Avoid These 8 Most Common Succulent Garden Mistakes - Backyard Boss
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Avoid These 8 Most Common Succulent Garden Mistakes

Are you a succulent lover? If you are, then you know that succulents can add some major life (and green!) to any space.

However, if you’re new to succulent gardening, there are a few things you should avoid doing if you want your succulents to thrive.

Here are the top eight most common succulent garden mistakes people make – avoid them and your plants will be happy!

Not enough drainage

Beautiful succulent garden - Top View
Image credits: Luis Echeverri Urrea via Canva

If you don’t have proper drainage in your succulent garden, it can be disastrous for your plants. Waterlogged soil is the number one enemy of succulents, and can cause root rot, which can kill your plants.

There are a few things you can do to make sure your succulent garden has proper drainage. First, make sure your pots have drainage holes in the bottom. Succulents need to be able to drain excess water quickly, so it’s important that their pots have holes for water to escape.

Additionally, consider elevating your succulent garden. If you live in an area with heavy rains, or if your garden is prone to flooding, raising it up on a table or shelf can help ensure that your plants don’t sit in water for too long.


Succulents in Soilless Potting Mix
Image credits: Mel Gardner via Unsplash

It is very important to know how much water succulents need and to stick to that schedule. Too much water will cause the succulents to rot and die.

If you think your succulent garden may be getting too much water, check the soil. If it is soggy or mushy, it’s time to cut back on the watering. Let the soil dry out entirely before watering again. Be sure to empty any drainage trays so that the succulents are not sitting in water.

Too little sun

succulents growing in a dead tree
Image credits: 伟 贾 via Pixabay

When succulents are grown indoors, they often don’t get enough sun. Without proper sunlight, succulents can become etiolated, or stretched out. This is because succulents need sunlight to produce chlorophyll, which gives them their green color.

If your succulent garden isn’t getting enough sun, you may notice that the leaves start to pale in color and the stems become leggy. The plant may also stop growing altogether. If you suspect your succulent garden isn’t getting enough sun, move it to a brighter location.

Succulents generally need about six hours of sunlight per day to thrive. If you live in an area with long winters and short days, you may need to supplement your succulents’ sunlight with artificial light.

Too much sun

Succulent Garden
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Too much sun, however, can also be harmful to succulents. Just like people, succulents need the right amount of sunlight to thrive. If you live in an area with very intense sunlight, you’ll need to provide some shade for your succulents during the hottest hours of the day.

Also, if the leaves start to turn red or brown, it’s an indication that the plant is getting too much sun. Move the succulents to a shadier spot to prevent further damage.

Once you’ve figured out how much sun your succulents need, you can start to think about how to create the perfect succulent garden.

Not enough fertilizer

Succulent Garden
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Many succulent gardens are not properly fertilized, and as a result, the succulents do not thrive. While succulents are relatively easy to care for, they do require some basic maintenance in order to stay healthy and look their best.

One of the most important things to remember when caring for succulents is that they need to be fertilized semi-regularly. The absence of fertilizer can cause succulents to become yellow and stunted, and in extreme cases, can even kill them.

Insect infestation

Succulent garden
Image credits: Chene Taljaard via Canva

If you’re a succulent enthusiast, then you know that one of the main enemies of these tough little plants is insects. A succulent garden can be quickly overrun by mealybugs, aphids, and other pests. And before you know it, your plants are being choked and sucked dry.

There are a few things you can do to prevent insect infestation in your succulent garden. First, inspect your plants regularly for signs of pests. If you do find yourself with an insect infestation, there are a few things you can do to get rid of the pests.

You can try using a strong stream of water to blast the insects off of your plants. Or you can use a pesticide designed specifically for succulents. Be sure to follow the directions carefully, as too much pesticide can harm your plants. If all else fails, you may need to remove and destroy heavily infested plants to save the rest of your succulent garden.


Succulent Garden
Image credits: Matthew Merlin Newkirk via Canva

While succulents are generally disease-resistant, they can sometimes fall prey to fungal diseases or rot. If you notice any signs of disease, isolate the affected plant and treat it immediately.

Here are three common succulent diseases and what you can do to prevent or treat them.

  • Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that affects succulents during humid weather. The fungus covers the leaves of the plant with a white powdery substance. If left untreated, powdery mildew will eventually kill the succulent.
  • Botrytis is another fungal disease that can affect succulents, especially during wet weather. This disease causes the succulent leaves to turn brown and rot. If your succulent is infected with botrytis, remove any affected leaves and stems. You can also try spraying the plant with a fungicide.
  • Pythium is a soil-borne fungus that can kill succulents. This disease thrives in wet, humid conditions and can quickly kill a succulent. To prevent pythium, water your succulents at the base of the plant and allow the soil to dry out between watering. If your succulent is already infected, remove it from the pot and replant it in fresh, dry soil.

Poor potting mix

Succulent garden
Image credits: AnnieSpratt via Pixabay

Most succulents are native to arid or semi-arid regions and do not require a lot of moisture. In fact, too much moisture can be detrimental to their health. That’s why it’s important to choose a potting mix that drains well and doesn’t hold onto moisture for too long.

There are a few different options for succulent potting mix. You can buy cactus soil from a garden center, or you can make your own succulent potting mix at home. If you’re making your own mix, be sure to use light, sandy soil and add some perlite or gravel for drainage.

In Summary

Now that you know the most common succulent gardening mistakes, be sure to avoid them! If you have any tips or tricks of your own, please share in the comments below. We would love to hear from you. Happy gardening!