How To Take Care Of An Indoor Succulent

Watering is the main challenge that novice succulent growers encounter while trying to keep their plants alive indoors. So much so that I’ve written a whole ebook and an entire post about watering succulents. You can read the two together here.

It’s significant! Surprisingly, succulents require a lot of water to survive. They require less watering than the majority of indoor plants do, though.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that succulents seldom ever require water, though. So, here’s the situation…

Succulents enjoy having their roots well wet, but they also dry out quickly. The soil was then irrigated once more after drying up for a few days.

Succulents can be kept alive temporarily by being lightly sprayed with water, but if you want them to thrive, you need to use the “soak and dry method.”

Additionally, be aware that during their dormant stage, succulents don’t require as much water. This typically occurs during the colder months of the year. They require less water because they aren’t actively growing.

People who think their succulents are dying because the leaves are drooping and shrivelling up frequently email me. Here’s a little secret: Succulent lower leaves will eventually shrivel up and die, just like all other plants.

Only if the topmost or most recent leaves on your succulent are shrivelling should you be concerned about dying leaves. You shouldn’t be concerned if it only affects the stems that are closest to the soil at the bottom.

How are succulents maintained indoors?

Succulents may not need much attention, but they do need a few essentials to survive:

  • provide ample sunlight. Succulents require adequate light—at least six hours each day of direct sunlight.
  • adequately irrigate.
  • Use the appropriate container and soil mixture.
  • Don’t overlook fertilising.
  • Look over your plants.

How frequently should indoor succulents be watered?

During the months that are not winter, when the temperature is above 40 degrees, you should water your succulents every other week. You should only water your succulent once a month in the winter (when the temperature falls below 40 degrees), as it goes dormant at this period.

A few situations constitute an exception to this rule. Because their tiny leaves can’t hold as much water as other varieties with larger leaves, some varieties of succulents need to be watered more frequently. In the non-winter months, feel free to give these small leaf succulents a water if they appear to be thirsty. When they are thirsty, succulents generally exhibit a wrinkled appearance. But always keep in mind that being underwater is preferable to being overwater.

Where should indoor succulents be placed?

Succulents thrive in hot, arid conditions and don’t mind a little neglect due to their unique capacity to store water. They are therefore ideally suited to growing indoors and are the perfect choice for anyone looking for low-maintenance houseplants. Follow these instructions for successful plant care if you’re choosing succulents for the first time.

Select a succulent that will thrive in your indoor environment.

The majority of succulents need direct sunshine, however if your home only has a shady area, choose low light-tolerant plants like mother-in-tongue. law’s A trailing variety, like string of bananas, is an excellent option if you intend to grow your succulent in a hanging planter. To learn about your succulents’ requirements for sunlight, size, and spread, always read the plant labels.

Give the plants a good draining potting material.

You should repot your succulent as soon as you get it home since nurseries always plant their succulents in soil that is overly rich and holds too much moisture. A coarse potting mix with sufficient drainage and aeration is a good place to start. You can use an African violet mix or unique cactus and succulent mixtures that you can purchase at the nursery. Add perlite or pumice to the cactus or African violet mix (up to 50% of the total potting mix, depending on your particular succulent’s moisture requirements) to further increase drainage and prevent compaction. To make sure the mixture is moist throughout, always moisten it before using.

Decide on a container.

When repotting, use a container that is at least 1 to 2 inches bigger than the nursery container and has a drainage hole. Avoid using glass containers (such mason jars or terrariums) for long-term potting since they prevent roots from breathing and over time may result in root rot. Place your plant inside the container and backfill with extra pre-moistened potting mix after filling the bottom one-third of the container with pre-moistened potting mix.

Put the succulent plant in a pot somewhere sunny.

Try to arrange your succulents close to a south or east-facing window because most succulents need at least six hours of sun each day. Insufficient sunlight may cause your succulents to become spindly or to extend toward the light.

Between waterings, allow the potting mix to dry out.

Overwatering succulents is the most common error people make with them. Watering more deeply but less frequently is preferable. Before the next watering, completely saturate the potting mix (while making sure the water drains out of the drainage hole properly). The plant can finally perish if the potting soil is left moist every day.

Succulents should be fertilised at least once a year.

Fertilizer works best for plants in the spring (when the days lengthen and new growth starts) and again in the late summer. Use a water-soluble, balanced fertiliser (such as 8-8-8 or 10-10-10) that has been diluted to half the strength indicated on the container. Since succulents are semi-dormant in the winter, there is no need to nourish them. Because they are not actively growing, they do not require the nutrient boost.

Succulents can they survive indoors without sunlight?

The most light is reflected from south-facing windows throughout the day in the northern hemisphere. The sun shines through windows facing east in the morning and west in the afternoon and evening. The least quantity of sunlight enters windows that face north.

A south-facing window is the best choice for the majority of sun-loving succulent plants in the northern hemisphere. However, all of the low-light succulents covered in this article happily flourish in windows that face west or east. Even in a dark, north-facing window, some of them will make it, but I don’t advise it because even there, they won’t thrive.

However, no succulent can live in a completely dark environment. Therefore, even if your succulent plants are varieties that thrive in low light, think about buying a tiny desktop grow light if you live in a basement flat, have only a north-facing window, or if your space has no windows at all. When a modest grow lamp is placed over low light succulents for 6 to 8 hours a day, you’ll be astounded at how well they grow. You won’t need to remember to turn the lights on and off every day if you have a reliable timer.

Now that you are aware of how much sunlight low light succulents require, allow me to introduce you to some of the greatest low light succulents.

Do indoor succulents require direct sunlight?

It might be challenging for succulents to receive adequate sunlight inside. They typically require 6 hours each day of bright, indirect sunshine outside.

However, indoors, you should put your succulents close to a window that receives light throughout the day. Place your succulents close to the brightest window or area of your house or office if this is not an option.

Watch this video to learn more:

Is misting or watering succulents preferable?

When I first learned about succulents, I was fascinated by the notion that they couldn’t die. They were frequently referred to as very low maintenance plants that adored being neglected. That sounds fairly simple, hmm.

To add to my bewilderment, I frequently heard the word “succulent” used in the same sentence as the word “cactus.” We won’t get into it here because there is a really fantastic essay on this site that explains the link between cacti and succulents, but a widespread misconception regarding cacti is that they never require water. Because I believed succulents required little to no water, I occasionally misted them rather than watering them. They love to be ignored, right? They require little upkeep, right? Well, I hate to ruin the surprise, but my succulents barely made it through this abuse.

The scoop about misting and watering is as follows:

*Water: After the dirt has dried, drown your succulents in water. Put them in water until the bottom of the pot is filled with water. If you have a catch pan, remove any water that has accumulated there. The best kind of pots are unglazed, porous ones with drainage holes (think terracotta pots). Your succulents will appreciate that they allow them to breathe.

*Low Maintenance: Succulents grow in nature with shallow roots that quickly absorb water and store it in their leaves, stems, and roots for periods of drought. Succulents are considered low maintenance because of this. They are designed to hold water for extended periods of time, so you don’t need to water them as frequently as some plants, like every other day. They won’t wither and die while you’re away, so you may travel with confidence. Just remember to give them a good drink when you do water them!

*Water Type: Rainwater or distilled water are the ideal water types to utilise. Numerous minerals in tap water can accumulate in the soil and even appear on plant leaves.

*Watering Frequency: A number of factors determine how frequently you water (climate, season, humidity, pot size, pot type, drainage etc). The best general rule is to wait until the soil has dried before watering it again. The roots may decay if the soil isn’t given a chance to dry up or if water is left in the catch pan. You can stick your finger into the ground and feel around to determine the amount of moisture in the soil, or you can use a moisture metre (commonly sold in gardening centres or online and relatively inexpensive).

Leave the misting to the babies, please! Actually, fully developed succulents dislike being misted. Because they prefer dry environments, misting them will alter the humidity in the area around the plant. Additionally, this might cause decay. To gently hydrate your propagation babies’ tiny, sensitive roots, spray them.

If my succulent lacks water, how can I tell?

Succulents are better off dry than wet, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore the need to water them. In fact, the plant needs water to survive, and much like people, it will exhibit dehydration symptoms. Your succulent clearly needs extra water if its leaves are wrinkled and shrivelled.

The cells attempt to bring in more water to make up for the water that has been lost as they release their stored moisture to the rest of the plant. The cells shrink as they run out of water and the plant is forced to rely on its limited reserves, which causes the once-firm and full leaves to collapse and shrivel.

Why keep dying my indoor succulent plants?

Overwatering and poorly draining soils are the main causes of succulent deaths. Succulents need the soil to dry out between waterings because they are drought-tolerant plants. Succulents get root rot in wet soil, which turns their leaves brown, black, or yellow and gives them a withering appearance.

While overwatering is the most frequent cause of dying succulents, there are several other potential causes as well:

Succulent plants typically die back when they are kept in environments that are drastically different from their native habitat.

Replicating some of the minimal rainfall, full or partial sun exposure, and stony, well-draining soil conditions will help revive dying succulents.

Are cacti a decent choice for beginners?

No matter how green their thumb may be, succulents are a remarkably diverse group of plants that have enduring appeal for all gardeners. Even the most ardent grower and collector can remain engaged in succulent collecting because there are practically endless types. Additionally, because of their low maintenance requirements and capacity for reproduction, they are forgiving of novice gardeners still getting the swing of things and are simple to care for.

Why do leaves on succulents fall off?

Sometimes a plant’s natural defence against prolonged periods of extreme heat or drought is to shed its leaves.

Even if managing with fallen leaves is a common strategy, you don’t want it in a lovely decorative plant.

When kept outdoors in hot weather, you should place your succulents in the light shade to avoid them from becoming stressed by the intense heat.

Keep your succulents a little bit away from windows when you’re indoors so they can get lots of brilliant indirect light without getting burned by direct, enlarged sunshine.

Conversely, when affected by frost, succulents may also shed their leaves and exhibit other signs of stress.

The majority of succulents cannot endure freezing temperatures; they may burn black and lose their leaves.

A plant that has been harmed by frost but not killed will typically produce some new leaves to replace the ones that were damaged.

Instead than pulling or pruning away the damaged leaves, it is preferable to let them fall off naturally. NOTE: Consider using the leaves to create some new plants.

Succulents that need protection from the cold should be planted outdoors in protected areas and covered or mulched as necessary in the winter.

Keep indoor succulents away from places where they might get chilly air blasts during the winter (like as close to exterior doors).

Can you water-spray succulents?

  • Utilize no spray bottles. It’s a frequent misconception that watering succulents is nothing more complicated than misting the leaves with water. In actuality, that is only effective for growing new leaves and plants. The root of adult plants is where nutrients and water are absorbed. To water softly and directly at the root ball, use watering bottles or cans with a long, narrow spout. You can control how much water you give your plants by using watering bottles that are lightweight and feature scale marks.
  • Don’t water the plant or the leaves directly. If water is left on leaves for an excessive amount of time, the leaves may decay.
  • When it’s hot, humid, or pouring, don’t water.
  • Don’t water throughout the afternoon or at midday. The morning is the ideal time to water.
  • To prevent mineral deposits, if at all feasible, use rainwater, distilled water, or filtered water. If you use tap water, let it out overnight so that some of the chemicals that have been treated can escape into the atmosphere.

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about watering practises in the comments section below. We’d also like to know the efficient techniques you employ to maintain the health and happiness of your succulents.