Keeping your succulents, air plants, and cacti alive can sometimes be compared to trying to make spaghetti with no noodles, quieting a screaming baby, or keeping your fresh flowers alive forever…. IMPOSSIBLE. But, don’t give up on your plants just yet because Afloral.com is here to guide you with the best tips on caring for your plants!
How to plant succulents:
The number one rule for planting succulents is to make sure to plant them in a container with a drainage hole. If you do not have a container with a drainage hole, you may also add gravel to the bottom of a container to allow the water to drain out of the soil. Succulents won’t do well and may rot with an abundance of water or extremely moist soil.
With this being said, the first step of planting your succulent is to remove it from the pre-potted container and remove as much of the soil as possible without doing too much damage to the roots.
Once your planter has been prepared with proper water drainage, fill it with succulent soil. Leave room at the top for the plant.
Place your succulent into the container, nestling the roots slightly into the soil. Then, fill in the container with more soil while allowing for space to remain between the soil and your succulent to prevent rotting.
If you want to take the extra caution of separating your succulent bloom and the soil you can always add a small layer of gravel or sand as a top layer!
How to Care for Succulents:
The first thing you might think to do is to water your newly planted succulent, BUT we advise you to give it about 1-2 days before watering. This allows the roots to settle into their new home! Watering too soon after planting them can cause root rot.
Your succulents LOVE dry air, dry soil, and lots of sunlight! Check the soil every 7-10 days and only water them if the soil feels dry.
(When using wooden floral planters, be sure to use a plastic liners (not included), and add gravel as the base below the soil to ensure the water is draining enough to avoid rotting.)
Avoid humid areas (such as the bathroom or kitchen) or areas that have often changing temperatures. The perfect place for your succulent in most homes and offices is in the dry air and placed in a window with lots of light.
Succulents may also be planted outdoors, though it is best to plant them in an area that you know the soil does not hold moisture and that receives lots of sunlight!
How to Plant Air Plants:
You don’t! Air plants require absolutely no soil to grow. They actually do best with lots and lots of fresh airflow, bright, indirect light, and water.
How to Care for Air Plants:
WATER: The aptly named “air” plants, use the moisture in the air to thrive and survive! Once a week, you will need to soak your air plants in a bath of room temperature water for approximately 10-20 minutes. After you have removed it from the water, gently shake the access water off the plant and leave it in a bright space to dry. If you live in a place that is generally very dry and hot, soaking your plants may be necessary up to 2-3 times a week.
And to be a really good air plant parent, it is recommend to spritz them with water between water baths as they feel dry.
Ok… we know this sounds like a lot. So here’s a tip to really know when your air plants NEED water. When the leaves feel stiff and are full of color, that means that they are well hydrated. When the leaves are soft and brittle and look colorless, water away, your air plant babies are thirsty! If the leaves are curled, your plant is probably dehydrated.
LIGHT: The best home for your air plants is in a place with lots of fresh airflow and in indirect light. Indirect light can simply be the glow of light that fills the room from your windows, or under fluorescent lights in your home or office.
Your air plants may also live outdoors, though it is recommended to keep them on a porch or patio to keep them out of the direct sunlight.
KEEPING ‘EM IN SHAPE: For the best care possible, a bit of grooming is recommended. Naturally, the bottom leaves of your air plant can dry out. These leaves are no longer useful to the health of your plant and can be removed. Your leaves may also develop dry tips, but you can simply trim them off, and they will continue to grow!
Cacti are very similar to succulents when it comes to the care that they need. Cacti go through an active growing season, between spring and fall, which is the time that they are growing the most and need the most care. In the winter, they go into dormancy, which is a time that all developmental and metabolic processes stop in order for the plant to conserve energy. During dormancy, the care needed is very minimal.
How to Plant Cacti:
Just like succulents, cacti need to be planted in a container that features a drainage hole, as cacti also do not do well in moist soil. If you do not have a container with a drainage hole, you will need to add rocks to the bottom of a container to allow the water to drain out of the soil.
Plant your cactus in succulent and cacti soil and pack down the soil with a spoon.
How to Care for Cacti:
WATER: During active growth, you will want to water your plant when the top half-inch of soil is dry. Thoroughly moisten the soil once a week, watering from the top of the container. If the soil very quickly absorbs the water, you will want to water until you see drainage occur.
During dormancy, your plant requires little to no watering depending on how dry the soil becomes. If it becomes dry, you will want to water it every few weeks, inserting the water into the drainage hole, rather than the top of the container.
LIGHT: Also similar to succulents, cacti require some direct sunlight.
During active growth, your plant will need to be placed in direct sunlight for approximately 4 hours a day. During this period, be sure to rotate the plant as sunburn can occur. You can detect sunburn if your cacti develops a white or yellowing color. Rotating it also encourages even growth! For the remaining time, your cacti can be placed in bright, indirect light. Your cacti will also do best in an indoor temperature of 65-90 degrees Fahrenheit.
During dormancy, your cacti simply needs to be placed in bright indirect light! During this period, your plant will do best in an indoor temperature of 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit.
FERTILIZER: Cacti need to eat in order to grow.
During active growth, you will want to use 5-10-10 fertilizer every 2-3 months. Though, as a tip, you will not want to feed it right after planting as it will need time to settle into it’s new home!
During dormancy, you will not want to fertilize your plant, as it is not growing or taking in nutrients at this time!
So we’re sure you’re wondering… how do I know when my plant comes out of dormancy and into active growth? A great indicator that your plant is in active growth season, requiring your care is the formation of buds and flowering. At this time, you will want to be sure to continue caring for it as directed!
Now that you’re an expert at caring for these plants.. be sure to see our new gorgeous selection of live air plants and succulents!