Note: The following tips apply to many succulents, but not all. We recommend finding more information about your specific succulent for better results.
Water the succulent when the soil is completely dry, and allow the planter to drain every time. To test for moisture, push a wooden stick to the bottom of the planter, wait about 10 seconds, then remove it. Soil/moisture on the stick means the succulent is not ready to be watered (certain varieties such as haworthias can be watered before they completely dry out).
Most succulents need sunlight. Try to provide as much sunlight as possible, whether indoors or outdoors (refer to the indoor/outdoor sections). The transition between different light conditions needs to be gradual. If a succulent is moving from indoors to outdoors, start in a shaded outdoor area, then gradually increase light exposure.
Air circulation is critical for succulents to have healthy roots, which makes a healthy plant. Air circulation can come from being outdoors, near an open window, or in other ventilated areas. If the pot does not have legs, it is recommended to place the succulent on a surface that allows air to pass around the drainage hole.
Succulents need potting mixes that help them drain and breathe. This mix usually includes pine bark, perlite, and other small rocks to keep the soil aerated. We also place a layer of lava rocks or clay pebbles at the bottom of planters to help prevent water retention.
Choose pots with a drainage hole. Generally, the pot should be slightly bigger than the succulent. Repot the succulent as needed to match its size. Growing speeds vary based on the succulent type, age, environment, etc. For root-bound succulents, growing speeds will increase if they are repotted into a bigger pot.
Shape and Color
Everything mentioned above can change a succulent's condition and color. Improve those factors to keep a succulent in good condition. If the succulent is placed outdoors, day-night temperature differences during spring and fall may cause it to change color. A succulent not reaching its color potential does not mean it is unhealthy. Some succulents do not change color.
Place in a bright location or under a grow light. Ideally, allow the succulent to stay in a well-ventilated area, or provide fresh air periodically. Closely control the amount of water or use a spray bottle, especially if air circulation and/or sunlight is limited. Some succulents may grow a longer stem when sunlight is insufficient to reach for light (etiolation). During winter, succulents tend to dry up quicker if the heat increases indoors.
Protect from extreme temperatures: below freezing/32˚F and above 85˚F. When watering the succulent, drench the soil, then allow it to completely dry before watering again. Under intense summer sun, water the succulent in the morning or evening instead of mid-day.
Old leaves at the base will naturally wilt and die. They can be pulled off or left to fall.