Succulents: One Editor Needs Help

That editor is me. Can you please tell me how to care for the pretty succulent I acquired this week? I am relying on someone out there in the blogosphere to help me NOT kill this plant. Please.

And let me remind you that I keep nothing alive. Except for my one-year-old child. I’m pretty good at that. So, keep the instructions simple. Thank you.


  • Cat

    Lots of sun, once/twice a week water. Easy cheesy.

  • willard spiegelman

    This is easy. Put it in, or near, a bright window. Water ONLY when it is bone dry, never more than once a week. Sometimes, depending on the type of succulent, the plants can go for several weeks without water. Remember: these are the camels of the plant world. They store water and they thrive in deserts. Overwatering, rather than neglect, is the usual killer.

  • @Willard you are my hero. Thank you! If I kill this plant, we all know I shouldn’t be trusted with them at all.

  • Your priorities are right, Ryan – kid first, then plants. Our office succulent isn’t nearly as pretty as yours, but has lasted through the worst kind of drought – office mate neglect. so, I concur with Willard’s camel strategy.

  • Randy

    When you get enough of them, you can do this …

  • Hi, Ryan — Lots of misinformation out there. Waiting to water until the soil is bone dry can cause fine root filaments to desiccate—not fatal, but it inhibits growth. Succulents by definition store moisture in fleshy leaves and stems, but not all thrive in deserts; in fact, most don’t. My third book on succulents, “Succulents Simplified” (Timber Press, May 2013) is perfect for beginners. If you’d like to email me your mailing address, I’ll ask my publisher to send you a review copy.