I adore houseplants. I think they really make a home. It takes a bit of care and experience to learn not to kill them all. Here are some tips and care ideas as well as guides for specific succulents.
- A free draining soil is essential. I use cactus mix – which is quite sandy and mix it with normal potting soil.
- Most need a lot of sun in summer but be careful not to scorch plants on and near windows. Give them a little shade from direct sun.
- My Aloe Vera does not like direct sunlight: the tips of its leaves got sunburned and turned pink and curled in. I keep it slightly shaded and its much happier now.
- Over-watering is the most common cause of death. It rots the roots which you may not be able to spot until it’s too late. If in doubt, don’t water.
- Don’t let water rest on the leaves, for instance on Aloe leaves because it can rot them. Use a tissue to blot and dry them gently.
- When repotting use a paint brush to brush the dirt off the leaves.
- In spring and autumn water every two weeks. Allow soil to dry out between watering.
- Fertilize in summer. I use ordinary plant food mixed with water.
- In winter; succulents grow dormant and prefer lower light levels. Give little to no water during winter and it’s not necessary to add plant food. You should remove plants from window sills if the night is very cold.
- All you need to do is gently pull one of the leaves.
- Leave leaf in a warm spot to dry and form a callous.
- Keep compost damp and place them on the surface of the soil.
- It will slowly begin to grow roots.
- When plantlets appear and grow a little, separate them and pot.
Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum) propagation
- Sempervivum grow out from the mamma plant, hence the name Hen and Chicks.
- The centre plant will flower once in its life and then die leaving a host of offshoots to carry on.