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Why is it that when someone tries to explain that they can’t keep plants alive, they always mention that even succulents die in their care?
Succulents really are easy to care for, but it’s different than caring for a typical houseplant. This doesn’t mean you should give up, you just need a few basic tips to keep your next succulent alive.
How To Keep Succulents Alive Indoors
Water a lot but not too often.
The biggest problem with keeping succulents alive indoors is how much and how often to water them.
Overwatering is the number one cause of succulents not surviving in our homes.
Succulents don’t like to be watered as frequently as most indoor plants. They like to have their roots soaked with water but then dry out quickly. Think about their natural habitat where they go through long dry spells followed by heavy rainfall.
Water succulents only when the soil is very dry, or when your plant’s upper leaves are starting to shrivel.
Most succulents have their growing period from spring to fall, and go dormant in winter. During the cooler months of year they don’t use as much water, so water less.
Succulents need drainage.
It is important that your succulents’ soil does not stay wet too long after you water your plant. To prevent trouble, there must be good drainage.
Indoor succulents need pots with drainage holes, and fast draining succulent soil.
Clay terracotta pots are a good choice for succulents. Clay pots are porous and water can evaporate through the sides of the pot. This helps the soil to dry out quicker. Plastic pots can be used, but do it only if you know your plant and its water wishes well enough. Be even more careful not to overwater when your pot is plastic.
Whatever pot you use, make sure it has drainage holes on the bottom. Without it any water left behind is trapped, and can cause root rot.
Give your plant some well draining succulent soil. Again, we want the soil to dry out quick and this will help with that.
Let the Sun shine in.
Indoor succulents want as much light as you can give them. Place your succulents near the brightest window of your home. Just watch out with succulents in a south facing window during the summer. Their leaves can get sun burnt close to a window on hot summer days. Move them away from the window a bit, or filter the light with a sheer curtain.
If your succulents stretch out towards the window, they are telling you they want more light. Move it to a spot with more sunlight, or put it under a grow light. These special lights used to be quite large and expensive, but nowadays you can get great grow lights that are small and affordable.
Propagate and make more plants.
If you are reading this too late, maybe you are noticing your succulents’ leaves are looking yellow and feel mushy. I’m sorry to say, but your succulent is probably dying from overwatering. Don’t trash it, many types of succulent plants can be saved.
You can cut off the part of your plant that is not yet affected, and propagate it to save your plant. Most succulents can be easily propagated by leaf and stem cuttings.
Succulents to grow indoors.
There are many succulents that can successfully grow indoors.
I know you want to get those gorgeous colored succulents, but you have better odds if you choose green succulents to grow indoors. Those bright colors need more light and direct sun than most of our homes can give them.
Here are five of my personal favorite succulents to grow indoors.
Jade Plant or Crassula ovata
The Jade plant is also known as the Money plant. It is thought to bring good luck to the one who owns it. Just for that, it has to be in my top picks.
Jade plants are also very resilient. Just be careful not to overwater, and give it a lot of bright light.
Echeverias are popular rosette shaped succulents that come in a large variety of colors and textures. Go for the green varieties for your indoor garden.
Put them on your sunniest windowsill. They like their soil to be on the dry side.
Air Plants or Tillandsias
Mist regularly and soak in water about once a week. They like indirect light. A little morning sun is fine, but watch out for the hot afternoon sun.
String of Pearls or Senecio rowleyanus
The String of Pearls plant is an unusual succulent with green pearl like leaves on trailing stems.
Snake Plant or Sansevieria
If, after all this, you still think you are a succulent killer, get yourself a Snake plant.
The Snake plant really is one of the easiest house plants to grow. You often see these in offices, dorms, and hospitals, because they can survive through a lot of neglect, and don’t mind indirect light or shade. And they are one of the best plants to purify the air!