5 ways to make dying succulents thrive again – great results guaranteed

Discover how to make dying succulents thrive again. These are the expert tips you need to know

succulent garden in tree stump
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Succulents can be wonderful living feature whether grown indoors or out but sometimes they don’t do well – and that’s when you need to know how to revive them and make dying succulents thrive.

As a rule, caring for succulents is straightforward making them one of the best indoor plants you can choose to cultivate, but even these easy-to-grow plants can show the signs that mean something needs to change.

Here, we’ve put together a guide to the five ways your plant care practices might have to be revised so you can make dying succulents thrive again and keep them that way.

5 ways to make dying succulents thrive again

Fascinatingly intricate and available in a host of different colors, shapes and sizes, succulents are a broad group of plants, well worth getting to know. Hailing from arid climates with infrequent rainfall they have thick, fleshy leaves that act as water reservoirs and vary from low growing ground cover to dramatic and sculptural plants standing up to 3 feet (90 cm) tall. 

Here’s how to keep these welcome additions to house or garden healthy.

1. Water succulents correctly

It’s crucial to know when to water succulents. Originating from arid areas they have evolved to cope with torrential downpours followed by weeks of drought. The way to ensure they thrive? Echo these conditions in your watering routine. 

Always plant succulents in gritty, well-draining soil or in a pot with plenty of drainage holes. Soak plants roots thoroughly for 5 to 15 minutes, being careful to avoid wetting the foliage, before letting the soil dry out completely. Repeat every two to three weeks.

2. Feed succulents to keep them healthy

Just like all plants, succulents need food to ensure they thrive. ‘Help them grow healthily by giving them a feed with liquid fertilizer once per month in spring and summer,’ says Richard Cheshire of Patch Plants. ‘Make sure to use feed specifically formulated for succulents and cacti.’

3. Keep succulents warm

Keep succulents warm to keep them healthy. Hailing from deserts, arid plains and other dry climates these plants are sun lovers and hate to sit in cold spots with waterlogged soil. 

Some sedums and semperviviums will cope with freezing temperatures but given the choice they prefer warmer conditions and will reward with more colorful and vibrant growth.

4. Provide suitable soil

Growing succulents in the right soil is super important as their roots will rot quickly if left in soggy conditions. If your plant is looking a little sorry for itself, check the soil and replace it if necessary. 

Specialist cactus and succulent mix is the best choice as it has plenty of grit, sand and perlite added into a fine compost.

5. Keep damp at bay

Increasing ventilation and evaporation around succulents can really help keep damp and rot at bay. Not usually a problem with outdoor plantings thanks to natural air circulation, it can be an issue with those grown indoors in pots. The experts at the British Cactus and Succulent Society advice, ‘It is advantageous to add a top dressing of grit, coarse sand or small pebbles to enhance the appearance, to inhibit the growth of mosses and algae and to reduce the tendency for rot at the base of the plant.’

Jill Morgan
Contributing Editor

Jill Morgan has spent the last 20 years writing for Interior and Gardening magazines both in print and online. Titles she has been lucky enough to work on include House Beautiful, The English

Home, Ideal Home, Modern Gardens and Gardeningetc.com. Although much of her career has involved commissioning and writing about reader homes and home improvement projects, her

everlasting passion is for gardens and outdoor living, which is what she writes about for Homes & Gardens.