So, you are considering growing succulents indoors, but you are relatively new to the entire concept so understandably you are wondering about how to get the absolute best out of the plants alongside how you avoid killing them by doing something wrong. Well, as with any kind of plant, there are various things that you can do that will make a real difference to the overall growth of the plant and being aware of those things will lead to you having a stronger and healthier plant.
However, the difficulty is in actually narrowing down the information and tips that can make a difference, so in an attempt to do this we are going to look at six key areas that you should give some special consideration to.
Tip 1: Dealing with Water.
The first tip is to do with water because get this particular balance wrong and you are going to be inviting a whole host of problems and diseases into your plant that can then be either terminal or else difficult to remove. However, understanding the watering situation is a lot easier than you perhaps think and there is nothing to be scared of with it.
What you have to remember is that succulents love dry conditions so clearly you are going to have to avoid giving them too much water or else they are going to have problems in dealing with it. However, they are going to need water from time to time in order to survive, so the main tip that we have here is to make sure that you allow the plants to pretty much dry out completely before you give them some more. Also, do not drench them as that is going to really set them back.
Tip 2: Dealing with Light Issues.
Another tip is connected to dealing with light issues because as you would expect, succulents love a lot of light considering they are desert plants so they are not short of sun. Now, providing them with ample natural light indoors for them to thrive and be a success is going to be impossible as we are talking about at least 8 hours of quality light per day.
However, there is a solution and that solution is to use LED grow lights. Not only will those lights provide what the plants need in order to then take the light and convert it into energy, Furthermore, LED lights are also able to emit some heat which is also going to be beneficial to those succulents as they are going to be searching for conditions that replicate the natural world. The most efficient way of doing this regarding light is grow lights as nothing else will come close to it and LED versions will also be able to provide the correct spectrum of light to encourage substantial growth.
Tip 3: Dealing with Temperature.
Now, we have already stated how succulents are desert plants so that will immediately tell you about the temperatures that they are going to need in order to survive. As you are looking at growing them indoors it does mean that you have a very specific challenge regarding keeping the plants at the correct temperature so that they are able to grow in the manner that they want to.
However, here is one thing that is often overlooked by most people, succulents are going to be hardier than you expect. You must remember that the desert does get cold at night but it is just that they are unable to sustain living at a cold temperature for any prolonged period of time.
Generally speaking, succulents are going to be looking for daytime temperatures that range anywhere from 70F to 85F on a daily basis and the temperature at night to be around 50F to 55F. Consider checking the temperature where you are storing them on a regular basis to make sure that it does not dip below that especially if you live in an area where there are very real winters.
Tip 4: Dealing with Potting Soils.
Here is another tip that is important as it does deal with the issue of making sure that you are using the correct potting soil for your succulents. They are very specific in what they like and, once again, it goes back to where they are more used to growing which is in the desert.
As you would expect, succulents are not big advocates of living in waterlogged conditions. They hate the idea of soil being heavy and it retaining moisture for any period of time as that is just going to attack their roots and open them up to the very real possibility of disease and rot.
In other words, if you are looking at growing succulents indoors, then you are going to have to make sure that the potting soil that you use is very well draining at all times. There really is no other option available for you if you are serious about getting the plants to grow in the manner that they would out in the wild.
There are specialized mixes out there that are for these exact types of plants so that is certainly one option as you will then know for absolute certainty that you are putting them into the correct soil and one in which they will thrive. However, if you cannot find that specialist mix then do not worry as there are other solutions. Ideally, you should purchase a light potting mix and then add a substantial amount of perlite to the mix. That is going to increase the amount of air that can get throw the soil and it will also speed up the drainage leading to those perfect soil conditions.
Alternatively, consider adding some pebbles into the bottom of the container or mix some sand throughout the soil if you are unable to get perlite as it will do just as good a job.
One other thing that you need to remember is that succulents do not generally throw out deep roots. In actual fact, there is a tendency for them to stay relatively close to the surface and that is going to make it even more important that you do not add too much water as it has a long way to go in order to get through the root system and the wrong soil will only make matters worse.
Tip 5: Dealing with Containers.
Now, what kind of container do you think is going to be best when growing succulents indoors? Well, if you thought that it was just a case of choosing one that you liked the look of and planting it, then think again as there is more to it than just doing that.
The best advice that we can give you is to make sure that you grow them in an unglazed pot rather than plastic, glass, or something that is glazed with a rather cool design. The reason for this is actually rather simple.
You see, with an unglazed pot (which includes Terra cotta) you are using a material for a container that is quite porous in nature. Because of this, the air can flow through the container and to the roots keeping the soil cooler and also helping it to dry out faster. Plastic pots will hold onto the moisture for longer and when you are dealing with a plant that is not to happy in a lot of water then you can see how this can be an issue.
Tip 6: Dealing with Fertilizer.
So, the final tip is connected to the amount of feeding that you are going to have to do when growing succulents indoors but the rules that you need to abide by are actually rather simple to understand.
During the summer months, you should always add fertilizer just as you would do with a normal houseplant but do avoid over feeding them as they are not exactly the hungriest of plants out there. However, you should cease adding fertilizer in the winter when their growth does slow down and we strongly recommend using a slow-release fertilizer to just make things easier for you.
These plants do need their nutrients and you need a well balanced fertilizer to make sure that they are getting everything that they need.
So, there you have it six important tips for anybody that is looking at growing succulents indoors. The key thing is to just enjoy the experience and do not overthink about the things that you are going to have to do in order to get these plants to grow successfully as they are not as difficult or as scary as you may have thought.
The key is just to provide them with the correct amount of light, water, and the correct soil that is capable of draining without any problems and you will hopefully not have to deal with any major issues during the lifetime of the plant. Growing succulents indoors is fun and easy to do even for new growers so give it a go and see how successful you are.