Living with indoor succulents has a number of benefits. Not only does something green and alive brighten up any interior space, but people with indoor plants have been proven to be happier and healthier. Succulents are the perfect example of an indoor plant that can brighten your day to day life.
Succulents thrive with limited water resources, such as dew and mist, which makes it tolerant to dehydration. There are many species and varieties of succulents that cover many plant families, and most people associate the succulent plants with the cactus or the family of the cactus.
Growing these plants at home can be a challenge if you don't know what you're doing. However, with these simple tips, you can help make your dreams a reality. Read on, and we'll walk you through our several key tips on caring for succulents.
1. Start with the Right Plant
Not all succulents are suitable for indoor environments. Selecting a plant that doesn't like the full sun, but that favors shade or dim light, will make a big difference in the success of your indoor succulents. Make sure you live in an area that can support your plants needs.
In general, bright colored succulents don't work well at home. They require some direct early morning sunlight and more light than is generally available indoors. Make sure you do your research before purchasing and selecting a plant that will be appropriate for your home environment.
This is an essential first step in learning how to care for a succulent.
2. Rotate Frequently
These prefer indirect, filtered light and morning light. If you keep your succulent in the same place every day, it's likely that there is only one side that receives enough of this indirect light.
Rotating succulents allows them to get light on all sides. Not only does this keep them healthy, but it has an aesthetic advantage as well. Most succulents tend to bend towards the sun, so turning it will help it stay upright.
If you do catch your succulent leaning or stretching towards the sun, it may be a sign that you haven't placed them in the best spot in your home.
3. Use the Right Kind of Soil Mixture
One of the most common questions new succulent owners have is what kind of soil to use.
Stores always place their succulents in basic potting soil that retain a lot of moisture. You will need to replicate this succulent environment once you take one home. Start by buying pots that have good drainage and ventilation, as these ensure your soil is drying as quickly as possible.
To further improve drainage and avoid pressure in pots, you can add pumice, cactus, or African violet soil. Always moisten your mix before use to make sure it moistens evenly.
When you do water your succulents, soak the soil until the water runs out of the drainage holes in your pot. You shouldn't use a spray bottle to water your succulent, as misting can cause succulents to turn brittle.
You want to see the top level of soil become moist when watering. Once it does, you can stop adding water.
4. Keep Your Succulent Clean
In most cases, the internal plants gradually absorb the dust on their surface. While this may sound harmless at first, it can actually be quite terrible for a succulent.
This accumulated dust can actually hinder or impede their growth.
For this reason, you need to keep your succulents as clean as can be. It's always recommended to clean the plant with a damp cloth gently. You can even use a soft paintbrush to clean hard-to-reach spots on your plant.
Not only does this help keep your succulents happy and healthy, but it improves the overall appearance of your home.
5. Allow Time for Drying
A common mistake that many people make with succulents is overwatering. The amount of water you use for your plants is not important as long as it drains out. The frequency of watering your plants is important though. Never water the plant again until the soil is bone dry.
If the potting soil remains constantly wet every day, the plant will turn yellow and black, and then die from root rot. Overwatering can actually drown a succulent. The last thing you want to do after purchasing a succulent is to accidentally kill it!
6. Look to Control Injuries
Pests should not be a problem in indoor succulents, but sometimes you may have to deal with mistakes.
Bugs and pests are, for example, attracted to succulents grown in very wet soil and that doesn't contain adequate drainage. If your succulent does get infected with any sort of pest, take quick action.
To get rid of eggs and larvae, spray the soil with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. Also, move infected plants away from the other succulent and sprinkle them with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol.
7. Avoid Glass Containers
Glass containers are generally not a long-term solution in the succulent business.
Why? Most glass cases don't have a good way to drain water. Consumers buy them because they like to see what's going on 'below the surface,' but it's not good for the long term health of the succulent. With no way for water to drain, a succulent can quickly become over moisturized.
The other drawback of glass containers is the lack of ventilation. The succulent needs a good flow of air to maintain healthy roots and, therefore healthy leaves and stems. Glass does not provide this.
If you're looking to provide a proper home for your new succulents, a glass container is about the worst place you could house them.
Providing the Best Care
There's nothing that a little green in your home can't do to liven up your mood. Many are attracted to succulents as an indoor plant option because of their variety and interesting nature.
Succulent maintenance can be tricky, but with the above tips, you should be well on your way to a thriving succulent garden in your home.
Need additional help with your indoor plants? Check out our how-to guides for more.