Succulent Care Guide
Succulents are plants with fleshy, thickened leaves. They also may or may not have swollen stems that store water. The word “succulent” comes from the Latin word sucus, meaning juice or sap. While there are many different species and varieties of succulents spanning several plant families, most people associate succulents with the cactus family. However, while all cacti are succulents, not all succulents are cacti. You’ll most likely water your succulents, but they can survive on limited water resources, such as dew and mist because they are quite tolerant of drought.
Succulents have a special ability to retain water. They also tend to thrive in warm, dry climates and this is what makes them attractive to so many people: They don’t mind being a little neglected. Succulents are well-adapted to indoor growing and are ideal for people who want low-maintenance houseplants. As you become acquainted with caring for succulents, these six tips are good guides for success.
6 Tips on Succulent Care (especially #5)
Succulents have a special ability to retain water. They also tend to thrive in warm, dry climates. What makes them attractive to some people is they don’t mind a little neglect. They’re well-adapted to indoor growing and ideal for people who want low-maintenance houseplants. When you’re first getting acquainted with caring for succulents, these six tips are good guides to success.
14 of the Best Succulents to Grow Indoors
- Jade plant (Crassula ovata)
- Christmas kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
- Mother-in-law tongue or snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
- Crown of thorns (Eurphorbia milii)
- Medicine plant (Aloe vera)
- Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi)
- Zebra cactus (Haworthia fasciata)
- Panda plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa)
- String of bananas (Senecio radicans)
- String of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)
- Hens-and-chicks (Sempervivum tectorum or Echeveria elegans)
- Pencil cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli)
- Burro’s tail (Sedum morganianum)
- Pebble plant or living stone (Lithops)
Loose Rocky soil is better for growing succulents.
Though succulents seem to thrive in sand out in the wild, indoors they prefer loose, rocky soil and need nutrients to grow well. When you use only sand, they don’t get the drainage they need because sand tends to compact over time. That causes too much water retention in the container. You should use a medium specially formulated for cacti and succulents, or a well-draining mix of potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite with pumice.
Don’t worry, some leaves naturally fall off.
Like many plants, the lowest leaves on the stem—those closest to the potting mix will eventually shrivel and drop. It’s normal and you shouldn’t worry about it. However, if the topmost leaves are dying, it could indicate overwatering, pests, or disease.
Did you Know?
You can start succulents from seeds. Much like you can do with other plant seeds, seeds from succulent can be started indoors in light, moist soil. They germinate and grow more slowly, generally not reaching transplant size until six months to a year after germinating.
Choose the succulent that will thrive in your indoor environment—or choose more!—and one that gives you the enjoyment of growing these easy-care plants in your home.