So let’s start with some basic succulent care.
Succulent plants are so so SO much fun! With some tender loving care and some neglect, your succulent can thrive indoors even here in sunny (read humid) Singapore!
Since starting my succulent obssession, I have killed a fair few I will sadly admit. At first, I thought they I wasn't watering them enough and that well rotted their roots! Then I thought they would love the sun and they shrivelled up from being sunburnt! In time, I learnt that they actually preferred neglect over my constant hovering.
So in this article I thought I'd share a few tips on my experience in caring for them and maybe you guys can help by adding on more tips and sharing your experiences in what's worked for you in tropical Singapore!
Succulents are desert plants and its always best to recreate that environment in order for them to thrive. Therefore, repotting them from nursery soil to a well-draining soil is essential! This is especially so for a humid, tropical climate like Singapore, the better draining your soil is, the less you have to worry about root rot.
*TIP: succulents that come in its original little plastic cups often originate from cooler climates (eg: Korea/Cameron Highlands) and they MUST be repotted! That's because the soil is often moisture retaining and not well-draining enough for our humidity!
I know many experts use a various mix of soils and sands. For me, a simple ratio of 2:1 cactus soil:draining medium (eg: perlite, pumice, akadamas, vermiculite, etc) works!
Succulents love sun! So for those who have access to outdoor areas or balconies where you can keep your succulents, good for you! For the rest of us in apartments and HDBs, we need all the sun we can get!
Here are my succulent watering tips:
- Keep them in the brightest spot in the house (eg: on a windowsill, right up to the window or even on a raised platform if it helps)
- In an office space? Use LED lights to help them thrive. And bring them out for some sunlight once a week. Not the most ideal, but they're succulents! They'll survive!
- Grow lights! This is what got me through the months of Oct - Dec (our annual monsoon season). I'm testing out a few at the moment: Ikea's Plant Holder and LED tube lights.
This can be a tricky one but here are some general rule of thumbs that's been working for me:
- Succulents HATE sitting in soaking wet soil for a long time
- For Singapore's weather, I fully drench mine once every 1-2 weeks, then let them dry out completely. Just be careful to only water the rootballs and not onto the leaves too much (especially so for indoor locations)
- When in doubt, HOLD BACK on watering. You can save underwatered succulents but not overwatered ones!
- Watering them with lukewarm water (think warm desert rain) helps them absorb water better
Through it all, the most important thing to remember is: If its still standing, you are doing a great job!
Succulents are tough little things and can take a little stress. We, in turn have so much life lessons to learn from them don't we?
The above are just some tips based on my personal experience, do share yours!