Caring for Succulents

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Succulents are generally low maintenance but will require some attention to keep them looking their best. This attention comes in the form of light, water, pest monitoring and grooming.


Succulents are not all alike and have different tolerance levels to the sun.

Indoor Succulents

A few varieties grow well indoors provided there is bright light. They include Haworthia, Aloe, Seneccio Rowleyanus (string of pearls), cacti, Ceropegia Woodii (chain of hearts ), rhipsalis and certain agave , kalanchoe and sansevieria. Ensure the indoor plant has good air circulation and remember to check for pests regularly. Otherwise water when required – see below.

Outdoor Succulents

Many smaller and fragile succulents enjoy filtered sun outdoors or a couple of hours of direct morning sun. These include Echeveria, Aloe, Sempervivans, Aeoniums, Crassula Multicava and some Sedums. A group of succulents such as Crassula Ovata (Jade) and Crassula Gollum and those with grey foliage like Seneccio Chalksticks are able to tolerate a full day of summer sun, provided they have been conditioned to that environment over time. Start by giving a couple of hours full sun per day, gradually increasing the amount of full sun per day over a few months until the plant has acclimatised to a full day of sun.


Succulents generally enjoy dry conditions but do need some water. You will need to consider factors such as the size, position and type of pot used. Use a small container to water around the base of the plants. Try to avoid spilling water directly on the foliage. Let the soil dry well before watering again. Too much water will cause the succulents to rot. Using a chopstick or skewer to check the moisture level of the soil can be useful. If the soil is dry it will not cling to the chopstick and it is time to water the plant. In summer you may need to water as often as 1-2 times per week. In winter and cooler months the plants become dormant and will require watering less frequently.


Mealy bug, (which looks like small groups of cotton wool), scale and aphids are the main problems encountered with succulents. Spray regularly with confidor in the warmer months to prevent damage from insects. Good air circulation will help prevent pests.


Older leaves will become papery and brown and can be removed.

When succulents receive insufficient light they become elongated. Move the plant to another position where it will receive more light and manually pinch out the tip of the plant which will encourage side branching resulting in a more attractive plant. Remove spent flowers by cutting them at the base

Fiddle leaf figs enjoy a position with bright indirect sunlight, away from draughts. They do not like to stay damp or sit in a tray of water, so let them dry ou ta little before watering.

To stimulate lush green new growth during Spring to Autumn, feed every 2 weeks with a liquid plant fertilizer.

Wipe the dust from the large leaves regularly by supporting the leaf from below with one hand, using your other hand to wipe with a moist cloth.

Phalenopsis, or Moth Orchids enjoy a position with bright indirect sunlight. Avoid overwatering or letting the plant sit in a saucer of water. Let them dry out a little between watering. A simple trick is to add one ice cube a week to the little plastic container holding the orchid.

Wipe the leaves regularly with a damp cloth to keep the plant looking it's best.

After flowering, prune the flower stem to above the second node from the base, and feed once a month with liquid plant fertilizer.

This is one of the hardiest indoor plants.

They enjoy bright indirect sunlight and moist soil. Peace Lily foliage will droop if the plant needs watering (although it can also be a sign of waterlogged potting mix, so always check the moisture level of the soil before re-watering).

They enjoy humidity and the foliage can be misted during hot and dry weather. To promote flowers from Spring to Autumn, feed fortnightly with liquid fertilizer.

Keep Peace Lily's looking their best by removing dead flowers and leaves.

This is a great plant for filling an empty corner as it has large dark green, heart shaped leaves with interesting holes and splits. It is a climber and can be trained up a support stake.

These plants like to be kept slightly moist and enjoy a position in bright indirect sunlight. By dusting the leaves and feeding every 4 weeks during the warmer months (with liquid fertilizer), they will always look lush and healthy

The beautiful waxy green leaves, and low light tolerance of the Zanzibar Gem, make this plant a wonderful plant to have in your home.

Let the plant dry out between waterings. It will grow to around 60-90cm tall.

Team it with a crisp white pot for a modern home.