Succulent and Cactus Plant Care
Succulents and cacti are low maintenance, water wise plants that store water in their leaves, stems or roots, creating a plump or succulent appearance. They are often found in hot, arid climates such as the desert and have adapted to tolerate long periods of drought. There are many varieties of succulents and cacti that come from all over the world. For best results each plant has individual needs, but there are general rules for succulent and cactus plant care.
Water - If your container has drainage holes, water thoroughly once a week during active growth period. If your container does not have drainage holes, water sparingly to moisten soil but be sure water does not pool up at the bottom of container which can cause rotting. Allow soil to dry between waterings.
Light - Place plant in a brightly lit south facing window indoors or an area with bright, indirect light outdoors. Some plants can tolerate full sun, but must be gradually acclimated to prevent sunburn. If the light source is inadequate, etiolation will occur and your plant will become leggy as it stretches out towards a light source.
Soil - Succulents and cacti like soil that is well aerated and fast draining. Perlite or pumice mixed with soil work well for this, or you can pick up cactus/succulent mix from your local nursery.
Lithop Care (living rock) - Take special care not to overwater lithops, or they will rot. Water during fall (when you see flower buds appear) and spring (after leaf shedding has occurred) thoroughly (until water runs through drainage holes) and let soil dry between waterings. Refrain from watering at all during winter and summer, save for very sparse sprinklings once a month. Keep your lithop in a bright, south facing window. For more information visit lithops.info
Nutrition - Fertilize during growing season with a 10-10-10 fertilizer diluted to 1/4 strength each watering.
Colors - In general greener succulents are more tolerant to low light environments. If your space does not have a good light source, stay away from succulents with blue, purple, pink and white tones.
Propagating - Succulents have many methods for reproduction and can propagate from cuttings, leaf cuttings and producing pups and seeds.
Artificial lighting - Succulents do best in natural light, but if this not available (during winter months or depending on your geographical location), you can supplement their light source with artificial grow lights. There are many options for energy efficient artificial lighting available.