How to Keep Your Succulent Alive in a Heatwave
It sure has been one heck of a heatwave here in South Australia, along with most of the rest of the country! I started getting a little worried about my beloved succulents and how they're coping in the continuous heat, so I flicked a quick message to my horticultural friend, Brayden Casey, to see what advise he had.
I'll start by saying that just because succulents can tolerate and prefer longer periods between watering, doesn't mean that they love the heat.
Is Your Succulent in a Pot or in the Ground?
Succulents housed in pots are more susceptible to wither away, especially if they are in the direct sunlight. Succulents in the ground are able to stay cooler because the ground doesn't heat up as quick as pots and planters do.
Try to Give Your Succulent Some Shade
If your succulent is in a pot, try to move it to part of the garden that gets direct sunlight in the morning, and is shaded for the hottest part of the day. This should help save the leaves from burning. If your succulents are in the ground, you could consider giving them some shade by installing a shade cloth over the area.
Watering Your Succulent When It's Hot
Generally you don't need to water your succulent too often, however in a heatwave it's a good idea to water more often. I've been watering my succulents once a day for the past week while it's been hot here in Adelaide. You can tell by your succulent's leaves whether it's getting too much water or not enough - if your succulent is getting too much water, it's leaves will be soggy, if not enough water then the leaves will start to wither. Brayden recommends watering in the morning before it gets hot, or in the evening once it's cooled down a bit.
Although succulents don't usually enjoy sitting in wet soil, they are less likely to suffer from the heat as much if the ground is freshly watered. This helps to keep the roots, and therefore the rest of the plant cool.
Do You Have An Indoor Succulent?
I also have a couple indoor succulents. These guys I've just been watering every couple days, making sure the soil is dry before watering, and trying not to drench the soil with water.
Brayden also recommends feeding your succulents (with Seasol or something similar) once a week in these conditions if you can.