Succulents get the title of being easy houseplants to care for, especially for new plant patents. They seem so adorable in their little pots, and you can find them everywhere, from fancy plant stores to farmers’ markets to your local grocery store. So you finally took the plunge to bring one of these plant babies home, and now you are noticing some problems.
Why are my succulents falling over?
There are a few reasons why your succulents are falling over. Temperature, water, sunlight, energy levels, and chemical fertilizers can all cause an unbalanced succulent. Lucky for us, most of these issues can be reversed easily. Read on to discover more about recognizing issues and how to care for your succulent.
How Often Do Succulents Need Water?
Succulents are found naturally in harsh climates. In fact, their leaves and foliage look the way they do because the plant stores extra water inside them. Since your succulent will hold its own water in its leaves, you do not need to water as much as leafy houseplants.
It is recommended to water a succulent every 9-11 days allowing the soil to dry out almost completely between watering sessions. If you give your succulent too much or too little water, it can cause problems with the plant leading up to death.
Did I Overwater My Succulent?
If you notice that your succulent leaves look ballooned up with a pruney sort of vibes, like fingers that have sat in water too long, you probably have overwatered your succulent. If you think this may be the culprit of your unbalanced succulent, hold off watering for the next week and allow the soil to dry out.
If the soil is overly wet, you may want to repot your succulent in new soil. Succulents hate to be sitting in wet soil, and this can cause root rot or allow mold to grow on the bottom of your succulents. Overly wet soil is also an invitation for gnats and other insects that like to lay their eggs in moist places.
What Kind of Soil Do Succulents Prefer?
If you end up having to repot your succulents due to overly wet soil, be sure that you replant your succulent in the proper soil mixture. Succulents prefer well-draining and coarse soil. You can make your own by adding mulch, sand, or perlite to your succulent soil mixture, or pick up a bag of cactus and succulent specific soil from your local garden center. These soils are specially designed with your succulent in mind.
Add the soil mixture to a pot that has drainage holes on the bottom. Drainage holes are very important for all potted plants, especially succulents that do not tolerate sitting in moist or wet soil very well. If you want to add more holes, go ahead. Experienced houseplant gardeners recommend growing your plants in a plastic garden pot with lots of drainage holes.
You can then put the garden pot into a decorative pot. This makes the garden pot easily removable for watering and allows you to keep your fancy decorative pots even if they have no drainage holes.
Does My Succulent Need More Water?
Worried that your succulent may be underwatered? Check its leaves to see!
If your succulent has leaves that are shrinking, shriveling, browning, or becoming crispy, then your succulent is probably in desperate need of a good watering session. Succulents store extra water in their leaves, sort of like cactuses. If it has been a little while since its last sufficient watering, your succulent will begin pulling water from its leaves storage.
You will first notice the sad leaves at the bottom of your succulent as these leaves are closest to the roots. After those leaves have been depleted of their water storage, the succulent will begin pulling water from leaves going up the side of the plant.
Luckily, fixing an underwatered plant is easier than an overwatered one. Increase the water your succulent is receiving, and gradually the plant will bounce back to its original condition. If the leaves have already browned or gotten to the point of falling off, those leaves will not revive, and it is best to remove them with your hands to avoid mold or rot.
How Much Sunlight Does My Succulent Need?
Succulents are sun-loving plants and require at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. Mature succulents can handle direct sunlight once acclimated. If you are moving your succulents outdoors from indoors for a little summer vacation, try to keep them in the shade during the hottest parts of the day.
Indoor succulents will be happily placed in a south-facing window that allows a good amount of sunlight throughout the day. Remember to rotate your succulent plant throughout the month. Succulents will stretch and grow toward the source of light. To prevent lopsided succulents, turn your succulent a quarter turn each week with its watering. This will prevent your succulent from stretching or growing sideways.
Can I Grow Succulents Outdoors?
Since succulents love the heat and humidity, it is common to think they will like to grow outside during the summer. If your area does not have cold seasons, you could easily grow succulents outdoors for a unique and interesting addition to your landscape.
Succulents do not tolerate cold well, and if the temperature drops below freezing, the water in their leaves will freeze. If you want to grow succulents outdoors, but your area has cold and frigid winters, try giving your succulents an outdoor summer break.
Slowly introduce your house succulents to the outside world to allow them to acclimate to the weather and pressure difference. When it is time to bring them back in for the winter, change their soil as bugs could have burrowed into the soil and made a home. You do not want to be bringing bugs into your home.
Does My Succulent Need Fertilizer?
Succulents are very simple plants. They are slow-growing and generally low maintenance. Succulents do not require much fertilizer at all. If you feel your succulent requires a boost of nutrition, you can repot it in fresh soil.
If you decide to fertilize your succulent, choose a cactus and succulent specific fertilizer. Otherwise, you could damage your succulent plants beyond repair. You can ask a garden center or plant store consultant for recommendations for the best fertilizer option.
After deciding on which fertilizer to use, follow the instructions carefully for proper application. If given too much fertilizer, plants will go into shock, and it is hard to repair them. If you over-fertilize your plants, remove them from the soil and carefully rinse the roots before repotting them in fresh soil. Avoid fertilizing again for a few months to allow your plant time to recover properly.
Growing and caring for succulents can be easy and fun, but when they begin showing signs of stress, it can cause alarm. Luckily, most of the time, the solution is quite simple. Begin with diagnosing why your plant is leaning and falling over. Start with the amount of water the succulent is receiving, the amount of light it is exposed to, and if you have fertilized it recently.
You can create a thriving and stress-free indoor succulent garden if you pay close attention and learn to read your succulents.
Hi there, my name is Allie and welcome to my blog; GareningWithAllie!
Much of what you see written here is just our personal experiences with gardening. Along with the content I write here, there is also a unique collection of gardening topics covered by some of our close friends. I hope you find everything you read here to be helpful, informative, and something that can make your gardening journey the most lovely experience ever! With that said, Happy Gardening!