If you’re considering growing succulents indoors then this article is for you!
Succulents have become an extremely popular home decor trend.
The visual appeal that succulents add to any room has been highlighted across social media which has played a major role in driving $52.3 billion dollars in lawn and garden retail sales in 2019.
If you want to add succulents to your home décor you’re going to need to learn how to grow succulents and keep them alive.
Some of the most common questions people have when starting out with succulents are:
- Are succulents easy to grow?
- How much sunlight do indoor succulents need?
- How often should you water a succulent?
- What type of soil do succulents need?
- What type of pot should I plat my succulent in?
We’ve written this article to help you determine if attempting to grow succulents is right for you.
If you’re already in the midst of trying, you’ll find some excellent succulent growing tips to help keep your succulents alive and healthy.
Growing succulents really can be easy, once you know what you’re doing.
Let’s dive in.
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In This Post
Are Succulents Easy To Grow?
Succulent plants don’t require a lot of effort, but you do need to know what the proper way to care for your particular succulent is.
Not all succulents are the same and some are going to do better indoors than others.
However, these are easy to grow plants that take minimal effort. These indoor plants are special because they quickly adapt to the environment in your home.
Succulent plants are great at surviving in dry conditions (this is good news for those who forget to water their plants). They are easy to grow indoors and do not require a lot of humidity.
Here’s a great video highlighting the top 7 indoor succulents for beginners.
How Much Sunlight Do Succulents Need To Grow Indoors?
Succulents love sunlight! Sunlight is a significant requirement for the survival of your plants. Place your succulents near direct sunlight (particularly an East facing window) where they will get 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. If your succulents are not getting the ideal amount of sunlight, you will likely end up losing the plants.
Now, with this being said, newly planted succulents should be gradually introduced to sunlight so they don’t get scorched. Place them in an area that has indirect sunlight and gradually move them towards direct sunlight over a 2-3 week period.
You’ll also want to keep an eye on your succulents during extremely hot summer days. If you notice your soil drying out quicker than usual and the leaves starting to burn, move your succulent out of the direct sunlight but in an area where they will still get good sun exposure.
As mentioned earlier, these plants are very hardy so if you can’t place them in direct sunlight for 6-8 hours, find a place that is still going to provide them with a good amount of sun.
You may notice your succulents start to lean as they reach for the sun. To prevent this from happening, rotate your succulents every couple of weeks, or as you notice them learning.
During the winter months, you may need to provide your succulents with extra light using artificial light. This will help keep your plants healthy and happy when the days are shorter and sunlight isn’t as plentiful.
How Often Should You Water Succulents?
This is a very common question amongst new succulent owners. We suggest watering your succulents every 5-7 days, though some may require water more frequently during certain times of the year. Succulents don’t require daily watering. If you are watering them every day, you run the risk of overwatering and drowning these adorable plants.
By monitoring your succulents regularly you’ll be able to tell if they need water. Some things to look for are:
- Bone dry soil
- Wrinkling leaves
- Leaves becoming thin
If your succulents are showing any of these signs, you know it’s time to water. We find this moisture meter really handy for helping us know when to water our plants.
Your succulents should be planted in a container with drain holes. Place a saucer or drip tray beneath your pot as you’re watering to catch they excess water that drains out through the bottom of the pot.
If the soil around your plant is bone dry you’re going to really need to soak it. Pour some water into your pot then watch how quickly it soaks in. Continue to add more water just until the water stops getting soaked up (it should also stop dripping out the bottom at this point). This will help ensure that the soil all the way at the bottom gets a good soak.
If you’re planning on keeping the saucer or drip tray under your succulent pot, make sure to dump out any excess water that drained out. You don’t want stale water gathering there.
When watering your succulents, aim the water directly at the soil. If you get water on the succulent leaves wipe it off with a dry cloth. If you leave the water on the leaves you risk the sun drying up the water and burning the leaves.
Succulents are like cacti, they survive in dry and hot climates and absorb moisture from the air around them. If you water your succulent (or cacti for that matter) every day they will not survive.
Although most succulents have a dormancy period you will not notice this when you grow succulents indoors. As long as you are providing the necessary water and sunlight you will continue to see growth year round in most succulents.
During the winter months, you may notice Agave, Echeveria and Euphorbia will slow in growth during their dormancy period but you probably won’t see much slowdown in other succulents, provided the nutrients are being met regularly.
Keep a check on the succulent plants and see if the leaves are drying out. If the new leaves are drying out, you must add some water; however, if the older leaves that are close to the soil are drying out, there is nothing to worry about.
What Type Of Soil Do Succulents Need?
Succulents require a fast draining soil that doesn’t compact. The soil must have good aeration and remain lightweight.
One of the most common reasons people struggle to grow healthy succulents is due to the soil they are using. It’s too dense and retains too much water, which leads to plants being overwatered.
Look for a soil that contains grit (pumice or perlite) as this is what will provide the aeration your succulents need without holding the water and creating a compact mix.
Although you want a gritty mixture, do not use sand. Sand is extremely heavy and does not provide sufficient drainage.
If you’re not satisfied with the grit of pumice add some orchid bark or black lava rock. Both of these will act as porous ingredients to help keep your soil aerated and fast draining.
The soil must be able to drain, otherwise the roots will rot.
We prefer mixing our own potting soil for our indoor succulents so that way we can create the mixture we most prefer.
DIY Succulent Potting Mix
The best potting mix for succulents that we’ve found so far is a DIY mix.
Our favorite homemade succulent potting mix uses:
If you’re using the Burpee Organic Premium Potting Soil we recommend, you will only need 1 part coco coir as the potting mix already has some in it.
Combine all ingredients together in a large mixing container and use your hands to stir it up. Make sure the mixture is well mixed. You should be able to squeeze a handful of this DIY succulent mix together, if it keeps its shape add more pumice to create a grittier mix, but if it’s falling apart this is the mixture you want.
If mixing your own really isn’t your thing then check out this pre-mixed succulent and cactus soil that contains a similar mixture to the recipe above. The reason we like to mix our own is so that we can adjust the quantities if needed.
What Type Of Pot Should I Plant My Succulent In?
Whenever you are planting succulents indoors, you need to find a container that is perfect for it.
The container should be one or two inches bigger than the succulent plant.
As your succulent grows, you may need to transfer it into a larger pot. Thankfully, succulents don’t tend to grow into huge plants so you won’t have to worry about transferring often.
The most important piece of advice when choosing the right pot for your succulent is to make sure that the pot you choose has drainage holes. You don’t want the water held in the soil, it needs to be able to drain quickly.
Best: Clay or Ceramic Pots
Clay and ceramic are both popular choices for most succulent pots because of their porous material. These types of pots will help soak up any extra moisture from the soil and create a better exchange of oxygen. And, as you know by now – good airflow and drainage are key to growing healthy succulents.
Clay or ceramic pots work well for succulents that are going to be planted individually or up to groups of 3. Anything above this is going to be extremely heavy inside of these types of pots.
If you’re not a fan of the boring terracotta colored pots, you can easily spruce them up with a little bit of paint, rope or tuck them inside a more decorative pot. For some inspiration, check out this simple DIY painted plant pot tutorial.
Good: Plastic Pots
Now, if you’re someone who easily forgets to water their plants, you may want to opt for a plastic pot for your succulents. Plastic pots tend to hold water for a longer period.
Plastic pots are also an excellent choice if you have pets in your home as they are less likely to break if your cat decides to knock your succulent over.
Not Advised: Glass Pots
Although mason jars are super cute and great for many diy home décor projects, we don’t recommend planting your succulents in glass containers. They just aren’t breathable enough and your succulents need good aeration.
Here’s a few of our favorite succulent pots for indoors:
Recap: Our Best Advice for How To Grow Succulents Indoors
- Place your succulent in an area where it can receive 6-8 hours of direct sunlight.
- If you notice your succulent learning to one side, rotate it every couple of weeks.
- Water your succulent every 5-7 days based on the moisture content of the soil. You want the soil to be dry before adding more water.
- When watering, make sure the water is draining out the bottom. Wipe up any water that gets on the leaves and don’t leave water sitting in the drainage tray or saucer.
- Use a potting mix that contains grit and lightweight material to allow for fast draining and good aeration.
- Choose a container that has drainage holes and is 1-2 inches larger than your succulent.
What is your top succulent growing tip? Let us know in the comments below.