The Happiness Of Succulents

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Discovering succulents about five years ago, I became enamoured with them immediately. My spouse and I were visiting a local spring fair which had beautiful succulent arrangements for sale. I had to have one and my husband offered me my first succulent arrangement. This was the start of a wonderful adventure into the world of succulents. I had no knowledge of how to take care of them but found a massive amount of information online. Succulents differ from regular house plants. I learned how to take care of them - appropriate soil, sufficient light and water, - as well as propagate them. Below are the fundamentals for growing succulents and bringing you much happiness.


Succulents need well draining soil. Unlike regular houseplants, they do not like their roots to stay wet. You can buy succulents soil at garden centres, but I like to mix my own with a combination of 50% coconut coir and 25% each of perlite and vermiculite. I mix it in a big Rubbermaid tub and always have some ready for repotting or propagating.


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As a general rule, succulents need lots of light, therefore placing them on a bright window sill is preferable. If succulents do not get sufficient light, they tend to stretch and lose their compact shape. In the summertime, succulents enjoy the fresh air and most will tolerate direct morning sun. When temperatures outside reach 10°C, it is safe to move your succulents outdoors.


To water succulents, add water to the pot until the water drains out the bottom. As succulents do not like to have wet feet, the saucer under the pot should be drained. The soil should dry completely before watering again; this is very important.


Since my first purchase, my collection has grown to about 100 plants. I really enjoy learning about them, and looking after them. I am amazed by the variety of types, colours, shapes and the general ease of propagation and care. I have joined a club of “succulentophiles” in Vancouver that shares my passion - the Desert Plants and Succulents Society. Maybe I’ll see you there someday?

Johane Fortin