Succulents 101

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Have you noticed the popularity of succulents lately? I’ve taken notice on Facebook, in magazines, and in stores. As cute as they are, there are still some important things you should know about planting and caring for succulents.

First of all, let’s start with succulents 101. Succulents are drought resistant plants in which the leaves, stem or roots have become more than usually fleshy by the development of water-storing tissue. Because they store water in their leaves, succulents tend to thrive in dry climates and don’t like a lot of humidity.

Although they store their own water, succulents still need to be watered on a regular basis. Once a week should be sufficient. Water them enough that the soil gets completely wet, then, let it dry out completely before you water again. For rest results, plant your succulents in a pot or container with a hole in the bottom for drainage. As you will see from my demonstration, I used mason jars which do not have a hole. In this case, it’s important to place rocks on the bottom so that the succulents are not sitting in water or soggy soil.

After preparing my jars, it was time to begin the planting process. I found these succulents at Ikea $2.99 each. When planting it’s best to work outside, if possible. I choose to work on the top of a pizza box so that there would be easy clean up! You could also work on newspaper or directly on the ground.

As far as supplies, you will need your plants, well-draining soil, pots or containers, and water. You might also choose rocks for drainage or to add decoration. Here is an example of a garden I made with rocks on top.

succulent garden

After gathering your supplies, you can start planting. Remove most of the soil from around the plants so that the roots are exposed. Keep that soil to use for planting.

If you are planting in containers without holes, you will want to place the rocks in the bottom of the containers before any soil. Then you can begin adding the soil.

After you have the right amount of soil in your container, you can add the plant. Make sure the roots are covered by soil. You may need to add some soil around the plant after it’s placed in your pot or container. Do not pack down the soil because you want it to be airy. The last thing step is to water the plants. Water them until the soil is completely wet or the water begins to flow through the hole in the bottom of your container.


Succulents need about 6 hours of sunlight each day. Just be careful they don’t get sunburned by the direct light. I choose to place my succulents in our sunroom for the summer. They will get the needed light, but aren’t exposed to too much direct sun.



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