Succulents are drought resistant plants with the ability to store water in their leaves and stems for use later. Many are native to semi-dry and desert regions of the world. Using their ability to store water in their leaves and stems, they are able to withstand very dry conditions for short periods of time. Nature has provided them with the perfect biology to adapt to dry environments which makes them a forgiving plant for pots and planters.
Each LITEStone Teeny is planted with a succulent that needs no special care. They are grown in full sun in our family greenhouses, so high light is preferable. High light exposure generally creates more vibrant colors and sturdier plants. Since everyone does not have access to their own greenhouse, we suggest placement as close to a window or a natural light source as possible if inside. When pots are outside in warmer months, they can be placed in full sun although afternoon shade is ideal during summer days. While full sun is preferable, succulents will grow in a variety of light conditions including low light or shaded areas without any problems. Growing in artificial light alone is not recommended for more than two weeks. Plants will not die from very low light levels, but they will become weak if left there too long.
Breakage of stems and especially leaves is very common. The thickness of the leaves and stems leaves very little flexibility for most of our succulents. If a plant loses a leaf or stem, it will usually root with a little time so we suggest leaving it in the pot unless they become yellowed or "mushy." Once they start putting out roots, they will start growing a new plant wherever they are!
Our LITEStone Pots are made of a lightweight yet durable concrete. They are pitted and cracked by design which creates and exceptional look and feel. Often moss and algae will grow on the pots. This is a very natural part of the aging process for our pots and many emerge from our greenhouse already covered. If a cleaner look is desired, simply take a soft bristle brush with warm water and brush the sides and bottom. A mild soap can be applied to help if needed. The Teeny should last for many years and can be planted with any plant you desire if you remove or transplant your succulents.
Correct watering is the most important step towards having success with succulents. Not to be confused with cacti which like to stay dry, succulents like to dry out a bit in between waterings. By watching the soil on top of the pot, usually you can tell when it turns a lighter color and feels dry to the touch. Watering should not occur before the soil on top is dry. Once it is dry or has been dry for a day or two, then a good soaking is required. Ideally the pot should be watered until water runs out so that all the soil in the pot from top to bottom is wet. The time between waterings depends on several factors like humidity levels and the average temperature in your home or office. Air movement is a big influence, so if your pot is near a vent or open window, it will need more than if it is in a corner for example. Generally, 2-3 days are required between waterings. Some customers like to mist their plants and we don't discourage it. When you mist, just be sure and allow time for the plant to dry completely before it is wet again from misting or watering. Constantly being wet can lead to disease issues. A light mist once a day is all that is required.
Succulents are generally slow growing and have very few nutritional requirements that water and the soil they are planted in do not provide. If a succulent specific fertilizer isn't available, general purpose fertilizer at half the label rate is recommended. Once every two weeks is generally enough to keep growth at a moderate level. Fertilizers such as fish based and worm castings are excellent sources for natural nutrients and generally supply a lower dose of nitrogen which is preferable in the long run.
Succulents, if kept dry and not overwatered, are very pest and disease resistant. Scale and aphids are the most common pests. Both can usually be controlled with general broad spectrum pesticides or with safer soap based alternatives if there is any problem. No preventive steps are recommended other than close observation. The most common disease is rot. This can come in two forms - stem and leaf. If a stem gets soft and appears dark brown or black at the base, usually this is a sign of stem rot. The plant will also often fall over or off completely. We recommend pulling the infected plant out and throwing away. Cleaning any dead tissue or stem will help prevent any spread. Don't give up hope. Often another plant will emerge from the roots of the old one to replace it. Leaf rot is a dark yellowed or "mushy" leaf on the plant or on the surface of the soil. Simple removal of this leaf is all that is usually required to make sure no future issues will occur. Leaf rot is very common and is not always a sign of neglect or that you are doing anything wrong. If you encounter any problems that are a mystery, please email us at our "stay connected" link at the top of our website. We are here to help!