Caring for Your Succulents & Air Plants | Gemmell's Garden Centre

Posted in House Plants, Plant Love, The Basics

Succulents and air plants are on trend this season. Their clean structural appeal has recently struck a chord with gardeners and designers young and old alike.

If you haven’t bought these hip house plants then you have been missing out! Forgetful gardeners can breathe a sigh of relief as these plants are very forgiving, and with so many different types to choose from it is often hard to pick just one. 


What is a succulent? Succulents truly are the perfect plant for forgetful gardeners and any type of plant that has fleshy leaves or stems that store water are considered a succulent. Caring for your succulent is easy, and succulent gardens and terrariums add drama and elegance any indoor or outdoor space.

Caring for succulents | Gemmells Garden Centre

Image: Creative Commons

Easy Care Tips for Your Succulents

When succulents are indoors it’s often hard for them to get enough sunlight. Rule of thumb is about 6 hours a day. Therefore keep them close to a window in bright light. Outside they prefer the same so a nice sunny spot on you patio is perfect. Most of the cool funky succulents are not winter hardy so they need to be brought inside in the winter. Always plant succulents in a light potting mix with lots of sand or perlite to allow proper drainage. They don’t like wet feet so cactus soil is the best choice.

The common misconception is that succulents like to be consistently dry. This is actually not completely true. Succulents need to be watered so that the soil is thoroughly wet. Then, they need to be left to dry out completely before you water again.

Succulents are the perfect plant for lazy or forgetful gardeners because even when left to dry out they recover magnificently. If you have trouble gauging when to water, I highly suggest investing in a moisture meter. It a simple, and inexpensive, gadget that easily tells you if your soil it too wet, too dry or just perfect.

Air Plants

These unusual plants look like something from prehistoric times. Tillandsia, commonly known also known as air plant, is an epiphyte. This means that it doesn't need soil, but, instead, obtains water and nutrients from the air.

How to care for air plants | Ottawa Garden Blog

Image: Creative Commons

Easy Care Tips for Your Air Plant

There are a few ways to care for them. Most growers advise misting them once or twice a week but another method is soaking them in a bowl for 15 minutes once a week then allowing them to dry out upside down so the water runs out before placing them back in their terrarium. We have one customer whose air plant had babies this winter!

One of the most interesting ways to display air plants are in clear glass terrariums that hang or sit in windows. They truly are a piece of plant art in your home.

Have we convinced you yet to try these cool little plants?  It’s such a simple way to connect with the earth with minimal effort. Simply pick out your favourite plant, a funky little pot and a bag of cactus soil and you are on you way to joining the succulove movement.

Peace & Plants,
Kelly Heath
Retail Manager

Tips on how to care for succulents & airplants | Ottawa Garden Centre

Gemmells Garden Centre - Your Ottawa Valley Gardening Centre 
Proudly serving Stittsville, Kanata, Smiths Falls, Brockville, Kemptville, Manotick, Carleton Place, Perth, Merrickville, Cornwall, Richmond & everywhere in between.