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November 26, 2018 3 min read

"Buy a succulent," they said. "It'll be easy to care for," they said.

So buy a succulent you did and now you have a very sad, very dead, succulent on your hands. How can this be!?

Honesty hour: any plant labeled, "easy care," can turn into a plant parenthood disaster if you aren't armed with the knowledge you need to properly care for that specific plant!

The good news? You've come to the right place. Let's get succulent and cacti care figured out once and for all.

Succulents + Cacti 101

Grab your sunnies and a wide-brimmed hat, because we're headed to the desert. Around here, we like to first discuss a plant's origin before diving into care tips. So where did succulents and cacti originate? You guessed it - they originated in desert-like climates.

Why is it important for us to mention this? Because their natural climate can tell us a lot about how we need to care for succulents and cacti in our own homes. Think about a desert for a moment. High heat, low humidity, little shade, and sparse rainfall.

Caring for Succulents + Cacti

I don't know about you, but I'm sweating just thinking about hanging out in a desert for any period of time! Let's step into the shade and observe how we can care for our succulents and cacti now that we know they flourish in a desert climate. These drought-lovers will be a piece of cake to care for now that we know where they thrive!

How to Properly Water Your Succulents + Cacti

OK, let's break it down. Since it doesn't rain often in the desert, these plants have adapted by storing water in their leaves. Ever noticed how succulents always have thick, fleshy leaves? Yep, those babies can store lots of extra water! This means that they don't need to be watered nearly as often as other indoor plants. During spring and summer, water your succulents and cacti every 2 weeks or so. If you aren't sure when to water, take signs from your plant. A succulent's leaves will begin to wrinkle when it needs a good watering. When you do water, make sure you really drench the plant to ensure it gets enough. In fall and winter, back off the watering a bit. Again, take signs from the plant - it will always let you know when it's in need!  Want more tips on watering? We've got a YouTube video for that.

Give Your Succulents + Cacti the Light They Need

Moving onto the topic of light, think back to our time in the desert. Not a whole lotta shade going on. This tells us that our succulents and cacti need all the sunshine they can get. As tempting as it may be, we can't will our succulents to thrive in the dark basement. It just won't happen. They truly need direct sunlight or bright, indirect light. Anything less than that and you'll have an unhappy plant on your hands. A sunny windowsill is an easy go-to place for succulents and cacti.

Now that you're a certifiable succulents and cacti wizard, head on over to the local plant shop and pick one (or six!) out for yourself! Line 'em up on a windowsill or create a succulent centerpiece. The design options with these cuties are endless!

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