How Do You Care For a Flowering Succulent?
There are hundreds of flowering succulents, many of which can be cared for as houseplants. While some of these plants don’t always flower each year, the greenery is delightful as part of a home or garden.
Caring for the plants is a crucial part of helping flowering succulents bloom as they should. Knowing some information about why, how, and when these plants bloom is a vital part of this.
How Do You Care For a Flowering Succulent?
Succulent plants have thick fleshy leaves that store water. They take water from the air around them but can tolerate a lack of watering for longer periods than most houseplants.
Each of the flowering succulents is at least a bit different.
The first part of caring for one is by choosing the most appropriate type for the given environment. After this, it is a matter of fulfilling some basic care requirements, including the following.
- Place the plant in well-drained potting soil in a container with adequate drainage. If purchasing a plant from a nursery, repot the plant into a container with larger holes in the bottom for better drainage.
- Locate the flowering succulent in a bright location where it can obtain at least six hours of sunlight.
- Allow the soil to dry before adding more water. Overwatering can lead to disease. Yellowing leaves are an indication of overwatering. Too much moisture may attract pests like the mealybug as well.
- Add half-strength, water-soluble fertilizer in the spring and late summer. Flowering succulents do not require fertilizer during the autumn and winter months.
- If a disease of pest infestation is ever suspected, treatment should be sought immediately. In some cases, repotting may be necessary. Fungicides and insecticides are widely available for flowering succulents.
Why Do Succulents Flower?
Succulent plants bloom to attract pollinators – it is one of their ways to spread seed to other areas. Flowering succulents produce seeds within the bloom, which is where the plants’ reproductive organs are.
The brightly colored and sweet-smelling flowers attract pollinators, such as butterflies and bees. The pollen and seeds attach to these little creatures, eventually fall off, and the seeds of the flowering succulents are left in another area.
Do All Succulents Flower?
Not all flowering succulents bloom. Those that do may remain dormant for several years of its life before blooming.
These species require maturity before flowering. Some species of flowering succulents bloom every year without fail, whether young or old.
Some of the most popular flowering succulents are:
- Crassula Ovata (Jade)
- Crassula Pellucida (Calico Kitten)
- Crassula Perforata (String of Buttons)
- Echeveria Elegans (Mexican Snowball)
- Echeveria Peacockii (Peacock)
- Euphorbia Milii (Crown of Thorns)
- Graptopetalum Paraguayense (Ghost Plant)
- Senecio Rowleyanus (String of Pearls)
- Sedum Rubrotinctum (Jelly Bean Plant)
- Schlumbergera x Buckleyi (Christmas Cactus)
This is only a short list of flowering succulents that tend to bloom consistently. There are hundreds more to choose from.
How Long To Flowering Succulents Live?
The lifespan of flowering succulents vary. Some species, such as the aloe, have shorter lifespans of between five and twenty-five years. A Christmas Cactus may survive for up to thirty years.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Jade Plant may live up to between seventy and one hundred years. The Barrel Cactus may live for centuries.
The life expectancy for flowering succulents not only depends on the species but also the environment and level of care. It is also based on exposure to pests and disease.
Do Succulents Die After Flowering?
The majority of flowering succulents do not die after blooming. Monocarpic-type succulents are the kinds that die after flowering. When they flower, it is called the bloom of death.
How To Get Succulents To Bloom?
Flowering succulents need enough light to bloom. Most plants in this category require at least six hours of bright sunlight per day to flower. Sitting by an eastern or southern window can help with this.
Additional heat may be required to get flowering succulents to bloom. These fleshy plants enjoy higher temperatures.
If the home air temperature isn’t consistently high enough, a heat lamp placed in the plant’s vicinity could be a solution.
Flowering succulents from the desert may bloom better with different care than other species.
Keeping them in cold, dry air during the winter and suddenly exposing them to warm temperatures in the summer could trigger the bloom because of the release of nutrients.
When Do Succulents Bloom?
The majority of flowering succulents bloom in spring and summer. However, there are some species like the aloe and crassula that flower mid-winter.
Can You Plant Succulent Flowers?
Succulent flowers will not grow into new plants. Propagation of flowering succulents is done through stem and leaf cuttings or planting seeds.
Should You Cut The Flowers Off Succulents?
While the blooms should not be cut for propagation, they can be removed once the bloom has ended to make the plant more attractive.
As the flowers fade and die, they become dull and wilted. At this point, the caregiver can trim off the blooms and the stalks.
Caregivers should use sterilized sharp pruning shears or scissors to remove old flowers and stalks from flowering succulents.
Cuts are recommended to be as close to the plant as possible without causing damage to any leaves.
What To Do After Succulents Bloom?
Flowering succulents can be left alone after they bloom, except for giving them their regular care.
They still need the same amount of light, water, and fertilizer as before the flowering. After the flower dies, the bloom and the stalk can be removed.
Why Is My Succulent Flowering?
Flowering succulents bloom better in higher levels of sunlight. If the plant is getting extra sunlight, flowering may be triggered. The same applies to higher air temperatures.
If the bloom is out of season, the plant may be no longer recognizing the regular pattern of seasons. This lack of recognition happens at times with indoor flowering succulents.
How Long Do Succulent Flowers Last?
The lifespan of the flowers varies widely. Blooms may last for several weeks but can possibly extend with slight additional exposure to light and heat. This period depends on the exact species of flowering succulents.
Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh from Pexels