How to take care of succulents to ensure they grow healthy

by Maria Konou

Succulents are desert natives, which became one of the most versatile and low-maintenance indoor plants. Maybe you have had some bad luck before and ended up killing a succulent, or you are a gardening beginner thinking of buying your first. No matter where you are in your gardening journey, we are here to help you take care of your succulents to make sure they grow nice and healthy. Even if these plants are easy to care for and can even be neglected, there is still important information you need to know in order to take good care of your new succulent. In this article, we will show you how to take care of succulents to ensure they live a long and happy life. And remember, all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti!

Succulents are one of the most low-maintenance indoor plants

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Are succulents easy to care for?

As long as you make sure that your succulents have lots of sunshine and good soil, they are relatively easy to keep alive. Growing succulents indoors can be a bit trickier but with these next few tips, you will be alright!  Just remember to not keep your succulent near vents, air conditioners, electronics, and dark shady corners! Don’t worry, these next tips we will share will show you how to properly take care of succulents!

Taking care of your succulent is not as hard as it may seem

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What are the benefits of succulent plants?

Here are some of the benefits of growing succulents at home

  • Succulents can brighten your home no matter the climate
  • They can help purify the air in your home
  • Succulents improve humidity in your home
  • They add fresh oxygen to your environment
  • Succulents can help improve your focus
  • They can increase your pain tolerance
  • They can enhance your memory

Succulents absorb available carbon dioxide in the environment and give off oxygen

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Do succulents bloom?

Yes, they do! However, indoor succulents don’t always bloom and grow flowers as outdoor ones do. If you keep your plant happy and healthy and hope for the best, maybe you can be surprised with a beautiful blooming succulent.

Sadly, indoor succulents do not always bloom unlike outdoor ones

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Indoor succulents are just as pretty even without their flowers

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What are the best succulents to grow indoors?

Here is a list of the best succulents you can grow indoors:

  • Burro’s tail
  • Christmas cactus
  • Christmas kalanchoe
  • Crown of thorns
  • Hens-and-chicks
  • Jade plant
  • Medicine plant
  • Mother-in-law tongue or snake plant
  • Panda plant
  • Pebble plant or living stone
  • Pencil cactus
  • String of bananas
  • String of pearls
  • Zebra cactus

Succulents come in many different shapes and sizes 

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How often should you water succulents?

Watering is the most crucial step for keeping your new succulent happy and healthy. It is said that 99% of caring for your succulent has to do with the watering! Most beginner gardeners tend to overwater succulents because it is actually quite easy to do so. That is why it is so important to know how and when to water your plants. The first you have to remember is to not even think about watering succulents daily because that will immediately kill them! They like to have their roots soaked with water, but then dry out quickly. So, water them when dry and never if the soil is wet or moist. What’s more, when watering your plant, you need to stop when you see water exiting through the drainage hole of the pot. After that, just let the succulent dry completely before thinking about watering it! Another important thing to remember is that succulents have a dormant period when they do not require as much water. Generally, this happens during the colder months of the year, when they are not actively growing.

Overwatering is the biggest issue that might arise with your succulents

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Succulents need to be watered less in the colder months 

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Overwatering can lead to mushy brown leaves and root rot

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Do all succulents need direct sunlight?

Yes! In general, outdoor succulents need about 6 full hours of bright, indirect sunlight every day. However, this is a harder mission for indoor plants. So, make sure to place your succulent near a window that receives light all day. Just make sure to situate your succulent in the brightest part of your home in order to ensure it will be happy. Ideally, you should give your succulents full sun in the morning and then bright or dappled shade the rest of the day. Succulents need adequate light so they can grow balanced and don’t they stretch. If your new succulent has been growing in a low-light environment, you should introduce it to the sunlight gradually to avoid damaging the plant.

Most succulents love the warm touch of the sun

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Can succulents burn in the sun?

Sadly, yes! If you live in Arizona, for example, you can easily burn your succulent in the scorching sun. Sunburn damage appears as permanent beige or brown patches and spots that can eventually kill the plant. Some succulents that cannot tolerate full sun include Sansevierias, Haworthias, and Variegated. However, this makes them perfect indoor plants. We suggest that you carry a little online research about the specific succulent species you buy. That way, you can be completely sure what this species requires in terms of light exposure. Does it like to bathe in sunlight all day, or does it require some time to rest away from the powerful sun rays?

Make sure not to leave your plants in direct sunlight for too long because they might burn

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What is the best soil for succulents?

The best soil for succulents is a coarse, fast-draining mix, which is coarser than regular soil. Moreover, this allows more air to flow through and promote evaporation. It is crucial that the soil does not trap moisture, since that can be detrimental for your succulents. The best and easiest thing you can do is to purchase a succulent-friendly soil mix. Since this soil mimics the natural soil succulents like to grow in, they will tolerate it the best. Another option for you is to try making your own succulent soil at home. Just combine pine bark fines, turface, and crushed granite. It is important that you find or make a soil option that will ensure your succulents are growing healthy in materials that pull away excess moisture from them.

Making your own soil mix is cheaper, but it takes more effort

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What is the best fertilizer for succulents?

Even the low-maintenance desert succulents benefit from fertilization. The best timing for it is spring and then once again late summer. When the days get longer, the new growth of the succulents begins. So, make sure to purchase a balanced, all-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer, which you can dilute to half strength. What’s more, make sure to read the instructions on the package. Succulents don’t require any fertilization in the cold months, since they are dormant. If they are not actively growing, there is no need for that extra boost.

Fertilize all your succulents in spring and late summer

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When do succulents need repotting?

The best time to repot your succulents is before their growth period, which happens in spring and summer. That way, you will ensure that the plants have enough time to recover from the repotting. Generally, there are a few reasons why your succulent might need repotting. For example, newly purchased succulents come in small plastic pots, which might not be ideal for their health. Moreover, if you see that your current succulents are outgrowing their pots, it is a sign you should rehome them. Other reasons for repotting succulents include soil that traps too much moisture, a sick plant, or the growth of succulent pups.

Repotting is necessary when you see many succulent pups forming

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Experiment with the pots and decoration of your succulents for a cute look

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See this YouTube video if you are unsure how to repot and take care of your succulents:

Maria Konou

Maria Konou is a specialist in the field of digital marketing and fashion. However, she has always had a way with words. That’s what led her to her dream job here at Archzine. She has worked in many different fields over the years, but according to her, being an author has been the most rewarding. Maria is a huge plant enthusiast, loves everything fashion-related, is very sustainably aware, and is always open to learning about new things.