Kiwi offers a full assortment of these exotic gems. Paul is smitten with the fun textures and colours of succulents - our selection of varieties, shapes and sizes keeps growing! Its easy to fall in love with succulents; their look is wonderful AND they are extremely forgiving plants to live with. Sometimes mistaken as cacti, these tender plants do thrive on neglect but they are a lot more friendly than their prickly cousins. You can grow them individually in small pots, buy a gorgeous planter already filled with succulents, or have fun grouping your own selections together at home. They can live indoors all the time, or outdoors for the summer.
CARING FOR YOUR SUCCULENTS
Succulents really are low maintenance. Sturdy and resourceful, their only enemy is too much water. As a general guide: pots are watered well, and then are left to go very dry. When growing, water small pots once every 2-3 weeks, larger planters every 3-4 weeks. When in doubt, don’t water.
HOW TO WATER
Pots can be held over a sink so the water can drain through a few times, or they can be left sitting in water for 30 minutes to soak them well. They don’t like being sprayed with a mister.
A pot with a drainage hole in the bottom is ideal. Succulents are also happy in containers with no drainage, but be careful to not overwater - the water has nowhere to go. Make sure the pot is very full of plants; the pot will require less water when there are lots of roots and not much soil. Succulents like being root bound.
Less light = less water. Winter is a time of slower growth and watering slows down too: once a month for small pots, planters every 6-8weeks. No worries when you go on vacation!
The brighter the better! Succulents do not need direct sunlight - a bright room is fine. There are plants to suit your darker rooms too, as some succulents tolerate little light. Here are some suggestions:
All varieties of Aloe, Pentagona (Hawarthia), Gasteria, and Senecio (String of Pearls), and most varieties of Crassula (Jade plant). Hawathia and Gasteria are the champs for next to no light.
Next to no light: Hawarthia 'Pentagona', Gasteria
Low light: Aloe, most varieties of Crassula (Jade plant), Hawarthia, Senecio (String of Pearls)
SOIL & FERTILIZER
Succulents will fill their pots and once they do, their growth will slow down so it is not necessary to repot. If you do want the plant to grow larger, increase the pot size gradually, by no more than 50%. Repotting is best done in the spring, with an indoor potting soil like “Pro-mix”. Adding extra perlite is good, and Cactus mix works well too. If you want them to grow, give succulents more water and fertilize during the growing season, April to September.
Succulents are desert plants. They don’t mind extreme heat and cold (above 5 degrees Celsius). Unlike tropicals, they don’t mind being right next to a cold window.
Can succulents live outdoors?
Yes, in the summer planters can go outside June-September. You will need to bring the planters inside for the winter, either in your bright living space or in a place to go dormant (sleep for the winter). Because they have gotten used to sunshine outside, a windowsill or under fluorescent lights is best, where they will continue to slowly grow. Some people choose to treat them like annuals, don’t store them, and mix it up each new year with new plants.
Can succulents be put directly into my garden outside?
Normally not, but larger specimens (more than 15cm) will do fine, planted in full sun with well drained soil.
My deck is super hot and sunny. What do you recommend?
Most will be very happy. A few exceptions require more water: String of Pearls and Jelly Beans.
Where is the best place to store my dormant succulents?
Even with no light, succulents can survive at 5°C for several months, and will go dormant if kept dry. This allows them to be stored all winter long in a heated garage, cold storage, or basement. It must be a very, very dry cool spot, and not warmer than 10 degrees if there is no light. Again, the key is DRY.
Will a succulent like my office space?
Yes! Succulents thrive under fluorescent lights. No windows, no problem! They also don’t mind the forced circulated air. Succulents don’t mind if you go away on holidays because they don’t need much water…simply encourage those over helpful co-workers to ignore your plants too!
What do I do if they are growing too much?
In the winter if they are stretching, or getting ‘leggy’, that means they are asking for less water. Less light = less water. Some varieties of succulents can be trimmed; cut them back at the base and they will slowly branch and form a very compact plant.
What if I want them to stay small?
The beauty is they fill their pots and slow their own growth. Keeping them very dry also encourages them to stay small and compact.
Why does my big plant need less water?
Contrary to most plants, once they are larger and more root bound, the less water they require.
What do I do with the flowers?
Succulents send out some very strange flowers sometimes! No worries, if you don’t like them, its ok to cut them off at the base of the stem.