Succulents are plants that have thick and fleshy tissue that are adapted to storing water inside them. A few succulents like cactus do not have leaves and keep water in the stem itself. Other plants, such as agaves, store water in their leaves. Most succulents have a broad or deep root system.
Since succulents can retain water, they can grow well in warm and dry climates and withstand some neglect. This makes them well suited to be raised as indoor plants and is ideal for people who want plants with low maintenance.
However, any plant needs to be cared for well to help them grow and keep them alive. The same goes for succulents. This article will give you all the information you need to know about caring for succulents indoors .
1. Choosing The Best Succulents To Grow Indoors
Indoor plants are great when you want to decorate your room and make it look appealing. Not all plants are easy to grow indoors, and you need to choose the best succulents to grow indoors. Majority of the succulents like sunlight to directly fall over them.
But if you have an environment full of shade, such as your home, you need to choose a tolerant plant to low light. A good example is the mother-in-law tongue. If you want to grow your indoor succulents inside a hanging planter, a trailing type of succulent like the string of bananas is a great choice.
Before choosing a succulent, you need to read all the plant labels to determine the light needs, the size, and the spread required for your indoor succulents.
2. Choose The Best Location
Succulents can be grown in different locations. Most succulents in the market prefer to receive 6 hours of sunlight every day which is enough light for growing. It is best to keep them near an east or south-facing window. If your succulent cannot get enough light, you will notice them stretching or getting spindly towards the light.
3. Choose A Container With Drainage
When you repot your succulent from the nursery, it is essential to find a pot or a container with drainage holes and one that is larger than the nursery pot by at least 1 or 2 inches. It is best to avoid glass containers like mason jars and terrariums as a pot for the long term. This is because these containers dont let the succulent roots breathe, causing root rot to occur that can also kill the plant.
One should fill the lower one-third of the pots with a pre-moistened potting mix.
4. Choosing The Best Soil
Succulents are usually grown in nurseries where the potting soil is way too rich and where the soil retains a lot of moisture. As soon as you get your succulent home, it would be best if you repotted it. It would be best if you started with a good potting soil mix with good drainage and aeration.
In the nursery, you can easily find cactus and succulent soil mixes. You can even go for an African violet mix for your succulent. To improve the drainage and aeration further, you can add perlite or pumice to the African violet mix or cactus mix. It is important to wet the mixture before using it.
5. Fertilizer Needs For Indoor Succulents
Succulents need nutrients such as fertilizers along with sunlight for them to get nourished well. Succulents benefit from getting fertilizers in the months of spring and summer. The fertilizer should be a well-balanced, water-soluble, and all-purpose fertilizer. This needs to be diluted the half of its strength compared to the instructions on the package. One cannot directly fertilize the plant without following these instructions as it can even kill it.
There is no requirement to fertilize succulents in the winter months when they are semi-dormant. Since they are not growing very actively in this period, they don’t require it. Along with knowing what to do, it is essential to know what not to care for succulents.
6. Watering Succulents
It is known that all plants require water as an essential nutrient. However, excess moisture can cause damage to them. You can water your succulents more, but remember to water them less frequently as they don’t need much water.
One can saturate the potting mix entirely while ensuring the water can flow out from the drainage hole. Succulents get enough water already, so the drainage holes allow excess water to escape from the soil. It would be best if you let the water dry out before you start to water it again. If the potting mix stays wet all the time, the succulent can die quickly.
7. Bugs On Succulents
Having your succulents infested by insects can be disheartening, especially if you are someone who is creeped out by insects. These insects can quickly go undetected as they can hide under the leaves of the plant. But your succulent will start showing some signs of infestation sooner or later. They will begin to look sick or get discolored.
One of the most common bugs on succulents that attack them often is mealy bugs. If you see white cottony substances on your succulent, it may be a mealy bug that has found the conditions comfortable for its growth.
One can spot this white fluff before you see the bugs on your succulents. These can also spread from plant to plant.
You can apply to rub alcohol through a spray bottle. This is ideal as alcohol will not cause any damage to the plant. You can also use dish soap instead of alcohol on your succulents.
How quickly do the insects disappear?
Unfortunately, they do not disappear immediately after one treatment. Often you might have to repeat the treatment once every week till the insects go away and the plant is healthy again. It is best to make sure the plant is insect free before placing another one close to it.
As seen above in this article, many factors can allow the plant for a long time. If these tips are not followed, the plant can stop growing and may not survive. From the drainage hole to indoor conditions, enough watering and sunlight, succulents need the care to survive.
You also cannot use just any kind of soil and container for your plants. You need to make sure it is not a glass container and fertilize it during summer and not winter. When these tips are followed, and you take proper care of your plants, we are sure that there will be little to no problems like a plant rot regarding your indoor gardening, at least concerning succulents.
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.