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Caring for your Succulents

Posted by E v Fumetti on

If you have just given a succulent a new home, congratulations!  You're starting a new adventure of being a plant parent that's educational and rewarding.  I discover new succulent and cactus species all the time when exploring the many nurseries in the San Diego area and researching online.  

I'll share my knowledge that I've learned about succulents. They prefer bright light and some can tolerate 2-3 hours of direct sun.  They don't thrive with  over watering.  It's best to water from the bottom if you can.  Otherwise, you can water it under the leaves using our watering tool that's included in our purchases that helps from drowning your succulent.  If you have a larger plant, we have a water bottle that directs the water to the soil, that you can purchase in the Sea of Bliss Shop.

Succulents need well draining soil that allows their roots to breath. Cactus and succulent soil can be found in most garden centers but you can mix your own if you have potting/gardening soil, sand, perlite and/or pumice. A planter with drainage is best but you can also put pebbles on the bottom if it has no drainage and the roots won't sit in the water but can reach for what they need.

Containers can play a big part in how often you should water.  If your succulents are in nursery pots, terra cotta or ceramic with drainage holes and are in bright light or direct sun, you'll most likely need to water more often than if they're in a pot without drainage holes, whether it's ceramic or glass since they're getting more air to the roots.  You can lift the pot after watering to feel the weight and then lift it in another few weeks to see if it's much lighter to gauge water needs.  You can also put a wood skewer into the soil to check if it comes out clean or with wet dirt to see if it needs water.  It's best to wait and water when they're totally dry to water.  Our plants come with a skewer and watering tool as well as care instructions.

Some of our planters are created from hand cut wine bottles and do not have a drainage hole so we place pebbles on the bottom surrounding the punt to allow drainage.  They don't receive as much air to the roots but you can 'aerate' the soil every so often to loosen it and allow air in, using the wood skewer or a similar tool.  Use your best judgement for how often your plants need water.  If the leaves look wrinkly and droopy, they may be dehydrated.  If they look swollen and slightly yellow, it may be overwatered.  Aerating the soil and giving them more light may help and hopefully will save it from dying.

If you purchase one of our wine planter succulents and it outgrows the pot, you can repot it in a larger planter.  If you'd like to reuse the wine planter, we recommend cleaning the inside with a bleach solution to sterilize it prior to planting in it. This is good to do with any pot you've used and want to repot a plant in it.  It's good for keeping any fungus or possible pests from damaging the next plant.

Speaking of pests....check for pests every few weeks as they can be munching away at your plant baby and bammo, it's dead or dying.  Here are some tips on identifying a few pests that can affect succulents: 

Scale are hard-shelled, sucking insects that look like small, dark bumps.  You can gently scrape off or spray with 70% isopropyl alcohol.

Mealy bugs are white cottony or cob webby looking insects that can be removed with a Q-tip dipped in alcohol. After you dab the white stuff you will see a dark spot which is the bug chewing at your plant.

More to come.....


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