How to Grow Poinsettias and Succulents

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Follow a few easy growing rules and you too can successfuly grow a poinsettia and succulent houseplant. The rules include potting, watering, and lighting

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Step 1: What You Need...

- Miracle Grow potting soil
- Sand
- Ceramic Pot
- Watering Can

Step 2: Purchasing Your Succulent

Succulents come in all shapes and colors; they have very thick leaves, and are cactus-like. The succulent plant is normally sold in a standard plastic container. However, the succulent actually grows best in clay pottery. So, when you bring the plant home transfer it into a clay container.

Step 3: Ceramic or Plastic?

Ceramic Only! Succulents and Cacti should only be planted in ceramic pots. Ceramic pots absorb excess water and help to prevent from overwatering.

Did you know that the poinsettia plant is a succulent and a distant relative of the cactus family? Keep your holiday poinsettia alive by taking it out of its festive wrapper and transplanting it in a ceramic pot. Place in a sunny window and it should thrive!

Step 4:

The best potting soil for a succulent is cactus potting soil and can be found at most nurseries. You may also plant your succulent in 1 part sand to 3 parts potting soil. Pearlight is a small bead / styrofoam-like planting additive that is also excellent to add to the potting mix. If these items are not available, the succulent will grow in just potting soil alone, but it will not thrive to its full potential.

Step 5: Watering Your Succulent

Minimal watering is they key. A small succulent should only receive about 1/4 cup of water per week. Remember to not let your plant soak in standing water. This will kill your succulent in no time at all. Small rocks or broken pottery inside the bottom of your ceramic pot will help with water drainage and keep the roots from getting water logged too.

Step 6: Lighting

Most houseplants grow well in low light, but a thriving plant grows best near a bright sunny window. The only danger is potential cold in the wintertime and intense heat in the summer. A window in direct sunlight during hot summer days is the largest threat to tropical houseplants. Therefore it might be necessary to move your plants to another location depending on the sun's location and season.


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    5 Discussions


    10 years ago on Step 6

    Thank you so much for your advises! I have a Poinsettia since Xmas'2005, and still lives, but I was afraid she was weak, because she wasn't growing as it used to. I toke it off the plastic but that isn't enough (know I now). Sorry for my english :) Huge hug from Portugal!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice instructable. I would only add that, in older homes with radiators, many times they are located under a window, and that is, of course, not a good place for plants during the winter. Near an air vent, for forced air, central air homes probably should be avoided too.

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! That is very good advice. Heaters certainly dry out house plants. One type of soil I like to use to prevent drying is Miracle Grow Moisture Control. When I lived in South Lake Tahoe, where the climate is naturally VERY dry, we ran humidifyers 24/7. Our house plants had to be watered more often too. :-) GAiL


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Nice instructable! You also have to protect your poinsettia from drafts cause by opening the door or window because drafts cause the petals and leaves to fall off and it'll end up looking like a stick.

    1 reply