Baby It's Cold Out There For Succulents

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Winter Plant Care

Taking Care Of Succulents In Winter

Let’s talk about taking care of your plants in these chilly winter months

Here in Charleston, SC we are in growing zone 8B, meaning it stays a little warmer here than in zones above us. Suckers. :) Take a look at the USDA Hardiness Zone Map here if you’d like more info.

Our winters are usually more mild, and it’s pretty rare that we experience multiple days at freezing temps or below. Thankfully!

Most succulents can survive temps down to 50 degrees, but there are a few hardy succs that can take much colder temps! I’m talking about Sempervivums or as they are commonly called, Hens + Chicks. These little toughies can take temps as low as 30 degrees. I’ve even seen them survive snow.

Another fun thing about succulents is that some varieties will go dormant in winter. For us here in Charleston, that’s usually November - March. With the fluctuation in temps we get here near the ocean, and less sunlight that comes with winter our succulents just aren’t as happy outside. Here’s some of my succulents I left outside this winter. I’m a meanie.

Being Cold Succs

Being Cold Succs

Sure they’re alive, but they ain’t happy about it. You can see water damage and rot on the leaves. This comes from rain water just sitting on the leaves. Succulents LOVE sun, they love being outside, but it’s important to be mindful that they are not sitting out in the rain too often. Succulent leaves do not absorb water like air plants. That standing water will actually start to rot your baby. Our cold, rainy days are just not a succulent’s happy place.

Another awesome thing about succulents, is that they are so resourceful and adaptive that they will go into dormancy when the growing conditions are not ideal. So it make take some time for them to adjust to our environment but once they do, they will basically turn themselves off and on according to their environment.

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What does this mean for us? Less work! Woo hoo!

This time of year, I’m only watering my succulents about every other week to once a month. My jade plants will keep growing no matter what, they’ll start to wrinkle after about 10 days without water. One of my favorite things about that plant, it really let’s you know when it needs a drink.

+ Bonus Tip: Water in the morning or early afternoon so that your plants aren’t sitting in cold water over night.

With less sunlight your succulents will inevitability start to stretch out looking for more light. Aloe varities or sempervivums will start to flatten out, exposing themselves (like creeps) trying to soak up as much sun as they can. Rotate your plants around when you water them to keep their stems strong. I let mine stretch out til about March or April. Then I start cutting them back and begin the Off With Their Heads Method to encourage new spring growth.

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As always, Plant Friends, If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask here by commenting below. Email Us. Or Slide into our DM’s on Insta or Facebook.

Peace, Plants + Warm, Cozy Wishes,

Amy

Air Plant Care

Let’s talk about Air Plants

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There are so many species of these babies I cannot list them all here and honestly, I probably can only identify a handful by name. I don’t let that stop me from raving about how great air plants are though. They make great gifts for “Plant Murderers” and Black Thumbs alike! These babies are very low maintenance and don’t require much light, making them great for adding a touch of green to low light spaces like offices, bathrooms or kitchens.

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Air Plants are basically the opposite of succulents, but that makes them just as cool! You just need water and air! Air Plants are native to tropical, rain forest climates. They like filtered sun, dappled sun, indirect sun, whatever you want to call it. Just not direct sun light. In the rain forest these plants cling onto trees and are used to only getting dappled sun through the leaves. You’ve probably even seen some locally growing! Spanish Moss is a type of Tillandsia. Since Charleston is so dang hot and humid, these babies thrive here.

Fun Fact about air plants; they do not absorb water or nutrients through their roots. Only through their leaves. They only use their roots to reach out and hold onto whatever they are attached to. This is why it’s so important to really soak your plants to keep them healthy. There’s A LOT of conflicting advice out there about air plant care. These are the tips and tricks I’ve found that keep my plants healthy.

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WATER: I recommend fully submerging your plant in room temperature water about once a week. The entire plant will need to be soaked so it can fully absorb the water. Let them babies soak for 2-6 hours. Longer if needed. Sometimes I’ll forget for a week or 2…

When that happens, I just soak them even longer, up to 8 hours. Since air plants are rain forest dwellers, they of course love humidity. Spritzing or misting your plant is fine, and you can stretch out waterings a little more if you are spraying yours but they really need a good soak to thrive.

LIGHT: Tillandsia are pretty forgiving and can live inside or outside pretty comfortably since they don’t require nearly as much light as succulents. They are happy pretty much anywhere as long as they are within 6 feet of a window with light, and not getting harsh sun. Morning sun would be okay, or dappled sun throughout the day.

If you have any questions about your air plants or life in general, we’re happy to help. Shoot us a message, send pics! We can help diagnose your plants and help get you back on track.

Peace + Plants, Amy

How To Water Your Succulents

How To Water Succulents or How Succulents Are Like Binge Drinking Cats

  • Succulents don’t like to be wet like other plants, they are like cats. They want water, they need water, but don’t you dare get them wet!

  • Water your succulents at the base of the plant, where the stem is in the soil. Water the soil not the plant itself if you can help it. Soak it like you mean it! Succulents are from desert climates, they are used to getting a lot of water at once, and then not having any for a while. Think of it like a binge drinker. A binge drinking cat.

  • After watering, let your succulent dry out for a bit. Wait at least 5 days before checking again. Once you’ve figured out when your plant is thirsty and ready for water. Plan a water schedule that works for your plants in your home. It’s pretty humid here in Charleston, SC so our succulents only need water about once a week. If you are keeping your succulents outside, you may need to water a little more often in the summer months.

  • How can you tell when your baby needs water? Don’t be shy, stick your finger into the soil, wiggle it around and see how she feels. It’s better to underwater than over water. Succulents like their dry, desert like climates so we have to change our watering schedules to make them happy here. And isn’t that what life is about? A little give and a little take. Happy Plants Happy Life.

  • Bonus Tip: Succulents with fatter leaves need more water than those with skinny little puny leaves.

Got Questions? We've got answers. Probably. But no guarantees! Ask us anyway and we'll do our best to help you out. Email Us or Leave us a comment with any plant care questions or any other question about life, the universe, you know, whatever is going on in your life. We're here for you.

Peace + Plants,

Amy