Watering Suculents - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Kathleen
Edwardsville, IL
Question by ktherien
March 9, 2011
I purchased 5 small suculents in 3-inch while in California. Now in Illinois I just planted them together in a rather shallow bowl that has drainage. How often should I water them and how much water should I use (should it run through)? On one of them, the leaves are starting to turn yellow and drop off. Problem? Should they be moved outside when whether is permitting? And can they take full sun?


Answer from NGA
March 9, 2011


Yellowing leaves can indicate overwatering or stress from being moved (transported from California). Or, if they are the lowest, oldest leaves it can be perfectly normal, depending upon succulent type, and just indicates your plant is ready to put out new spring growth. I would water the container once and then allow the potting soil to dry out before watering again. I hope you used a cactus mix rather than potting soil. Cactus mix is sandy which will drain quickly; regular potting soil can hold too much water, especially if you water too frequently. Your succulents will indicate their need for water by drooping slightly or by using the moisture within the leaves and stems which will result in less-plump foliage. Just watch your plants carefully for water needs. Any change in their appearance can indicate a need for moisture, even if the potting soil has not yet dried out. You can take your succulents outdoors when the weather warms. Start by placing them in a shady spot and gradually increasing the amount of sunshine they receive until they are in full sun all day long. Hope this answers all your questions. Enjoy your new plants.

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