Similar to flowers and other potted plants, succulents can serve as wonderful centerpieces in your
indoor space! This greenery tends to catch you off guard with its humble beauty, immediately capturing
your attention when you’re browsing through your local market, or opening an early housewarming gift.
Whether you’ve been given a pebble plant or jade plant, we want everyone who’s developing a green
thumb to learn how to properly care for their succulents:
1. Choose the right succulent – Before you start cultivating your plant, you want to select the best
succulent that aligns with your indoor environment. They thrive in warm, dry climates with
slight neglect, making them the perfect low-maintenance houseplant. Although many prefer
direct sunlight, if your house has many shaded spots, choose low-light tolerant plants like
mother-in-law’s tongue. If you desire a hanging plant, choose a trailing variety such as a string of
bananas. Read the plant labels to determine the light exposure, size, and growing width of your
2. Choose your container – Succulents can’t stand sitting in soggy, waterlogged soil. Purchasing a
container with a proper drainage hole is key in facilitating excess water to escape. Avoid glass
containers as a long-term potting solution because they don’t allow roots to breathe, and
drenched soil can lead to rot over time. Terra-cotta pots are recommended for beginners.
3. Plant your succulent in the proper soil – Nurseries tend to plant succulents in soil that’s too rich
and overly retains moisture, which is why you should re-pot once you get home. Use coarse, dry
potting mix or buy bagged cactus mix with adequate drainage and aeration. If you’re growing
desert succulents, reduce the level of compost and add sharp, large-grained sand (builder’s sand
or decomposed granite will do). Blend any bagged potting soil half-and-half with pumice.
4. Water is a plant’s best friend – Water according to the season. Succulents require an energy
boost when reaching maturity, especially during the summer. Quench your succulent’s thirst by
watering it thoroughly once a week in the summer, twice a month in spring and fall, and
monthly during its winter dormancy. Keep the roots dry and ensure excellent drainage. Soak the
soil until it runs out of drainage holes.
5. Give your succulent enough light – Sunny locations are welcome when nurturing potted
succulents. Generally, succulents desire at least six hours of direct sunlight for balanced growth,
so set them near a south or east-facing window. Gradually introduce newly planted, light-
sensitive succulents to full sun exposure or provide shade with a sheer curtain.
6. Rotate succulents often – As we mentioned above, succulents bask in direct sunlight; therefore,
we want to make sure all angles get enough sunshine! Succulents lean towards the sun, so
frequent rotation will straighten them up.
7. Cleanliness is happiness – Indoor plants can really accentuate your living room, but their growth
can become stunted over time after picking up dust on their surfaces. Wipe off a succulent’s
leaves and spines gently with a damp cloth and use a fine paintbrush for hard-to-reach crevices.
8. Fertilize at least once a year – Although succulents don’t need a tremendous amount of
fertilizer, you can give them light feedings in the spring and summer using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength. They don’t need rejuvenated nutrients in the winter
since they’re semi-dormant. Try not to overfertilize – this can prompt rapid growth and severely
weaken your succulent.
9. Maintain a steady temperature – It’s a rarity when succulents are able to flourish for extended
periods in freezing climates, with temperature drops catapulting below 32 degrees. That’s why
it’s best to grow them indoors where temperature maintenance is less of an issue, unless you
buy cold-hardy varieties, like fine-leaved perennial stonecrops.
10. Pest control – Air circulation is an excellent pest preventative method, combatting aphids,
thrips, and mealybugs. Combat infestations by spraying pests with a 70% rubbing alcohol
solution diluted in 50% water. Isolate infested plants to limit spreading and sanitize the area or
take cuttings unharmed by the infestation and replant them in fresh soil, discarding the diseased
plant. Clean the pot before reusing.