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How to look after your succulent garden
The secret to cultivating succulents successfully is to give them conditions similar to their native habitats, which for the most part are warm, arid and receive minimal rainfall (under 20 inches a year) costal areas is the south west of England is ideal.
Looking after succulents in your mini gardens indoors or under cover:-
Water only during the growing season.
Donít keep the compost mix wet all the time ó you want to let the surface dry out a little bit before you water again, conversely, you donít want it to get bone dry or youíll stress the plant. When a plant is water-stressed, itís going to be dull looking, soft and malleable. When itís well watered, itís going to be plump, shiny and firm as with all gardens these need weeding on occasions, grass often turns up along with clover and shamrock looking plants which need careful cutting out but watch out for seeds flying from them.
Occasionally some of the succulents do so well they outgrow their space, you have two choices prune those around it planting the off cuts as cuttings or dig up and re-pot in good well drained compost.
It's worth knowing that succulents have a dormant period (most of them in the winter) and they donít need as much water then. Since they are dormant, they arenít growing and they donít use up as much water.
Sometimes the lower leaves of succulents especially Sempervivum are going to shrivel up and die, don't worry this is normal just pick them off.
How to care for succulents indoors!
Growing succulents indoors can be a bit tricky.
When succulents are indoors itís often hard for them to get enough sunlight.
Ideally they like 6 hours of Sunlight youíll want to keep your plants as close to the window as you can, but be careful not to let them get sunburned if the light from the window gets too hot.
The same applies to direct sun in green-houses
We keep our succulents in an east facing window ledge, right up against the window, and they have done really well. If your succulents arenít getting enough light they will start to stretch and get leggy
If there isnít anywhere that gets brighter light (or more hours of light), donít worry! if they do get too leggy for your taste, just cut off the top and propagate it! The bonus is that youíll also get more plants :)
Growing succulent mini gardens in your garden
If you have bought one of our containers they ideally should be placed where they get good sun for approximately half a day, with a pair of bricks underneath at either end this helps with drainage and slows down little pests getting in.
Outdoor gardens rarely need watering in England keep succulents on the dry side, although succulents can usually handle more rainfall than theyíd get in there natural habitat, their roots may rot if the soil stays soggy for too long so keep an eye on them in very wet weather.
If you need to re-pot any plants that have out grown there places in the gardens, give their roots superb drainage with a well drained compost with added 8mm flint.
Autumn and Winter
Very few succulents thrive outdoors where temperatures drop below freezing (32 degrees F) for extended periods, they hate wet with cold winds it's often a good idea to cover with fleece or some other temporary protection.
Cold-hardy varieties are primarily fine-leaved and perennial stonecrops (Sedum sp.)
Hens-and-chicks (Sempervivum sp.)ógenera will tolerate very low temperature but conversely they donít do well in temperature above 80 degrees, best to cover with fleece to protect them.
For those of you in areas with cold winters, it would be good practice to bring your succulent gardens inside before it snows most succulents are dormant during the winter. They need a period of cold to help them produce better blooms in the spring and summer.
If you grow your succulents indoors year round, they wonít notice much change in temperature unless they are right by the window. As a general rule, succulents like to be warm during the summer and cool during the winter.
If you can, keep the temperature in the summer between 70 and 80 degrees.
During the winter, youíll want your succulents to be a little colder, between 50 and 60 degrees. Most succulents can tolerate higher and lower temperatures as well, but those are the ideals.
Generally it is not a good idea to let the succulents get below freezing as this tends to cause damage to most succulents. Iíve found that having my plants by the window and keeping my house at a normal temperature for me seems to work just fine. They get a little warmer by the window in the summer and a little cooler in the winter.
In general, give succulents half a day of full sun, ideally morning, and the rest of the day bright or dappled shade. Keep in mind that the intensity and duration of sunlight varies, throughout the seasons, and in different orientations and locations
Succulents do need adequate light for balanced growth (so they donít stretch), and any succulentóany plant for that matteróthat has been cultivated in low-light or in a greenhouse should be hardened-off (introduced gradually) to greater sun exposure or you run the risk of sunburn
Sunburn appears as permanent beige or brown patches, and if extensive, may lead to a succulentís demise.
Those few that donít tolerate full sun, such as sansevierias and haworthias, make wonderful houseplants. Variegated (striped) succulents, which have less protective pigment, want less sun than their solid-coloured cousins.
Water and fertilizer requirements
When under-watered, succulents subsist on stored moisture.
If the soil dries completely, may desiccate leaves first and then roots growth cease.
Some succulents are capable of regenerating roots when the rains return, but itís best to keep soil about as moist as a wrung-out sponge.
Many people will tell you succulents donít need very much water. That simply isnít true!
However, over watering is the number one way people kill succulents. SoÖ hereís the secret - Succulents like to have their roots soaked with water, but then dry out quickly, so you need to water again a week or so later when dry.
If you keep the soil wet every day, they will die from too much water.
The rule of thumb is to water succulents thoroughly once a week in summer, twice a month in spring and autumn and just monthly during their winter dormancy. obviously this depends on many factors:- the type and depth of soil, time of year, relative humidity, intensity and duration of sun exposure, ambient temperature, and the type of plant. Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer, diluted to half strength, once or twice in spring (or autumn for summer-dormant varieties such as senecios and aeoniums).
Soil and drainage
Bagged cactus mix sold at stores can be too organically rich for most plants so add extra pumice two parts cactus mix for every one part pumice is an easy mix
Finishing the surface off with rocks can help control weeds and moisture, and regulate soil temperature. Lining the inside of the pot with bubble wrap helps insulate the plant from excessive heat, which can cause root dieback.
In nature, succulents often escape the elements by hiding in the shade of larger plants or rock crevices. So offer your succulent afternoon shade.
An all-purpose soil recipe: 50-60 percent pumice, 30 percent coir (a lightweight substance made of ground coconut husks, which holds moisture and nutrients) and 10-20 percent humus and a handful 3 to 8mm flint
The best soil for succulents, whether in the ground or in containers, is a coarse, fast-draining mix. You can buy bagged cactus mix, but itís less expensive to make your own. Although soil types vary from region to region and even within your own garden, the basic formula for in-ground plantings is one-third garden soil, one third compost, and one third pumice. If youíre growing primarily desert succulents, reduce the amount of compost and add sharp (large-grained) sand, flint gravel or decomposed
For containers, mix any bagged potting soil half-and-half with pumice. Increase the percentage of pumice for cacti, and decrease it for fine-leaved succulents, such as sedums.
Pumice is a volcanic rock with air pockets that absorb excess moisture and enhance aeration .
Prevent infestations by giving succulents excellent air circulation. Aphids and thrips like flower buds; scale tends to colonize stems; and mealy bugs (which look like bits of lint) burrow into leaf axils. Spray pests with rubbing alcohol diluted 50% with water. Scale can be scraped off, Isolate any infested plants immediately, lest the pests spread, and thoroughly clean the area. Mould may be a problem in humid climates; keep succulents as dry as possible (which sounds easy but of course isnít).
If you are following healthy practices for your succulents as indoor house plants (good watering, well draining soil, sunlight, airflow and temperature), bugs should not be a problem.
ButÖ they often are still.
Youíll generally get gnats if your soil stays too wet. Gnats are generally avoidable by using a well draining soil mix and allowing your soil to dry out between watering. Ordinary fly spray will kill these, use very sparingly
If you get mealy bugs, youíll want to spray them with rubbing alcohol and pour alcohol over the soil to kill any eggs they may have laid.
If pests seem to be winning, take cuttings from unaffected growth and establish them in fresh soil. Discard the diseased plant, soil and all, and clean the pot before reusing
Types of containers
Plants with shallow roots or that tend to rot faster do best in low or unglazed containers. Plants with leggy roots or those that require more water thrive in deep containers made of glazed, ceramic, fibreglass or plaster, you can use succulents in wood frames and boxes, logs and metal vessels, glass cylinders and handmade pottery.
The same thing goes for a container without a hole for water to drain out. Air flow is especially important for succulents in the winter to help keep the soil mostly dry and the plant breathing again, make sure you are using a well draining soil as well.
Glass containers generally arenít a great long term potting solution for succulents, especially during the winter. Succulents do not like to be sitting in soggy soil so a glass jar (or terrarium) is not going to make your succulent happy. This seems to especially cause problems in the winter when succulents need even less water than normal. Often succulents will get bugs or diseases from having soil that is too wet.
If you can help it, I really recommend staying away from glass unless you know your succulent really well and are confident in your watering skills.
The best pots to use indoors are terracotta and glazed ceramics, they provide great air flow and allow the soil to dry out easily. I always advise people to avoid glass containers (or anything that doesnít drain)
But if you just love the glass containers so much and you still can't resist them then it is possible to have your succulents in them, you need to be very careful with how much water you give them, always measure out how much water you need before you go pouring it on and make sure you only put in enough water to just get the soil damp, this way you can control the amount.
Please feel free to email us with your problems , we will endeavour to reply within a few days firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to visit the succulent nursery, you will need to ring or better text me on 07519020564, as it is by appointment only .
Find the nursery at
From the centre of Newton Poppleford head west towards Budleigh Salterton, (Exmouth Road) take the first left at the roundabout, we are the last house on the left approx. three hundred meters, we are immediately before the thirty mile per hour sign, look to the left you will see the large glasshouses and as we are appointment only, we have no sign
Newton Poppleford, nr Sidmouth, Devon EX10 0JD
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If you want exact technical address it's:-