These seasonal succulent must-do's are for southern and coastal CA, from the Bay Area south. If you live beyond, please visit my site's Succulent Care By Season and Region page.
It's garden clean-up time. Don't let dead branches and ratty overgrowth persist into spring. Envision new growth as you trim and tidy everything from ice plants to trees.
Treat agaves for snout weevil. This essential preventative needs doing in spring and fall and can save infested agaves. Don't assume yours won't need it; sadly, the weevil WILL find them. How and what to use.
Aeoniums are emerging from summer dormancy. Cut back leggy aeoniums, replant rosettes, and discard old plants roots and all. See how in my video: How to Refresh an Overgrown Succulent Garden (4:48).
Trim Senecio mandraliscae by several inches, and plant cuttings in gaps. Old stems branch where cut, which helps mass plantings grow fuller. See how in my video, How to Fill Gaps in Your Succulent Garden (2:21).
Groom echeverias. Remove old flower stalks and dry leaves under rosettes. Mealy bugs are active now; spray them with 70% Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol.
Clean cochineal scale off paddle cactus (Opuntia sp.) Remove the fluffy white bumps with a soft-bristled shower brush dipped in dilute Safer soap.
Check your garden's run-off. Create channels that divert rain from succulents in low spots. If they sit where water collects, they may rot.
Fertilize in-ground succulents with Ironite. Ideal for newly planted gardens, it boosts spring growth. Take care it doesn't stain hardscape.
Check for ants in outdoor potted succulents, especially haworthias, gasterias and aloes. One tell-tale sign is soil in the crowns, pushed up from below. What to do.
Hose large succulents to remove fallen leaves and dirt and dust that inhibit photosynthesis. They'll welcome the extra water during Santa Ana winds. Btw, after replacing three garden hoses with these, I feel like I've finally entered the 21st century!
Wait to plant cuttings and new nursery plants until after the weather cools and the the winds die down.
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Related Info on This Site
Agave snout-nosed weevil is a half-inch-long black beetle with a downward-curving proboscis that enables it to pierce an agave’s core, where it lays its eggs. Grubs hatch, consume the agave’s heart, then burrow into the soil to pupate.
Are pests or mysterious maladies causing problems with your succulents? This page is a forum for you to ask questions, leave comments and share what works for you. Others can see and benefit from the answers. Your own tried-and-true solutions are welcome, too!