Posted on June 01 2023
Have a cactus that’s droopy? A succulent that is unhappy? There are easy ways to tell if your plant buddy needs water or less/more sun, here’s how!
Succulents store water in their “leaves”, so keep an eye on those – the plumper and firmer they are, they’re good on water; if they look wrinkled and flat, they’re thirsty. Certain succulents need more water than others, so make sure to check the care details thoroughly. A good rule of thumb is Jade plants need the most water, Haworthia the least. And the best way to tell if your succulent has too much sun? Color! If your Echeveria or Hens and Chicks are turning pink or red at the tips, it’s being “sun-stressed” – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing! The color is natural, like the changing seasonal leaves outside. But if the plant turns yellow or shrivels, move it to partial sun. Again, read your care directions thoroughly!
Cactus are a bit harder to tell if they’re thirsty, as they store water inside. But if you’re able to push on the cactus flesh gently with a finger, or an implement if it’s too spiny, make sure the cactus is firm. If you can see wrinkles or desiccation, it’s in need of a drink. Interior rot will cause the cactus to collapse in on itself eventually, and sadly there’s no way to tell that’s happening unless it becomes visible on the outside. And keep in mind that most store-bought cacti aren’t straight from the desert, and likely have been living in a partial sun environment; when in doubt, start a cactus in partial sun and adjust accordingly. Here’s to keeping your plant buddies happy!