Is This The Reason You Keep Killing Your Succulents?

updated Jul 21, 2020
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

This one’s for my black-thumbed brethren. The folks, like me, who ran out to buy a dozen succulents once word got around at how easy they are to take care of. And the folks who, again like me, almost instantly found a way to let their easy-going succulents down. RIP, aloe vera, you will be missed.

It turns out that “location” might have been the piece you were missing. The team at Sage Market + Design, a floral and decor shop in Newburyport, MA, considers succulent gardens to be one of their specialties. They shared this simple tip with Apartment Therapy that many of us black thumbs might have been getting wrong about our plants:

Succulents in the purple and orange color family prefer the outdoors. They will prefer your patio or deck to your darker rooms. Succulents that are really very green will do better indoors.

Was that the lightbulb moment you need to keep your succulent garden thriving? Of course, there’s more to caring for plants than finding a good location, so Sage Market + Design also provided us some of their best tips for caring for your succulent garden (along with these beautiful pictures to inspire your own planter, shot by Freebird Photography).

(Image credit: Freebird Photography)

How to Care for Your Succulent Garden

1. Use well drained soil and/or cactus mix compost with sand to increase drainage.Let them dry out completely in between watering days.

2. Pluck any dry/dying leaves from the succulent.

3. Water lightly with a mister and take note how quickly the soil dries out based on its location in your home (filtered light vs. full sunlight).

4. Water by misting every 10-14 days.

5. Give your succulents bright light, though not intense direct sunlight.

6. Repot once a year with fresh soil into a pot that is a bit bigger than the last to allow room for growth.

7. Growing season is from spring to fall and your succulents will need more water and fresh soil/fertilizer during this season. You can leave them more alone in the winter as they tend not to grow as much in the winter.

(Image credit: Freebird Photography)

Are you feeling inspired to try your hand at a succulent garden again this summer? And those of you who consider yourselves green thumbs: Any tips for the rest of us? Share your best advice in the comments!

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Re-edited from a post originally published 5.17.16-NT