Succulents are tough. Succulents are fun and collectible. Succulents thrive indoors. Succulents clean your air.
Succulents are some of the best houseplants for beginners since they’re so resilient. Provided you follow some simple care instructions, you can easily maintain an entire indoor garden. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can grow new succulents from the cuttings of your healthy adult plants!
Read our guide to learn the basics of succulent care and discover why they make such great houseplants.
What Types of Succulents Thrive Indoors?
Pretty much any succulent can thrive indoors under the right conditions! The key is to pick succulents based on where you want to place them and how much sunlight is available.
Colorful succulents require high levels of direct sunlight and aren’t as easy to grow indoors. Green succulents, on the other hand, are much more hardy for indoor growing.
A succulent in the wild requires upwards of 6 hours of indirect sunlight a day. You will want to ensure your succulent as close as possible to a window. If placement directly by a window isn’t possible, it’s a good idea to choose a succulent that thrives in shade and low light conditions.
For example: sansevieria (snake plant) can grow in indirect sunlight, whereas a hedgehog aloe will only thrive in bright, direct sunlight. Plan your plant choices around where you plan to place them in your home or office!
How to Water Succulents (Without Drowning Them in Love)
Succulents are some of the toughest plants around. They are used to drought conditions since they are native to dry, arid environments. The surest way to send your plant to an early grave is by smothering it with too much love (water).
Succulents like to have their roots soaked and then have the soil dry out quickly. No misting or ice cubes here – the roots need a solid but infrequent drenching.
Since the soil needs to dry out quickly, however, here are a few important considerations:
– Your pot should have a good amount of drainage
– Your potting mix should be of large particle size with ventilation so it dries out quickly
How often should you water? No more than once a week! It may help to make a habit of watering your succulents on the same day every week. However, there are some considerations to keep in mind here as well:
– In a more humid environment, you may only need to water every other week or so
– Succulents with thicker leaves typically require less watering than those with thinner leaves
Every succulent is different and it’s worth reading a guide specific to each plant for watering tips. The hard and fast rule for watering succulents is to err on the side of underwatering rather than overwatering.
Pro Tip: Make a habit of rotating your succulent every time you water it so that the whole plant gets enough sunlight.
What about succulents in terrariums, you might ask? Terrariums are not ideal for succulents since they have no drainage and airflow over the plant is limited. That being said, you can keep juvenile succulents alive in terrariums by ensuing you use well-ventilated potting mix and watering less frequently. These succulents will have to be repotted eventually to keep them alive as they grow.
Succulent Repotting Steps
Succulents are made of tough stuff, and repotting them is fairly simple. Regardless, handle them gingerly, and wear gloves if you’re working with plants that have needles! As mentioned above, your pot should have adequate drainage to help dry out the soil quickly:
1. Fill up your new pot ¾ of the way with a succulent/cactus potting mix
2. Remove your succulent from the pot and gently remove all the soil between the roots
3. Dig a small hole in the new pot and place the succulent in. Brush some of the new soil between the roots, then cover the roots completely till the plant is stable
You should only water the succulent if it hasn’t been watered recently. Otherwise, wait till you would have watered it next.
Winter Indoor Succulent Care Tips
Your succulents will require even less attention in areas with cold winter months as they become dormant. It’s key to keep your succulents warm (no colder than 55 degrees) and maximize the amount of light they receive.
Since they are not actively growing, you can wait up to a month between watering. Keep an eye out for the leaves to start becoming droopy or develop indents to know when they need water.
How to Propagate Succulents
One of the most exciting aspects of growing succulents is how easy they are to propagate. There is nothing more exciting than taking an offshoot of a healthy plant and watching it turn into new, baby plants!
Depending on the species, succulent propagation involves either removing a leaf or cutting a piece off your parent plant.
Some general tips:
– When removing a leaf, gently twist until it comes completely off the stem.
– When taking a cutting, be sure to use sharp scissors or pruning shears. You will either be cutting off an offshoot or a piece of the top of the parent plant.
The leaf/cutting then needs 2-3 days to dry out and ‘scab over’ before planting. Different species have different propagation methods, so it is important to read a guide specific to your plant before attempting propagation!
Here are a few tips on how to recover your succulents when they’re not looking their best:
Some of my succulent leaves are shriveling up. Is it dying?
If the upper leaves are wilting or getting dry, then your plant is likely underwatered. Go back to a regular watering schedule and it should bounce back. If it’s the lower leaves that are wilting, this is perfectly normal! Succulents regularly shed off lower leaves to help promote new growth.
What if my succulent leaves are yellow and soggy?
This is a symptom of overwatering. If you have been watering every week and notice this, try cutting back to every two weeks.
To increase its chance of survival, cut off the affected leaves and stems. Even if the parent plant is too far gone, you may be able to propagate the plant with some of its cuttings.
What if my succulent’s leaves are turning brown?
This is usually a sign that a succulent that prefers indirect light is receiving too much direct sunlight. Remove the damaged leaves and try placing your succulent away from a window.
Step Up Your Plant Game with our Next-Level Succulents:
Aloe humilis is not only distinctive in its look, but its blue-green leaves are experts at purifying the air of your home or office. It is also notoriously hard to kill, making it a great succulent for beginner indoor gardeners. Shop Now
An easy-care succulent, the Peperomia Ginny has light green leaves edged with hues of yellow and pink. The Peperomia Ginny is adaptable, incredibly easy, and grows compactly. Shop Now
The Ponytail Palm is neither a palm nor a tree—it’s actually a member of the Agave family, native to the southeastern desert of Mexico. The plant will be perfectly happy being watered every couple of weeks and left alone to soak up the sunlight. Shop Now