It was a beautiful Saturday morning, bright and sunny, time to unwind and do something one is passionate about. With no other plans for the weekend, she picked up a few gorgeous succulents on her way back home. It was a lazy start and she grabbed a hot cup of coffee and slowly started coming out of that bone-tired state after a week of strenuous metropolitan toil.
Though the cities have their own merits of being able to offer a civilised society, it does not provide a space for the people to truly connect with nature as it has started to slowly diminish from such urban societies. Not getting dissuaded by what’s happening outside, she had made her own very private green space which was reminiscent of the green fields that she used to walk while coming back from school, spending time chasing the butterflies and plucking the most beautiful flowers from the garden.
She started pulling out all the planters trying to figure out the best one for these little cuties. The collection had a range of small pots, hand painted Persian pottery, a cracked terracotta, a blown glass, driftwood, stoneware and a whole lot of others. She got engrossed in figuring out the aesthetics, matching the plants with pots, pots with the background, and all other combinations. She was so very much in love with her space that she wanted it to be a perfect frame.
In no time she got into gardener’s cap and started repotting each one those beautiful succulents. The colours of the plants were so bright, the texture of the leaves was so smooth with the perfect amount of water in the leaves to give that healthy look. After spending around two hours in the dirt and soil, she was able to plant all of those into their new homes and placed them in their right spots. The whole aura of the space was brightened up by the addition of these beautiful pots and everything was picture perfect when she looked at it.
This was one of those soul-satisfying days that one keeps waiting for, and she left to take bath with a captivating smile on her face.
Everything was alright till two days later when she noticed that some of her re-potted succulents had died. There is no measure of the pain and agony she must have experienced then, but it poses a very serious question.
“Are you one of those Innocent Killers” who slay their succulents while repotting.
Well, this sounds like some crime statement coming straight out of the tube but is a harsh fact that we kill a whole bunch of succulents just by providing them with too much love.
Yes! You are right, surprisingly overprotection and extra care is the biggest cause of death of succulents. Succulents as a species are built for arid climate and are genetically tuned to survive harsh conditions.
Below are some of the important points that have to be taken care of while re-potting succulents.
- Fill ¾ the new pot with pre-mixed succulent or cactus soil. You can also make it at home by mixing equal quantities of regular potting mix and perlite or coco peat to make it porous for proper drainage. (This is very important for your succulent roots)
- Make sure that the new planter is about 2 inches wider than the diameter of the succulent. This will give your succulent plenty of room to grow and stabilize.
- Take out the succulent from the existing pot and gently loosen the roots from the soil and remove the soil. You can also remove the dead roots as well as pull off any dead leaves around the base of the plant.
- When you have removed the soil and dirt from the roots, you will witness that some of the roots have got damaged and need to heal before you put them again in the soil. Let the roots dry for a bit.
- Dig a shallow hole in the new soil, place your succulent in it, then gently cover the roots with more of the potting soil to support the plant. Be sure to add enough to reach the base of the plant, but do not cover any leaves or let the leaves rest on top of the soil! This will result in rotting leaves because they’ll absorb too much moisture from the soil.
- It is generally recommended that you wait for at least a week after repotting to water your succulent. Be sure the soil is dry before you water them.
- Maintain your succulent by watering about once every week, depending on your climate, sunlight, etc. When the soil is completely dry, it is time to water your succulent. If it’s still damp, leave it until it dries.
One of the best things to make sure that you are taking care of the succulents is to ignore them. They love to be left alone.