How to Care for Succulents Indoors? Basic Tips for Indoor Succulent Care - Gardening World


Gardening can be considered both as an art, concerned with arranging plants harmoniously in their surroundings. This blog is dedicated to the gardening lovers to facilitate them in growing healthy and happy plants.

Monday, February 8, 2021

How to Care for Succulents Indoors? Basic Tips for Indoor Succulent Care

Succulents are wonderful houseplants that are growing widely in popularity. They are well known for their thickened leaves and stems that store water. The water storing ability of succulents helps them to survive in desert and drought conditions. Interestingly succulents come in a range of amazing shapes, sizes, and appearances. Growing succulents indoors can be a bit tricky but that does not mean you should not try to grow them.

How to care for indoor succulents?

Through this post, I will tell you a few useful tactics and tricks to successfully grow beautiful succulents indoors.

Let’s just break into the details.

You can also check my article on the general care guide for succulents.

1. Start with the right succulent

It is always critical to choose a succulent according to the growing conditions. Remember not all succulents are suitable for growing indoors. Preferably choose succulents that do not like full sun and can grow well in partial shade or low light conditions. Mother in Law’s Tongue is one example of such succulents that can tolerate low light levels. If you like hanging planters then the string of bananas is a perfect choice. It will look amazing trailing from a hanging planter.

Choosing the right type of succulent is the key to successfully maintain an indoor succulent garden. Generally, succulents with bright colors (red or purple) do not thrive well indoors. They need more exposure to direct sun and the light available indoors is too low for their survival and good growth. For indoor gardens, it is better to choose green colored succulents such as variants of Gasteria and Haworthia.

2. Give them as much light as possible

It is often hard to give enough sunlight exposure to the indoor succulents due to poor light availability. Succulents generally require 6 hours of indirect sunlight each day. To give them enough exposure to sunlight better keep your succulents near a sunny window where sunlight can reach them. If you don’t have sunny windows at your place it is advised to keep them in the brightest area of your home.

If you notice that your succulents are becoming leggy or stretched out, do not panic, it is because they are not getting enough sunlight. Move your succulents to a brighter location in your home.

Check out this useful video on how to care for succulents indoors.

3. Use a well-draining potting medium

Always plant your succulents in well-draining coarse potting soil. The best soil for growing succulents should be an equal mix of sand and clay. You can also buy a special succulent or cactus potting medium readily available in the market. To further improve the drainage and to avoid the compaction of potting medium add perlite or pumice to the cactus or succulent potting mix. Avoid using the potting mix that is too clayey it will tend to retain more moisture resulting in root rot and decay.

The succulents that you buy from nurseries come in a soil that is more clayey and retains too much moisture. So, it is advised to repot your succulents right after buying from the market. It will replace the old potting medium with fresh and well-draining potting soil.

4. Water the succulents more but less often

Succulents need plenty of water to thrive well, but they don’t like to be watered as often as the other indoor plants do. A general rule of thumb is to water your succulents as soon as the top couple of inches of the potting soil dry out completely. They need a drink full of water to make their roots water-soaked with a quick drying out. Then they again need water after the soil remains dry for a few days. If you want your succulents to thrive well indoors you must follow the “soak and dry method”.

The water requirement of succulents also varies with the seasons. In summer they need to be watered more often because the evaporation rate is high while during winter they need to be watered less often

Remember overwatering is the biggest enemy of succulents and causes disintegration and decay of the roots. Therefore, avoid watering your indoor succulents daily because it can kill them easily.

Also, remember that succulents undergo a period of dormancy (When succulents are not growing actively), and they do not need much water in this phase. For most succulents, the dormancy occurs during the cooler months of the year. Water your succulents less often when they are in dormancy and more often when they are in the active growth phase.

5. Apply water to the soil directly

Never use a spray bottle to water your succulents. Misting can cause the moisture to stay on the leaves resulting in fungal or moldy growth. Always water the soil directly and let the soil dry out between watering.

6. Choose appropriate containers

Succulents grow well in containers with drainage holes. Always make sure you choose a container that has a drainage hole to let the excess water drain through the bottom. Avoid using glass containers because they do not have any drainage hole to let the excess water drain out. Another disadvantage of glass containers is that they do not allow the roots to breathe and will ultimately cause root decay over time. It is recommended to use terra cotta pots because they work exceptionally well for growing succulents.

7. Feed your succulents in the summer

Generally, succulents don’t need fertilizers. However, they will appreciate light feeding during the spring and summer seasons when they are in the active growth phase. Use a balanced all-purpose liquid or water-soluble fertilizer of 8:8:8 or 10:10:10 strength to feed your succulents. Don’t fertilize your succulents in the winter season when they are in the dormant phase.

Also, be careful don’t overfertilize because it can encourage your succulents to grow quicker than normal resulting in weak growth.

8. Keep away the bugs and other pests

Bugs and other creepy pests won’t become a big problem indoors if you are following the right growing practices such as well-draining soil, proper watering, aeration, light exposure, etc.

But if you accidentally purchase a succulent with pest infestation it can become problematic in no time if left unchecked. Make sure you buy healthy succulents and also keep your succulents neat and clean.

If the soil remains too wet for a long time you can see gnats invading your succulents. To avoid the infestation of gnats, use well-draining potting soil and always let the soil dry out between watering.

Other insects that can invade succulents include aphids, mealybugs, thrips, and mites. If you want to get rid of these insect pests rub the plant parts with 70% isopropyl alcohol. You can also use neem oil spray or a non-toxic insecticide. If the succulents are heavily infested with insect pests it is recommended to use a non-toxic insecticide.

Best Succulent for Growing Indoors

Here is a list of some great succulents that can thrive well indoors.

  1. Medicine plant (Aloe vera)
  2. Jade plant (Crassula ovata)
  3. Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi)
  4. Flaming Katy (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
  5. Panda plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa)
  6. Mother-in-law tongue or snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
  7. Crown of thorns (Eurphorbia milii)
  8. Zebra cactus (Haworthia fasciata)
  9. String of bananas (Senecio radicans)
  10. String of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)
  11. Hens-and-chicks (Sempervivum tectorum or Echeveria elegans)
  12. Pencil cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli)
  13. Burro’s tail (Sedum morganianum)
  14. Pebble plant or living stone (Lithops)
  15. Devil’s Backbone (Euphorbia tithymaloides)
  1. Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
  2. Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)
  3. Fox Tail Agave (Agave attenuata)
  1. Bear Paws (Cotyledon tomentosa)

Bottom Line

A healthy and nice-looking indoor succulent garden is a dream of every gardener. Interestingly succulents are easy to grow and care for. To maintain healthy succulents indoors follow all the recommended practices mentioned above. With just a little care and effort you will see your succulents flourishing and growing happily.

For more details and information about growing succulents feel free to write to us.

Have a great planting season!


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