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Succulent care – what you need to know


4 potted indoor cactus plants.

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The uniqueness of a succulent garden is often its appeal – and knowing how to maintain a succulents outdoors is key to its success. Even though succulents are popular indoor plants (perhaps because they’re well-known air purifying plants!) you can keep succulents outdoors. If you’ve never even thought of keeping succulents outdoors, let us surprise you with a few methods and tricks for how to take care of a succulent and keep it healthy under the open sky. We’ll take look at how to care for succulents in gardens and on balconies and reveal some general rules for succulent care, before suggesting a good way for how to look after a succulent outside.

How to care for succulent plants

Regardless if you’re caring for outdoor or indoor succulents, there are some rules that apply in both situations. Here’s a quick recap so you know what to keep in mind for your outdoor succulent garden.

Just like cacti, succulents don’t need a lot of watering. Watering cacti is something you don’t need to be doing regularly, and it is similar for succulents. Although a lot of succulents have juicy, water-filled leaves, watering them too often can cause them to rot and die. Not what you want. You can find some specific guides for how often to water specific succulents, for example how often to water an aloe plant, but in general you can give your succulents a drink once the soil is dry a few inches down the pot. What if you want “grounded” succulents that aren’t potted? Let’s take a look at that in the next section!

How to maintain succulents outdoors

As mentioned above, there are two main ways for how to care for a succulent plant when you’re keeping it outside. You can either keep it in a pot, or plant it in the ground – also called a grounded succulent. When is potting better than grounding? Why would you choose to pot succulents outdoors and not plant them straight away? Let’s take a look!

Succulent care in a seasonal climate? Consider more flexibility!

If you live somewhere where the weather changes a lot with the seasons, consider keeping your succulents in pots when they’re outside. Not only does this have the benefit of being able to ensure that the soil drains well, but you can also move your succulents as the weather changes. Although succulents can do well outdoors, they are sensitive to overwatering, as we’ve already covered. If where you live is subject to lots of rain in all seasons, you might find that your succulents get overwatered, as it is harder to control the soil when you’ve planted succulents in the ground. In this case, keeping your succulents in a pot offers a little bit more flexibility. 

Furthermore, if you keep your succulents in pots, you can re-arrange them when you feel like you want your garden to have a little change-up without putting your plants through the stress of a total soil-change. That being said, it is sometimes important to re-pot your plants – one of the trickier ones to repot are cacti, but repotting cacti is totally possible, too! Want to repot your succulents but your plant pots looking a bit dirty? Don’t worry, just give them a once over with Jeyes Fluid and they’ll be looking good as new - all ready to hold your beautiful plants! 

Succulent care in a stable environment? Go for “grounded”!

If you live somewhere where the weather doesn’t change too drastically and it doesn’t rain excessively, then you can consider grounding your succulents. What this means is planting them straight into your garden soil, and not into pots outside. However, if you can, try and ensure that your succulents get planted in well-draining soil. This way, the roots will be less susceptible to rotting. Even if it doesn’t rain often, just a little bit of rain could cause the soil to become waterlogged and it could be difficult for your succulents to stay healthy. 

Grounding succulents has its benefits. For one, you’ll be able to keep them in one spot and let them grow and spread out naturally. For another, grounded soil holds water better than most potted soils, so you can usually cut down on watering – which will help your water bill! As succulents are native to deserts, you’ll probably have to water even less than you think!

That’s it! Those are the fundamental considerations when thinking about how to care for a succulent outdoors! If you’ve found these tips and tricks helpful, you might enjoy some of our other articles, how to use insecticides, how to put up a tent and how to compost tea bags.