Most succulents grow best in a sunny window or patio where they get 3-4 hours of direct sun per day. Remember to protect them from hot afternoon sun when temperatures are 90°F and above. When succulents don't get enough sunlight, they will lose their vibrant color and the new growth will be pale green and elongated. Too much sunlight can burn and scar the plant.
There are some succulents (we refer to them as low-light succulents) that do not require as much sunlight. They prefer bright, indirect sunlight with a little, gentle morning sun. They can burn easily in hot, direct sun. Note: Because they get less light, they will need water less often than direct sun-loving succulents.
In warmer months, completely soak the soil to the roots and allow it to dry out completely before watering again. Check the top couple inches of soil regularly and if there is moisture, do not water. In cooler months, water just enough to soak about the top half of the soil and allow to completely dry before watering again. How frequently you water varies greatly depending on the time of year, size of pot, type of succulent you are growing, etc. As a general rule, water more often in summer, and less often in winter when it's cold and they are dormant. Cacti and succulents with fat leaves tolerate longer periods of drought, but those with thinner stems and leaves will need to be watered more often. Succulents like good air circulation and will die in terrariums with lids.
Succulents must have well-draining soil that allows the roots to get the water they need, but that doesn't stay wet for too long, as this will cause your succulents to rot. How 'well-draining' depends on many factors—your location, type of succulent, etc. Here in the humid, sub-tropical Southeast, we need extra drainage. We mix small gravel (pea-gravel, perlite, pumice, crushed granite, very coarse sand, etc.) with low-peat based soil, a 50/50 mix for cactus and other succulents that easily rot. Our standard succulent mix is 35% small gravel with 65% low-peat based soil. Having this 'rocky' mix allows you to water deeply to the roots without the fear of rotting your plants.
Air plants like bright, indirect light, although they do enjoy a little direct sun in the morning or in cooler months. Direct sun can burn or quickly dry out your air plant, especially in the afternoon and in warmer months. As the sun's position changes, a spot may become too sunny at certain parts of the day or year.
Air plants absorb water through their leaves. It's best to water in the morning by submerging the entire plant in water (rain or bottled water works great) for 20-30 minutes once a week; more often when dry and hot, less often when cool and humid. If your air plant is severely dehydrated, soak up to 12 hours to rehydrate. After watering, hold the plant upside-down and gently shake off excess water, making sure none stays in leaf crevices. Place upside-down on a towel and allow to dry thoroughly in a bright place with good air circulation for 4-8 hours before returning to container or holder. You can lightly mist your plant between regular soakings, but make sure water doesn't collect down into the base of plant, as this can cause rot. When plants are in bloom, avoid wetting the flower so that it will last longer. Air plants will not survive in soil or standing water and will rot if kept constantly moist. They will die in terrariums with lids.
We recommend a Bromeliad fertilizer once a month at 1/4 the recommended strength.
Can be grown outdoors, but bring inside in winter if temperatures drop below 50°F. Optimum range: 50-90°F.