“How long do succulents live?” is a popular question because succulents are known to live for decades as they are hardy and drought-resistant plants, making them excellent houseplants.
With thick and swollen stems, the roots retain water to help succulents grow well in dry environments without requiring much care or attention, thereby giving them a long lifespan.
This guide explains how long do succulents live indoors and outdoors. We also provide information on the factors that govern the lifespan of these attractive plants so that they can live as long as possible, so read on to know it all!
- What Is the Lifespan of a Succulent?
- How To Extend the Lifespan of Succulents?
What Is the Lifespan of a Succulent?
The lifespan of a succulent greatly depends on the type; for example Barrel Cactus succulents survive for a century, a jade for 70 years and a Hen and Chick variant for 5 years. Moreover, even though the plant is easy to maintain, specific care conditions can boost its life span.
Succulents can live very long — for several decades and often more. It is impressive to see these plants tended to generation after generation.
However, succulents should be discarded when the stem becomes black, which means it is too late to salvage the plant. Your succulent has received too much water if the leaves near the bottom begin to turn yellow, feel mushy, and readily fall off the plant.
Here are the most common types of succulent plants and their lifespans.
– Barrel Cactus
One of the succulents with a highly long lifespan is the barrel cactus. The shortest lifespan for these succulents is 50 years, but they can live for centuries in their optimal environments.
They received their name because they resemble barrels, and their spines can come in various colors. These succulents, known to thrive in desert environments, would benefit from being placed in a sunny, bright area.
Avoid putting it in direct sunlight to boost its life span, as it could burn the leaves. Additionally, the succulent will flourish in well-drained soil like any other succulent.
Keep water use to a minimum and watering should be done once per week during the summer and less frequently during the winter. If possible, refrain from watering again until the soil is entirely dry.
Want to know how long do echeveria live? You may be surprised that it only has a lifespan between three years and several decades.
It is renowned for its stunning display of evergreen foliage and is among the most well-liked varieties of succulents used in floral arrangements and terrariums. You must provide these succulents with the proper care and growing circumstances to survive for a long time.
They are lovely home additions and are available in various hues. Even novice gardeners may easily care for Echeveria, they only require a lot of light to flourish and must be exposed to direct sunshine for four to five hours at the very least.
To prevent burning the succulent leaves, keep them from remaining longer in the sun for than that. The soil should drain well and not require excessive watering to prosper in hot, dry environments, as excessive humidity will kill them. This plant is an excellent option if you reside in a warm or cold climate.
– Jade Plant
Jade, a common succulent known as the money plant, is low maintenance and has a long life. The lifespan of this succulent plant is between 70 and 100 years. Therefore, if you acquired this plant when you and the plant were young, you may find it will develop alongside you. Some people even claim that these succulents can live longer than people.
You must properly care for it if you wish it to live that long by exposing it to sunshine for four or more hours. Maintain the temperatures around the plant between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius to 22 degrees Celsius), and the soil should have good drainage.
It should also be rinsed frequently to maintain moist soil and prevent overwatering. Warm, tropical climates are ideal for jade plant growth.
– Aloe Vera
Because of its numerous advantages, the aloe vera plant ranks among the most popular succulents. In 3 to 4 years, aloe vera reaches maturity and with proper care, it can survive up to 12 years and grow to be between 60 and 100 cm tall during this period.
Although the aloe plant has many different types, the care they require and their lifespan is essentially the same. The thick leaves have a gel inside that is renowned for its countless medicinal properties.
This succulent adores the sun; however, prolonged exposure could cause them to burn. Although it thrives at room temperature, it can endure cooler temperatures. Also, avoid overwatering them and let the soil dry before adding more water. Aloe Vera does best in well-drained soil, much like any other succulent.
– Living Stones
This succulent native to South Africa is called Living Stones or Lithops. One of the strangest succulents may initially appear to be pebbles, hence the name.
With the correct care, this plant can survive up to 50 years. But in their natural environment, this appearance protects them and because they require very little upkeep, you wouldn’t have to worry about this plant for decades.
Low humidity is ideal for growing succulents, and they require minimal watering. Some claim that other than placing them in an area with intense sunshine, you don’t need to give them any thought.
They can also be exposed to direct sunlight, but only for around four to five hours. The best soil you can give them is one that drains well, which prevents water from being able to collect without resulting in a dying succulent sooner than it should.
– Hens And Chicks
This succulent plant called “hens and chicks” is indigenous to Southern Europe and Northern Africa and lives an average lifespan of three years or more. Due to its small size, it is often referred to as the cutest succulent.
The structure inspired the name Hens and Chicks, with the more extensive base being the mother plant and the smaller grounds being her chicks. One of the easiest succulents to maintain, it’s even ideal for people who live in moderate climates.
If you want them to live longer than three years, you must take excellent care of them. They may also be the only succulent plant capable of withstanding frost and snow and are not picky about their surroundings if you don’t provide them with too much water.
It is alright if you lack good soil to plant them in because rock gardens can support hens and chicks; however, they can also flourish in flower beds. Although they might require direct sunshine, they can withstand being in the shade in soil that drains quickly.
– Crown of Thorns
This succulent plant, Crown of Thorns, commonly known as Euphorbia, has thorns on its stems. It is simple for these to live indoors and it lasts up to 25 years. You will find large and multicolored flowers on the plant.
They require at least three to four hours of sunlight each day and enjoy being close to a sunny window and can survive through the winter and summer and thrive at room temperature.
These plants should only be watered in the spring and late fall when the soil is dry at least an inch from the surface. Wait until the soil is dry at least 2-3 inches below the surface before planting in the winter. To prevent water from pooling on the pot, use a pot with drainage holes and well-drained soil.
– Christmas Cactus
Brazil is home to some common succulents known as Christmas Cactus. It creates gorgeous home flowers, including red, pink, white, and other hues. It can live for 20 or more years if properly cared for.
The only issue is that these succulents are not the simplest to maintain and should only take in a little water.
Water them only when the earth feels dry on top. Use only well-drained soil when growing them in a pot with drainage holes.
To encourage their growth, use some fertilizer and add a shallow water basin to the room throughout the winter to help humidify the dry air. They enjoy being placed somewhere bright but never put them directly in the sun to prevent their leaves from being burned.
– Aeonium Kiwi
After flowering, the Aeonium Kiwi tends to perish. The succulent lifespan before blooming will depend on how quickly it matures. The best thing you can do if your succulent starts to bloom and you don’t want to lose it is to take some cuttings for further growth. Imagine it as though one generation is going away and being replaced by another.
– American Agave
Most agaves only live for 15 to 30 years, although they are also known as century plants. You can extend the life of agave by pruning its lower leaves, leaving just those near the top or the middle of its rosette. It is also known as monocarpic succulents.
It takes an average of 7 years for an agave plant to mature for harvest. The life cycles of American agave plants are well known to live, die and repeat. The plants should die shortly after blooming, typically leaving behind seeds that grow into clones of the original plants.
– Saguaro Cactus
The Saguaro cactus is an old succulent with an average lifespan of over 150 years. It is one of the longest living succulents. However, they can live for more than 200 years under ideal circumstances. Old Granddaddy, the oldest known saguaro, was thought to be around 300 old when it died in the 1990s.
– Snake Plant
Snake plants, sometimes known as mother-in-law’s tongues, are succulents with sword-shaped leaves and live for five years to a decade. They are among the most popular plants planted inside the house because they are also renowned for their hardiness.
Water these low-maintenance plants just when the soil is dry, and the plant enjoys indirect sunshine and detests being overwatered. If you take good care of the plant, they’ll give you clean indoor air for over five years.
If you are curious about how long do small succulents live, then this variety answers it. This mini succulent can survive for five years or longer with indirect sunshine and biweekly care. The looks of haworthias range widely, from translucent, plain, and zebra-like to bristly and dense. Like Echeveria, there are numerous lovely haworthia types to pick from.
In addition to their exceptional beauty, these mini succulents are the most popular due to their simple maintenance requirements. Haworthias are accustomed to a warm, dry climate because they are native to the southernmost region of Africa.
How To Extend the Lifespan of Succulents?
To extend the lifespan of succulents, you should give them a good drainage system, avoid exposing them to excessive sunlight, give them space to breathe, provide an appropriate amount of water for them, and keep them somewhere with low levels of humidity.
Succulents are one of the simplest plants you can take care of at home, as they can endure extreme conditions for extended periods.
Yet, some people still struggle to care for these plants due to their peculiar growing requirements. But you can relax now and easily keep these succulents alive and healthy; you only need to keep a few things in mind. Here are a few methods.
– Give Them a Good Drainage System
Succulents are drought-tolerant plants; therefore, they may rot and die if left in a moist environment.
Start by selecting the proper soil type, such as a mix of one-third organic and two-thirds mineral components. Pine bark, compost, and coconut coir are a few examples of organic soil. For the minerals, you can use coarse sand, perlite, volcanic rock, or gravel.
Once you have the proper soil, it’s time to select the appropriate container with bottom draining holes. A suitable container will prevent water from pooling in the pot and soaking the soil.
ou can also purchase diatomaceous earth, chicken grit, decomposed granite, and non-soluble cat litter as additional minerals for your soil mix. Avoid over-watering the soil, as this will cause the plant to rot and die.
– Avoid Exposing Them To Excessive Sunlight
Yes, succulents can withstand harsh conditions, but that doesn’t mean you should expose them to the sun’s fiercest rays.
Not all succulents can thrive in these conditions, and it is advisable to conduct research and confirm whether the variety of succulents you own can thrive in direct sunlight. If it’s not, make sure to give them access to shade so they can avoid the heat if the temperature rises above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
The most vulnerable succulents to sunburn are those with the most outstanding green and varied coloring. You can put these succulents on a window that receives direct sunlight while providing adequate shade.
The only plants that can endure the sun’s intense heat are red, gray or blue succulents with many spines. These succulent varieties are your best options if you live in a warm climate with infrequent rain.
– Give Them Space to Breathing
Succulents grouped in a single container may appear lovely, but they should have better settings. The plant requires room to grow and space to breathe, and the most crucial justification for this is that it needs a root zone.
As mentioned earlier in this article, the thick leaves, stems, and roots are where the plant stores its water. Some succulents have snowball roots so that they can fill a 6-inch pot.
Suppose you prevent the plant from having the chance to grow larger by not providing enough root zone. In that case, the inner liquid will gradually evaporate.
The stems will become tough, the leaves will age and wrinkle, and the root cells will progressively decompose. To put it another way, the succulent will begin to rot and eventually perish.
Succulents tend to grow slow and will eventually outgrow their containers, and they may even require frequent upkeep to ensure they live longer. Your succulent arrangements can benefit from sprucing up their pots in the spring and fall seasons.
– Provide Only a Little Water to Them
Curious to know how long do succulents live without water? Then you would be happy to know that they do not require much.
However, they still require some, despite their ability to withstand drought. They still need water, but just very little, so avoiding overwatering them is essential because doing so would make the plant rot.
Fill your pot with water until the bottom starts to drain. You need to water it again only if the top inch of your soil seems dry. Depending on this, you might need to water your succulents once or twice a week. You shouldn’t dampen your plants in the winter or if you reside in a colder climate.
– Nourish Them
Succulents can thrive in nutrient-poor conditions. That does not imply that they do not require fertilizer, though.
Your succulent needs a combination of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, such as a balanced liquid fertilizer of 20-20-20, applied every 6 to 8 weeks at half intensity. However, don’t overfeed them, just as you wouldn’t overwater them.
To prevent burning your plant, you could fertilize the soil at least once a year. Using a balanced fertilizer and feeding the earth at the start of the plant’s growing season is also recommended.
– Propagate Them
Let us answer a critical question: how long do succulents take to propagate? The answer is that the time it takes to root cuttings varies greatly, but most cuttings made from succulent leaves and stems should start to root within two to three weeks.
Hence, even though you’ve done your best to help some succulent species survive longer, some species are only supposed to live a certain amount of time.
If so, you can always grow more succulents from the ones you already have, and you can do this to pass down generations of succulents from your existing collection.
It takes anywhere between three days to a few weeks for your succulents to start growing, depending on the type of succulent, the temperature, and the amount of sunlight they receive.
Some seeds may even take as long as several months to a year to germinate. Therefore, it is essential to research before purchasing seeds to estimate the amount of time needed for growth.
– Plan for the Winter
It’s always best to prepare your outdoor succulents for cold seasons if you live somewhere that receives snow in the winter to prevent any potential frost damage. To help keep the tiny plants warm until spring, we advise building a miniature greenhouse or using a straw cover.
– Keep Them Humidity-free
Succulents are plants that prefer dry environments. To put it another way, they are not accustomed to high humidity. In wet climates, they may be more prone to pests, fungi, and mildew.
Place your indoor succulents close to a closed window in a humid environment. By doing this, they can enjoy the much-needed sunshine while being shielded from the moist outside air.
In this article, you have read about succulents’ life span.
Let us summarize our learning in the section below.
- The rate of growth varies according to the succulent. It is challenging to pinpoint precisely how long succulents typically live because there are such wide and distinct varieties.
- The best approach to guarantee that your succulents live as long as possible, whether they are grown indoors or as outdoor succulents, is to give them the right growing conditions.
- All succulents can survive droughts, so you don’t have to worry as much about how much water they need. Only water the plants when the soil seems dry, and keep them on the slightly drier side at all times.
- A balanced liquid fertilizer such as 20-20-20 must only be applied every 6 to 8 weeks at half intensity. However, consider utilizing premium soil, repot when required, and be sure to take care of the roots.
- Succulents adore the sun. Always keep them in a location that gets bright enough light, with indirect light throughout the day. Nothing is better than keeping them in the sunshine for a few hours.
Succulents do not have a conventional lifespan because there are widely different varieties.
While some last for decades, others have been known to live for hundreds of years, so don’t be surprised if your beautiful succulent lives to see countless generations ahead.
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