They say that succulents are the easiest plants to keep alive. For gardeners with a green thumb to anyone looking to brighten their home with a little greenery, succulents are becoming a more popular plant choice. These thick-fleshed, water preserving plants have the ability to survive in diverse ecosystems with limited water sources– this means they don’t require as much water or care, making them an optimal choice for gardeners that don’t want to devote too much of their time. While succulents are one of the “easiest plants to keep alive”, it’s not uncommon for beginners to make simple gardening mistakes. Keep your succulents happy and healthy by avoiding these common mistakes.


Succulents originate from geographical locations that have high temperatures and little rainfall. Because of this, succulents preserve water easily. Many beginning succulent gardeners are used to watering plants weekly– with caring for succulents, that’s not the case.

Succulents are equipped to survive without water, so overwatering them is very easy to do. When succulent roots are waterlogged, they rot, thus killing the plant. Signs that your succulent is overwatered are slimy, yellow, or black leaves.

Not Enough Sunlight

Thriving in semi-desert and desert areas, succulents require a lot of sunlight. Generally, succulents need 6 hours of sunlight each day. If you are keeping your succulents indoors, make sure that they are in a room full of windows where they can get the sunlight they need. For outdoor succulents, make sure they’re in direct sunlight rather than shade so they can grow and thrive.

Using the Wrong Container

Naturally storing water, succulents require well-draining soil. The container or pot you choose to plant your succulent in plays a big role here. If you’re a beginner in caring for succulents, you’ll want to plant your succulents in containers that have holes for proper drainage. This will ensure the soil won’t retain too much water and rot the roots of the succulent. When you do find a container you love but doesn’t contain holes for draining, see if you can drill holes in before planting your succulents. You can also create your own hypertufa container for succulents if you’re up for a DIY project.

Insufficient Soil

A common mistake when planting succulents is using conventional garden soil. Succulents require well-draining soil because their roots don’t absorb water through soil directly. Rather, they absorb water through air molecules. Conventional garden soil typically soaks the roots of plants. Instead, make sure you are using succulent/cactus soil. Many gardeners choose to make well-draining succulent soil themselves to ensure their plants will thrive.

Many hobbyist gardeners love growing succulents in their home due to their aesthetics and easy care. Through trial and error, you can become a great succulent gardener in no time.