The Real Reason You Keep Killing Your Succulents

updated Jul 16, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Diana Liang)

This one’s for my black-thumbed brethren. The folks, like me, who ran out to buy a dozen succulents once word got around about how easy they are to take care of. And the folks who, again like me, almost instantly found a way to let their easy-going succulents down. RIP, Sally the Succulent, you will be missed.

(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)

It turns out that location might have been the piece you were missing. The team at Sage Market + Design, a floral and decor shop in Newburyport, MA, considers succulent gardens to be one of their specialties. They shared this simple tip with Apartment Therapy, and it might explain what many of us black thumbs have been getting wrong about our plants.

Succulents in the purple and orange color family prefer the outdoors. They will prefer your patio or deck to your darker rooms. Succulents that are really very green will do better indoors.

Was that the lightbulb moment you needed to keep your succulent garden thriving? Of course, there’s more to caring for plants than finding a good location, so Sage Market + Design also provided us some of their best tips for caring for your succulent garden.

Tips for Caring for Your Succulent Garden

  1. Use well-drained soil and/or cactus mix compost with sand to increase drainage. Let them dry out completely in between watering days.
  2. Pluck any dry/dying leaves from the succulent.
  3. Water lightly with a mister and take note how quickly the soil dries out based on its location in your home (filtered light vs. full sunlight).
  4. Water by misting every 10 to 14 days.
  5. Give your succulents bright light, although not intense direct sunlight.
  6. Repot once a year with fresh soil into a pot that is a bit bigger than the last to allow room for growth.
  7. Growing season is from spring to fall and your succulents will need more water and fresh soil/fertilizer during this season. You can leave them more alone in the winter, as they tend not to grow as much in the winter.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Is This The Reason You Keep Killing Your Succulents?

Do you have any smart tips about keeping succulents alive? Share them in the comments below!