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Succulent Basics

Updated: Jul 21, 2021

Simply put, success with succulents is best achieved by reproducing the plant’s native environment (usually the desert) as well as possible in our non-native homes and gardens.

Here are the Basics

THE SOIL. For succulents, part of reproducing their native habitat means that the growing media we choose should contain coarse aggregate material (gravel, perlite) in sufficient quantities to assure rapid drainage (like their native desert soils). Soil blends that retain water for long periods will likely lead to problems quickly for succulents. You can make your own blend mixing two-parts perlite to one-part sphagnum moss (this is what we use and sell).

THE LIGHT. Additionally, most succulents require bright or bright, filtered light (like their native desert landscapes receive) to look their best and to avoid “stretching”. This can be achieved by locating them in a south or west facing window, or adding supplemental lighting if they’re grown indoors. In many cases, the better the light, the better the coloring and condition of the plant.


Ask Questions. Get Answers.

Join our Facebook group: Plants Beyond the Tent to crowd-source growing information from other growers.


THE WATER. Succulents should only be watered when the growth media that they’re in has become completely dry to the bottom of the pot. As dry, arid conditions are part of their

native cultural conditions, successful replication of these conditions involves near-neglect with the watering can. But when you do water, soak the soil well.

Frequent waterings will almost always lead quickly to plant decline and death.

Using a moisture meter is always the best way to assure success. We do!

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