Gardening Tips for Succulent Plants

For gardeners who are tending to yards in dry, arid regions, succulents are an ideal plant choice. Requiring little water or maintenance, succulents are easy-to-care-for plans that can be creatively arranged in the garden, in containers or indoors.

Well-Drained Soil

As plants that require very little water, succulents must have extremely well drained soil if they are to thrive. Sharp sand or grit work well to help make soil more porous, whereas peat based compost mixes can cause root rot. Soil should be slightly acidic. When planting a succulent in a container, consider buying a half-sized pot or pan. Succulents typically have shallow roots, and the excess soil of a deep pot can cause the water to become stagnant.

Moderate Watering

Fresh rain water is preferable for succulents, rather than tap water. Alkaline water, or water containing chlorine, can cause an accumulation of minerals which leads to unattractive white spots on succulents. Be careful not to overwater succulents, as this is one of the easiest ways to accidentally kill this heat loving plant. Once a week during hot summers is plenty, less during cooler months.

Careful Handling

Many species of succulent Euphorbias (Euphorbiaceae) are highly toxic and should be handled with care. If the skin of the plant breaks, it bleeds a milky sap that can cause skin irritation. Ingesting or getting the substance into your eyes can cause serious problems. Wear gloves if trimming branches or excessively handling a Euphorbia succulent and keep the plant away from pets and children.

Keywords: about succulents, gardening tips, succulent plants

About this Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based out of Astoria, Ore. She has been writing professionally for five years, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for an alternative weekly paper in Santa Cruz. She has a B.A. in fine arts from the University of California in Santa Cruz and a minor in English literature.