Normally, we like to talk about growing marijuana or about products related to growing marijuana. However given public demand, we are here with something a little different but on similar lines this time. A lot of people have asked us in comments and over mail about growing succulents. While these are not your typical plants that we like to talk about, but for your benefit, we are sharing this article on how to grow succulents from seeds – this is a complete beginner’s guide which will help you grow your succulents in a careful manner.
We shall first begin by talking about what succulents are, what are the different kinds of succulents and why should you be growing them using seeds. We shall then present you with a step by step guide of growing succulent using seeds. We shall finish off with a small commentary about growing succulents vs growing marijuana, and then answer some frequently asked questions about growing these plants before we conclude.
What Are Succulents?
Over the past few years, more and more people have taken to growing plants at home and gardening as a trend is getting a major boost. Especially as the work-from-home and stay-at-home culture peaks during the ongoing pandemic, it is possible that more and more people will be working out of home for a longer duration and hence the gardening culture is quite important to understand. Succulents are among some of the most popular plants that can be grown at home right from a seed level.
To answer the basic question, ‘succulents’ is a term used to refer to those plants which tend to store a lot of water in their leaves. Broadly speaking, most of these plants have leaves which are fleshier than other plants. An interesting thing about these plants is that they tend to thrive in places which are rather dry and arid – and do not have a lot of moisture in the air. These plants need to be provided with the right amount of water, but once they get their water, they tend to store it in their leaves and can then survive long periods without moisture or watering thanks to the water that they have stored.
These plants thrive best in warm and dry weathers since they store their water in their leaves. If the weather gets colder, the problem that emerges is that their leaves might freeze over due to the water content and get damaged. Hence, they need warm and dry conditions to thrive. Another great thing about succulents is that they make the perfect ‘houseplants’. If you are looking for a plant which grows under basic lighting conditions and grows with the bare minimal maintenance, these are the plants that you should be looking forward to getting!
Apart from them being low maintenance plants, another great thing about these succulent plants is that they are quite colorful and add a whole new charm to any room that you decide to grow them in! When they grow out in the open, these plants can grow to become quite big and spread out but when growing indoors, they’ll remain limited to the size of the pots and are the perfect plant for growing indoors.
Best-known Succulent Plants
Here are the best type of succulents that you can grow indoors right from a seed-stage and see your plants grow-
- Aloe Vera
- Snake Plants
- Coral Cactus
- Kalanchoe Tomentosa
- Jade Plants
While these are the most popular types of succulents there are hundreds of other varieties that exist in the nature that you can grow indoors with minimal maintenance. Let us now take a closer look at growing succulents from seeds. However, before that let us take a closer look at the ‘Why’ part of it.
Why Should You Grow Succulents from Seeds?
While there’s a possibility that you can buy entire plants from nearby stores, or even order them online – there’s a certain kind of joy that you get watching your seed grow into plants that you can’t get otherwise. Interestingly, the seeds from which these succulent plants grow are quite tiny and it is such a wonderful experience to watch these tiny seeds grow into plants that buying pre-grown plants won’t give you!
In addition to that, growing your plants yourself ensures that you are using the best possible practices and providing your plants with the best nourishment and care while it grows. While you buy succulents online, you get grown-up plants which aren’t necessarily grown with all the care that you can put in behind it when you are growing it yourself.
How to Grow Succulents from Seeds: A Step by Step Beginner’s Guide
Since we keep getting so many requests about this, here’s a complete and a step by step guide for growing succulents from a seed level to a complete plant –
1. Getting the Equipment Ready
Before you start growing your plant, you need to make sure that you have all the equipment ready. The first and the most basic of these things is ofcourse the seeds. We shall talk about them in detail in the next step. Apart from the seeds, you would need to get a shallow planting tray, and then make sure that you create small holes on the bottom. These holes will help drain excess water that you will be providing to your succulents. While all plants need space for draining excess water, succulents need it more than usual else they might end up drowning. Hence, while buying soil for growing your succulents in, you need to check if this is a soil which is loose enough to allow adequate amounts of water to drain through it. Lastly, we also recommend buying a plant dome to protect your plants.
2. Procuring the Seeds
When buying succulent seeds, you need to know one thing about them – they tend to be very tiny. Some of these seeds are so small that people with an untrained eye might dismiss them for dirt or mud and might just wipe them off. However, these seeds, when grown properly, turn into quite a good looking and beautiful plant and need to be grown with a lot of care. We best recommend you to buy these seeds from reputed sellers on Amazon or similar platforms where they sell plant seeds.
We also strongly recommend you to never buy plant seeds – be it regular plants like succulents or special plants like marijuana from street sellers. Some shady dealers might offer you ‘rare plants’ or ‘great deals’ but you’re never certain of what you are getting from them and whether or not they will grow properly. This lack of accountability is a big problem when buying seeds from sources which are not so credible. Hence, make sure you are getting good quality seeds from good quality sellers. There are also certain seed banks which specialize in selling good quality seeds for growing plants so you might even want to check them out.
3. Preparing the Substrate
Now that you have procured all the basic things that you need to grow your succulents from seeds, you will now need to take a closer look at preparing the basics. Here, you will first need to make sure that the soil that you are buying is richer in sand content which will allow for the soil to drain off the right amounts of water. Now this can be achieved by either purchasing soil that is specifically developed for growing succulents, or you can get hold of basic potting soil and then using horticultural sand to mix the two and prepare a mix which is equally balanced.
This is needed because sandy portions help ensure that the soil can be drained really well and that the seeds are not drowned. For those preparing their own substrate at home, we would like to let you know that please sterilize it first before you start growing the seeds in it. This process of sterilization can be achieved by baking the soil in an oven for about half an hour at a temperature of about 300F. This will ensure that the soil that you are going to use to grow your succulents in has been sanitized properly.
4. Filling the Soil in the Tray
The next step in this process would now be to take the soil that you have prepared and sanitized and keep it in the tray in which you are going to grow the plants. Ensure that the tray is filled in such a manner that the soil is filled to the maximum possible level but at a level that it remains at least 1 inch lower to the brim. Make sure that you have enough drainage holes on the bottom section. Then you can begin to test it out by watering the soil without the seeds and see if the drainage is working properly. Pour in some water and watch the extra water drain out. When the drainage stops you know that the soil is now ready for planting the seeds.
5. Planting the Seeds
After you have readied the soil by sanitizing it and checking the drainage levels, it is now time for you to finally plant the seeds. Watering the soil will allow you to check not only for the levels of drainage but it will also ensure that the soil is sticky enough for the seed to be properly planted. Begin by spreading the seeds all over the surface of the soil but make sure you’re leaving proper distance between every seed (social distancing is really important, even for plants). Make sure you’re not covering them with soil because these are very tiny and weak seeds which might end up dying if there’s too much weight or surface put on top of them.
Post this, cover your seeds using the plant domes. In case you don’t have a plant dome you can also make use of a shower cap to do so for now – but we strongly recommend using a plant dome. This is because plants, and especially succulents, at this stage, require a lot of humidity. Place this combination of the tray, soil, seeds and plant dome in a place where you have a suitable temperature (around 70 F) and a good lighting. If you don’t have access to good natural light you can place it under a growing lamp.
Once you’re done with all of this, it is now time to observe the miracle of germination! The seeds will slowly begin to sprout and once sufficient seeds have sprouted, you can remove the dome or the cap that you have placed on top of the tray to ensure humidity. The plants will now start to grow on their own and do not need any special care apart from watering time to time. Though make sure you’re not providing too much water else you might end up drowning them!
Last but not the least, you will now need to observe your plants carefully while they grow. You will need to take care of some basic things – that the water levels are not too much, that there’s enough space between two plants to grow, that there’s sufficient levels of air and humidity, as well as lighting, etc. Thankfully, unlike other plants such as the marijuana plants, succulents don’t really take too much of your time or efforts in order to grow properly but you still need to give it basic care and observation.
Difference Between Growing Succulents from Seeds vs Growing Marijuana
When you are growing these plants indoors, there’s not much to take care of. They are simple and easy to grow plants which grow on their own with minimal monitoring from you. These are beautiful plants and some like aloe vera even have medicinal and herbal uses which you can benefit from! They don’t take too much of an effort. Now that you know how they grow, here’s a comparison between growing marijuana and growing succulents. Marijuana happens to be our forte so here’s a quick comparison.
Unlike succulents, marijuana plants require a higher level of soil (and the kind of soil that retains water). Marijuana plants also need much more levels of humidity than succulents. Marijuana plants need regular watering as well, and they tend to grow much bigger and wider than succulents which are usually quite tiny. Marijuana plants also have legality issues but there’s no such thing when it comes to growing succulents. Last but not the least, when you grow succulents, you need to know that you are growing plants which don’t really need a lot of monitoring while marijuana plants need a lot of care from time to time.
Pros and Cons of Growing Succulents from Seeds
- Growing your own succulents helps you ensure that you are providing them the best quality lighting and suitable temperature conditions.
- When you grow your own succulents you know that the soil is sanitized and that there are no risk factors present in it
- They grow really well indoors and don’t have many requirements
- Growing your own succulents from seeds makes sure that you always have access to a larger number of plants (and it is also a cheaper process)
- It feels special to gift people products made from plants grown by you
- Lastly, it gives immense satisfaction in watching the plants grow
- It is a slow and time-consuming process
- Excess water might lead to seeds drowning
- You will need to put in quite a bit of effort in preparing and sanitizing the soil
- You will need to check for drainage from time to time
FAQs About Succulents
1. Where can I buy succulent seeds?
Succulent seeds are very common and easy to find. You can find it in your local flower seller’s store, or you can find it in shopping marts and places which usually sell plant/gardening products. You can also order them on Amazon in case you don’t wish to step out.
2. How long do succulents take to grow?
One thing that most growers do not know about these plants is that succulents take a long time to grow! Even germination for some plants might take as long as three weeks and the actual process of months can go on for months and months. Some even continue to grow for years. It depends from plant to plant, but don’t expect them to grow quickly.
3. How much do these seeds cost?
Succulent seeds don’t really cost a lot. They can be as cheap as $15 and as expensive as $150 depending on what place you’re buying it from, which plant it is, how the seed has been obtained, etc.
We hope that by this point in the article you will be familiar with how to grow succulents from seeds and all the do’s and don’ts that you need to keep in mind while growing them. Succulents make amazing house plants which even have a large number of benefits. They are low maintenance plants which add to the aesthetic value of wherever they grow. If there are any more questions that you have about growing succulents from seeds, do let us know in the comments below, or drop us an email and we shall get back to you as soon as we can! Till then….
….Happy Growing! 🙂