How to Take Care of Succulent House Plants

Overview

Succulents are distinctive plants that are able to survive harsh conditions by storing water in thick, fleshy leaves. Because of their ability to survive with little attention, succulents make convenient houseplants for busy people who don't have time to deal with fussy plants. Succulents include a huge number of interesting and lovely plants including cactus, aloe vera, jade and sedum.

Step 1

Plant succulents in a potting medium that will drain quickly, such as a commercial potting mix formulated for cactus and succulents. You can also make your own potting mixture for succulents by combining equal parts coarse sand, peat moss and garden soil. Add a small handful of bone meal to either potting medium. Use a container with good bottom drainage.

Step 2

Place succulents in bright light or a sunny windowsill. If you live in a low-light environment or you have shady windows, supplement available light with a grow light.

Step 3

Water succulents sparingly when the leaves begin to look droopy. Most succulents will only need watering about once a month. Don't water succulents during the winter. Soggy soil is the enemy of all succulents, which are susceptible to rot.

Step 4

Fertilize succulents once a month during spring and summer, using a liquid houseplant fertilizer. Dilute the fertilizer to quarter or one-third strength, as succulents are light feeders. Don't fertilize succulents during the fall and winter.

Things You'll Need

  • Commercial potting soil for cactus or coarse sand, peat moss and garden soil
  • Bone meal
  • Container with drainage hole
  • Grow light (optional)
  • Liquid houseplant fertilizer

References

  • Washington State University: Growing and Caring for Succulents
  • University of Illinois: Cacti and Succulents as Houseplants
Keywords: succulent house plants, water succulents, plant succulents

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.