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August 05, 2009

Comments

Kristal

I've bought 6 succulents from Lowes this year and killed all but 1 of them. :( I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong!

Darci

I love succulents! I bought four of them last year and killed every last one, though. I think they need more water than I assumed they did

ellen

I'm by no means an expert, but despite their commonly held reputation for being easy-to-care for, I think succulents can be kind of challenging. Probably the most common ways to kill succulents are over-watering and lack of light. Our house faces south, and because of the way it's built, it's hard for me to position my plants in a way to maximize their sun exposure. In the cooler months, they sit on my dining room windowsill -- but my mom told me that I should put them outside in the summer. I read that if your succulents haven't had a long of strong sun exposure, you should introduce them outside gradually, because their foliage will be weak and easily burned by the sun (sort of the same concept with fair skinned people and the outdoors). So when I put them outside, I put them on our bottom deck, which has some sun protection from the top deck. The idea was that I'd eventually move them to the top deck, to maximize the sun exposure - but I've yet to do this because they look so good out there and I'm afraid I'll miss them if I move them up to :o) I'll probably compromise and arrange them on a table below our deck, or on the stairs.

As for water, I recommend using one of those plant misters and misting the roots, rather than flooding them, the way you usually would by watering directing with a watering can or something similar. I got my mister at Target - looks sort of like this: http://img01.static-nextag.com/image/Yellow-Gold-Plant-Mister/0/000/006/030/753/603075324.jpg

Here's a Q&A from the Henry Shaw Cactus Society -- http://www.hscactus.org/q&a.html
At their show each year, they offer a how-to guide for general cactus and succulent care. They're super-knowledgeable and friendly, so it might be worth an e-mail to ask them. Otherwise I highly recommend talking to a staff member at the Kemper Center for Home Gardening at MoBot -- they're always very helpful with lots of great advice.

HTH!

KBO

I love succulents. I feel like they are from a sci-fi movie.

Kristen

Very pretty stuff! I don't know a lot about succulents, do you normally put them in a pot or in the ground?

ellen

Either - you can plant them in the ground or keep them in a pot, but it does depend on the variety and their relative weather tolerance. For instance, the two bigger ones on the left were sold as ground cover options. I have two others still in their pots, sitting in one of my garden beds, waiting to be planted. They're still doing well :o)

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