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Taking Care of Succulents Indoors

This post shares my top tips for taking care of succulents indoors.

6 tips for taking care of succulents indoors!

Hey, plant killers! Yes, I’m talking to you. I used to be one of you. But now I am feeding a hefty plant addiction in my house. And guess what? All it took to keep my plants alive was a little homework.

Today I am going to share some tips about growing and taking care of succulents indoors. Many succulents are difficult to kill, so they can make great plants for beginners. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need love, too!

succulents in a concrete pot

Succulent care overview

  • Opt for pots with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
  • Terracotta pots can help regulate soil moisture due to their absorbent nature.
  • Use soil specifically designed for succulents.
  • Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings.
  • Signs of overwatering include yellowing, cracking, or mushy leaves.
  • Place succulents in bright, sunny locations; low light leads to legginess and stretching.
  • Rotate pots occasionally to ensure even growth and prevent legginess.
  • Look out for common pests like mealybugs, aphids, and fungus gnats.
  • Spring and summer are the best times for propagation using leaf or stem cuttings.

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1. Choose the right pot

Drainage is critical for maintaining healthy succulents. It’s best to plant in something with a hole in the bottom. If you use a plain terracotta pot, the absorbant clay material will help to regulate soil moisture as well.

However, this is not entirely necessary. I have succulents planted in pots that are painted and glazed. And I also have them planted in upcycled vessels like tins and cups!

If you want to plant your succulent in something without a drainage hole, see my article on How to Drill a Hole in a Ceramic Pot. You could also consider leaving your plant in the plastic planter it came in and setting it down into a prettier outer pot.

succulents indoors on a shelf

2. Plant in well-draining soil

Generally succulents have evolved to grow in poor-quality soils that are very well-draining and high in things like sand and rocks. Therefore, you should plant your succulents in a soil that closely replicates this composition.

You can pick up a bag of soil specifically designed for succulents at your local garden center or buy a mix online. I also have a tutorial for How to Make Succulent Soil at home using houseplant soil, sand, and perlite.

small cactus in a black and gold pot

3. Water sparingly

Watering is a critical part of taking care of succulents indoors. But it doesn’t have to be hard. Most people tend to overwater their succulents, which can lead to rot.

I water most of my succulents only after the soil has dried out completely. Remember that succulents are accustomed to growing in arid climates with well-draining soil. The roots do not like sitting in water for long.

Yellowing, cracking, mushy leaves are signs of over-watering. On the other hand, succulents can sometimes look wrinkly and puckered when they need water. Always check the soil moisture as your guide.

succulents indoors on a shelf

4. Give plenty of light

Succulents like bright light. Most of my plants are in windowsills or in rooms that generally get decent sun. Lack of light will kill a succulent or prevent it from growing to its full potential.

You’ll know when your plants aren’t getting enough light because they will start to look “leggy,” which means that they are stretching up and toward the sun. They are crying out for more sun, so don’t ignore them! Snip the plant down and give it some more light.

Likewise, if your plants aren’t getting leggy but seem to be bending toward the sun, you can rotate their pots occasionally to make sure they grow straight. However, many varieties of succulents can be beautiful when they drape to one side and spill over a pot.

large donkey tail succulent plant

5. Monitor for pests

It’s important to know how to prevent, spot, and get rid of pests when taking care of succulents indoors. People rarely think about pests until they encounter their first pest issue. Here are the most common pests to look out for.

  1. Mealybugs: These small, soft-bodied insects often appear as white cottony masses on the leaves or stems of succulents. They feed on plant sap, causing damage to the foliage. Read more about Treating Mealybugs on Houseplants.
  2. Aphids: Aphids are tiny insects that you’ll often find clustered on the undersides of leaves or near new growth. They also feed on plant sap and can weaken succulents if their population grows unchecked. Use an over-the-counter insecticide spray to spray down your plant and kill aphids.
  3. Fungus Gnats: These tiny flies lay eggs in the top few inches of your plant’s, and they like moist soil. While they won’t generally harm the plant, overwatering often leads to fungus gnats moving in—and overwatering can certainly kill a succulent. Read about How to Get Rid of Gnats in Houseplants for more.
haworthia succulent indoors in a white and gray pot

6. Propagating succulents

I have a whole post about Propagating Succulents From Leaves and Cuttings—here’s an overview. The best time to propagate is in the spring and summer using either a leaf or a plant cutting depending on the variety.

If propagating a cutting, take one from the tip of a plant’s stem; remove the bottom-most set of leaves to expose growth points. Allow the cutting to dry for a few days, then plant in succulent soil.

Keep the soil a tad more moist than you would a fully grown succulent to help encourage root growth. Once the cutting roots and begins producing new growth, reduce watering levels to normal levels.

To propagate a leaf, remove a few and lay out over soil. Moisten the soil and make sure it stays relatively moist. Do not bury the leaves. Not all propagated leaves will succeed, so I recommend taking a few leaves to try!

rooting succulent cuttings in soil
Stem cuttings rooting in a tray
Leaf cutting growing on soil

In conclusion…

In this guide, I’ve shared what you need to know to help your indoor succulents flourish. Remember, proper potting, the right soil mix, and careful watering are essential. Giving them enough light and being vigilant about pests will ensure your succulents stay healthy and beautiful. 

Have any succulent success stories or questions? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below. Happy planting!

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  1. angie says:

    plant killer I have been known to be with these tips maybe that streak can end
    come see us at

  2. JoDitt says:

    Thanks for these tips for plant-killers like me. 😉

  3. Mari says:

    Great share Brittany, I am a huge lover of these beauties dedicated several posts to just them on my site. They take up lots of real estate in my windows especially lol. Thanks for sharing with us over at Turn It Up 🙂

    • Brittany Merth says:

      Same here, and thanks for stopping by! I can’t seem to stop filling my windows with them. Good thing we just moved from an apartment to a townhouse. 🙂

  4. Christine says:

    I’ve been looking for tips to care for succulents! Thanks for sharing! Stopping by from Create and Create.

    • Brittany Merth says:

      You are welcome Christine! Thanks for visiting and I’m glad you found them helpful 🙂

  5. Julie says:

    You are spot on with all of this. I love succulents especially because they are so good tempered but your are right that most problems they have are caused by over watering.
    I have had most success taking cutting of jade plants (money trees) just snap them off and they root – so much fun, and the aloe type plants where they throw out little babies round the bottom that you can just pull out and pot up.
    Yours all look super healthy so you are definitely doing it right!

    • Brittany Merth says:

      Thank you Julie! I need to get an aloe plant–my parents have a massive one that they just broke up into a bunch of pots, and I think I’m getting one!

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