Moon Valley Blog

How To Care For Succulents In Southern California

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 7/6/2017

 Keep your succulents looking good all year long

Easy steps anyone can do!

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Succulents are an amazing addition to any landscape and they get extra bonus points because they can grow in both warm and cold seasons. Everyone loves to have the unique colors, textures, shapes, and flowers that can add variety to any spot in your yard. People throughout California and the world for that matter rave about these easy succulents are to grow and care for. There are endless ways you can plant them and since they all bloom are different times throughout the year,  you can expect them to have interesting colors almost all year long! Here are some tips to help your succulents thrive, whether you’ve got them planted in a rock garden or in a nice pot.

Water Requirements
If you purchased a succulent in a black plastic nursery pot be sure to remove it right away and plant into the ground or in a non-plastic container (plastic can significantly increase the heat around the plant's root zone.) Most succulents will need some water all year long and need to be watered thoroughly. Once established, most can go for long dry periods before receiving any water thanks to the water that’s stored in the actual plant. For best results, water early in the morning so the succulent will have enough time to dry out to prevent rotting and sunburn. If Santa Ana weather conditions persist, we recommend watering in-ground succulents every 10 to 14 days. If you’re growing in a container, watering once a week is sufficient. It’s important to remember to never allow succulents to sit in water, these plants hate wet feet because it can lead to rot and disease.

Light Needs
Unless the weather is extremely hot, most succulent varieties will need at least half a day to a full day of sunlight. In areas where the weather is very hot, we recommend placing them in a nice spot with some afternoon shade. Unfortunately, once sunburn patches are prevalent, they cannot be reversed, so be sure to pay attention to sun exposure. Of course, your plants in the sunniest areas will also require a bit more water.

Fertilizer and Soil Requirements
Most succulents can do just fine with very little fertilizer. We recommend feeding and watering them with a well-balanced fertilizer once a month. Too much fertilizer can encourage too much growth, which in turn will give your plant a weedy look, so keep this mind when feeding. When it comes to soil, succulents require good drainage and aeration. Always remember, that they do not want to sit in water. 

For erosion control and Firescaping
In Southern California, the probability that you have a slope somewhere on your property is high. As far as succulents go for erosion control, you’ll want to avoid the ice plant because as the mass grows heavy, it may slide down a slope and take much of the soil with it. Instead, we recommend planting succulents on a slope as an accent. Wildfires are something we need to worry about here in Southern California especially in the inland areas where wildfire is a common occurrence. Fleshy succulents, such as Sedum are a great choice for any firewise landscape because they store water in their tissue, which can resist fire. Another good choice for a firewise landscape design is Ice Plant (Delospema nubigenu), which can also add a brilliant splash of color.

Topics: Expert