Succulents are one of my favorite plants. There are numerous varieties and they look beautiful in little decorative pots on the window sill. Someone once told me that succulents are easy to take care of and grow, however, I have managed to kill quite a few. Here are some tips for growing succulents indoors, which I have found a bit challenging.
Succulents need bright light. I have succulents indoors and outdoors, the ones outdoors really don’t need a lot of maintenance. I live in sunny, humid South Florida and the succulents do really well here. However, I love plants inside so, here are some things you should keep in mind if you are planning on growing succulents indoors.
Succulents need to be in a place where they will get bright light for at least 6 hours a day. I like to keep my succulents in an East or South facing window. I feel like this light has worked the best, it is bright indirect light and not overpowering for the plants.
If you notice that your succulent is “stretching”, it means that it isn’t getting enough light. Stretching or Etiolation is basically when your succulent is literally stretching out to find more light. It is pretty obvious something is going on. There will be more space between the leaves and it will be noticeably different from its previous more compact state. I have had this happen and the good news is there are ways to save a stretched succulent, such as propagating them.
WATERING AND SOIL
I would have to say finding the best watering schedule for my succulents has been the trickiest part. Because I am still trying to find the perfect schedule for mine, I think this is something you will have to determine for yourself based on your climate, time of year, and the plants you have. For me, this is around every four days or when the soil is bone dry. Succulents store water in their thick leaves and stems. Plants with thicker leaves hold more water therefore, I wouldn’t put them in a pot with a succulent with thin small leaves. Over watering is the fastest way to kill your succulents. I have had this happen several times! You can tell if you have been watering them too much if, you see the bottom leaves turning black and falling off, yellow mushy soggy leaves, if you tap on the pot and the leaves fall off, or if you see shriveled up leaves.You should only water them when the soil is completely dry. Then give them a good soak until the water runs out the drain holes.
The good thing about succulents is they are pretty strong; if you go a few days over, they are very forgiving.
Make sure you have planters with drain holes. I recently bought some cute decorative ones without holes and my husband drilled a few in the bottom. Well draining soil is key! You don’t want to use regular potting soil because it is much too dense and from my experience, this is the quickest way to have your plants rot and die. There are a lot of DIY recipes on Pinterest for making your own gritty succulent soil, wiith ingredients like sand, perlite, and charcoal. But, you can buy some premade specifically for succulents here. I also use rocks as a top dressing for my succulents, I think they look prettier with the different colored rocks and this dressing also helps keep the soil in place when watering.
FAVORITE SUCCULENTS FOR STARTING
Haworthia: Zebra Plant. This one kind of looks like aloe but, I find it much more resilient.
Echeveria: I love Echeveria, there are numerous different varieties. They even have pastel colored ones! I personally have found these the hardest to grow. They always seem to rot when I have them indoors but, I do have them on a table outside and they are doing well.
Aloe: Aloe is a staple! Not only is it pretty in a kitchen window but, you can use a leaf if you ever have a burn or you can make a great hydrating mask.
Jade Plant: Jade is one that has been the easiest for me. I literally let it sit in the window soaking up the sun, water it and admire its beauty. This one is a must especially if you don’t have a “green thumb”
Sedum Variety: Any Sedum variety is good. They have beautiful bulbous leaves and look great mixed in arrangements.
Leaf and Clay has BEAUTIFUL combo packs of succulents and cacti, which is great if you are looking to make a vertical planter or use succulents as wedding decor.
Let me know what your favorites are in the comments and feel free to leave me some tips! I am still learning about caring for succulents and would love to know what has worked for you!!