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Succulents have a reputation for being “easy.” And yes, while they may be good starter plants for someone with a less-than-green thumb, there’s still a lot to understand when it comes to these oh-so-Pinterest-worthy plants. Without the proper combination of sunlight, water, container, and soil, your succulent’s lush green leaves could end up soft, wilted and brown. If repotting succulents is one of your projects for this summer, be sure to read these six tips first. 

  1. Understand your plants before repotting succulents

You Pinned a photo of a trendy mix of succulents in a gorgeous container, immediately headed to your local garden store to pick up an equally fun mix of succulents and ordered our Large Mixed Material Terrarium to recreate the Pin. But before diving into the project, it’s important to first understand the sunlight, water and heat requirements of each plant. Many assume that all succulents need similar growing conditions, but the truth is each species has unique needs. If you toss a bunch of succulents with varying needs into the same pot, only some of them will thrive. Once you gauge your plants and know which ones would do well together, you can repot your succulents into community containers. You can snag some more tips on how to do this from our Repotting Succulents into Terrariums post.

large mixed material terrarium with succulent

  1. Beware of glued-on accessories

So you bought a cute, prefab succulent garden from a big-box store and now you want to repot the plants. What you might not realize is that these premade succulent gardens often have “accessories”—like rocks and fake flowers—glued onto the soil and the plants. The glued-on rocks can actually prevent your succulents from getting the water they need, so repotting them will help them thrive. It can be time-consuming and tedious removing each glued-on accessory, but your succulents will thank you when they’re free! If you like the ease of premade gardens, you might enjoy our DIY Terrarium Kit, which includes everything you need for repotting succulents—minus the “glued-on accessories”! 

  1. Don't skip the drainage rocks

You probably know that succulents need good drainage, and maybe you heard that a layer of pebbles or rocks at the bottom of your planter can help with this. If a container doesn't have drainage holes, then a drainage layer is necessary can also be a nice decorative touch in a glass container or terrarium. Not only do you need a drainage layer to help shed away excess water, which prevents root rot, but you will also need a well-draining soil, which leads us to… 

terrarium with drainage layer of rocks

  1. Supplement with perlite

If you purchased a succulent potting mix at your garden store, you’re halfway there when it comes to providing your repotted succulents with a well-draining soil. While these potting mixes claim to provide all the nutrients and features you need when repotting succulents, your plants will prefer a 1:1 ratio of succulent soil and perlite. When mixed well with your potting soil, perlite aids in water drainage. It can be purchased at any garden store. 

  1. Don’t water right away

Your instinct may be to water immediately after rehoming a plant. But when it comes to repotting succulents, it’s best to wait to wait a few days before watering them. Your plants’ roots will need this time to heal, and they will be susceptible to root rot if you try to water them too soon.

Repotting Succulents

  1. Avoid sunburn

You protect your skin from sunburn—so be sure to do the same for your succulents! Tossing a freshly repotted succulent into direct sunlight will often result in wilted, soft leaves and brown spots—aka a succulent sunburn! When repotting succulents, it’s important to gradually introduce them to direct sunlight.

Now that you’re a succulent expert, start repotting succulents today. For container ideas shop here: https://www.46spruce.com/collections/terrarium-kits



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