You’ve likely seen succulents show up in homes all over the place – in advertising, on TV shows and movies, on Instagram but how do you actually keep your succulents looking as good as you see them. That’s what I’m going to teach you in this article. I’m going to give you five different tips on how to take care of your indoor succulents.
And I know that there are a lot of different ways to do things and there are a lot of great tips out there, but the tips I’m going to share with you are those that I think helped me the most especially in the beginning. So I’m really hoping that after reading this you feel inspired and encouraged to care for your succulents.
5 Best tips to take care of succulents indoors
1. The first tip to take care of succulents is to start with the right succulents
Most succulents need full Sun outdoors year-round but there are some succulents who prefer shade and can even tolerate the low light indoors.
A few great examples of succulents that do really well indoors are the zebra plant, snake plant and Gasteria ‘little warty’.
In general Haworthia and Gasteria, both do really well indoors. You can also grow typical jade plants which are known as crassulas, most of those varieties will do well indoors also.
They do like a lot of sunlight but they can tolerate lower light indoors.
2. Give your succulents as much light as possible
When you’re growing succulents outdoors most succulents prefer some shade in the afternoon but growing indoors the light is so limited that your succulent need as much light as they can get throughout the entire day.
You’ll want to place your succulents near the brightest window of your home or the window that gets the most sunlight throughout the day. Generally, this will be a south-facing window if you’re in the northern hemisphere
Pay attention to which areas in your home get the most sunlight and move your succulents to that area. Ideally, your succulents will get about 10 hours of bright sunlight throughout the day.
If they aren’t getting enough sunlight they’ll begin to stretch out and they won’t look as great as they did originally.
If you find your succulents are beginning to stretch out they aren’t getting enough sunlight and they should be moved to an area that does get more Sun. And if the area they’re in is the brightest area in your house you may need to look into getting a grow light to help them maintain their compact shape.
3. Use a well-draining soil
Succulents do not like to sit in wet soil for very long so you need something that dries out quickly.
The best soil that I have found for indoor succulents is what I call the gritty mix. It’s equal parts of turface, pine bark fines and crushed granite.
Now you might be wondering where you can get all of those different materials and most of your local garden supply stores will carry them but you can also buy this soil mix, pre-mixed online at bonsaiJack.com.
There are two things though that make this mix work really well for succulents.
First is it has large particle sizes. Most soils that you’ll purchase at a nursery have really fine particles which makes it difficult for water to drain through.
The gritty mix has particles that are about a quarter of an inch or six millimeters in size. That allows water to flow through really easily.
The other thing that makes this mix work really well is that it has two parts of an inorganic material or rock and one part organic material which is the pine bark fines. Some of the rock will absorb a little bit of water and so will the pine bark fines but it also allows water to flow through really quickly and drain really well. I have killed way too many succulents from the soil that didn’t drain well.
So this mix is my go-to for planting succulents indoors it really keeps your succulents healthy and looking great.
I generally recommend avoiding the pre-bagged cactus mixes that you can find at like Home Depot and Walmart but in some cases, those are the only soil mixes you have access to and I totally get that.
If that’s the mix that you’re using make that you add a good amount of perlite or pumice even a one-to-one ratio of potting soil to pumice or to perlite.
Adding pumice or perlite to these mixes allows them to drain better and dry out more quickly which will be great for your succulents.
If you’ve already learned something new from the above succulents care tips leave a comment below and let me know what it is. We’re about to cover the next two pieces that will help your succulents really thrive indoors.
4. Water your succulents deeply but less frequently
Succulents need water to grow and thrive but if you limit their water intake you’ll also limit their growth. Sometimes this can be advantageous indoors as you don’t want them to grow as quickly because you don’t want them to stretch out because they’re not getting as much light.
However, even then in order to promote healthy root growth, you need to water your succulents by soaking the soil and letting it dry out completely before you water again this will allow your succulents to put out a really deep strong root system which will enable them to go longer periods of time without being watered.
I don’t generally recommend using a spray bottle for watering succulents because it encourages them to put out really thin shallow roots so they can’t go as long between waterings and you’ll find that even if you’re spraying them every day they may never develop that really deep root system.
So if you go out of town for a week or two your succulents probably won’t survive the trip without some constant care.
5. Use a pot with a drainage hole
Avoid glass or anything that doesn’t have a drainage hole for your succulent container. When we talked about soil I mentioned that succulents don’t like to sit in wet soil for very long.
If you have a pot without a drainage hole there’s nowhere for the water to go when you water your succulent so your succulent is going to absorb too much water and it will quickly rot.
If you’re new to growing succulents make sure you’re using a pot with a drainage hole. As you get more comfortable growing succulents you can eventually move into a pot without a drainage hole but it’s a lot more advanced and it’s trickier to keep your succulents alive.
For best results, you want to use a pot with a drainage hole so that the water flows away from the roots of your succulent and dries out more quickly.
Are you feeling more confident now in keeping your succulents alive and looking great indoors? Leave a comment below and tell me what your biggest struggle has been with growing succulents indoors also how you take care of your succulents? Also share it with all your succulent-loving friends.