Cacti & Succulents


What are Succulents?

"Succulent" is the name we give a group of plants with fleshy, thickened leaves or stems. The origin of the word ‘succulent’ is found in the Latin word ‘sucus’, which translates into sap or juice. Succulents are very drought tolerant because they are able to store water. They are easy to care for plants that are often mistaken for cacti. In fact, cacti make up over 1,300 of the existing succulent species. There are over 60 different succulent families and countless plant variants that differ in color, texture, and size. (Keep in mind, however, that while all cacti are succulents, not all succulents are cacti.)

How to Grow Succulents Indoors

Succulents use very little water because they are able to store it, so they tend to excel in a dry, warm environment, like inside our homes. This also makes them ideal candidates for adoption by people who love plants but who either don’t have the time or the talent to devote to their care. 

  1. Choose the appropriate plants you want to adopt based on your own home’s conditions. Almost all succulents adore direct sunlight. If you cannot provide that sort of environment, then plan to either move your succulents to a sunny location once every two or three weeks for a day or three, or go with a low light level succulents like Snake Plants or Aloe. While succulents will grow in shaded areas, they will eventually develop what growers call ‘stretch’ as they seek out more sunlight. 
  2. Provide a very well-draining potting medium. Too many people grow their succulents in moisture holding soils like peat mixes. Using a special cactus/succulent mix will get you started on the right foot. Adding a gritty material such as perlite or sand can further improve your drainage. Most folks do more damage by giving succulents too much water than too little. You can always add water; it is difficult to remove water.
  3. Choose your container. When repotting, be sure your plant container has enough drainage holes (for some reason, the Big Box Stores are selling containers with no holes in the bottoms – where any excess water is supposed to go remains a mystery to us). Allow the potting mix to dry out between watering.
  4. Again – the biggest error new succulent growers make is overwatering their plants. Water well, but allow your soil to completely dry out between watering. If you allow you soil to remain wet, I can promise your succulent will be short lived - and miserable while you had it.
  5. Fertilize your succulents every six months. We recommend a water soluble fertilizer like Miracle Gro®, and suggest fertilizing once in the spring and again toward the end of summer. (Don’t fertilize in the winter because they are not really hungry then.)