed pieces. Keep this in mind when watering!


Succulents have a broad range of temperatures they can withstand, going as low as 35°F, up to well into the 90°F range. I personally have found around 75°F is ideal for growing succulents.

If your outdoor succulents experience an overnight freeze, some may wither and die, however, if the damage isn’t severe, they can be successfully thawed and continue thriving. Allow it to thaw slowly, out of direct light.


Succulents do not enjoy high levels of humidity, especially in an indoor setting. They are accustomed to a dry, arid climate. If your humidity is too high, your soil could stay too wet and inevitably lead to rot.

  • mixture of leca, soil, perlite,

    Soils and Amendments

    There’s an abundance of choices for soil mixes available, or you can buy amendments to create your own mix. Every plant has different soil and nutrition needs. Some plants prefer higher moisture, whereas others like to be dry.

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  • Lighting

    Giving your plants the right type of lighting will help them flourish and thrive, and bring out their best colors. There’s so many choices, and it can be difficult to choose a starting point. Read more to find out about the lighting I use for my collections.

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  • Pest Control and Fertilizers

    Pests are inevitable part of gardening! From Mealybugs, to Spider Mites, Thrips, and more, we all end up with some bugs in our garden. Gone untreated or unnoticed, they can be devastating to a collection. Read more to find out how you can fight those pesky pests!

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  • Succulent Care

    Succulents and Cacti are commonly misrepresented as low maintenance plants, but their care needs go much further than you would think!

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  • Aroid Care

    The watering, lighting and nutritional needs can vary wildly from plant to plant. In this guide you will find some generalized care tips if you are just starting out!

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  • Understanding Variegation

    Variegation is mesmerizing, whether chunky and sectoral, or subtle and streaky. There’s lots of different looking variegation patters to explore.

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