Succulents are by far my favorite type of houseplant. They are easy to maintain, easy to propagate, and best of all… they are unique and beautiful! Succulents make excellent houseplants because they are very low maintenance – which is especially nice during the long, dry winter months. In fact, they might just be the most awesome houseplant ever!! (well… maybe that’s just me)
Growing Succulents Indoors
What makes them such awesome houseplants you ask? Well… they store water in their leaves, so they can go much longer between watering than other types of houseplants. Plus, most succulents are more tolerant of being overwatered than cactus plants. And, maybe the best part about them is that if you do overwater them, many succulent plants can be saved. That’s right, if they start to rot at the base, you can cut them off above the rot and propagate them to save the plant. How can you fail?! (ha, ha, OK, reality check… yes, yes, I’ve killed my fair share of succulents)
I like to put my succulent plants outside during the summer, where they will thrive without any help from me. Then I bring them indoors during the winter, where they also require very little maintenance. I have a large collection of houseplants, and over the years I find myself with more and more succulents as houseplant, and less of the higher maintenance plants.
How To Grow Succulents As Houseplants
- Light – Most succulent plants require full sun to grow their best, but some prefer indirect light, and full sun will burn them. If your plants have started to grow leggy and are reaching for the window, that means they need more light. Move the plant to a sunnier spot, or add a grow light. If the leaves on your plants that are growing in a sunny window start to burn, move them to a filtered light location. If you move your succulents outside during the summer, be sure to introduce them to full sun slowly in the spring. Moving succulent plants directly from being indoors all winter to full sun could burn the leaves, which can be fatal for small plants.
- Water – Succulents like to be watered more in the summer than in the winter. They will go into a dormant state during the winter, and therefore will require less water. With succulent plants, it’s best to err on the side of under watering. Consistently overwatering succulent plants will cause them to rot and die. Keep the soil on the dry side, and wait until it is completely dry before watering during the winter months. If you are the type of person that tends to overwater plants, then I recommend growing them in a clay pot with drainage holes. Terracotta pots help to wick the moisture out of the soil faster, and overwatering will be less of a risk.
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- Succulent Potting Soil – Use a fast draining, sandy soil mix for succulent plants. You can buy commercial succulent soil, or you can make your own. I like to make my own succulent potting soil, using a mix of perlite, sand and potting soil, which tends to be cheaper than buying the commercial stuff.
- Succulents Pests – Healthy succulents don’t have many issues with pests, but sometimes aphids, mealy bugs or scale can be a problem. Be cautious using sprays and oils to control pests on succulents. Some of these products can do more damage to the plant than the pest does. If you use soapy water or rubbing alcohol to kill pests, be sure to rinse the leaves after treatment. If you use a commercial product, do some research to be sure the product is safe to use on succulent plants.
Succulent Propagation – Succulents are very easy to propagate. Many can be propagated by leaf or stem cuttings, and several other types can be propagated by division. The key to successfully propagating succulents from cuttings is to keep the soil on the dry side, but the air around the cutting humid. Cuttings can rot easily, so be sure to use a sand and perlite mixture to root the cuttings. To increase your changes of success, dip the cutting in rooting hormone before sticking it in dirt. Rooting hormone helps the cuttings grow roots.
If you love houseplants, but don’t love the maintenance, try growing succulents as houseplants! They’re fun to collect and can even be a little addictive (not that I would know anything about that).
For more information about different types of houseplants for your home, click here… Houseplant Types
Do you grow succulents as houseplants? Leave a comment below and share your care tips.