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Getting potted succulents to flower indoors can be the most rewarding moment in succulent care.
Sadly, indoor succulents don’t always grow flowers. They need their conditions to be just right.
First, give your succulent all the basic care it needs to grow. Then, when your succulent is doing well, let’s try to make it so happy that it will bloom and grow flowers for you.
Indoor flowering succulents
It is important to realize that not all succulents will bloom indoors. It may take years of caring for your succulent before you even have the chance to see it flower.
Many indoor potted succulents won’t bloom at all. So if your plant is not flowering, don’t worry, it is perfectly normal if it doesn’t.
Getting your indoor succulent to flower requires all the care conditions to be right for your plant. For most succulents, this means plenty of light, a regular watering regime and very important, good drainage.
If you are lucky, you might find a flowering succulent when you are out plant shopping. Succulents like the Kalanchoe and holiday cacti like the Christmas or Thanksgiving cactus are sold for their flowers when they are in bloom.
Many other succulents, like Echeverias, usually bloom at the end of the growing season in late summer. Check your local plant nursery or garden center to see if they have any for sale around that time.
To get your succulents to grow flowers you’ll need a few things:
- Your succulent needs to be old enough to grow flowers
- Plenty of light
- Cool winter / warm summer temperatures
Succulent old enough to flower
Succulents need to have aged enough before any flowers can grow. Young plants won’t bloom.
Depending on the type of succulents, and the conditions they are growing in, it can take about four to six years before a succulent will flower.
So before anything else, make sure your plant is old enough. Purchase a succulent that has already matured, or if you propagate your own succulents, know that you might have to wait a few years.
Succulents need plenty of light to flower
Once your succulent has matured, I would say the most important thing is light. Most succulents need a lot of bright light in order to start blooming.
Keep your succulent near an eastern or southern window to give them as much light as possible. In general, I would say to try and give your succulent the brightest, sunniest spot in your home.
Do watch out on very hot and sunny days. Even succulents can get sunburnt! Move your plant away from the window a bit, or use something like a sheer curtain or a DIY sun diffuser for protection.
Succulent plants that do not receive enough light will eventually etiolate and stretch out. And won’t have a lot of chance of growing any flowers.
If you can’t give your succulent enough bright light, you could use an indoor plant grow light to provide enough light indoors.
Summer / Winter temperatures
Most succulents originate from the desert where they are used to a significant temperature difference between night and day, as well as summer and winter.
These temperature differences trigger the succulent to start blooming.
If possible, keep your succulent in a cooler spot in your home during winter. If you have a spare room with where you can keep the heat off or set to low, that would be great.
Some succulents like the Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti don’t come from the desert but hail from the rainforest. They like a dark treatment for 6-8 weeks to bloom.
How to care for a flowering succulent
What to do when your succulent is flowering?
When you notice your succulent starts growing fowers or a bloom stalk, make sure it gets plenty of sunlight. The more the better, just build it up gradually.
Besides more sun, you also want to water more. And up the fertilizer.
How to water a flowering succulent
Succulents store water in their leaves, meaning they can handle some drought. Or in other words, you can forget to water them occasionally. But when they are actively growing, they still need to be watered regularly.
When your indoor succulent is flowering, you want to give it extra water.
Go ahead and soak the soil when you water. Wait till the top of the soil is dry and water again.
Return to normal watering when the flowers have finished blooming.
Humidity and blooming succulents: If you want the flowers on your desert succulents to last longer, keep the humidity low. The flowers will fade a lot quicker when the humidity is high.
Fertilize flowering succulents
Growing flowers uses a lot of your succulents’ energy. Feel free to help your plant a little by giving it some extra fertilizer. A bit more and a bit more often.
Increase fertilizing your flowering succulent to once monthly.
At the same time give it some more as you would usually do. So if you give your plant a quarter strength, pour in some more and increase it up to half-strength.
Continue fertilizing this way until the flowers start fading.
Should you cut the flower stalks off your succulents?
This question always comes up. Should you prune or trim the flowers? And if so, when?
There are people who are not impressed by the flowers and are of the opinion that having to grow them will cost the succulent precious energy. These people tend to remove the flower stalks.
Other people, like me, treasure the delicate beauty of succulent blooms and let them flower in all their glory.
Even then the point comes that the flowers start dying. That is when you want to cut the flower stalk off your succulent.
How to remove the flower stalk from your succulent: Use sharp pruning scissors, follow the stalk down and get as close to the bottom of it as possible without harming the succulent leaves. Carefully trim off the flower stalk.
Will your succulents die after flowering?
It is true that there are certain succulents that flower once and die right after. But not many. Most succulents won’t die after they bloom.
There are two types of flowering succulents; perennial and monocarpic. Perennial plants can flower many times in their life, monocarpic plants only bloom once and die after flowering.
When you get your succulent to flower, hooray and well done! Snap a photo and tag me @modandmint on your favorite social media. I love to see!
And if your plant doesn’t bloom, don’t feel too bad, it happens. There’s always another chance next year.