You may have sent quite a few of these fleshy, tick-leaved beauties to the void at the bottom of a trash bag like I have.
The moment you realize that these plants thrive on neglect, your indoor succulent dreams will come true.
Here’s a quick overview of how to care for succulents indoors.
Provide your succulents with light all day by placing them near a window and water once a week or when the potting mix dries out.
Plant succulents indoors in pots with drainage holes and use a gritty soil mix. Provide temperatures of 50-80°F (10-27°C) and fertilize once a year in spring.
If you want to grow succulents inside, you have to recognize that these aren’t your typical houseplants; they’re the teenagers of the plant world and want to be left alone. There’s no room for fussy parents in this house.
Here’s everything you need to know about caring for succulents indoors – including watering requirements, best soil for succulents, lighting requirements, types of succulents to grow indoors, possible pests, and more.
Succulent Care: Understanding the Basics
The care of most succulents is pretty universal, but since we’re discussing how to grow succulents indoors, light and watering are the most important factors to success.
What you need to know about taking care of succulents indoors is outlined in this short guide.
- Choose succulents that are suitable for indoor growing
- Give your succulents plenty of light by placing them near a window with a south or east facing orientation.
- Growing succulents indoors requires more water, but less frequently. Most succulents need water once a week.
- Indoor succulents should be planted in drainage containers.
- When growing succulents indoors, choose a soil that drains well.
- It’s important to rotate succulent plants indoors frequently.
- Getting rid of mealy bugs on succulents
- Use a special succulent fertilizer once a year in the spring to feed your indoor succulents.
Indoor Succulent Care Summary
- Light: Indirect to bright light, some may require direct sunlight for parts of the day.
- Temperature: 50-80 F (10-27 C)
- Humidity: The limit is 40 percent, but between 10 and 30 percent is ideal.
- Soil: Sandier, grittier soil that lacks moisture retention.
- Water: You should let the soil dry completely before watering. Always give a good deep watering, meaning water should drain out of the drainage holes on the bottom of the pot.
- Fertilizer: Once a year with succulent specific fertilizer or regular houseplant food (8:8:8 or 10:10:10) diluted half strength.
- Propagation: Dividing or stem and leaf cuttings
Difference Between Succulents And Cacti
Please review our definitions of succulents and cacti before moving on. There are instances when they are both used interchangeably.
A cacti, however, is not the same as a succulent, they are a subgroup of succulent.
You can tell a cactus by its small bumps (areoles) at the base of its hair, spines, branches, leaves, flowers, or any other outgrowth. If you see any areoles, you’ve got yourself a cactus.
Many succulent species, including aloe, agave, haworthia, aizonaoceae, crassulaceae, gasteria, and sanseveria, exhibit some degree of succulence.
Keep your succulents alive by taking proper care of them indoors
Let’s take a closer look at the best conditions for growing succulents indoors now that you know the basics.
The Best Succulent Varieties To Grow Indoors
You will find that not all succulents are suitable for indoor growing – some are just not suited for that.
When choosing succulents for indoors, it’s best to choose green varieties. I know there are so many vibrant colors to choose from and it will look absolutely fabulous in the arrangement you have in mind, but it won’t be long before your succulents start to grow lanky.
Colorful succulents require more sunlight and light than is commonly available indoors.
Since succulent plants thrive in bright light, placing these sun-loving plants in a dim area is dangerous. Make sure you select succulent plants that are suited to your home’s lighting conditions.
Consider a monthly succulent subscription plan if you’re still unsure about what kind of succulents to grow. This subscription service removes all the guesswork and delivers succulents to your door each month.
Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (sansevieria) is great for low-light areas where you’re desperate to place a plant – and not just any plant – a succulent! Don’t worry, I get you.
Here are the best succulents for indoor gardening:
1. Burro’s Tail (Sedum Morganianum)
The Burro’s Tail is ideal for planting in hanging baskets with its fat, trailing stems. The leaves can grow up to two feet long and are available in gray-blue or gray-green.
Burro’s Tail thrives in bright sun, not in low light. Place the plant where it will not be disturbed as the leaves can easily fall off.
2. Zebra Cactus (Haworthia Fasciata)
Plants like this one are great for beginners because they don’t take up much space but are attractive. This one is also easy to care for and does not require much effort.
In addition to its thin roots, which won’t penetrate soil deep, the Zebra Cactus thrives in shallow pots.
3. Aloe Vera
This succulent’s sap has medicinal properties and has been used for centuries to treat bite wounds, sunburn, and other ailments.
Aloe Vera is best grown in areas where people cannot bump into or touch it because it has sharp thorns along the edges of the leaves.
The rounded edges and flat, flower-like design of this succulent will add a feminine touch to any arrangement.
Hens-and-Chicks tolerate overwatering less than other succulents and will die from rot if overwatered. They can survive in a light shade, but bright light is ideal.
5. String Of Bananas (Senecio Radicans)
What’s not to love about banana-like leaves growing on long stems?
This is an ideal trailing plant, but if pruned back it will grow thick and full. String of Bananas need filtered sunlight to grow, so choose a spot inside your home where it will grow well. Keep it away from pets and children, as it is toxic.
They look like pebbles and grow well in bright light and direct sun, making them ideal for planting with other succulents.
Lithops are easy to care for. Just place them in a south or west-facing window and make sure they stay out of drafts.
7. Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera X Buckleyi)
It is amazing how beautiful this plant is, isn’t it?
Its bright red flowers make it an eye-catching addition to any indoor succulent garden – and it even looks good without flowers!
Water this succulent only after the top two inches of soil have dried. Don’t allow the soil to completely dry out before it drinks again.
8. Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea Recurvata)
If you are wondering what a palm has to do with a succulent article, then you will be just as surprised as I was to find out that the Ponytail Palm is actually a succulent!
This plant’s large stem base looks like an elephant foot, and its long, thin leaves are great as accents in a succulent garden. Plant it and then forget it; let the soil dry out before watering so as not to overwater.
9. Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
If you want low maintenance and easy-going, look no further. For its air-cleaning qualities, I personally enjoy the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue and have one in each room – something not possible with other succulents due to their light requirements.
This makes it a great succulent to grow indoors – it can survive in the darkest corners and keep growing and doing its thing.
My plants are primarily kept in a room with no windows, and I only water them every three to four weeks.
10. String Of Pearls
Despite my desire to say that growing String of Pearls is similar to growing other trailing succulents, my experience suggests otherwise. The sweet spot is definitely learned though, once you get it, you’ll feel like a gold star. I’ve killed a few from overwatering and underwatering.
11. Panda Plant (Kalanchoe Tomentosa)
With silver-gray hairs on fat, succulent leaves with a rusty border, this plant needs a couple of hours of direct sunlight every day.
It forms flowers, but needs a grow light or two in order to bloom indoors. Panda plants like a few hours of direct sunlight a day and bright indirect light the rest of the time.
12. Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana
The Kalanchoe blossfeldiana family grows best outdoors, but can also be kept indoors if given a sunny spot. Lighting is essential for this flowering succulent, which comes in a range of colors. To boast beautiful blooms, light is essential.
13. Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia Tirucalli)
This African tree can grow up to 6 feet tall indoors, which is why it has become so popular in recent years. If the plant is injured, it will release a lacy white fluid that is poisonous. Pencil cacti require very little watering, only once or twice a week.
14. Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata)
The Jade Plant looks like a miniature tree, complete with a thick trunk, branches, and shiny, dark green leaves. If the Jade Plant is given the right care and conditions, you will be rewarded with star-shaped flowers that are white or pink – upon maturation.
This is one of the succulents that needs full sun in order not to become stunted and leggy. Ideally, it should get four hours of direct sunlight every day.
15. Pincushion Cactus (Mammillaria Crinita)
Approximately six inches is the maximum height of this miniature cactus. Its spikes and vibrant blooms will add much-needed color to your indoor succulent garden. This cactus does not require water during the winter.
16. Roseum (Sedum Spurium)
A fast-growing succulent, the Roseum thrives in containers placed on a windowsill as they require a lot of light to flourish and produce their beautiful clusters of light pink flowers.
It will reach a height of four to six inches, which makes it ideal as a groundcover for your succulent garden. Good news, this succulent is cold hardy, so you can grow it in temperatures that other succulents can’t handle.
16. Gollum Jade, Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum’
One of my favorites – I love their tubular, ogre-ear-looking leaves. This succulent is easy-to-care for and has a quirky appearance that reminds me of Shrek. However, these plants tend to get thirsty more frequently than other succulents.
You should consider this when planning your indoor succulent garden – you don’t want to place them with succulents that like to dry out in between watering. In summer and spring, the soil should be moist, but not wet. In winter, water only once a month.
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