How to Care for Your Succulents

Learn the basic care techniques needed for succulents in order for the plants to survive.

| May 2018

  • succulents
    Make sure you get the correct soil so that you plants will be able to drain.
    Photo by Tawni Daigle
  • succulents
    “DIY Succulents” by Tawni Daigle, provides readers with the basics of caring for succulents and ideas about how to arrange them.
    Courtesy of Adams Media

  • succulents
  • succulents

DIY Succulents (Adams Media, 2015) by Tawni Daigle, is a great read for new succulent owners. Find the practical information you need to care for your succulent plant, and all of the fun ideas for arranging different succulent plants. You can even find ideas for wearing succulents on a necklace or headband.

Just as with any other plant, there are three main factors to consider when growing succulents: soil, water, and sunlight. Using the correct type and amount of each of these factors will help your plants look their best.


Succulents thrive in well-draining soil. You can buy bags of soil mixed especially for succulents and cacti at your local garden center. Kellogg Garden Organics Palm, Cactus & Citrus mix is one great option. Sometimes these store-bought mixes can contain undesirable sticks and such that can be sifted out if necessary. (For example, if you are making a tiny terrarium, big sticks might take up too much space.)

If you can’t find specialized soil or if you have regular potting soil on hand that you’d rather use, you can customize it to best suit your succulent. To increase drainage, mix in equal parts:

  • Regular potting soil
  • Perlite (an expanded volcanic glass used to improve aeration and drainage) and/or
  • Coarse-grained horticultural-grade sand

You can find both perlite and horticultural sand at garden centers. Succulents will suffer if their roots sit in excessive water, so it’s worth the time up front to create a very well-draining soil.

Repot your succulents in fresh soil once a year to keep them healthy and looking their best.

5/25/2018 11:19:17 AM

I bought a mix for succulents and planted some in containers only to discover the mix was garden soil and not potting soil. Should I replant or just make doubly sure not to overwater?

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