How to Plant Succulents Indoors


Succulents are cute, versatile plants that can thrive both indoors and out! They make perfect indoor houseplants for small spaces, provided that you have a sunny windowsill. Get your set-up ready first by choosing a type of succulent, a well-drained container, and a well-draining soil. Then carefully pot your succulent in its new home as soon as possible to help it thrive. Care for your succulent by providing it with plenty of sunlight and a bit of water whenever the soil feels dry.

Part 1
Choosing Succulents, Containers, and Soil

Choosing Succulents, Containers, and Soil on How to Plant Succulents Indoors

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While succulents are relatively easy to grow indoors, some varieties are easier than others! Stick to the Haworthia, Jade, or Gasteria varieties if you are unsure about what types to start with. All of these types are relatively drought-resistant and tend to grow well in indoor environments.[1] If you’re in doubt about what sort of succulent to choose, pick one with green leaves such as agave or aloe. Succulents with green leaves tend to be the most forgiving and grow best indoors, compared to the purple, grey, or orange-leaved varieties.[2] Zebra Plants have glossy green leaves with silver veins, creating a zebra-like appearance. They also have bright yellow flowers when they bloom. Gollum Jade succulents have green, tube-shaped leaves with red tips. Small white flowers form in winter.

Choosing Succulents, Containers, and Soil on How to Plant Succulents Indoors

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You’ll find a wide variety of different terra-cotta pots available at your local gardening center! Pick a container that is just a bit bigger than the succulent to start with. Terra-cotta pots are ideal because they’re breathable, dry well, and draw water away from the soil. You can also choose a ceramic, metal, or plastic pot if you prefer, provided that it has good drainage.[3] Holes for water drainage are essential, as succulents need to dry out their roots in order to survive. The roots will begin to rot otherwise.[4] Succulents tend to grow as big as the pot they’re in. Glass pots don’t tend to work well for succulents, as there usually aren’t drainage holes.

Choosing Succulents, Containers, and Soil on How to Plant Succulents Indoors

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64 cm) particles to provide the best drainage. Succulents thrive in soils that drain well, so you need to pick a loosely compacted soil that will draw the water away. You can either choose a specialty succulent soil such as a cactus mix or make your own succulent-friendly soil. Simply mix 4 parts of regular gardening soil with 1 part of pumice, perlite, or turface to create a gritty, chunky mix.[5] Crushed lava is also a good option.[6]

Part 2
Potting Succulents

Potting Succulents on How to Plant Succulents Indoors

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Succulents are often sold in small, plastic pots with very poorly drained soil. In order for your succulent to thrive, it needs to get out of that soil as soon as possible! Squeeze the plastic pot and gently pull the succulent upwards to remove it. If the succulent feels stuck, use scissors to cut the plastic pot away from the roots.[7]

Potting Succulents on How to Plant Succulents Indoors

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Succulent roots tend to be quite shallow and brittle, so do your best to protect these as you go about planting. Gently fill the sides of the pot with the soil, being careful not to damage the roots. Continue supporting the succulent until the pot is full and the succulent feels secure.[8] If you're having trouble getting the soil around the roots, use your fingers to push and arrange the soil.

Potting Succulents on How to Plant Succulents Indoors

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Succulents don’t mind sharing a pot as long as each plant has breathing space. Leave a gap that's approximately 3–4 in (7.6–10.2 cm) between each succulent to ensure that the air can flow well and that each plant gets plenty of light.[9] Outdoor succulents are fine being clumped close together because there is greater light and air flow in outdoor environments. Succulents naturally grow in warm, arid climates, which is why they require good air circulation to survive.[10]

Part 3
Caring for Indoor Succulents

Caring for Indoor Succulents on How to Plant Succulents Indoors

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Generally, indoor succulents love bright light and will thrive. Place the succulent on a sunny south or west-facing windowsill to ensure that it gets plenty of sun. It's okay if the succulent doesn't get full sun all day long, provided that it gets a minimum of 6 hours.[11] If you notice the leaves are getting scorched, try using a sheer curtain to provide the succulent with a bit of protection. Look up the requirements for yourspecific plant. Founder and ownerof Plant Therapy Chai Saechaosays: "Some succulents likedirect sunlight and some don't.If your succulent has a waxy orglossy finish, it will probablydo better in indirect sunlight.If it's more textured and hard,it will likely prefer full sun."Look up the requirements for yourspecific plant. Founder and owner ofPlant Therapy Chai Saechao says: "Somesucculents like direct sunlight andsome don't. If your succulent has awaxy or glossy finish, it willprobably do better in indirectsunlight. If it's more textured andhard, it will likely prefer full sun."Look up the requirements for your specificplant. Founder and owner of Plant TherapyChai Saechao says: "Some succulents likedirect sunlight and some don't. If yoursucculent has a waxy or glossy finish, itwill probably do better in indirectsunlight. If it's more textured and hard, itwill likely prefer full sun."Look up the requirements for your specific plant. Founder and owner ofPlant Therapy Chai Saechao says: "Some succulents like direct sunlightand some don't. If your succulent has a waxy or glossy finish, it willprobably do better in indirect sunlight. If it's more textured and hard,it will likely prefer full sun."Look up the requirements for your specific plant. Founder and owner of PlantTherapy Chai Saechao says: "Some succulents like direct sunlight and somedon't. If your succulent has a waxy or glossy finish, it will probably dobetter in indirect sunlight. If it's more textured and hard, it will likelyprefer full sun."

Caring for Indoor Succulents on How to Plant Succulents Indoors

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Succulents do best when the water is delivered directly to the soil rather than drenched over the whole plant. Find a tool that works for the size of your succulent. For example, pitchers or watering cans are good for larger succulents, while pipettes are best for very young or small plants.[12]

Caring for Indoor Succulents on How to Plant Succulents Indoors

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The easiest way to kill an indoor succulent is by overwatering! Feel the soil every 3-4 days to check the moisture level. Only water the succulent when the water feels completely dry and never when it’s damp or wet. [13] How often you need to water your succulent depends on the variety, the climate, and the size of the plant. When you first get the plant, check the moisture level regularly until you work out what frequency is best.

Caring for Indoor Succulents on How to Plant Succulents Indoors

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Hold the pot over a sink while you water it and keep an eye on the water flow. Use the pitcher, watering can, or pipette to add water directly into the soil and stop the flow immediately when you see the water leaving the container.[14]