A Beginner's Guide to Succulents - Toronto Flower Story

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A Beginner's Guide to Succulents

September 27, 2022

A Beginner's Guide to Succulents

Succulents are a remarkably varied group of plants that have enduring appeal for all gardeners. And, because they require little upkeep and are ready to reproduce, they are the primary choice of novice planters who are still getting the swing of gardening. You don't even need a garden to enjoy the full benefits of cultivating succulents because they are ideally adapted to life indoors in pots. 

While succulents are often portrayed as low maintenance and easy to propagate, caring for them still needs enough time and effort. If you’re a beginner, here are the basics of succulent plant care to keep them happy and thriving.

Things You Should Know

  • Choosing a Pot

    Terra cotta pots work best for succulents

    There are several types of pots available for growing succulents, but they should have sufficient drainage holes and be breathable. Succulents dislike standing in water for an extended period of time because it causes their roots to absorb too much water, which causes them to decay.

    If you are just beginning to cultivate succulents, choose a pot with a drainage hole. It's not acceptable to use a terrarium or pot without drainage. For beginners, terra cotta pots are recommended. Since it is made of porous clay, it keeps soils cold and dries up quickly, especially in sunny locations.

  • Choosing the Right Succulents
  • One of the most common beginner questions is, “what do I need to know before buying succulents?” Inexperienced gardeners often worry that they will eventually kill all of their plants. As a result, choosing a starting plant is crucial since even low-maintenance plants may occasionally be challenging.

    Most succulents need outdoor space and full sun to grow. But, if you'd want an indoor plant, some species can also withstand shadow and flourish there. For instance, succulents belonging to the Haworthia genus often prefer filtered light over direct sunshine. Other succulents, such as the Senecio String of Pearls or the Donkey Tail, can thrive in partial shade.

    It's important to keep in mind that even if you grow them inside, you should place them on a spot where they may get at least 4 to 6 hours of sunshine daily.

  • Watering Your Plants
  • Succulents differ from typical plants in several ways. Since most of their native environment is arid, they have evolved a high heat tolerance and the capacity to retain water in leaves. Succulents thus require less water than other plants.

    But it's crucial to understand when and how to hydrate them.

    Water your succulent only when the soil is fully dry. You may check the moisture content with a moisture meter or with a chopstick inserted into the drainage hole. It might be once a week or once every 10 to 14 days, depending on the temperature and weather.

    Succulents need only have their soil watered, not their leaves. It may be alright if you reside in a dry, sunny environment, but humid weather can result in decay. Also, keep in mind to give your succulents a thorough soak each time you water them. If water is trickling from the drainage hole, that is a sign that the volume of water is appropriate.

  • Using the Right Soil
  • If you have a succulent, never use a regular soil mix. Normal soil is excellent for holding onto water and minerals, while succulents require soil that drains properly. Your succulents are susceptible to root rot if the soil retains too much water.

    Succulents are drought-resistant plants that don't need constant watering, so their potting soil should be permeable, well-draining, and contain less organic matter than typical indoor soil mixtures. It is best to use a loose, granular soil mix that contains plenty of sand, perlite, or pumice.

  • Getting Proper Light and Temperature
  • A frequent indication that your succulents are receiving too much sunshine is when they get sunburned or brown. It is preferable to transfer them to a location where they receive a sufficient quantity of filtered sunlight when it becomes too sunny.

    While succulents can endure shade, they also dislike staying where there isn't enough sunshine. If you notice it expanding out or the space between the leaves getting wider, your succulent needs additional sunshine. Succulents prefer temperatures between 60°Fand 80°F. When the temperature drops below 40°F, remember to take your succulent inside.

  • Grooming your Plants
  • Proper grooming is one often ignored tip on how to keep succulents alive. Keeping your plants clean and organized is a smart method to maintain their health and happiness because insects and pests like to eat rotting or dead leaves. Check your plant's roots when there are signs of overwatering and regularly remove any dry or decaying leaves.

    What Is the Best Succulent for Beginners?

    There are several varieties of succulents to choose from


    If you are still starting, here are some of the best succulents for beginners:

  • Agave
  • Large leaves and pointy points make agave plants prominent among succulents. These plants may thrive in either direct sunlight or light shade. Additionally, they can withstand drought, and as for preferred soil types, they thrive in any with good drainage.

  • Aloe
  • Aloe is a low-maintenance plant, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Keep the plant in a bright area and only water it when the soil becomes dry. Because of the numerous medicinal benefits of its gel, which has been utilized for thousands of years, it is often referred to as the "wonder plant."

  • Crassula
  • All of the crassula varieties are easy to grow and come in a wide variety. The jade plant, often known as the money tree or lucky tree, is the most famous of them all. You may grow them via offsets, division, or leaf cuttings. They also go dormant over the summer and require less irrigation.

  • Echeveria 
  • Echeveria, a native of Central America, thrives in outdoor environments. They don't need as much water or food, and they may even survive for a long time without any attention. Echeveria is a slow-growing succulent that, at its finest, grows to a height and breadth of 12 inches.

  • Haworthia 
  • The striped leaves of Haworthia have earned it the nickname "zebra plant." Some of the genera of this succulent have a translucent leaf, which looks lovely as home décor. Compared to other succulents, they are more resilient and can tolerate low light. For best growth, avoid overwatering.

  • Kalanchoe
  • Kalanchoes are relatively simple to care for because they can survive for weeks without water. They produce lovely blooms of various hues and grow swiftly for a succulent. Some of the longest flowering blooms in the plant kingdom are produced by the Blossfeldiana variety.

    Succulents are extremely attractive and fascinating plants. This succulent guide for beginners will help you succeed in this newfound hobby and will surely help set you up for more.

    If you are looking for succulents, come to Flower Story. You may also shop for any of your floral needs and avail yourself of free flower delivery in Toronto by calling us at (416) 797-9774 today.