How do I keep my succulents looking as good as the day I bought them?


I LOVE LOVE LOVE succulents. But it never fails that they become unruly and a mere shadow of themselves. I truly have tried to trim them back, sculpt them like a topiary etc. They don't die and they seem healthy... just ugly. These are pictures of one just starting to change

q how do i keep my succulents looking good like the day i bought them
q how do i keep my succulents looking good like the day i bought them
  9 answers
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Sep 11, 2019


    Don't over water.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Sep 11, 2019

    You might have too much water or your soil is properly draining. I put gravel in the bottom of my pots and add it to the soil to make sure it drains well.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Sep 11, 2019

    Hello, Mine do fine *totally* ignored in zone 7 —for years. Do not over water make sure there’s drainage holes.

    • See 1 previous
    • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Sep 12, 2019

      More details..... sometimes I do have a habit of putting a sprinkle of soil moist in my planters when pot up and establish my plants. I may have done it in these situations.

      Last photo— the Hen n chicks, they have been on my back deck since 2011 without any care -only recently this year I pulled out some “baby” pieces to put another pots. Totally on self-care without any attention with old soil and no watering and a lot of sun on elevated deck. You can see how awful the foam planter looks with weathered uncared for treatment.

      The other plants are scissor cutting thrown on soil to make new plants— they need no watering or special care either and it’s been a very dry summer here in central Virginia it’s amazing how resilient and good these plants look in that circumstance.

      I do have one newer plant in a newly purchased fancy hanging planter that I think has some sort self watering feature? it’s hanging in the sun it may not be thriving ( running over the edges) as well as some of these other plants in thinner cheaper pots—- perhaps it’s the planter design fault. Not sure. Hope further disclosure might be helpful.

  • Diana Diana on Sep 11, 2019

    That's easy!

    Buy fake ones!

    That's what I resorted to after several fails.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Sep 12, 2019

    I first thought about overwatering, as others have mentioned.

    But I am also wondering how old the soil in the pots is, and if it may be too compacted for the water and nutrients to effectively get absorbed by the roots? or if the pots are adequately large enough for the roots to flourish?

  • Cathye Pieper Letterman Cathye Pieper Letterman on Sep 12, 2019

    I make their potting soil from 2 parts soil, 1 part sand (contractor, not play), 1/2 peat and 1/2 vermIculite occasionally feed and water in zone 7

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Jun 04, 2020

    Hi Cindy, 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 -

  • Janie Janie on Aug 08, 2020

    Remove the lower leaves until you're satisfied with how it looks. If you dislike the naked stem after removing the leaves, just behead it - wait for the wound to callous over for a few days and then plant in dry soil for a week without watering - You then have a plant the same way as when you bought it.

Your comment...