Succulents are easy to grow and maintain and best of all, they are unique and beautiful! Learn everything you need to know about how to take care of succulents indoors or outside in this in-depth guide.
People often ask me what my favorite type of plant is. You just have to take one look at my houseplant collection (and even my garden!), and you’ll see that the answer is quite obvious. I love my succulent plants the most!
Some people think that succulents are difficult to grow. But the truth is that they are extremely easy, and fairly low maintenance – as long as you give them the proper care.
I am so excited to share with you all of my knowledge about maintaining (and collecting!) these gorgeous and fun plants.
Below I’ll give you tons of tips on how to grow succulent plants, including all you need to know about water, light, fertilizer, soil, pruning, pest control, and much more!
Here’s what you’ll find in this comprehensive guide…
Benefits Of Growing Succulents As Houseplants
For me, the biggest benefits of growing succulents is their unique beauty and ease of care.
They hold water in their leaves, so they don’t need as much moisture as other types of indoor plants. This means they require less maintenance.
A few other wonderful benefits are that they are very easy to propagate, and there are tons of different varieties. You can find them in a rainbow of colors, and many will even flower!
Different Types Of Indoor Succulent Plants
There are lots of different kinds of succulents that can be grown as houseplants, and collecting them is part of the fun!
But don’t worry, their care requirements are the same no matter which type you grow. Below are a few of my favorites.
Common Indoor Varieties
Below is a list of my top picks for some of the best succulents to grow indoors. There are tons of others to choose from, but these are a few of my personal favorites.
- Ghost plants (though they do tend to get pretty leggy indoors)
- Burro’s tail
- Panda plant
- Pencil cactus
- African Milk Tree
Varieties That Flower Indoors
Many types of succulent plants will flower when they’re grown outdoors in their native habitat. But the ones that flower indoors are an extra special treat! Here are a few that bloom inside consistently for me.
- Aloe plants
- Jade plants
- Starfish cactus (Carrion plant)
- Huernia (Dragon flower)
If you’re looking to buy more to add to your collection, you can find them for sale online, or at your local garden center.
Succulent Plant Care & Growing Guide
Growing succulents indoors can be tough if you’re not familiar with their needs. Some people find them much more difficult to care for than other houseplants.
Don’t worry, I’m here to help! below I’m going to give you all the details you need in order to be successful.
Light For Succulents
In general, most indoor succulents will grow best in a south facing window during the fall and winter, and then with filtered light in the hot summer months.
If you see them getting leggy and reaching for the window, that means they need more light. Move the plant to a sunnier spot, or add a grow light.
On the other hand, if the leaves start to burn from the intense sun, then move it to a filtered light location.
If you do end up moving them outside during the summer, that’s great! Just make sure you don’t put them in a full sun location right away.
Succulents grown indoors will need time to adapt to the sun again, so it’s best to move them out slowly in the spring.
Moving them from being indoors all winter to the full sun outdoors could burn the leaves, which can be fatal for small plants.
How To Water Succulents
By far the most challenging part of successful succulent plant care for most people is proper watering. And guess what, overwatering is their #1 killer.
They hate wet soil, and consistent overwatering will cause them to rot and die. So it’s best to err on the side of under watering, and always keep their soil on the dry side.
Always, always check the soil before watering to make sure they actually need it. It should be completely dry before watering again.
The best way to water them is to pour it over the top of the soil until it starts to come out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Dump out the excess once it’s done draining, and never leave the pot soaking in water.
They like to be watered more in the summer than in the winter. Succulents go into a semi-dormant state during the winter, and therefore will require less – so do it sparingly during the colder months.
If you struggle with getting it right, I recommend buying an inexpensive soil moisture gauge to make it super easy for you.
Best Containers To Use
When it comes to growing succulent plants in pots, it’s super important to choose the right container. First off, adequate drainage is a must, especially if you plan to put them outside.
They won’t tolerate soggy soil for very long, and choosing a pot that doesn’t have adequate drainage holes is a recipe for disaster.
If you are the type of person that tends to overwater, then I recommend planting them in an unsealed clay pot.
In my opinion, terracotta pots are the best choice. The dry clay helps to wick the moisture out of the soil faster, which means that overwatering will be less of a risk.
Potting Soil For Growing Succulents
When it comes to succulent plant care, one of the most common questions I get is regarding what type of soil to use.
Since they don’t like wet feet, the best soil to use is a fast draining, sandy mix that doesn’t hold moisture.
Types Of Fertilizer To Use
Succulents will benefit from being fertilized during their active growing period. To make this super easy, you can buy special liquid plant food that’s made specifically for them.
Whatever you use, only feed them during the spring and summer months. Start by giving them a weak dose of liquid fertilizer in early spring, gradually increasing it to full strength. Then continue feeding them regularly until fall.
Don’t feed them during the colder months. They go into a state of dormancy during the winter, and the growth is usually very weak and leggy. So you don’t want to encourage new growth during the winter.
Be careful what you use to treat insect pest infestations though. Some succulent plants are very sensitive to any type of spray.
Always test any pest control product first by spraying one or two leaves. Then wait a few days to make sure there’s no damage before you treat the whole plant.
You can also spot-treat them by dipping a cotton swab into rubbing alcohol, and using it to kill and remove the bugs.
Learn more about How To Get Rid Of Houseplant Bugs Naturally
Pruning Leggy Succulent Plants
Many types of succulents will grow leggy when kept indoors as houseplants because they’re not getting enough light. So it’s best to prune them regularly.
You can trim or pinch them to help them keep their compact shape. Prune off weak and leggy growth by pinching it off with your fingers, or snipping it off with a sharp pair of pruners.
Related Post: How To Make An Indoor Succulent Garden
Succulent Propagation Tips
Many common varieties can easily be rooted from leaf or stem cuttings, and several other types can be propagated by division.
The key to successfully growing succulents from cuttings is to keep the soil on the dry side, but the air around the cutting humid.
Related Post: How To Propagate Succulents In Winter
FAQS About Succulent Plant Care
In this section, I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about caring for succulents. If you can’t find your answer here, ask your question in the comments below.
Do succulents need direct sunlight?
While many types of succulents need direct sunlight, there are many that grow better in low light conditions. It’s best to look up the specific variety to have to determine exactly how much light it needs.
How do you know when a succulent needs water?
There are a few ways to know when a succulent needs water. First, the soil will be completely dried out. But the telltale sign is when the leaves begin to soften or shrivel.
How often do you water succulents?
You should water your succulents once the soil is completely dried out. To tell, stick your finger at least one inch into the soil. If it’s bone dry, then it’s time to water.
Should you water a succulent every day?
No, you absolutely should not water a succulent plant every day. Daily watering will cause them to quickly start to rot. Instead, allow the soil to dry completely between waterings.
Why is my succulent plant dying?
The most common reason why succulent plants die is due to overwatering, which causes them to rot at the base. If the stem is soft or mushy, then it’s likely rotting.
The only way to save it when it starts rotting is to take cuttings. In the future, make sure it dries completely between waterings.
Do succulents grow easily?
Yes, when give the proper care, succulents are one of the easiest plants to grow. They thrive on neglect, so be careful not to kill them with kindness.
Succulent plants are easy to grow, and fun to collect! Once you get the hang of how to care for succulents, you’ll have no problem keeping them thriving for many years, both indoors and outside.
If you struggle with succulent care in winter, or to maintain any healthy houseplants during the long, dark winter months then my Winter Houseplant Care eBook is for you! This eBook will show you exactly how to keep your indoor plants alive through the winter, and thriving all year long. Pick up your copy today!
- Succulents Simplified: Designing, and Crafting with 100 Easy-Care Varieties
- The Complete Book of Cacti & Succulents
- Idiot’s Guides: Succulents
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Products I Recommend
Share your succulent plant care tips in the comments section below.