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.