Advice needed for a planting succulents

I purchased my first succulents and have ordered a concrete planter to plant them in. I ordered a special soil recommended for succulents and cactus. Now what do I do? How do I begin the planting process? These plants were marked way down and in little dish gardens. Only after I got them home did I realize it had poured down rain and they were drowning. I dumped them (gently of course) into a box so they would not rot. Now I need to replant/repot them. The planters will hold several each. Any suggestions?
  13 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Apr 04, 2016
    Before you plant them make sure they have almost completely dried out. Succulents require very little water. Your planters must have drainage holes as well. The soil should say for cactus and succulents.Fill the containers with a small amount of soil,place your plants to your liking ,put remaining soil in pressing gently to get the air out.Moniter on a regular basis for watering and if inside place in a well lit area. If they are outside make sure your temperature is adequate as you did not mention your location and place is a sunny location.
  • Pat5441904 Pat5441904 on Apr 04, 2016
    Thank you so much Janet Pizaro I am in Florida and they will be outside in planter. The soil mix is what you suggested, however the instructions on the bag say to soak it before planting.....what is your opinion on that? What is the cue to water? Thank you so much. Succulents are BRAND new to me..
    • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Apr 04, 2016
      @ Hmm R u sure you bought the right soil. I have never heard of that. So ok my suggestion is not to use that soil and get only the soil that states for cactus and succulents. Let me know before you do anything.
  • MN Mom MN Mom on Apr 04, 2016
    Simply follow the directions on the soil bag. The manufacturer knows the best way to prepare their soil for proper planting. I have grown succulents for years and have never had an issue with soil. As long as they aren't too wet succulents are very easy to grow . You can purchase a gauge for measuring the moisture in potted plants at any garden shop.
  • Jill Jill on Apr 05, 2016
    The other thing to remember with succulents and cactus is that they like to be crowded and in shallow pots. If they are given lots of root room the plant will concentrate on throwing out more roots instead of foliage growth. Thats why you alway see them planted together and in shallow containers. The soil isn't huge deal, just don't use the really cheap stuff. The soil is like your basement in your house, the most essential part. Good drainage is essential, of course and DON'T overwater! Neglect is good.
  • Poppy Poppy on Apr 05, 2016
    A good layer of gravel under the soil will help with drainage. also you could mix some fine gravel/coarse sand into the soil, I grow succulents here in New Brunswick just in the ground with no special preparation and they do fine. of course the plants are probably suited to our local climate: lots of rain in spring and fall and temperatures from high 80s to minus 40.. good luck.
  • Pat5441904 Pat5441904 on Apr 05, 2016
    Good Morning, Janet! I purchased Hoffman (brand) Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix. The mix is correct, I misread the directions! What is says is during the dry period water the succulents, soaking the soil.....I'm supposing that means to keep them moist?? So, on to the planting process....your suggestions? Thank you very much! Pat
  • Pat5441904 Pat5441904 on Apr 05, 2016
    How do I read the entire reply....comments seem to end in the middle of a sentence followed by three dots.......Not only am I new to succulents, I am also brand new to Hometalk. Thanks for your help! Pat
    • See 3 previous
    • Pat5441904 Pat5441904 on Apr 05, 2016
      Thank you Janet Pizaro! Pat Love
  • Pam Walker Pam Walker on Apr 05, 2016
    I have raised succulents before. A bunch of cacti & other desert plants. There's no special thing you havta do. Just make sure the pot has a hole in the bottom for drainage & water them 1ce every couple of weeks or so. When you put your finger down in the dirt in the pot & it feels very dry (dried out), then water them. I used to saturate the soil (like it does when it rains) & just leave them alone. They also LOVE the sun. The more sun you give them, the bigger & faster they will grow. Don't overcrowd them either. They thrive better when they can attain heat in their roots & spread out. Clustering them together creates shade for their roots depriving them of sunlight & heat. During the winter, just shield them from the bitter wind & only water them when completely dried out. Also, when watering, DON'T soak the soil. Just a little water is needed to help them thru the winter but not directly on the roots or they'll freeze. I don't use cacti soil. I use a mixture of regular potting soil, peat moss & triple 8 fertilizer. I put half & half potting soil to peat moss with a tsp of triple 8 to a 5 gallon pot. Use less for smaller pots. This combo is great for outdoor plants, potted plants, flower beds, window boxes or indoor plants. My Grandmother taught me this recipe & she's always been known for having green thumbs. She once took a twig with 1 leaf on it & turned it into a gorgeous porch plant using this recipe. It works wonders!! GOOD LUCK
  • All of these recommendations are excellent. Since I do not know where you aare located, here is what I do and I live in a semi-desert area of Southern California where the summers are long and extremely hot. I started out (in my current home) over 15 years ago with cuttings from friends and a local family run establishment. I just use Miracle Grow Moisture Control potting mix. As previously mentioned by others, succulents are shallow rooted. First I place a few coffee filterss at the bottom of the pot. Next comes a layer of pea gravel. Then a thin layer of sand, just enough to cover the gravel. Then the soil. Next I place the plants. I always try to plant in 3's or 5's or any odd number. Also some that grow tall, and others that will spill off the sidess and trail down. When I am happy with my selection, in the pot they go. Next I add a very thin layer of sand again, not too thick otherwise water will not penetrate properly. Lastly, if I want it to be super pretty, I add rocks or pebbles or aquarium gravel on top. Due to my climate, they have to be on the north side of my home protected from the harsh summer sun, or on my front porch so they are protected. In the winter I do not have to water much. In the summer, they need a quick bath every couple of days. Mine multiply like crazy. I use them to make mini gardens for friends and neighbors as gifts. And don't toss any little niblets that fall off in the planting process! Have a separate pot or pots for those. Just either lay them directly on top of your potting soil or stick them directly into the soil with the tops sticking out. Forget about them, except for watering, and you will have made new baby plants. Hope this helps and wishing you years of fun with these easy growing little gems!
  • Pat5441904 Pat5441904 on Apr 05, 2016
    Thank you, Naomie! I have done a lot of gardening in my lifetime, but never got into the succulents/cacti. I am truly looking forward to it and so appreciate all the support I have received from you and others on the Hometalk site.!
  • Pat5441904 Pat5441904 on Apr 06, 2016
    I hope to share a SUCCESS story in the not too distant future! You are correct, this is an awesome site! My first time here along with my first succulents/cacti! Lucky find for me! Blessings!
  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Jun 04, 2020

    Hi there, we have a huge collection of succulents and they are so rewarding. If you need more tips on growing, propagating or identifying them you may find this article informative -

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Oct 11, 2020

    Hi Pat, We have a huge collection of succulents and they are so rewarding. You can get a whole bunch of tips on growing, propagating or identifying here - -

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