Care of Succulent Plants


Succulents hail from a wide range of species, habitats and regions, some of which are native to desert-like environments and some to tropical areas. When you purchase a succulent plant, keep in mind that the term "succulent" often includes any plant with fleshy, water-storing parts, usually the leaves. These fleshy parts enable succulents to store water to use during times of drought. Succulent plants are most commonly grown indoors as houseplants in all but the hottest climatic regions.

Step 1

Place your succulent in the sunlight exposure recommended for the particular plant species. Some succulents require direct, full sunlight in order to thrive, while others cannot tolerate direct sun during the hottest months. Look on the plant tag that's attached to the nursery container to determine the lighting needs.

Step 2

Water your succulent plants once each week from spring until fall, when the plants are actively growing. Soak the soil until the water drains from the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot.

Step 3

Feed your succulent plants from spring until fall with a 10-10-10 NPK liquid fertilizer at one-quarter of the normal dosage rate. Apply the fertilizer once each week when you water the plants.

Step 4

Repot your succulents once each year into a slightly larger container that has drainage holes in the bottom. Cover the drainage holes with some mesh screening to prevent the potting mix from falling out of the holes, and plant the succulent in a fast-draining potting mix made for cacti and succulents.

Step 5

Provide a rest period for your succulent plants during late fall and winter by decreasing the watering frequency to allow the potting mix to dry out between waterings. Don't fertilize the succulents during this rest period.

Tips and Warnings

  • Watch out for pests infesting your succulent plants, particularly spider mites, scale insects and mealybugs. Get rid of mealybugs and scales by dabbing them with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol or by applying an appropriate systemic insecticide. Spider mite infestations are effectively treated using an approved miticide.

Things You'll Need

  • 10-10-10 NPK liquid fertilizer
  • Planter pots
  • Cacti and succulent potting mix


  • Cactus & Succulent Society of San Jose: Cactus and Succulent Care for Beginners

Who Can Help

  • University of Illinois Extension: Gardener's Corner--Succulent Plants Indoors
Keywords: succulent care, grow succulents, succulent plants

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.