Basic Succulent Care
First let’s agree on the definition of what a succulent plant is. All succulents are adapted to survive for extended periods without rain by storing water in some part of their body. The total number of succulent plant species number over 10,000. They can be found within a wide variety of plant families, such as the cactus, euphorbia, crassula, mesemb and daisy families.
Most succulents, including cactus, do not come from deserts. Most actually come from semi-arid areas where seasonal rainfall is erratic and even rainforests where they grow on rocky, sunny cliffs.
More succulents are killed by underwatering than by overwatering. They can tolerate going without water, as long as they are adequately watered before and after the dry spell. Generally the shorter and fatter the succulent, the more drought-tolerant it is. These extreme succulents would not survive in the average garden but are better suited for pots that are protected from the rain.
Indoor pots that dry out completely can be difficult to re-wet. Without the natural rain to gently soak the pot, many indoor plants stay partially dry even after being watered because the soil has shrunk away from the side of the pot. When that happens water will simply run down the sides of the soil ball and out the bottom of the pot. However if a succulent is left in a saucer of water for too long the pot will become waterlogged and the roots will die. If the pot is small enough, it could be immersed in water and then placed somewhere to drain so both components are adequately moistened.
The ideal climate is one without frost, temperate latitudes near the ocean with mild rainy springs (or summers). That sounds perfect to us too!
A bright, sunny spot with excellent drainage and good air circulation is ideal.