Caring for Succulents

Knowing what succulents like and dislike will help you figure out when to tend to your near-invincible living works of art and when to let them be. Here are a few pointers to help you get growing. 

Make Sure Your Succulents Get Enough Light

Succulents love light and need about six hours of sun per day, depending on the type of succulent. Newly planted succulents can scorch in direct sunlight, so you may need to gradually introduce them to full sun exposure or provide shade with a sheer curtain.

Rotate Succulents Frequently

Succulents love the direct sun,  but if yours is sitting in the same exact spot day after day, it's likely that only one side is getting enough light. We suggest rotating the plant often. Succulents will lean towards the sun,  so rotating them will help them stand up straight. (Leaning may also be a  sign that they need to be in a sunnier spot.) 

Water According to the Season

Just like us, succulents need more energy when they're in a period of growth. During the spring and summer, the plants are thriving and drink up much more water than when they're resting in the fall and winter. We recommend testing the soil with a finger—when the top 1.5 inches are dry, grab your watering can. Overwatering can kill your succulents, so make sure you let the soil dry between waterings.

Water the Soil Directly

When you water your succulents, soak the soil until water runs out of the drainage holes. (If your container doesn’t have drainage holes, use less  water.) Don’t use a spray bottle to water your succulents—misting can cause brittle roots and moldy leaves.  

Keep Succulents Clean

Inevitably, your indoor plants will gradually pick up dust on their surface, which can inhibit their growth, Wipe off the leaves and spines gently with a damp cloth.

Caring for Air Plants

Knowing what air plants (Tillandsia) like and dislike will help you figure out when to tend to air plants and when to let them be. Here are a few pointers to help you get growing.  

Tillandsia (Air Plants)

Light: Lighting for Tillandsias should be bright but filtered (April - October). They should not be left in the direct sun in the summer months (this will cause the plant to become sunburned). Tillandsias love the direct sun (November - March). Tillandsias may be grown in the house directly in front of a window. Fresh moving air is advisable, but remember, the most important care need is bright filtered light. Beware of trees, overhangs, and window tinting that can rob your plants of needed light. For best success, place plants in a room that gets plenty of sunlight. 

Water: Thoroughly wet your Tillandsia once per week; more often in a hot, dry environment; less often in a cool, humid one. Plants should be given enough light and air circulation to dry in no longer than 4 hours after watering. Spray misting is insufficient as the sole means of watering but may be beneficial between regular watering. in dry climates to increase the humidity. If the plant is in a shell, be sure to empty the water out. Tillandsias will not survive in standing water. Under-watering is evidenced by an exaggerating of the natural concave curve of each leaf. 

Air Circulation: Following each watering, Tillandsias should be given enough light and air circulation to dry in 4 hours or less. Do not keep plants constantly wet or moist. Temperature: Optimum temperature range for tillandsias is 50 - 90 degrees F. 

Things to Watch For

Rot: By far the most common problem that occurs with Tillandsia is rot. This occurs when water accumulates in the center of the plant. Once an airplant has started rotting the outcome is inevitable and will result in the death of the plant. The outward appearance of the plant can look healthy, although some of the leaves will have a brown or black appearance. The best way to check whether a Tillandsia is rotting is to gently tug on the central leaves of the plant - if it is rotten the whole plant will disintegrate. Avoid rot in your Tillandsia by taking care to ensure that no water has accumulated in the center of the plant (turning it upside down and giving it a gentle shake), make sure that your plant has sufficient air circulation to dry within a few hours of watering, and check that water is not sitting on your display medium. If you are keeping your Tillandsia outside in the summer, then angle your plant to ensure that rainwater flows away from the plant and does not sit in or around it.  

Dehydration: Underwatering, can also be a problem. There is a widely held perception that the name "air plant" means that Tillandsia can live without water or that they can take all their moisture requirements from the atmosphere. Early signs of dehydration include an exaggerated leaf curvature and brown, dead leaves. It is possible to revive a dehydrated Tillandsia, if not too far gone, by soaking it overnight.  

Shedding leaves: Tillandsia will often shed their bottom leaves when stressed or while acclimating to new conditions. Loose leaves can safely be removed by gently tugging downwards on them (the same applies to dead leaves). The only thing to watch for, is that this may also be an indication of rot, if it is, then the whole plant will come apart. If your plant continues to "molt" then try changing its position. 

Brown or scorched leaves: This could be due to a number of causes, including too much direct sunlight or underwatering. Fine-leaved Tillandsia species are especially prone to brown leaf tips as a result of being underwater. The "dunking" method of watering Tillandsia prevents this. Brown leaf tips can be removed by snipping the leaf at an angle. Brown leaves can be removed by gently tugging downwards on them. Most Tillandsia species do not like direct sunlight all day, therefore if scorching is occurring try moving the plant to a different spot in the house or garden. 

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