Indoor Succulent Care Tips



Houseplants are seeing a resurgence in popularity right now, and succulents are a huge part of that trend.  Succulents are any plant with thick, fleshy leaves and stems instead of a particular family or genus.  This leads to quite a wide variety of growth habits and characteristics between the different varieties.  Due to this, not all succulents are well suited to living indoors.

When it comes to growing succulents indoors one of the most important factors is light.  They require about six hours of bright, indirect sunlight per day.  You do want to avoid direct sunlight as it can actually cause them to get sunburned.  A common problem you’ll see if your succulent isn’t getting enough light is “stretch”.  Also, avoid succulents that have colorful foliage.  They’ll require more light to compensate for their lack of chlorophyll.

The other important aspect of growing succulents is water.  Succulents can be tricky to water because you have to water them more … but less.  What?  What I mean is that they like to have their roots soaked, but then dry out completely between waterings.  An easy way to do this is by weight.  (You can use a scale if you want to get fancy, but judging by lifting the pot is easy too.)  Water your succulent until it is fully soaked.  Then lift the pot to judge the weight.  Over the next few days pick it up.  It should get lighter as water evaporates.  When it stops getting lighter, it’s time to water again.

Watering your succulents daily, as with many houseplants, is a sure way to kill them.  I like to say that people kill them with love.  Some signs you might be overwatering your little friends include leaves turning somewhat translucent, yellowing, having a somewhat mushy appearance, and eventually dropping.  Leaves dropping off can be a bit tricky though because some succulent varieties will shed old, bottom leaves as a normal part of their growth.

Finally, are seasonal changes.  Some succulents go through a dormancy period during the winter months.  During this time, they’ll require even less water than normal since they aren’t actively growing.  Then, in the spring, you’ll notice them starting to show signs of new growth as the days get longer.  They’ll start requiring more water, and this is also a good time to fertilize them with a dilute houseplant mix.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

The Best Indoor Succulents

  • Haworthias (Zebra Cactus)

  • Gasterias

  • Crassulas

  • Aloe Vera

  • Sedum morganianum (Burro’s Tail)*

  • Hens and Chicks

  • Christmas Cactus

  • Snake Plant


*Generally most types of sedum won’t grow well indoors.  This little mule bucks the rules.