As an avid succulent grower, I’ve carried out my fair proportion of analysis and within the course of, come throughout a variety of myths – some extra irritating than others. I believe succulent vegetation often is the plant group with probably the most myths hooked up to them, probably coming second solely to houseplants.
So, to keep away from any pointless succulent deaths sooner or later, I’m right here to debunk among the most typical myths I’ve heard. A lot of them have some component of fact however are sometimes taken thus far out of context that it’s inconceivable to inform the distinction anymore.
When you’ve fallen for any of those myths, you’re definitely not alone. However now, you might be a part of the motion to type reality from fiction.
Delusion 1: They Are Unattainable To Kill
Succulents are sometimes labeled as ‘robust’ or nice for novices with perceived black thumbs. This can be attributed to their low-maintenance wants and even their structural look, convincing tens of millions that succulents are the issues to develop as a result of they’re virtually inconceivable to kill.
Sadly, anybody who has greater than a bit expertise rising succulents will know that’s utterly false. It’s truly fairly straightforward to kill succulents in the event you give them the wrong care or atmosphere. They might die comparatively slowly in comparison with different vegetation as they cling to life, however that doesn’t imply they aren’t dying.
I believe this status has duped new gardeners into giving up on vegetation altogether. How usually have you ever heard somebody say they don’t backyard as a result of they ‘can’t even maintain a succulent alive’? Succulents are both fussed over or utterly forgotten about, resulting in their final demise.
Don’t get me fallacious – succulents are usually not troublesome to take care of. When you perceive their wants and place them within the good spot, they’re amongst the least demanding vegetation you may develop. However that doesn’t imply just a few widespread errors received’t kill them early.
Delusion 2: They Are Good Indoor Vegetation
The second fable is one which I hear probably the most usually – succulents are nice for rising indoors. That is one other fable that leads new gardeners to assume succulents are straightforward, solely to search out their treasured vegetation stretched and diminished inside a few months.
The vegetation we generally maintain indoors are known as houseplants as a result of they’re glad to outlive indoors. Houseplants normally come from the tropics and are accustomed to heat and comparatively excessive humidity. In addition they tolerate the decrease gentle ranges discovered indoors and are sometimes labeled as shade vegetation.
Apart from the temperature wants, all the popular situations for succulents are simply in regards to the reverse of these. They like dry air over humidity, and most can’t deal with low gentle in any respect. They won’t battle for the primary few weeks, however behind the scenes, they’re merely dying slowly.
When you’ve got a dry and sunny spot with sufficient airflow across the vegetation, succulents can thrive indoors. However these situations are uncommon. When you discover any stretching or weak development, it’s virtually definitely the results of insufficient indoor situations.
Delusion 3: All Succulents Want Full Solar
Talking of daylight, it’s necessary to dispel the parable that each one succulents want full solar.
Commonest succulents from desert environments are used to a full day of direct daylight. That is particularly necessary for the structural and geometric sorts – like Echeverias or Haworthias – that depend on full solar situations to keep up their compact form.
However not all succulents come from the desert. Schlumbergera is a good instance; the genus containing the favored Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus is commonly grown indoors. These species come from tropical jungles and wish a bit extra solar than different houseplants, however definitely don’t want 10 hours of direct solar to develop efficiently.
Most succulents will respect extra direct gentle than oblique gentle. However as at all times, it’s necessary to test the wants of your specific species, attempting to duplicate their native environments as a lot as doable.
Delusion 4: They Don’t Want To Be Watered
Succulents are maybe most well-known for his or her drought-tolerant nature. That is, in spite of everything, what defines the group. Succulents are vegetation that retailer extra water of their leaves to outlive in instances of drought, preferring to develop in dry soil with intervals of rare rain or watering.
This restricted want for water, together with frequent warnings in opposition to overwatering, has led to the parable that succulents don’t actually should be watered. Some gardeners might imagine that preliminary watering or minimal rainfall is sufficient to maintain these vegetation glad, as they’re accustomed to dry, desert-like situations.
Whereas it’s true that succulents can survive with out water for lots longer than another backyard vegetation, they do nonetheless should be watered. Lengthy intervals with out water can result in stress that slows their development and makes the vegetation extra susceptible to pest and illness points.
You’ll be able to permit the soil to dry out utterly between watering, particularly in containers, however don’t overlook about them in any respect. When you discover shriveled leaves or stunted development, you’ve waited too lengthy.
Delusion 5: Succulents And Cacti Are The Similar Factor
Regardless of its ubiquity, ‘succulent’ shouldn’t be a technical classification (by nomenclature requirements). As an alternative, it’s a basic time period used to explain vegetation that retailer water of their leaves. The phrase originates from the Latin sucus, which means sap. This group covers many plant households and many alternative genera.
Cacti is the widespread time period used to explain vegetation within the Cactaceae household. They’re additionally recognized for his or her unbelievable water-storing talents – therefore their relation to succulents. However these two phrases don’t describe the identical factor.
To place it merely, cacti are succulents, however not all succulents are cacti. The Cactaceae household is described as succulents due to their water-storing properties, however many different vegetation are described as succulents that aren’t a part of the cactus group.
Delusion 6: They Can Develop In Any Soil
As a result of succulents are fairly resilient, this no-fuss nature is commonly prolonged to the soil they develop in. Their tolerance is believed to incorporate soil kind, pushing gardeners to plant their succulents in any soil they discover mendacity round and hoping for one of the best.
Succulents tolerate many issues, however incorrect soil kind shouldn’t be one in every of them. They’re truly fairly fussy about their soil, requiring very ethereal and well-draining soil to duplicate situations of their native habitats.
You’ll discover specialised succulent and cacti soil combine at your native nursery. These formulation are combined with many gritty components to enhance drainage within the soil and permit air to circulate across the roots. They received’t respect rising in nutrient-poor sand alone, however they do like soil with loads of sand combined in.
When you’re uncertain about your soil kind, there are some things you may attempt to take a look at whether it is appropriate for succulents. The simplest is so as to add water to the soil and watch how shortly it drains. Alternatively, you may clump the soil in your hand. If it sticks collectively, it’s doubtless too dense for succulent vegetation.
Delusion 7: They Are Robust Sufficient To Deal with Any Local weather
Alongside the identical traces because the soil argument, gardeners may additionally imagine that succulents are robust sufficient to handle any local weather, from snow to excessive warmth. However, like all vegetation, the tolerances of succulents come right down to the situations of their native environments.
Some succulent species are fairly cold-hardy. You’d be shocked how chilly it could actually get in desert areas, particularly in winter throughout nighttime. Some choices are hardy right down to Zone 3 and even decrease (though there are only a few when you drop under 3a). Nonetheless, not all succulents can deal with these situations, and plenty of detest the chilly, shortly succumbing to mobile harm.
As with all plant, the secret is to analysis and perceive the precise necessities of the succulents you wish to develop. Choosing the proper vegetation to your zone (or defending them over winter in case your dream succulents fall out of your zone) will restrict any unintended harm attributable to sudden temperature dips.
Delusion 8: They Want Common Feeding
Succulents are sometimes grown in containers worldwide, and with this comes the advice of standard fertilizing. This does make sense – vitamins leach from the soils in containers a lot faster with common watering and aren’t usually changed by vegetation or compost, requiring gardeners so as to add vitamins again into the soil manually.
However it’s necessary to recollect what soil situations are most popular for succulents. Of their native habitats, soils are usually not notably nutrient dense. They do include vitamins that permit the plant to develop and thrive (no plant can stay with out vitamins), however they don’t want these vitamins in massive quantities.
When you undertake an everyday feeding routine as you may with different container vegetation, you’ll doubtless burn the delicate roots and leaves. This can shortly stunt development, stopping any new improvement relatively than accelerating it. Some feeding might be helpful, nevertheless it’s necessary to not overdo it. An annual feeding with half-strength fertilizer is normally sufficient to fulfill most typical succulents.
Delusion 9: They Want Giant Containers To Unfold
Succulents are usually not usually thought of fast growers. They do ultimately unfold, with a number of species producing plantlets that create dense clumps of development in containers or beds.
This gradual development is a pure attribute of most succulent species. However some folks might imagine they’ll get round this attribute and pace up development by offering a bigger container. Succulents normally are available fairly small pots, and there may be some logic to the idea that giving them a a lot bigger house to unfold will equal speedy development and growth.
Sadly, the other is true. Succulents want to be confined to their containers with tight root techniques. If an excessive amount of house is under the soil line, the plant will prioritize spreading roots, halting development above the soil virtually utterly. This further soil may even retain some further moisture in areas the place the roots don’t attain, probably resulting in fungal development and the event of root rot.
When you’re repotting your succulents, select a pot one dimension up or two sizes most, relying on what you’re rising. Your plant will develop much better this fashion than in the event you needed to pace forward to an enormous container.
Delusion 10: They Don’t Want To Be Pruned
Pruning is an everyday a part of plant care each indoors and out. It helps form vegetation, enhance development, and take away broken areas that draw power away from new development. Regardless of the numerous advantages, succulent growers don’t usually embrace these vegetation of their pruning routine.
Succulents can profit from pruning similar to different vegetation. It is probably not required as usually, however it’s nonetheless an necessary a part of care. Probably the most very important time to prune is whenever you spot areas of harm or illness. Trimming will enhance total plant well being and restrict the unfold of dangerous points that may kill your plant if not managed.
Pruning can also be helpful for controlling development. String succulents just like the string of pearls are the primary vegetation to come back to thoughts. Mine grow to be straggly as they grasp off the edges of containers, ultimately changing into too heavy to carry up lengthy vines. A fast trim and propagation session will take the stress off the roots and makes the plant look a lot more healthy total.
You received’t have to maintain your shears useful consistently however don’t overlook so as to add pruning to your succulent care guidelines.
Delusion 11: You Can Overlook About Them And They Will Nonetheless Survive
If something is evident throughout these incorrect myths, it’s that succulents are usually not inanimate objects that may be purchased and forgotten about. They want the proper care like every other plant – it simply so occurs that that care is much less onerous than what we might anticipate.
Your succulents might be able to survive weeks and even months with out consideration, however they are going to ultimately succumb to this lack of care. Giving them the proper atmosphere and a spotlight, and avoiding the errors attributable to these myths, will aid you develop a thriving succulent assortment with little or no effort.
Now that you recognize what’s fable versus what’s actuality in terms of rising succulents, the subsequent steps are to be sure you present yours the right care they want. With a bit TLC, there’s no purpose your succulents received’t stay lengthy and glad lives whether or not grown indoors or outside.