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How to Plant a Succulent

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If you’ve been wondering how to plant succulents to ensure they grow long and happy lives, this is the post for you! This step-by-step photo tutorial for planting newly purchased succulents will help give you a good foundation for your next succulent garden!

When to repot succulents
There are various times it’s necessary to repot your succulents. The first is right after you buy them. A lot of times nurseries will grow succulents in a very organic soil that doesn’t drain well.

This works ok in the nursery where the climate is controlled, but generally doesn’t work well once you bring your succulents home. It’s best to repot succulents into fresh soil after you purchase them.

Another time you’d want to repot your succulents is when they’ve filled up or outgrown the pot they’re in. Often they’ll be “root bound” meaning the roots are filling up the pot and the plant doesn’t have space to grow more roots.

It’s very common for succulents from a nursery to be root bound as it can help reduce the speed at which succulents grow, meaning the nursery doesn’t have to repot their succulents as often.

As a general rule, I recommend leaving about 1/2″ to 1″ (1-2.5cm) between the edge of the pot and your succulent’s leaves. If your succulent is about 3″ (7.5cm) in diameter, then you’ll want to place it a pot that’s about 4″ (10cm) in diameter.

Remove Your Pot and Soil
The first step of successful succulent planting is to get rid of the nursery pot and remove as much soil as you can. Nurseries almost always plant their succulents in soil that’s way too dense and retains too much water. The more of this nursery soil you’re able to get rid of, the healthier your succulent’s roots will be.

You may not be able to get all the soil off without damaging the roots, and that’s totally fine. Just get rid of as much as you can while being gentle on your succulent.

I don’t generally recommend washing off your succulent roots as this can be problematic for them and cause problems down the road. I cover this in more detail in the video below:
If you’re planting your succulent by itself (as I am here), you’ll want to leave the roots intact as much as possible. On the other hand, if you’re putting together an arrangement with several succulents, you might want to break off some of the roots.
Getting rid of some roots won’t create any big problems–your succulent will survive just fine either way. And, if you’re lucky enough to have babies attached to your main plant, now is a good time to remove them if you’d like.

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