How to Keep Succulents Alive in Your Home
Naturally, succulents are outdoor plants that thrive in dry and arid environments. They are mostly kept outside in backyards, however they have become increasingly popular as home décor pieces in people’s homes. Although keeping succulents indoors seems counterintuitive, it can actually be done successfully if you give them the proper care they require.
Choose the right succulents for indoors
Not all succulents are suitable for placement in homes because they all have varying light requirements. Succulents that are more low light tolerant such as the Haworthia, Snake Plant or Crassula Ovata will fare better indoors than most other succulent varieties such as Echeveria and Sempervivum. They are harder to maintain indoors but it is not impossible to do so. Before you purchase your succulents, you should read the labels or description to identify the light and water requirements so you can be prepared. Here's some of the best succulents for indoors.
Use pots with drainage holes
Despite the growing trend of ‘succulent terrariums’, remember not to fall into the hype. Most of the time they are a death sentence to the succulents as they are hard to maintain and usually lead to root rot (same goes for houseplants, except there are plants that are more suitable for terrariums). Use a plant pot that has holes at the bottom so that excess water can drain out instead of pooling at the roots. Drainage holes also allow the succulent roots to breathe.
Plant them in the correct soil
Succulents like loose draining soil that has been mixed with sand, perlite or pumice to allow water to drain and the roots to breathe. If you use a low quality potting mix, roots won’t be able to grow properly and any water you pour won’t penetrate the soil evenly. With a good quality potting mix, there should be less of a likelihood for root rot.
Make sure there’s enough light
Without light, your succulents will grow etiolated which means they will be abnormally tall and leggy instead of retaining their shape or growing wider. When this happens, they are stretching to ‘reach’ more light. Indoor succulents are best placed on a window sill or next to a window that receives plenty of bright sunlight.
Water sparingly and directly into the soil
Unlike your average houseplant, the water requirements for succulents is very low. One of the biggest problems newbies face when it comes to succulents is overwatering. The rule of thumb for watering succulents is to remember that less is more. Before you water your succulents again, you need to allow the potting mix to dry out slightly first. If kept damp daily, the succulent is at risk of root rot and other problems such as fungus gnat infestation.
If you remember these 5 tips, you and your succulents will have a much longer-lasting relationship in your home. Take note of the succulent’s light and water requirements, choose pots with drainage holes, use a suitable potting mix and you’ll be all set.