How to plant and care for succulents

Succulents come in a huge range of colours, shapes and sizes, will grow just about anywhere and don’t need much looking after, making them a plant that’s perfect for even the most novice gardener. If you’re new to succulents, here are some tips from Bunnings horticulturalist Mark Dedman.

Where to plant

Succulents like lots of sunshine, so they’re great for areas where other plants might need regular watering. Succulents also grow well in in pots. A colourful pot combined with a succulent is an easy way to brighten up a balcony, courtyard or deck. They can even be grown indoors, provided they’re in a well-lit area, like a window sill.

How to plant

Succulents need to be planted in well-drained soil. They only take the water they need and the rest must be able to drain away. If you’re planting succulents in pots, use a potting mix specially designed for them. The best time to plant is during the warmth of autumn or spring.

When to water

One of the common mistakes made with succulents is overwatering. Once every couple of weeks is generally sufficient during the warmer months. Over winter they don’t really need water at all. If you’re unsure, it’s best to hold off rather than water.

Fertilising

Succulents don’t need a lot of fertilising. A dose of slow release fertiliser, that’s low in nitrogen, applied in early spring should see them through their main growing season.

Propagating

Another great feature of succulents is that they’re really easy to propagate. So you can turn one plant into many and expand your garden for free.

Types of succulents

Succulents with shapely leaves are usually the most popular. You don’t have to stick to just one type either. An assortment of succulents can be planted together for maximum effect.

black prince succulent

Echeveria

Echeveria is a small variety that grows in attractive rosettes and is particularly suited to small decorative settings. One of the more popular of the Echeveria is the dark leafed Black Prince.

crassula succulent

Crassula

Crassula has large fleshy leaves branching from stems. A popular variety is the Jade plant, which can grow to about 50cm wide in a large pot.

kalanchoe succulent

Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe is a flowering succulent. It blooms in early spring with flushes of bright orange, pink or white flowers. Kalanchoe will grow between 15 and 45cm tall.

agave succulent

Agaves

Agaves are large leafed plants that grow in a rosette up to a metre wide. As it grows, shoots sprout along the stem that can be easily propagated.

Ready to Plant?

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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