Actually, killing succulents and cacti is a whole lot easier than you think. Thankfully, so is keeping them alive.
When’s the last time you walked into a supermarket without spotting a shelf full to the brim with glitter-covered succulents? Not since 2013, that’s when. It’s safe to say that the millennial appetite for edgy, architectural green houseplants is unlikely to be sated --- at least in this decade.
We’re afflicted by succulent insanity for which it seems the only cure is, well, buying more succulents. But maybe we’d buy less if we didn’t keep killing them because of the pervasive indoor gardening myth that they’re easy to grow. In fact, killing cacti and succulents under the right sorts of conditions is incredibly easy. Luckily for you, getting it right is every bit as easy as getting it wrong is so long as you really make an effort to understand what it is your succulent needs.
And what it needs is your help getting rid of a few particularly stubborn nasties.
Does it look like your succulent’s covered in fluffy white snow or spots? Those are mealybugs and you’ve got to deal with them, stat. Mix 1 cup of rubbing alcohol with few drops of Dawn dish soap and a liter of water. Pour the solution in the spray bottle. Douse every bit of the plant with it, including the bits the bugs haven’t touched yet.
Smaller than the head of a pin, aphids can be a pain to identify and dispose of. There’s a few ways to go about it; spray stronger, mature plants with a strong beam of water; put on some gardening gloves and knock the aphids off into a bucket of soapy water; employ essential oils like neem or clove and peppermint.
Soft shell scale bugs can be removed with insecticide, but the safest bet to begin treating scale regardless of whether it's soft or hard shell variety is to start by removing the pests with a toothbrush or cotton bud dipped in alcohol.
4. Spider Mites
Hose the plant down and follow with an insecticide like Neem oil when dealing with a spider mite infestation. If the infestation’s progressed, use insecticide soap instead.
5. Snails and slugs
Surround your garden or home with an abrasive barrier to deter snails. Great options include broken eggshells, diatomaceous earth and gravel.