Indoor Succulent Gardening: Tips and Tricks for a Thriving Home Garden
I wasn’t always a great gardener. Let’s be honest; I still hold my breath when I attach a shingle plant to a new board. But at the beginning, I really struggled, especially indoors.
Succulents were what got me hooked on plants, and they remain my darlings. They’re so easy to care for and come in an array of shapes, colors, and sizes so you can make fantastic gardens that look like they should be in a tropical reef, or maybe a fairy garden.
Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, indoor succulent gardening is a great way to bring a little bit of nature and magic into your daily life.
Want to learn even more about growing indoor succulents when you’re done reading this article? How to Save a Succulent without Roots: Expert Tips and Tricks is perfect when you fall into the all-to-common beginner’s mistake of overwatering.
How to Naturally Fertilize Your Succulents: Tips and Techniques will ensure you get lush growth and gorgeous flowers. Succulent Design and Arrangement Ideas is guaranteed to give you some superb ideas about how to make your succulents look their best.
- Succulents are easy to care for and come in various shapes, colors, and sizes.
- Indoor succulent gardening is a great way to bring nature and magic into your daily life.
- Succulents require minimal maintenance and can go for long periods without water.
- They are relatively pest-resistant and can thrive even with a few mistakes.
- Indoor succulent gardening provides low-maintenance plants and health benefits.
- Choosing the right container and well-draining soil is important for succulent health.
- There are many popular indoor succulent species to choose from.
- Watering should be done when the soil is completely dry, and sunlight should be bright but indirect.
- Repotting, pruning, and propagating are essential for maintaining succulent health.
- Common pests like mealybugs can infest succulents, requiring proper treatment.
One of the biggest advantages of indoor succulent gardening is that it requires minimal maintenance. Succulents are designed to store water in their leaves, which means that they can go for long periods of time without being watered.
This makes them a great choice for busy people or those who don’t have a lot of time to devote to gardening. Not that I’m like that… cough…
Even better, succulents are relatively pest-resistant, which means you won’t have to worry about dealing with pesky insects or those dreaded gnats.
Even if you make a mistake or two, your plants are likely to thrive. Plus, with so many different varieties to choose from, you’re sure to find a succulent type that fits your style and personality.
Whether you’re looking for a pop of color or a unique shape, there’s a succulent out there that’s perfect for you.
Let’s dig into your indoor succulent gardening adventure!
Benefits of Indoor Succulent Gardening
Indoor succulent gardening is a great way to add some greenery to your home without requiring much effort. These plants have many benefits, including being low-maintenance and providing health benefits.
Succulents are known for being low-maintenance plants, making them an excellent choice for those who do not have much time to devote to gardening. They require minimal watering and can survive in a variety of lighting conditions, making them perfect for indoor gardening.
Additionally, succulents are easy to propagate, which means that you can expand your collection without spending a lot of money. Many species produce pups that can be removed and replanted when they are large enough, while others can be propagated from a single leaf.
In addition to being low-maintenance, indoor succulent gardening can also provide health benefits. These plants can improve the humidity of your home by releasing water, which can help with common health complaints such as a sore throat, dry cough, and dry, itchy skin.
Furthermore, succulents can add fresh oxygen to your environment, which can improve air quality and help you breathe easier. True, you’re not going to see those benefits unless you have a lot of succulents, but what’s wrong with that?
Some studies have shown that indoor plants can make you feel happier and more satisfied. I know for certain that they make me happier, and I bet they’ll make you happier too.
Choosing the Right Container and Soil
When it comes to indoor succulent gardening, choosing the right container and soil is crucial for the health and growth of your plants. These are crucial elements in how to plant indoor succulents.
The soil and container are more important than watering, light, and food. Those elements can be done incorrectly and your succulent will still survive. However, root rot kills succulents quickly.
Choose a container that is shallow and has big and/or plentiful drainage holes. Succulent roots thrive in a shallow container where they can grow their shallow roots.
Standing water will quickly kill a succulent. If the container doesn’t have enough drainage holes, you can drill some more at the bottom.
Terra cotta pots and ceramic pots are popular choices for indoor succulent gardening. Most indoor succulent planter ideas call for these materials.
Terra cotta pots are better for succulents. They’re porous and allow air and moisture to circulate around the roots. However, they’ve got a look that not everyone loves. I mean, I do, but not everyone.
Unfortunately, they also tend to discolor if you have minerals in the water you use to water your succulents. They can also mildew and mold indoors. Not cute.
Ceramic pots are non-porous and retain moisture longer. They look great, regardless of what you’re doing to save your succulent from root rot because it’s in a ceramic pot.
Seriously though, succulents can do great in ceramic. You’ll just have to take more care when choosing your soil and watering your succulent.
Succulents demand well-draining soil that is light and airy and drains quickly. Using the right kind of soil is essential to prevent root rot. You can use any potting mix designed for succulents, or you can make your own by mixing one part organic material with two parts mineral materials.
Here’s a complete guide to your succulent soil options, but in general, mineral materials are inert and have a coarse grain. Think fine gravel, crushed lava rock, coarse sand, etc. For organic materials, compost and coco-coir are your best options.
When filling your container with soil, make sure to leave enough space at the top for thorough watering. Avoid packing the soil too tightly around the roots, as this can prevent air and water from circulating properly. Instead, gently press the soil around the roots to secure the plant in place.
Selecting the Best Indoor Succulent Plants
Selecting the right indoor succulent plants is crucial to ensure that they thrive in your home environment. In this section, we will discuss the popular indoor succulent species and their care and maintenance.
Popular Indoor Succulent Species
There are many different types of succulent plants that can be grown indoors, each with their own unique characteristics. Here are some of the most popular indoor succulent species:
- Haworthia: These small, low-growing plants are perfect for indoor gardening. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and require minimal care.
- Jade Plant: Also known as the “money tree,” the jade plant is a popular indoor succulent that is believed to bring good luck and prosperity.
- Echeveria: These rosette-shaped succulents come in a range of colors and are perfect for indoor gardening due to their small size.
- Crassula: These easy-to-grow succulents are perfect for beginners and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
- Kalanchoe: These colorful succulents produce beautiful flowers and are perfect for brightening up any indoor space.
- Sedum: These trailing succulents are perfect for hanging baskets and can add a unique touch to any indoor garden.
- Aloe Vera: This hardy succulent is known for its medicinal properties and is perfect for indoor gardening due to its low maintenance requirements.
- Panda Plant: These fuzzy succulents are perfect for adding some texture to your indoor garden.
- Sempervivum: Also known as “hens and chicks,” these low-growing succulents come in a range of colors and are perfect for indoor gardening due to their hardiness.
- Snake Plant: These tall, upright succulents are perfect for adding some height to your indoor garden.
- Christmas Cactus: These colorful succulents produce beautiful flowers and are perfect for brightening up your home during the holiday season.
- Burro’s Tail: These trailing succulents are perfect for hanging baskets and can add a unique touch to any indoor garden.
- Zebra Plant: These striped succulents are perfect for adding some visual interest to your indoor garden.
- Aeonium: These rosette-shaped succulents come in a range of colors and are perfect for indoor gardening due to their low maintenance requirements.
- Gasteria: These small, low-growing succulents are perfect for indoor gardening and come in a range of shapes and sizes.
- Senecio: These trailing succulents are perfect for hanging baskets and can add a unique touch to any indoor garden.
- Graptoveria: These rosette-shaped succulents come in a range of colors and are perfect for indoor gardening due to their low maintenance requirements.
- Ponytail Palm: This unique succulent looks like a miniature palm tree and is perfect for adding some height to your indoor garden.
- Ox Tongue: These tall, upright succulents are perfect for adding some height to your indoor garden.Most indoor succulent plants are low maintenance and require minimal care. Here are some tips for caring for your indoor succulent plants:
Succulents are known for their ability to store water in their leaves, stems, and roots. As a result, they are well adapted to survive in dry, arid conditions. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t need water at all.
They don’t need much though. Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes that people make when caring for succulents.
So how often should you water your indoor succulents? The answer depends on a variety of factors, including the type of succulent, the size of the pot, the humidity of your environment, and the amount of natural light that your plants receive.
As a general rule, it’s best to wait until the soil is completely dry before watering your succulents again. You can test the soil moisture by sticking your finger into the soil up to the second knuckle. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water your plants.
You can also pick up small succulents to ensure they’ve dried fully.
I water my indoor succulents on the porch so they can get the deep, thorough soaking they need. I also take the opportunity to wash the dust off their leaves. When they’re done dripping, back on their trays they go.
Succulents need plenty of sunlight to thrive, but they can also be sensitive to direct sun exposure. In general, indoor succulents prefer bright, indirect sunlight.
If you place your plants in a south-facing window, they may receive too much direct sunlight, which can cause their leaves to burn. On the other hand, if you place them in a north-facing window, they may not receive enough sunlight to grow properly.
Also, keep in mind how you use the room. If you like to sleep in, choose succulents for the bedroom that tolerate missing out on morning light.
Have a bathroom that gets plenty of light all day, but its used often so there’s high humidity? The best bathroom succulents with the right pots and soil won’t melt in the steam.
If you’re not sure how much sunlight your succulents need, start by placing them in a bright, east-facing window. This will provide them with plenty of natural light without exposing them to direct sun.
You can also use a grow light to supplement natural light if necessary. Lots of people hesitate to take this step, but it dramatically increases the variety of succulents you can grow indoors, regardless of how many windows you have.
If you’re considering reaching out of the world of succulents into the more challenging field of cacti, you’ll find a grow light to be the best light for growing an indoor cactus collection.
Potting and Repotting
Repotting your succulents is necessary when they outgrow their current container. It’s also a fun opportunity to build a new indoor succulent garden. Succulents tolerate being root-bound, which means their roots have filled the container and have no more room to grow, but they won’t thrive like that. Repotting should be done during the growing season, which is typically in the spring or summer.
When repotting your succulent, follow these steps:
- Gently remove the plant from its current container.
- Shake off the old soil, but do not wash the roots with water.
- Inspect the roots for any signs of damage or rot and trim them if necessary.
- Choose a new container that is slightly larger than the current one.
- Add some potting medium to the container, leaving enough space for the plant’s roots.
- Place the plant in the new container and fill in any gaps with additional potting medium.
- Water the plant thoroughly, allowing the excess water to drain out of the bottom.
Pruning and Propagating Indoor Succulents
Pruning involves removing dead or damaged leaves, stems, and flowers. It can also be used to shape the growth of the plant, making it bushier or more even. Propagating involves growing new plants from existing ones. Since most succulents can be grown from their leaves, pruning and propagating go hand in hand with succulents.
Pruning indoor succulents is necessary to maintain their shape and promote healthy growth. Dead or damaged leaves and stems should be removed to prevent the spread of disease. Pruning also encourages new growth and prevents the plant from becoming too leggy.
Different succulent species and cultivars require different pruning techniques. For instance, String of Pearls and Hens-and-Chicks can be pruned by simply pinching off the dead leaves. Christmas Kalanchoe and Zebra Cactus, on the other hand, require a more precise approach, where the dead or damaged leaves are cut off with a sharp, sterile knife.
Propagating indoor succulents is an easy and rewarding way to grow new plants from existing ones. There are several methods of propagation, including stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, and offsets.
- Stem cuttings involve cutting a healthy stem from the parent plant. This can give you a complete mini succulent instantly.
- Leaf cuttings, on the other hand, involve removing a healthy leaf from the parent plant and allowing it to develop roots before planting it in soil.
- Offsets are small plantlets that grow from the base of the parent plant and can be separated and planted in their own pots.
Some succulent species and cultivars are easier to propagate than others. For instance, Echeveria and Graptoveria produce offsets that can be easily separated and planted in their own pots. Succulent dish gardens and planters are also great for propagating succulents, as they provide a suitable environment for the plants to grow and develop while also looking insanely cute.
Common Pests and Diseases
Indoor succulents aren’t plagued by bugs like other plants often are, but they are prone to certain pests and diseases that can harm their health and appearance. Furthermore, you really don’t want a bug infestation if you have a succulent themed bedroom. Here are some of the most common issues to watch out for:
Mealybugs are a common pest that can infest succulents. They look like small, white, cottony insects that cluster on the leaves, stems, and roots of the plant. They suck the sap from the succulent, causing it to weaken and wither.
To get rid of mealybugs, you can use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe them off the plant. You may also want to apply an insecticidal soap or oil to the plant to prevent further infestations.
Scale insects are another common pest that can infest succulents. They look like small, brown, oval-shaped bumps on the leaves and stems of the plant. They also suck the sap from the succulent, causing it to weaken and wither.
To get rid of scale insects, you can use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe them off the plant. You may also want to apply an insecticidal soap or oil to the plant to prevent further infestations.
Spider mites are tiny pests that can be difficult to see with the naked eye. They spin webs on the leaves and stems of the plant and suck the sap from the succulent. This can cause the plant to turn yellow and eventually die.
To get rid of spider mites, you can spray the plant with a mixture of water and dish soap. You may also want to apply an insecticidal soap or oil to the plant to prevent further infestations.
Root rot is a common disease that can affect succulents. It occurs when the soil is too wet and the roots of the plant begin to rot. This can cause the plant to wilt and eventually die. To prevent root rot, make sure to use well-draining soil and only water the plant when the soil is completely dry.
Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that can affect succulents. It appears as a white, powdery substance on the leaves and stems of the plant. To get rid of powdery mildew, you can apply a fungicide to the plant. You may also want to increase air circulation around the plant to prevent further infestations.
Leaf spot is a fungal disease that can affect succulents. It appears as brown or black spots on the leaves of the plant. To get rid of leaf spot, you can apply a fungicide to the plant. Remove any infected leaves to prevent further infestations.
I adore my indoor succulents. I’m always kicking an older succulent out onto the porch so I can give my favorite new specimen the best spot. Needless to say, the porch is crowded, and so is the house! I’m sure you’ll have a blast growing indoor succulents too.
Want to take your indoor succulent garden to the next level? Try adorning your dining room table with an arrangement made of succulents. Don’t have much room? How about a succulent garden that can fit in the palm of your hand?
You’ll have so much fun trying new indoor succulent gardening projects. I know I do!