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How to Stop Killing Succulents: Succulent Care and Propagation Guide with Andrea of, Ep 190



Succulents are beautiful, low-maintenance plants that are perfect for us busy plant parents. They're also total badasses. However, they can be quite tricky to care for if you don't know what you're doing. In this episode, I have invited my “succy” friend Andrea from to shed some light on the facts and fiction surrounding succulent care!


In this episode, we learn:

  • [00:17] Why succulents can mislead and frustrate people
  • [07:34] How did Andrea become the expert succulent plant lady she is
  • [08:48] Fascinating geometry of echeveria and other rosette-type succulents
  • [11:25] How Andrea’s multifaceted business operates
  • [12:13] Carefully tending to succulents is important due to their specific care needs
  • [14:09] 3 reasons why you’re killing your succulents
  • [14:51] Where can you find a fast-draining potting mix for succulents, cacti, and citrus plants?
  • [17:01] Where can you pre-order garlic to grow your own bulbs and scapes?
  • [19:26] Why you should try succulents
  • [19:59] Are lithops considered succulents?
  • [22:44] How do you stop killing your succulents? (aka succulent care!)
  • [23:27] #1 Before watering, check the soil
  • [25:09] Adaptations in succulent leaves that are affected by watering
  • [26:36] #2 Place your succulents in direct sunlight
  • [31:23] #3 Beware when your succulents start stretching
  • [33:46] #4 Place your succulents in fast-draining soil
  • [35:56] #5 Keeping airflow in check
  • [38:00] Few ways to propagate your succulent
  • [38:09] #1 Leaf propagation
  • [41:13] #2 Stem propagation
  • [44:20] What are the best practices for removing a fully withered leaf?
  • [44:44] Plant life parallel: a poetic act of a mother plant nourishing offspring
  • [48:17] How can you “embrace the succ” and ensure you and your succulent thrive?
  • [50:54] Most powerful lesson Andrea learned from her succulents


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Basic Succulent Care

Before watering, check the soil

Succulents are prone to root rot, so it's important to check the soil before watering. You should only give your plant water when the soil is completely dry. To test this, stick your finger into the soil to about an inch or two. If the soil feels wet or moist, then wait until it dries out before watering your plant.


Place your succulents in direct sunlight

Your succulents are like sunbathers. They need to bask in the sun's rays to stay healthy and happy! Try to put them by a south-facing window where they can get at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day. If you don't have a well-lit area for them to chill out, you can always buy a grow light for them to soak up those rays.


Beware when your succulents start stretching

If you didn't know, succulents don't like shade. They need their sunshine! So if you start to notice your plant growing weaker, stretching out, and losing its shape, move it to a brighter location to help it maintain its form.


Place your succulents in fast-draining soil

Your succulent prefers soil that is loose and well-draining. They don't like their roots to be soggy and need room to breathe, so you can purchase fast-draining soil specifically made for succulents like Espoma Organic Cactus Potting Soil Mix, or you can mix your own by combining regular potting soil with sand, perlite, and/or vermiculite!


Keeping airflow in check

Succulents need good airflow to prevent mold and other issues. So make sure not to crowd them too much. You want to leave room between them for air to circulate to help keep them fresh and happy. Don’t place them in areas with poor ventilation, such as corners or enclosed spaces!


Remember, succulents are tough plants that can survive in a variety of conditions, but they do require some specific care to keep them happy.


Succulent Propagation

One of the coolest things about succulents is that you can easily create new plants from the leaves or stems of your existing ones. There are two main ways to propagate succulents:

Leaf propagation: While not all succulents can be propagated by leaves, propagating graptoveria, echeverias, jades, and kalanchoes is pretty simple. Gently twist a leaf from the stem and set it aside to develop a callus. Over time, roots and a baby succulent will emerge!

Stem propagation: This method is a bit more challenging but totally doable for succulents with woody stems! Cut a healthy stem from the plant, allowing it to callous over for a few days. Plant it in a well-draining potting mix and keep the soil moist.


Succulents: Plant-Life Parallel

Succulents are more than just plants, they're also tiny life coaches. They teach us valuable lessons about resilience and strength. They can survive in harsh conditions, and they can adapt to new environments: making for a great metaphor for life.

Succulents show us that we have the power to thrive even in difficult times. They remind us of our own resilience and how we can grow stronger through our experiences. So next time you're feeling down, look at your succulent collection and remember that you're just as tough and adaptable as they are!


Mentioned in our conversation:


Thank you to our episode sponsors:

Espoma Organic

Make sure your succulents have the right soil and nutrients! Espoma Organic is dedicated to making safe indoor and outdoor gardening products for people, pets, and the planet. They have an amazing variety of high-quality, organic potting mixes, garden soil, fertilizers, and pest control products that are organic and eco-friendly. To top it all off, they have a huge sustainability commitment with a 100% solar powered plant, zero waste manufacturing and eco-friendly packaging.

Visit to find your local Espoma dealer or check my Amazon storefront.

Territorial Seed Company

Grow your own garlic! Skip the lines at the garden center and let Territorial Seed Company deliver top-of-the-line, healthy and hardy plants right to your door. They have a great line of pre-grown plants, an expansive seed catalog, and over 40 years of experience delivering the best seeds and plants for everyone's garden. Whether you are looking for leafy veggies, flowers or edible plants in either seed or seedling form, Territorial Seed Company has your back.

Get 10% off by visiting – discount applied at checkout.


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