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 fertilized 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 fertilizer (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 are permitted indoors.
Consider succulents if you desire for indoor greenery but have had trouble growing houseplants. They make pleasant house visitors and can easily endure interior circumstances.
They have unique characteristics that help them thrive in dry indoor conditions.
expanded roots, thick stems, or fleshy leaves that enable plants to store water. Cacti, which are a kind of succulent, are well known to the majority of people. But a variety of other plants grown primarily for their eye-catching foliage also belong to the succulent family.
Succulents have remarkable textures and strong, angular leaf shapes that make them become living sculptures for interior spaces. They are excellent indoor plants since they can thrive in dry environments. Many houseplants do not thrive because dwellings, especially in the winter, provide their inhabitants with dry interior air. A houseplant’s enemy is low relative humidity. However, because they can store water, succulents can withstand dry air without suffering unpleasant consequences.
Learn how to take care of succulents inside and how to grow these low-maintenance plants.
Do indoor succulents require sunlight?
For optimal growth, succulents require at least four to six hours of daily sunlight. Plants mature considerably more slowly inside since there is less light. Succulents will endure in low light or the shade for a considerable amount of time due to their strong adaptability, but they won’t flourish there. These plants will deteriorate with time, and if they are not given adequate lighting, they might not recover. Lack of light will cause plants to struggle and display symptoms. They will begin to etiolate and discolor. They will elongate and appear thin, stretching and arching in the direction of the sun. The plants are physically extending their leaves in search of more sunlight. Lack of light also results in stunted growth of plants. If controlling the plant’s development is your goal, you will notice that your plants grow more slowly indoors.
Does a window have to be directly beside succulents?
Our great friend and succulent specialist Sara claims that succulents are the camels of the plant kingdom—the most resilient plants you can discover. Hearts of gold on the inside, tough as nails on the outside. Despite the fact that these plants are as tough as camels, regular care is still required.
Before meeting Sara, I recall purchasing a cactus from an unreliable retailer, planting it in soil (a grave mistake; see our planting instructions here), placing it in the middle of the room with little light (How could you, Ashley? ), and watering it whenever it appeared sad (that is wrong too, check out our basic care tips here). Don’t worry if you are caring for your succulents in this manner. Where you are now, I was once. All it needs is a passion for the plant and a desire to learn.
Why are my Succulents Dying?
Beyond the fundamentals, Sara has taught me that not all succulents are created equal. Have you ever felt that some succulents in your home are more successful than others? While some types prospered, others died a protracted, painful death? It can be because succulents like low light or high light environments in your home. Yes, different succulents prefer different kinds of light. The unknown
High Light Succulents
Succulents grown in high light are typically more colorful than those grown in low light. These are the stunning flowers that have pink, crimson, and purple undertones. Since the majority of succulents are high light plants, they require at least six hours of sunlight each day. The ideal windows for these plants are those that face south, but if the west window is not overly shaded throughout the day, they can also tolerate the heat from that window. Additionally, they enjoy the sun’s rays and can survive outside in weather above 40 degrees. Nevertheless, if they have spent a lot of time indoors, remember to gently them into the sun. Even while succulents enjoy the sun, they too can get sunburned. Just visualize spending a hot summer day in the open air on a beach without any protection from the sun. Yikes! When transporting your succulents outside, keep this scorching image in mind.
A high-light succulent will start to stretch in search of light if you place it in a window that doesn’t receive at least six hours of good sunshine. Sometimes people confuse growth with stretching. Don’t be fooled by this. Your succulent is likely requesting more light if it suddenly grows longer and its leaves start to spread wider apart than previously.
Low Light Succulents
In comparison to succulents grown in bright light, low light succulents typically have a darker green tint. They also frequently resemble aloe more than flowers. These succulents have lovely textures and shapes despite not having vivid reds and purples.
Low light succulents prefer morning to afternoon indirect sunlight. This means that a reduced light succulent can still thrive in your home even if you don’t have a South facing window that gets a lot of sunlight. Although they don’t need as much light as their high light relatives, low light succulents still need light! Put these fellows close to an East-facing window so they can get three to four hours of direct sunlight every day. Again, give a succulent more light if it is growing swiftly and beginning to lean.
The Right Succulent for Your Home’s Light
The following time you’re seeking to adopt a succulent, try to choose one that will thrive in your house and in the available light. It will be much nicer for both your plant and you (no stress about destroying it) (no stressing about being killed). Ask one of us Ashleys about the high vs low light succulents if you buy for succulents at Retro Den (which everyone in the world should do). We’ll be happy to point them out to you. We are the kind of people who behave in that way.
Please have a look at our easy-to-care-for plant guide for some lower light plant choices if you believe that your home does not have enough light for even low light succulents.
How do I set up my succulents?
Repotting your succulents is sometimes important for a variety of reasons. The first is immediately following purchase. Succulents are frequently grown in nurseries on extremely organic, poorly draining soil.
This is effective in a controlled environment like a nursery but typically fails once you bring your succulents home. After buying succulents, it’s best to repot them in new soil.
When your succulents have outgrown or filled the pot they are in, you should repot them. They are frequently “root bound,” which means that the roots have filled the pot and there is no room for the plant to generate more roots.
Succulents from nurseries are frequently root-bound because it can slow down the rate of growth, reducing the frequency with which the nursery must repot its stock.
I often advise leaving 1 to 2.5 cm (1/2 to 1 inch) of space between the edge of the pot and the leaves of your succulent. You should use a pot with a diameter of about 4″ (10cm) if your succulent has a diameter of about 3″ (7.5cm).
How can I make my succulent plants happy?
Succulents may not need much attention, but they do need a few essentials to survive:
- 1. Provide plenty sunlight. Succulents require adequate light—at least six hours each day of direct sunlight. Maintaining succulents outside can be quite simple. However, if you have a succulent indoors, you must keep it in direct sunlight near a window. A plant that is slanting toward the light is not receiving enough sunlight, yet a plant with burnt areas on its leaves is receiving too much direct sunshine.
- 2. Use proper water. Depending on the season, succulents might have different water needs. Succulents should be irrigated if their soil dries completely during the growing season, but excess water should be avoided. When a succulent’s roots have time to dry out in between waterings, its lifespan is increased. In the chilly winter months, succulent plants go dormant and require less water. Only water your succulent as often as necessary because overwatering the soil is one of the main reasons of most development problems.
- 3. Use the proper soil and pot combination. The appropriate container and potting soil can make all the difference, whether you’re growing your own succulents or purchasing one from a nursery. Your succulent planter needs to include a drainage hole if it is going to be an outdoor succulent. Proper drainage allows moisture to escape, allowing the soil and root systems to dry and prevent rot. Use well-draining soil instead of standard dirt if you have an indoor succulent. It is coarser than regular soil, enabling more air to pass through and encouraging evaporation rather than requiring to be drained. To increase aeration, perlite and pumice can be added to some potting mixtures.
- 4.Remember to fertilize. The periodic fertilizing is beneficial for even low maintenance desert plants. To give your succulents a boost, use a diluted, water-soluble all-purpose fertilizer a couple times a year. Although it’s not entirely required, if you notice that your soil needs some help, add a little fertilizer.
- 5. Examine your plant life. Pest hazards are more likely to affect a succulent indoors than outside. Make sure your plants are periodically checked for gnats or mealy pests. These insects are a sign that your plants are receiving too much water or fertilizer. Mealy bugs can lay hundreds of eggs and consume the plant juices that serve as their host, gradually harming your plant. Rubbish alcohol can be sprayed on your succulent’s leaves or soil to effectively kill mealy bugs and their eggs. Check the leaves and soil of the succulent before bringing it home from the nursery to make sure no bugs are present.
How frequently should a succulent 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.
Succulents in bathrooms: are they possible?
Yes, you can put succulents in the bathroom, although some succulents will do better there than others, is the quick response to the topic.
The bathroom is frequently the last location people consider decorating with plants when they bring them inside.
This is so because restrooms typically feature high levels of humidity and little natural light. The majority of succulents, though not all of them, are naturally resilient and may flourish in normal toilet circumstances.
The finest succulent plants for bathrooms with indirect light, filtered light, or low light circumstances are those that enjoy partial to full shadow and high humidity.
Do succulents like humidity?
Some species of the very adaptable succulents, which don’t all enjoy humidity, can take in the excess moisture in the bathroom air and store it in their leaves and stems.
How can I determine whether my succulent needs more light?
Succulents quickly begin to display signs of stress from excessive heat or intense sunlight.
Succulents frequently “blush” or change color when they are receiving enough sunlight. What a lovely transformation to witness!
However, if they begin to receive excessive sunlight, the leaves will actually burn. The succulent leaves may start to show white or pale areas. This harm cannot be undone.
As an alternative, make an effort to relocate your plant to a location with less intense sunlight and wait for new leaves to emerge. It is optional to remove damaged leaves if there are just one or two of them.
The leaves may truly turn dry and black in rare circumstances. The margins of the leaves will first turn black, and it will be dry and crispy (in contrast to blackening from rot which starts in the middle of the plant and is wet and mushy).
Once more, this injury won’t go away until the leaf totally withers and new leaves emerge.
A succulent in the shade may start to turn a golden or yellow tint if it is still quite hot outside. Instead of turning entirely white, as would happen with sunburn, the succulent instead appears warmer or more yellow than usual.
If the succulent is transferred to a colder setting, this usually disappears or the succulent returns to its normal hue.
I can keep succulents alive very well sometimes, but not always.
I recently relocated to Arizona from Utah. Growing succulents can be challenging for a variety of reasons, including relocation. You must pay close attention to how much heat and sunlight each area of your garden receives.
Although it’s a little humiliating, I’m going to show you what my garden looked like when it received excessive sunlight and heat in the video below.
Hopefully, this example will show you what to watch out for so that your garden doesn’t turn out like mine did.