The Beginner's Guide to Succulents

What Are Succulents?

Succulents are ornamental plants that are popular due to their unique appearance and their ability to thrive with little maintenance.

The word succulent is derived from the sucus, which means juice or sap. This meaning is fitting for these beauties because they store an abundance of water in their leaves and stems, giving them a swollen or fleshy appearance. 

The ability to store water this way allows them to survive for lengthy periods of time in dry climates. The leaves of most succulents are often minimal and spherical or cylindrical shaped, with a hairy, spiny, or Iarawaurfare.

In this guide, you will find everything you need to know about how to care for succulents whether you have a green thumb or you are just starting out.

How Much Sunlight Do Succulents Need?

The most common problem when growing succulents indoors is poor light. Most species need an average of six hours of sunlight per day. Many people will place their plants in a window to maximize sunlight. This method typically provides adequate sunlight, but there are things to take into consideration.

The first thing to consider is the location of your window. It is best to place your succulents near an east-facing window. By doing so, your succulents enjoy even light from the morning sun, which isn't as hot as the afternoon sun.

Placing plants near other windows runs the risk of getting too little light, as is the case with north-facing windows, or puts your succulents at risk of scorching in a south-facing window.

Succulents that are receiving too little light will start to stretch toward the light and grow unevenly. If you notice stretching occurring, move your plants closer to the window or consider moving them to a new location. Be careful not to overdo it, too much light can cause succulents to get too hot, leading to the roots cooking and the soil drying out too fast.

It may take a little experimenting to find just the right place for your plants; monitor them closely for the first couple of weeks and watch for warning signs that they may be lacking sunlight or getting too hot.

What is the Right Temperature Range for Succulents?

First, check out the UAE Plant Hardiness Map to determine the hardiness zone of your area if you are looking to plant your succulents outdoors, and choose a species that will thrive in your climate zone. "Tender succulents" are not as tolerant of colder climates as their hardier counterparts and do not do well in northern areas.

Tender varieties of succulents include Crassula, Kalanchoe, Echeveria, Jade, Aeonium, Tender Sedums, Aloe, and Senecio. Hardy succulents thrive in the majority of North America and tolerate most winter temperatures. These varieties include Sedum, Sempervivum (Hens and Chicks), Delosperma (Ice Plants), Orostachys, Jovibarba Hirta, Jovibarba Heuffelii, and Rosularia.

Ideal temperatures for succulents are 70-80 degrees in the summer, and 50-60 degrees in the winter. Many people aim to keep them the same temperature year-round, however, it is important for them to become dormant in the winter for optimal growth in the warmer months.

Bear in mind that right next to the window will always be warmer than the rest of the house in the summer and colder than the remainder of the house in the winter, so you should move your plant accordingly during extreme temperatures.

A good rule of thumb is, if the window feels hot to the touch, it is likely too warm of space to keep your plant. Likewise, if your windows are drafty or the glass is very cold, it may be too cold an area for your plant to thrive.

Also note, it is not a good idea to keep plants in a windowsill with a curtain behind them. This practice traps heat and cold air in this space and leads to temperatures too extreme for your plant. Don't be alarmed when your succulents lose their leaves in the winter.

Many people panic at this and over water their plants, striving to perk them up. Shedding their leaves how succulents survive the winter, and it allows them to bloom again in the winter months.

Succulents are accustomed to very little water over the winter months and may appear to be dying until the spring. Allowing your plants to go through this normal cycle will result in healthier plants when the temperatures warm up again.


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