How to Care for your Succulents

Planting Supplies

  • Have your soil ready before your succulents arrive so that you can plant them ASAP.
  • We recommend purchasing a “cactus mix” potting soil at your local garden store. There is cactus/ succulent soil at your local Home Depot or Lowes. 
  • Use pots that have at least one drain hole in the bottom. You can also purchase loose containers here

Lighting and Hardiness Considerations

  • Each plant on our site has information about the hardiness zone where it will grow best and the recommended lighting condition. Use this to choose the plants that are best for your location.
  • At My Succulent Shop we keep our succulents outdoors in bright indirect light in a location with good air circulation that is protected from the rain and frost.
  • If you are keeping your succulents indoors: Try your best to keep them by a window to provide sufficient light. Succulents like morning sunlight best. If you notice the leaves stretching, they may need more light.
  • If you are keeping your succulents outdoors: Place your succulents in a location with bright indirect light. Succulents like morning sunlight best.
  • If you want to move your outdoor plants to a sunnier area, acclimate your succulents to more sun over a period of several weeks. Too much sun too soon will burn your succulents to a crisp, so the acclimation period is very important. Eventually, most succulents should be able to take up to a maximum of 6 hours of full sun.

General Watering

  • Only water succulents when the soil is dry.
  • Always water succulents by soaking the soil. Use a watering can that has a long stem, so you can water potted succulents at the base of the plant.
  • It's better to under-water than to over-water. Succulents retain their water inside their leaves. Succulents with chubbier leaves need less watering than the succulents with flat leaves. Your succulents will let you know when they need watering by showing signs of wrinkled leaves. You may want to purchase a moisture meter to help you determine when the succulent needs to be watered.
  • Some succulents have a powdery coating on them. That coating is their sunscreen and protects them from full sun exposure. If you water your succulents from the top, the water can wipe off this protective coating, and create water marks. (If you’re a succulent collector like me, you do not like these water marks.) If I do get water on top or between their leaves, I blow it off.

Watering Indoor Succulents

  • I have noticed that succulents kept indoors dry out a lot faster compared to ones kept outdoors. This is probably because of the heater or air conditioner.
  • Rather than giving sips of water here and there, soak the succulent to the point where water comes out of the bottom of the pot. Make sure to discard the water that collects in the saucer under the pot because succulents do not like to sit in water.
  • Wait until the soil has completely dried before watering the succulent again.

Watering Outdoor Succulents

  • I highly recommend purchasing a moisture meter to determine when your outside succulents need watering. Every climate and season can have different watering needs.
  • For example, in our Zone 10 location, I water every two weeks in Spring through Fall. In the Winter, I water my succulents once a month.
  • Use the moisture meter to get a sense for what the watering needs are for your outdoor succulent locations.

Planting/Potting Tips

  • Add cactus mix to the hole or pot, but don’t fill all the way to the top. Dig a cone shaped hole in the center.
  • Hold your succulent from the top and place your fingers under the leaves so you don’t scuff the powdery coating on the top of the leaves.
  • Completely bury your root ball with soil. I like to hold my succulent from the top, lean it to the side, and fill the gap with soil. Once that side is filled to the base of the succulent, I center the plant and gently press the soil down to anchor the succulent.
  • Repeat this process on the other side – slightly leaning the succulent and filling that side of the hole. Once I'm done filling my pot/hole, I gently press on the soil all around.
  • Leave a little room on the top. This is because I like to "top dress" my succulents with stones. I like to cover the soil with small stones to give it a desert look. This is optional.

I hope you learned something new and picked up some helpful tips to make your succulents grow to their full potential.