If you are searching for How to Grow Succulents in India, then look no further! Learn all the ways through which you can propagate and multiply them easily!
What Are Succulents?
Native to the arid regions, succulents are known for their thick and fleshy leaves with which retain water. The reason behind their increasing popularity among busy gardeners is that they are forgiving by nature, low maintenance, and ask little attention to grow. If you, too, are one of them and want to know How to Grow Succulents in India, read ahead!
Common Succulents in India
Succulents come in a diverse range of shapes, sizes, and colors. Here are some popular types of succulents in India that you must try.
- Adenium Desert Rose: Looking like a bonsai, Adenium has dark green leaves and trumpet-shaped flowers in shades of pink, white, purple, and red with a swollen trunk, to conserve water.
- Moon Cactus: Coming in shades of yellow, pink, and orange, due to the lack of chlorophyll, moon cactus has globular balls, surrounded with thrones.
- Aloe Vera: Highly admired for its medicinal properties, aloe vera has green-gray, fleshy leaves with tiny, white patches and have serrated edges.
- Zebra Haworthia: The dark green leaves of this low growing succulent are covered with horizontal stripings.
- String of Nickles: Thanks to their trailing growth habit, hence you can grow this vining succulent in hanging baskets.
How to Grow Succulents in India
- You can procure seeds from a nursery or a garden center.
- Put seeds in lukewarm water for an hour to accelerate the germination process.
- In a planter or tray, take cactus mix soil and water it. Sow the seeds and pour some coarse, wet sand.
- Water daily, and keep it under bright, filtered light.
- In 4-6 weeks, the seeds will germinate.
Note: Generally, it is not recommended to grow succulents from seeds, as it is a hectic process. It is always a good idea to get a well-grown plant from a nursery.
1. From Leaves
- Choose a fleshy and green leaf from the plant and snip it off from the stem.
- Let the leaf dry for 4-5 days in the shade. Then, dip the ends of the leaves into a rooting hormone.
- Fill a tray with a cactus mix, and lay the leaves above the soil.
- Mist it daily and lightly, and the shoots will start emerging from the leaf end after 10-12 days.
2. From Offsets (Division)
- Remove the mother plant from the soil, and search for the offset with an independent root system.
- Detach the stem that connects the offset to the mother plant using a sanitized shear.
- Fetch the offset out of the soil carefully, keeping the roots undamaged.
- Let it dry for 4-5 days, until some callus develops at its cut point.
- Plant it in the pot with cactus mix soil or use mixture of perlite, sand, and regular potting.
- Sprinkle water and keep it under partial shade.
Note: Succulents like echeveria and adenium respond well to this technique.
3. From Stems
- Choose a short and healthy stem and snip it off using shear from the mother plant.
- Dry it in the shade for 4-5 days.
- Plant the cutting in the pot filled with a cactus soil mix, by burying its small portion of the ends.
- Keep it in indirect sunlight and mist water daily.
- New shoots will start emerging within 2-3 weeks.
Note: This method is recommended for succulents with rosettes.
Requirements for Growing Succulents
‘Water deeply, but less frequently’ is the key to grow succulents successfully. Poke your finger 1 inch into the topsoil to see the dryness. For pots, water them until it comes out of the drainage holes, but let the soil dry out completely before the next watering.
Note: Wrinkly and droopy succulent leaves with sagging tips is the sign of underwater.
Container Material and Size
Ceramic and terracotta are good options, as these materials are breathable and allow good airflow. Another popular option is plastic and glass as they offer a wide range of shapes and sizes, but make sure they have wide openings and drainage holes, as these are not breathable and water inside takes more time to dry out. Container size of 4-6 inches will be okay.
As they are native to tropical climates and arid areas, succulents appreciate bright and direct sunlight. Most succulents need 3-4 hours of direct sun, but, depending upon the variety, it may differ. Like, Zebra cactus and Hoya does well in partial sunlight, but Portulacaria and Sedums need direct sunlight.
Note: Choose east or south-facing windowsill for indoor growing succulents.
Succulents can grow even in poor soil, but for good growth, good drainage and aeration is required. Either, you can buy a potting mix for succulents, or prepare it by mixing 2-parts of coarse sand, 1-part of gravel or perlite with 3-parts of regular potting soil.
Note: Some people use pure sand to grow succulents in a terrarium, but it is good for the short period only, else the plant will die soon.
How to Take Care of Succulents in India
- Succulents aren’t heavy feeders and do well in less nutritious soil. But, you can light feed them with fish emulsion, manure tea, or 8-8-8 fertilizer.
- Succulents don’t need much pruning, but as the new growth sprouts near the cut end, snipping some stems encourages its growth.
- Don’t put the nursery brought succulents in the direct sun immediately. Keep it under the partial sun and gradually expose them to the sunlight.