Caring for succulents — everything about the bizarre beauties

FAQ — Frequently asked questions about succulents

Are succulents poisonous?

A large number of plant species belong to the group of succulents. Therefore, succulents cannot generally be described as non-toxic or poisonous plants. Thus, the money tree or the flaming katie as members of the thick-leafed plants (Crassulaceae) family are known to be poisonous indoor plants. The aloin contained in aloe vera can lead to symptoms of poisoning if overdosed.

How are succulents propagated?

Many succulents can be propagated by offshoots. Plant parts can be easily separated with a sharp knife and simply rooted in potting soil.

Are all succulents blooming?

Depending on their species and age, succulent plants flower at different rates. How often the succulent blooms depends largely on care and site conditions. The shape of the flower is very different. Some succulents have inconspicuous, small white flowers. Others delight with eye-catching flower colors.

How do you get succulents to bloom?

Some species of the succulent group need a bright and sunny location with temperatures around 15 °C from November to February. If it is too warm, the succulents may not bloom.

Are there hardy succulents?

Depending on their origin and species, succulents tolerate low temperatures. There are hardy succulents, but the majority of the group prefers to overwinter at at least 5 to 10 °C.

What to do when succulents are rotting

Too much water or too low temperatures can cause the succulents to become mushy and rot. Change the conditions quickly and with a bit of luck the special feature can still be saved. If succulents are rotting, you can cut off the intact upper part with a sharp knife and put the section in potting soil. Keep the substrate rather dry until roots have formed.

What can be the reason for yellow leaves on succulents?

Yellow leaves on succulents are usually a sign of too much water. Sometimes yellow leaves are also a result of hard water. Succulents prefer soft watering.

What can be the reason if succulents drop leaves?

Leaf fall in succulents is usually the result of waterlogging. Sometimes succulents also drop leaves if they are too dark or exposed to drafts.

Which hanging succulents are there?

Hanging succulents are decorative and practical. Without much effort, succulents as hanging plants in the ideal location are a feast for the eyes for many years. Well-known hanging succulents are: pea plant, coral cactus, sedum plant, rock thickleaf or candlestick flowers.

Succulents fascinate with their fleshy leaves and shoots and their multitude of species. The cacti-like plants have the ability to store water in the leaves and stems, and are therefore extremely easy to care for . In addition to the species known as indoor plants , there is a group of hardy succulents that are suitable for sunny locations on balconies and gardens . All species tolerate it if you are short on time , water a little less often and do not have a green thumb. Cacti are also good plants for children. Propagating them is an exciting story, not only for plant lovers. The plants are very different in shape and colour. The frugal creatures can quickly be set up as trendy decoration in the house or garden. Because cacti also have large water reservoirs, they also belong to the succulents. Thus, cacti are always succulents, but not all succulents are cacti.

Worth knowing Location Care Watering Fertilizing Repotting Propagating Species Pests & diseases


Matching products – buy succulents

Things to know about succulents

Types: The variety of varieties is huge, because the survival artists have developed over centuries in all parts of the world. What they all have in common is that they grow in bright locations and do not tolerate waterlogging.
Use: Indoor plants, office plants, interior greening, bowl plants, conservatory Flowers
: Different in size, color and flowering time depending on the species
Special features: The term succulent comes from the Latin and means something like ‘juice’ or ‘juicy’. All cacti are succulents, but not all succulent plants are cacti.

In which location do succulents feel comfortable as houseplants?

The ideal succulent location is light , sunny and warm all year round . A window seat is allowed for all water-storing plants. From the end of May to August you can also place the potted plants outdoors in a sunny spot . It is important to get used to the outdoor conditions step by step. As with other plants, unsightly burns would otherwise occur. Staying outside in a sunny spot encourages flowering in some species. It is important that the pots are protected from rain standing, because too much water damages the plants. From September, succulents must be back indoors. Keep it in a bright location, even in winter.

How do I care for my succulents?

Caring for succulents is easy and requires little effort . In order to survive, the plants have adapted to the special climate or soil conditions and developed a special plant organ. Thanks to this conversion, it is possible for them to survive for a long time without water . Proper succulent care includes needs-based carewatering and fertilizing. Avoid waterlogging of succulents, drought is tolerated. Repotting in new soil also helps development. How often a larger pot is necessary depends on the respective plant, as does the exact care. In principle, small pots are not a problem with this type of plant. With the right substrate, the special features are easy to care for. Waterlogging is the biggest enemy when caring for succulents. Besides cacti, the most well-known succulent is aloe vera, also referred to as the queen of medicinal plants, a popular houseplant that thrives with little substrate. Succulents are not a separate genus, species or plant family in their own right, but a type of plant that has fleshy, thickened plant parts.

How do I water succulents properly?

During the main growth phase in summer, succulents should be watered regularly. This means that depending on the species, size and location, watering once a week is a guideline. Make sure the top layer of soil is dry before watering again. If possible, give the water directly to the surface of the soil and avoid getting the shoot or leaf wet. Drain off excess water after 10 minutes. Many of the popular succulents have the ability to absorb and retain large amounts of moisture in a short period of time. This property results from their origin. In the arid areas, storing water and surviving on small amounts is vital to life. Some species require a rest period. Here the plants stand for 3 to 4 months at 2 to 10 °C , completely without being watered. These origin-mimicking conditions lead to the formation of flowers. Avoid standing water on succulents.

Our gardening tip: Make sure that permanently damp soil leads to rot . It is therefore important that you water with sufficient quantity at larger intervals. Frequent watering with little water damages cacti and many other succulent plants. It is ideal if you water with rainwater or stagnant tap water .

How do I properly fertilize succulents?

Only use special fertilizers to fertilize succulents. This is tailored to the needs of the rarities and promotes vitality. Fertilizers with a high nitrogen content are completely unsuitable for succulents. Add the liquid fertilizer to the irrigation water and take special care not to water during the blazing midday heat to avoid burns.

fertilizer tips

  • Fertilize every 3 to 4 weeks from May to September.
  • In the resting phase is not fertilized.
  • Fertilizer doses that are too high damage the plant.

In some succulent species, too much mineral fertilizer is responsible for the lack of flowers.

How are succulents transplanted?

With slow-growing succulents, it is sufficient if you repot the plant into a larger planter every 4 to 5 years and provide fresh substrate. Plants that grow quickly can be planted in a larger pot every 1 to 2 years. Once the root ball fills the entire pot and the old soil is no longer visible, it’s time to move the plant to a larger container. Care is only easy if there is sufficient soil in the container and the roots develop well. In many varieties, the bottom leaves will turn brown and dry up over time. This is a natural process and not a cause for concern. If individual leaves turn yellow and mushy in the upper area, too much water can be the cause.

Things to know about repotting:

When planting succulents, only use substrate that is well drained.
A special soil for cacti and succulent plants is ideal. The permeable soil has a high proportion of sand, gravel or lava granules.
Potting soil or compost is completely unsuitable as the water drains off too slowly and the roots rot easily.
In winter when there is less light, you should not repot the plants.
Small succulents are also planted in permeable substrate when propagating.
A pH of 5.5 to 6.5 is ideal. If the irrigation water has a higher degree of hardness, the pH value of the soil increases. Harder water is only suitable to a limited extent. Therefore, repotting in special soil is helpful for the plants.

How do I propagate succulents?

Propagating succulents is easy with many genera. In addition to the usual way of propagation by cuttings , some specimens can be propagated by offshoots (secondary shoots). This method is particularly necessary for non-branching succulents, since no cuttings can be obtained here. In this group, new shoots regularly grow at the base. The so-called Kindel can be easily separated from the mother plant . Leaf cuttings or offshoots/kindel are placed in substrate that is evenly moist. Make sure the location is bright and the temperature stays around 20°C. The use of good is also important herepermeable substrate and the avoidance of stagnant moisture. The parts of the plant quickly form their own roots and, depending on their shape, side shoots or new leaves and shoots. The young succulents are cared for in the same way as the mother plant. New plants initially need small planters . Only when the pot is completely rooted does a repotting take place. Like cactus, other succulents can be propagated by seed . Important when sowing: cacti germinate in the light . This means that the seed must not be covered with substrate . Cactus seeds germinate at high humiditywithin 2 to 3 weeks, some species only after 2 months.

What types of succulents are there?

The large group of succulent plants includes the following species with different growth forms, leaf colors and flowers.

    • Real Aloe
    • Crassula ovata
    • Kalanchoe
    • euphorbia
    • agave
    • Echeveria
    • Zamioculcas
    • Sansevieria
    • Senecio

living stones


What pests and diseases can occur on succulents?

Basically, the group of succulent plants is very robust and diseases and pests only occur with the wrong site conditions and poor care.

Mealybugs or mealybugs

Affected plants are covered with a woolly, white substance and often a sticky secretion. Among them are the sucking insects. In the case of initial infestation , remove everything with a cotton swab or tweezers . There is also the possibility of stopping the infestation with beneficial insects.

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