Keeping succulents alive indoor can be challenging. Succulents are a favorite houseplant among plant enthusiasts, and it’s easy to see why. There are so many striking varieties in a multitude of shapes, sizes, and colors. Who wouldn’t want to add them to their home? They’re known for being low-maintenance, but they can still be intimidating to many. If you’re a plant lover who accidentally kills your succulents, don’t worry because this article is for you.
Succulents are one of the most resilient plant types. Over the years, they have adapted in order to survive dry indoor conditions. There are still a few crucial care requirements. Lighting and watering routines are essential for indoor succulents. When growing indoors, these factors become even more critical. Succulents prefer bright light, warmer temperatures, and for the soil to dry out between waterings. Be sure to keep these in mind in order to keep your succulents thriving. You might have heard that they thrive with neglect, but that’s not entirely true. If their basic needs are not met, it will be a struggle to keep your succulents alive.
There are differences in care if you keep your succulents indoors, but it’s really quite simple. Keep reading to discover the best tips for keeping indoor succulents thriving year-round.
Choosing Your Succulents
While it is possible to grow succulents indoors, it’s essential to make some considerations while choosing your new plant(s). All succulents are not created with identical care needs. Lighting and temperature needs vary wildly amongst succulent varieties. Some succulents prefer some shade, and some succulents are frost-hardy. Frost hardy succulents won’t survive long without direct sunlight. Colorful succulents require more sunlight than green and white succulents. These succulents might not thrive indoors, but there are plenty of succulents that will.
Best Succulents to Grow Indoors
- Jade A favorite succulent among plant lovers, Jade grows best in bright light but can handle low light as well. As long as you let the soil dry between waterings, this plant should thrive.
- Aloe – This succulent is hard to kill. Let it dry out between waterings and make sure it gets around 6 hours of sunlight. Aloe is loved for its healing properties, so it’s a welcome addition to many households.
- Christmas Cactus – An easy, low-maintenance succulent. Christmas Cactus can handle lower light and maintaining a little moisture. And as a bonus, this succulent will bloom in the winter.
- String of Pearls – This plant is a trailing succulent perfect for growing indoors. Hang this in a bright window and maintain a watering schedule. It’ll be trailing in no time.
- Burro’s Tail – Another trailing succulent that looks great in hanging baskets. Hang it near a south-facing window, and it will be happy year-round.
- Panda Plant – This succulent is a visually appealing variety that can thrive indoors. The leaves are silvery gray and fuzzy – it’s interesting to look at for sure. Make sure it’s in a sunny location and let it dry out between waterings.
- Haworthia – There are quite a few Haworthia varieties that will thrive indoors. One of the most common is the Zebra Haworthia. Give it a few hours of daily sunlight and maintain its watering schedule, and this little guy will thrive. It’s a good companion plant for terrariums and succulent gardens because it doesn’t grow very large.
There are many more succulents that are suitable for growing indoors. Feel free to start with the ones listed above or do more research before choosing the succulent that’s perfect for you.
Simple Care Tips for Indoor Succulents
Now that you’ve chosen the best succulents for your home or office let’s quickly touch on a few care tips for indoor succulents. For a more in-depth look at succulent care, be sure to read our complete succulent care guide.
Potting Indoor Succulents
Succulents need proper drainage. It is essential to choose a pot with drainage holes and use well-draining potting soil. Choose a cactus blend or create your own by adding perlite to the mix. Keep in mind that succulents have delicate, shallow root systems. Be gentle when potting and make sure the pot is the correct size. Choose a pot that is double the length of the roots and leaves a couple of inches on each side of the plant. This will give the succulent enough room to grow and provide adequate air circulation to the plant.
Watering Indoor Succulents
Succulents are known for being picky when it comes to watering. Remember that they store water in their fleshy leaves. When grown indoors, their watering requirements fluctuate. They’ll need a good watering around every 10-14 days – sometimes longer. With less heat and direct sun, it can take a while for the soil to dry out completely. To avoid overwatering, always check the soil to ensure it’s dried out. This can be done by placing your finger about an inch into the soil. If it’s dry, it’s time to water. You’ll want to thoroughly saturate the plant until water begins to come out of the drainage holes. Wait around 20 minutes and empty any drainage trays or saucers. It’s important not to let the pot sit in the excess water because the plant will begin soaking it up as the soil dries out. For more details on watering your succulents, please read our complete guide on watering succulents.
Often times succulents grow in low-nutrient areas but fertilizing can be essential for indoor success. They are slow-growing plants, so less is more when it comes to fertilizing. Fertilize once in the spring to give your succulent the nutrients it needs to thrive. Be sure to dilute to half strength before applying the fertilizer. Succulents don’t need as many nutrients as other houseplants.
Common Problems for Indoor Succulents
Even following all of the tips above, problems can arise when growing succulents indoors. A few common problems are mold, overwatering, underwatering, leaf loss, and temperature. If you’re wondering why your indoor succulents keep dying, there’s bound to be a solution for you here.
Mold can be an issue indoors because of low light and moisture. This appears as gray/white spots on the soil. If you address the problem right away, it won’t become a significant issue. To get rid of the mold, scoop out the affected area and then treat the remaining soil. There are a couple of natural ways to treat for mold. One option is to use cinnamon since it is a natural fungicide. The other option is baking soda which is a natural antifungal. Simply sprinkle either one of these into the soil, and it should prevent any further mold issues from arising.
Overwatering is one of the most frequent causes of succulent death. Too much water will lead to root rot, and the leaves will burst from the excess liquid. This is why it’s so important to be sure the soil has completely dried in between waterings. Watering too frequently quickly kills succulents, so err on the side of caution when watering.
Have your succulents shriveled up and died? This is usually due to a lack of water. When figuring out a watering schedule, it can be easy to start underwatering your succulents accidentally. They thrive in dry conditions, but they still require care. It’s important to keep an eye on succulents. Suppose you notice the leaves beginning to deflate and shrivel up; your succulent needs more water. Make changes to your watering schedule and increase the frequency.
As with most plants, some leaf loss is normal. Succulents lose lower leaves naturally as they continue to grow. If lower leaves are withering and falling off, then there is no reason to worry. However, it is a problem if upper leaves and new growth start to fall. This is often a sign of overfertilizing or overwatering.
Succulents are native to bright and warm areas. It’s essential to emulate something similar in your home. Average room temperatures are acceptable for succulents. You want to make sure they’re not exposed to any drafts or cooler windows. Don’t place succulents too close to air vents and move them farther away from windows during the winter months. If you’re worried about light in the winter, a grow light is an easy alternative to placing your plant near windows.
Succulent care can appear overwhelming. But in reality, they’re almost effortless to grow and brighten up any space. Hopefully, this article gave you the tools to keep your succulents alive indoors. If you are struggling to keep your succulents alive, feel free to leave any questions below. Or share this with your gardening friends that struggle with succulent care.