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Yes, You Can Plant Your Own Succulents At Home

A great way to start if you want to develop a green thumb.
PHOTO: (LEFT TO RIGHT) Annie Spratt/Unsplash

Succulents are known for being low-maintenance. They have thick leaves, which makes it easier for them to store water; this means you don’t have to be paranoid that they’re not getting enough of it. In the succulent group alone, there are about 60 different families—yes, it’s not just cacti—and they have two types: soft and hardy succulents. Not all succulents are the same, but we understand it’s not the easiest to keep track of so here’s an easy way to tell where your plant will thrive best: Green succulents do better indoors while purple and orange ones are better suited out in the garden.

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How to plant succulents: Growing them from seeds

With so many succulents available right now, most people don’t really think about growing their own, but it’s totally possible. Plus, it can feel so rewarding to watch a plant flourish. The most important thing you have to do is find a reliable source that offers good-quality seeds. Once you have that, you’ll also need three things: a planting tray, well-draining soil, and a plant dome.

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Pick a planting tray with drainage holes because even as seeds, succulents need this otherwise they might drown. While doing your research, make sure you buy the proper potting soil—sand-rich and well-draining—for succulents. You also have the option of making your own substrate: Mix standard potting soil with horticultural sand. Bake this for half an hour or pop it in the microwave for 10 minutes.

Next, fill your planting tray with the soil or substrate until it’s around an inch below the edge of the tray and then water it. Wait until all the water is drained before you start planting. This step is important because it’ll help the seeds stick to the soil. Succulent seeds are incredibly small, so if you’re not careful, the wind can easily blow them away. Holding them carefully on one hand, pick up a seed and place it on the planting tray. Depending on how big the succulents will be when they grow, check that there’s actually enough space in between each seed.

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Succulents need humidity, and that’s exactly where the plant dome comes in. The dome will help create humidity for the seeds. Once they’re covered, place the planting tray in a space with direct sunlight. When the seeds start sprouting, you can remove the dome.

How to plant succulents: Basic plantcare for succulents

Sunlight

There’s this notion that succulents need to be under the sun all the time. While they do need bright light, they don’t need full sun. In fact, in really hot climate (like ours), it’s better to have them under some shade in the afternoon. If you plan on keeping your succulents indoors, make sure you pick ones that can survive in low-light environments—these are your green succulents, btw. If possible, keep them by your sunniest window. You’ll know if your succulent isn’t getting enough light if their leaves turn yellow. Try not to move them to a new location abruptly; do this gradually.  

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Water

Did you know that more plants die from over watering than under watering? Signs of over watering include: if the leaves are wilted and yellow; your plant looks limp and it doesn’t spring back up when you water it; it smells moldy and is attracting insects; it has blisters underneath its leaves. Don’t mist your succulents or water the actual leaves. Check if the soil is dry; that’s when you should be watering your succulents. A general rule is that succulents in small pots can be watered once a week; bigger ones, twice a week.

Succulents in planters

These plants can live on the ground, in pots, and in terrariums. And if you’re going to put ‘em in either a pot or terrarium, you have to be extra careful about watering them. Pots with drainage holes are best, with terra cotta being a good option because they naturally soak up moisture from the soil.

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How to plant succulents: Propagation

It’s not hard to propagate succulents. Depending on the type you have, your plant might already be “pups” or baby plants growing from the stem at the base. These can be twisted off and replanted. You can also break a leaf off your succulent, let it heal, and then plant them in soil.

Sources: Garden Beast, Apartment Therapy, MarthaStewart.com

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