How to Care for Succulents

A how-to guide to not kill your plants

By Caroline Nagrodsky Posted on 10/7/22

Succulents seem like they would be a great introductory plant to gardening, but they always seem to end up dead. Don’t worry! Succulents are actually very easy to care for if you follow these simple steps. 

zebra haworthia
Source: Maia C

1. Choose the Right Plants for Your Climate 

Not all succulents are meant to live inside and outside. Choose plants that will work well with the amount of light you have to offer (or lack of light). Some options for low light areas are snake plants, echeveria, and zebra haworthia. You can find suppliers that carry these.

Source: JE Kim

2. Enough Lighting 

While there are some varieties that do not require as much light as others, all succulents require a few hours of light each day. It is important to give them as much light as possible, whether it’s indirect or direct. Place your plants in a window that ideally has light all day long. You can tell if your succulent needs more light when it looks like it is craning for more sun. However, if your plants are getting enough sun but are getting “leggy,” you may need to rotate your plants. This is caused by only one side of your plant sitting in the sun every day and the other side is not. 

snake plant
Source: Sharry Eu

3. Water Your Plants!

It is a common misconception that succulent plants do not require as much water as other plants. However, they do not need to be watered as frequently as their other household plant counterparts. Stop misting your plants daily and follow the soak and dry method. Soak the soil with water, but allow the roots to dry out before watering again. Watering too frequently is the fastest way to kill your plants.

Source: Brian Lee

4. Choose the Correct Pot 

Cute containers might be aesthetically pleasing for your plant family, but they might not be the best option. Succulents need proper drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Terracotta pots work great for succulent plants. Without drainage holes, the roots will not be able to dry out and you will kill the plant. If you must plant them in a cute pot without built-in drainage, you can build your own drainage system at the bottom. 

Terracotta Pots
Source: Susy Morris

5. Drainage! 

As stated before, succulents love drainage. Choosing your soil is very important! You can find all the supplies you need for successful plants. There are extra ingredients in succulent soil that encourage drainage such as sand and perlite. You can also make soil yourself with potting soil, sand, and perlite. 

Source: PINKE

See, growing succulents isn’t so bad! They really are very easy plants to care for. However, these steps are just the basics for succulents in general. Be sure to read up on any specific varieties you may be growing.