Does your succulent begin to look bad, stretch or etiolate, lose color and even die after bringing it home? Today’s article will show you how to take care of a succulent indoors.
Some of the main advantages of growing succulents is that they are low maintenance, there are thousands of species to choose from, they look gorgeous as decorative items, they bring life to homes and make them feel cozy. These are some of the reasons why they are perfect to grow and have indoors.
From our years of experience we have learned some things that we believe are important to successfully grow and care for succulents indoors.
When we started out in the world of succulents, we used to go shopping at nurseries and plant stores where we chose species based solely on their appearance: their color, shape or size.
This is a very common mistake among beginners, and not so beginners, because after taking the succulents home, some begin to look bad, stretch or etiolate, lose color and some even die.
Since we don’t want you to make the same mistakes we did at the beginning, we would like to share with you a series of tips that we would have liked to know a lot before. These tips, we are sure, will help you grow your succulents healthy and beautiful indoors.
How to Take Care of Succulents Inside
1. Choose species of indoor succulents
Choosing the appropriate species for the conditions in which you are going to have your succulents is essential. Before going to buy, analyze what are the characteristics of the space where you are going to place the new plants.
Look, for example, in the brightness of the spaces in your house, the hours of greatest exposure to the sun, the temperature, the ventilation, etc.
Once you are clear about all these points, find out which species best suit your conditions.
In general, we recommend some species that do very well indoors:
- Jade (Crassula ovata)
- Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)
- Kalanchoe blossfeldiana
- Mother-in-law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)
- Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii)
- Aloe Vera
- Panda plant (Kalanchoe tormentosa)
- String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)
- Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)
- Zebra Cactus (Haworthia attenuata)
- Haworthia retusa
- Haworthia cuspidata
We also suggest that you explain to your plant vendor what the conditions of your house are, so that they can advise you appropriately in the choice of species.
On our website you can find some articles on the care of succulent species.
2. Give them lots of light
Try to give them as much light as you can. Place your succulents in the brightest spaces in your home and make sure that the species with the highest light requirements are next to the windows.
Also keep in mind that some species burn if they receive a lot of direct light for many hours a day and that window panes enhance the sun’s rays.
Illumination varies throughout the year due to the tilting of the planet. Bear in mind that you should be aware of the lighting changes in your home throughout the year to give your succulent plants the best possible lighting.
3. Use pots with good drainage
Succulents are plants that cannot stand long periods of time in damp soil. They rot and die easily if you leave them with excess water for several days. To avoid this, you should choose a pot with drainage, that is, with holes at the base. This is so that excess water can escape through the holes.
If you have a little more experience you can plant in containers without drainage. (Read our tips here)
Do not miss our article with the types of pots for succulents and their characteristics.
4. Use a good substrate for succulents and cacti
Water tends to evaporate more slowly indoors than outdoors. To avoid waterlogging, besides using a pot with drainage, you must also ensure that the substrate has good drainage.
Succulents and cacti should not be planted in common soil or universal substrate because it remains damp for too long and, in this way, the plant has a greater chance of rotting.
You can buy a special substrate for cacti and succulents or prepare your own mixture at home as we have explained in another article.
5. Water a lot, but infrequently
Every time you water your succulents and cacti you should do it in abundance. Contrary to what is commonly thought or said, they love water.
Water is a fundamental element for your succulents to grow healthy and beautiful, so we recommend that you water them generously. As we’ve explained before, if you have good drainage, you shouldn’t have a problem.
By watering abundantly you ensure that your succulents receive enough water to store in their leaves and stems.
Watering quantity should not be confused with watering frequency.
Watering frequency refers to the interval between waterings. You must wait until the substrate is completely dry before watering again. If you are not sure if you should water or not, it is best not to do it. Succulents handle long periods of time without water very well because, during that time, they feed on their own reserves, but as you know, if they are soaked for too long, they rot.
Indoors, it is advisable to only water the substrate because, otherwise, the water tends to remain stagnant between the leaves and this can lead to rot and death of our plants.
In our article on how to water succulents and cacti, we explain in detail how to do it correctly to avoid problems with your succulents.
You can also read our article on when to water succulents and cacti where we talk about the signs that indicate that it is the perfect time to water.
6. Control the temperature
Temperature is also a factor to take into account when properly caring for our succulents inside the home. You should avoid exposing your succulents to temperatures that could harm them. For example, do not place them next to a radiator, fireplace, or any other heat-emitting object that could hurt them.
On the other hand, if your home has particularly cold areas, avoid placing your succulents there.
7. Move and rotate your plants
One of the most common drawbacks of having plants indoors is that there is usually no room for all of them near the brightest points.
This has a very simple solution. You can rotate your plants and reposition them so that they can all receive enough light for a few hours each day. If you notice that your plants are slanting or leaning towards the light sources, you can rotate the pot on its own axis to ensure that they maintain a nice shape.
You can also move them to make sure the temperature is right throughout the year. Or if you see that they need better ventilation. Or if they have an infestation and you decide to quarantine them. Or, even to water them you can put them in the bathtub if it is easier for you to do so.
We encourage you to experiment in your home and, little by little, discover which place is best for each and every one of your plants.
We hope that all these tips help you to properly care for your succulents at home.
Tell us: What difficulties have you encountered when growing succulents indoors?
Can succulents live indoors?
There are some species of succulents that can live in low light environments and are suitable as houseplants. Some examples are at the beginning of this article, and you can read more about indoor succulents in the following article:
Are succulents good indoor plants?
Succulents are now a decorative plant in every modern woman’s living room. That is not surprising either, after all, they are not only easy to manage but also a real eye-catcher. In addition to their diverse appearance, they also have numerous healing effects.
You can read more about the benefits of succulents in this article: