Your succulents love rain!

Your succulents love rain!

Surprised? I don’t blame you. Succulents are known to prefer less water and thrive well in arid regions, and yet they love an occasional good soak in the rain water. In fact,  rain showers helps them grow healthier and more vibrant. Just be cautious not give them too much.

So how does rain benefit your succulents (bonus tip at the end):

  • By cleansing: Rain shower is an excellent cleanser for your succulents, washing away dust and thus allowing for better photosynthesis. It also flushes and harmful chemicals and salt built up in your succulent’s growing media.
  • By supplying nutrition: Rain water contains many valuable dissolved organic nutrients as well as nitrogen, which aids in the growth of better plant tissues. Plants do not absorb nitrogen in its gaseous form. During a thunderstorm, electrical charges transform the nitrogen in the air to oxides by a process called nitrogen fixation. These oxides easily dissolve in rain water and are available to plants for absorption.

But then, excess of even good things are bad and in case of succulents, too much water can easily rot them or invite pests and fungal diseases. So let’s see how we can protect our beloved succulents in rain while yet allowing them to benefit from it.

  1. Bring your potted succulents indoors, preferably in a well-lit and well ventilated location. A location near a wide window with plenty of indirect sunlight and breeze would be ideal. Ensure that this place doesn’t get any deflected rain. You can also use a fan to guarantee sufficient air circulation; this is especially important after watering to ensure that the succulent leaves are dry. If your indoor site lacks adequate lighting, use a cool-white (or cool-day) 30 watt LED bulb.
  2. Always grow your succulents in smaller containers. Smaller pots contain less substrate, which holds less water and dries out faster.
  3. This is no-brainer. Reduce watering according to your lighting and humidity levels. However, remember that succulents do need water. They require the same amount of moisture as a well-wrung-out sponge. Remember to drain out any excess water. If you live in a coastal city, which usually have very high humidity and low light during monsoons, then cut back on water drastically, even for months if necessary.
  4. Use a highly porous pot or a pot with lot of holes for quick drainage. Clay pots are the best due to their high porosity. You can also try-out fabric pots. Never put a tray underneath your succulent pots.
  5. Always use a very porous potting mix with a high percentage of sand, gravel, and perlite or pumice for your succulents.
  6. Whenever possible, move your succulents to direct sunlight during monsoons. Even so, avoid harsh, scorching sunlight.
  7. Prune-out any dead leaves or stems to prevent rot. These decomposing parts tend to trap water and promote harmful bacterial growth.
  8. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around your plants to protect them from pests, fungal gnats and root rot. This is something you can do all year.
  9. Use Rainwater to water your succulents. Just because you cannot keep your succulents in rain for extended periods, why lose out on all the benefits that rain water provides? Simply collect the rainwater in a pot and water your succulents with it. Just remember two things – don’t collect water from zinc roofs because they may contain plant-harming compounds, and don’t collect rainwater after a long dry spell since it may contain a lot of harmful elements and dirt.

That’s all folks. Finally, if  any of your succulents has become too mushy due to rain, remove it from the pot and allow it to dry for 3-4 days in a well-lit and dry spot. Re-pot it in a new pot using fresh growing mix. 

I hope this post would prove helpful in caring for your succulents throughout the monsoon season. We'd love to hear what you do to care for your succulents, so please leave any tips, tricks, or feedback in the comments section below.

Happy Growing! Take care till we meet again.

With love,
The Bee

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