Dudleya Succulents – An Ultimate Care Guide
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Dudleya succulents are striking succulents consisting of over 40 species in total. This stunning succulent is native to northern Baha, California, and California, and has been given the dreamy nickname of ‘Abrams’ live forever succulent’.
You may come across Dudleya succulents in their native Californian habitat; however, it is forbidden to pick them. This may be what has made their popularity grow. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about growing Dudleya succulents, caring for them, and get some new artistic gardening ideas that involve your succulent.
What Are Dudleya Succulents?
Dudleya succulents were previously classified as Echeveria succulents. Their colors vary from grey to bright green, and their leaves grow in a circular flower formation.
Under the right growing conditions, your Dudleya succulent may grow flowers. These flowers are small and look like striped pink and white candy before they bloom. You can expect your flowers to bloom from May through to July.
Unlike other succulents, these plants cling to rocks along the coastline and are extremely slow-growing. In fact, if you are lucky enough to spot a large Dudleya in the wild, you might be looking at a plant that is over 100 years old!
Why Should I Grow Dudleya Succulents?
Dudleya succulents are brilliant to have in your backyard. They are one of the few plants that are pest resistant and very rarely catch diseases. These are just two of the many reasons people choose to grow Dudleya plants. Here are some ideas of what you can do with your Dudleyas:
Succulents are popular office plants. If you work in an office or at home, it goes without saying that you probably spend most of your day sitting at your desk. Why not brighten up the atmosphere and add a dudleya or two to your desk.
You can use Dudleyas for landscaping your garden. Planting one dudleya at an angle on a rock facing wherever it will be seen the most will mimic its natural growth patterns. If your garden is large, you could scatter them around the perimeter of your garden for an authentic and rustic look.
If you grow your Dudleyas from seedlings, you might notice that they are all slightly different. This is due to genetic variations between seeds and adds to your rustic garden look.
What You Need To Know If You Choose To Plant Dudleya In Your Garden
Although Dudleyas take years to grow to their full potential, they do grow very big and will take up a lot of room in your garden. Make sure you leave plenty of room between your dudleya succulents and the surrounding plants.
As we mentioned earlier, there are lots of different Dudleya succulent types, and their appearance varies slightly from plant to plant. Some Dudleyas have branching habits, which make them brilliant plants to have as garden centerpieces.
If you have a container garden, you may want to consider planting Dudleyas. Make sure that the containers have great drainage and only plant them in a cactus soil mix.
Dudleya succulents are like sirens to hummingbirds; they simply can’t resist this plant! Having birds in your garden brings your backyard to the next level, and it fills you with a warm and cozy feeling of bliss seeing and hearing birds around you.
- Signs of Shriveling and Wilting
Your dudleyas may show signs of wilting and shriveling if you plant them in your garden. This usually happens during the hot summer months. Don’t worry though; your plant will return to its plump and juicy appearance when the weather cools down.
If you don’t like the sound of a rather sad looking wilted succulent, you can put up shade cloths to protect your plants from the heat. This should be done with great care as dudleyas need plenty of sunlight to grow, and ensuring they get enough hours in the sun is vital.
Ultimate Care Guide
Succulents have a world-famous reputation for being easy to care for. Just because they are easy and low-maintenance does not mean we can neglect our duty to help them thrive. Follow this care guide if you want to learn how to grow dudleya succulents the right way.
Take a close look at your Dudleya succulent. Does it look a little chalky? That would be because it is! This particular plant loves sunlight, and its natural chalky appearance acts as a natural sunscreen. You should leave your plant in direct sunlight for as long as possible.
Succulents usually love the heat; however, this particular type of succulent prefers cool sunny weather. If you are growing your succulent inland in an area that doesn’t get much of a cold breeze, you should plant it in an area with partial shade or heat protection for those super-hot times of the day.
These plants do not need to be watered often at all. You should only ever water them when the soil is completely dry. Another important thing to remember is that Dudleyas are dormant during the summer months, and because of this, they do not need any water at all during this period.
Watering your plant while it is dormant could kill it. If your succulent is planted in sandy soil, you can give it very little water during the summer if you feel it is necessary.
You should plant your succulent in a sandy soil mix or pre-bagged cactus soil. Make sure that the soil is free of fertilizers as it is better to add them in as and when your plant needs it.
Top Tips For Keeping Your Dudleya Alive
Dudleya succulents are low-maintenance but not the most low-maintenance succulent species to care for. Because of this, I have put a summary of my top tips for keeping dudleya succulents alive below. Use this as a reference any time you feel you need to.
- Do Not Touch Them
Succulents are waxy for a reason. Their skin has a layer of chalk and wax that protects their fleshy leaves from environmental damages and pests. Dudleyas can not reproduce this layer if it is removed, and touching the plant could cause serious damage.
If you want your plant to stay healthy and look aesthetic, do not touch its leaves unless it is absolutely necessary. This is so that the plant doesn’t develop scars or become discolored.
- Less is More
Less is more when it comes to water and fertilizer. Succulents have evolved to be very hardy plants that can survive through the toughest weather conditions. Because of this evolution, they can die within just a day or so of being overwatered or over-fertilized.
- Remove Pests and Treat Diseases
Dudleyas are pretty pest resistant, although now and again, they may show signs of an infestation. Remove the pests using an organic pesticide to stop them from attacking your plant.
Root rot and powdery mildew may occur when your succulent is grown in a humid environment. These diseases need to be treated right away in order to save your plant.
- Protect them From Frost
Much like us, succulents do not like frosty weather. Ther leaves may split and scar during below-freezing temperatures and the plant will not survive in these conditions for long.
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding Dudleya ‘live forever’ succulents.
Q: Can you propagate Dudleyas?
A: Yes, you can! You can propagate them from individual leaves, offcuttings, and from seeds. The process is quite easy, but one that requires precision and care.
Q: Can succulents heal themselves?
A: Unfortunately, if your succulent becomes damaged, it will never fully heal. Succulents do not have the ability to heal wounds, and scars are the result of damage caused in the past.
Q: Should I separate my succulents?
A: It is entirely up to you. When your succulent becomes too big for its container or has made lots of smaller succulents, it is a good idea to divide your plant. Dividing your succulent will make it easier to report and move around the house or garden.
Q: How should I care for my Dudleya succulent?
A: Follow the care guide and instructions in this article to ensure you are caring for your Dudleya succulent in the right way.
Q: How can I tell if I have overwatered my succulent?
A: Your succulent will begin to turn yellow or translucent and feel softer than usual when you touch it. If this happens to your plant, it may be too late to save it. Remove yellow and soft parts of the plant and re-pot the succulent in dry sandy soil.
Q: Are coffee grounds good for dudleya succulents?
A: Coffee grounds will help aerate the soil and make it more porous and fluffy. Coffee also suppresses the growth of weeds and acts as a pest repellant. You can add a small amount of coffee to your succulents soil every now and then to help it fight pests.
Q: Do Dudleya succulents like to be kept far away from one another?
A: Succulents store their water and therefore do not mind being crowded as they do not have to fight for water. You may not want to keep your succulents crowded together as this looks messy and less aesthetically pleasing in your garden.
Q: Are Dudleya succulents good for your health?
A: Dudleya succulents produce oxygen all through the night and help in purifying the air. This is obviously brilliant for our health!
Q: How often should I water my Dudleya succulent?
A: If you are growing dudleyas from seedlings or immature plants, you should water them every week. Once they mature, they will not need much water and will therefore only require water once their soil is completely dry.
Q: How do I know if my Dudleya is healthy?
A: A healthy Dudleya succulent has thick, juicy leaves and is rubbery and firm. Dudleyas are found green or grey leaves, if your succulent’s leaves start to discolor, and wilt, you should check for pests, disease, or signs of overwatering.
Q: Should I keep my succulent in a small pot?
A: No, if your succulent has outgrown its pot, you should re-pot in something larger. Small pots can seriously damage your succulent and cause irreversible damage to its roots.