How to Care for Succulents Indoor [Complete Guide]

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Do you prefer to plant trees or other seeds? Do you feel cherish right after touching the mild, soothing and soft petal? Are you someone who is introvert and loves to show his garden to his girlfriend? If all these questions have yes as their answers, then I would recommend you to add a bold, self-sufficient plant into your garden but this time it will not be cactus, but instead, it is succulents.

What Is Succulent?

The meaning of succulent as it relates to food is juicy or tender. The definition of succulent plants is similar: plants that store water in leaves stems or both. There are many different types, species, and cultivars of them all, is a fascinating assortment of shapes, sizes, colours, and unique features ranging from frills to spines and beautiful flowers.

To define succulents further, cacti are succulents, but not all plants are cacti. They can be native to arid deserts, seaside cliffs, cold mountains, or even steamy jungles. Many will simply melt into mush if exposed to freezing temperatures, but there are quite a few who will grow outside during harsh freezing weather, as far north as Canada.

Benefits of Growing Succulents 

1. They Can Brighten A Home in Any Climate

Succulents make such popular houseplants because of their hardiness and ability to grow in a wide variety of climates. In nature, one can find these plants growing in virtually any clime: from seaside cliffs and humid jungles to bone-dry deserts and frigid mountains. In homes, they thrive in room temperature environments. They will not only add green to your living space any time of the year, but they will also bloom in season, thereby splashing the canvas of your home with colour.

2. They Can Help to Purify the AIR

Plants emit water vapour, and that in turn generates a pumping action that pulls contaminated air down to the roots of the plant. The succulent converts these contaminate to plant food, thereby purifying the atmosphere of your home.

3. They Improve the Humidity of Your Home

Because plants release water, they can enhance the humidity of your house. Increased moisture, in turn, can improve common health complaints, including:

  • A sore throat
  • Common colds
  • Dry cough
  • Dry, itchy skin

4. They Can Add Fresh Oxygen to Your Environment

Unlike most plants, succulents do not release carbon dioxide at night. Instead, they continue to produce oxygen. This continuous burst of oxygen freshens the air in your house and improves your breathing – assuming, of course, you aren’t allergic to the plants. It’s a good idea to position plants in rooms where you feel you need a fresh breath of fresh air, such as the bathrooms or even your kitchen.

5. They Can Improve Your Focus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 11 percent of American children have ADHD. Many adults and children also have less severe issues with attention. But as Richard Louv describes in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods, which introduced the concept of Nature Deficit Disorder, regular exposure to nature – even in the form of houseplants – can help children to focus better.

The Right Type For Indoors:

Here are six succulents that are easy to grow indoors.

1. Jade Plant

Native to South Africa, the jade plant has thick stems and glossy green leaves. Keep jade in bright light and water when the soil feels dry. Be cautious, as jade is commonly killed by overwatering.

2. Aloe Vera 

This prickly plant has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. The sap found on the inner leaves is used to heal wounds and soothe burns. 

3. Zebra Plant 

This striking succulent gets its name from the horizontal stripes covering its leaves. Growing about 5” tall and 6”wide, the zebra plant is tidy, contained and a perfect addition to any small space. Zebra plant requires a moderate amount of sunlight and water.

4. Panda Plant

This plant is characterized by little white hairs, giving it a fuzzy texture. A Madagascar native, panda plant loves the dry, winter air in heated homes. Water as necessary, but just enough to keep the leaves from 

Cautions For Succulents:

While growing succulents indoors, one does not need to work a lot, but there are some paramount keys and essential preventions that one has to take to keep their plants healthy and fresh in the long term. Even these succulents are the ones which can store water in their leaves and can persist in surviving without anyone’s assistance, but it is better to give proper and adequate care to them.

1. Give them breathing room

While there are a few succulent types that do well indoors (including aloe and kalanchoe), the vast majority of these plants hail from warm, arid climates and depend on good air circulation to breathe. So while that succulent terrarium looks adorable, forget about it. You’ll have way more luck keeping your plants outdoors, exposed to the elements.

2. Provide some shade

Despite widespread belief, most succulents do not thrive if blasted with the hottest temps and the fullest sun exposure. While they appreciate a lot of light (and very few survive in full shade), most succulents need sun protection, especially if the temperature hits the 90-degree-mark, or if they’re small. Varieties that are solid green, pale, or variegated are most in danger of sunburn

3. Start with the right soil

Use a fast-draining cactus mix. Or, if you’re of the DIY persuasion, amend a traditional potting soil with coarse perlite, crushed lava, or pumice. A good recipe is one part amendment and four parts potting mix.

4. Fertilizer

Succulents experience the most robust growth during spring and summer. Growth slows in fall, and winter is a time of rest. Fertilize lightly or not at all during winter. In warmer months, feed plants 3-4 times. Use a standard houseplant fertilizer for most, but keep in mind that it is easy to over-fertilize these plants. In most cases, they should be fed lightly or about half what you would feed a regular houseplant.

5. Containers

When you purchase a succulent, slip the pot into a pretty cachepot, and you’ll have instant décor. Or you can transplant these easy-grows-it plants into decorative containers. Most houseplant types have shallow roots so that you can tuck them into shallow bowls or heavy pots. Succulents can’t stand overly moist soil. Make sure containers have drainage holes to allow excess water to exit.

6. Include drainage

Remember—succulent roots hate excess water. Be sure there’s drainage in your container. OK, OK, you’ve caught me in a lie. We sometimes create pretty centrepieces in pots with no waste. But listen—you’ve got to water these compositions especially lightly. And you have to follow all of the other rules.

7. Frost

While some succulents, including certain types of Sedum and Sempervivum, can withstand freezing temps, most cannot. Take care succulent when a cold snap is in the forecast—since succulents are mostly water, their cell walls are prone to bursting, which turns the leaves to mush. When in doubt, assume that any drop below freezing will cause damage or death to your plant. 

8. Get Rid of Bugs

Pests shouldn’t be a problem for indoor succulents, but occasionally you may have to deal with bugs. Gnats are attracted to succulents that are planted in soil that is too wet and doesn’t have proper drainage. To get rid of eggs and larvae, spray the ground with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. Mealybugs are other succulent pest owners have to deal with. Overwatering and over-fertilizing are common causes of mealybugs. Move infected plants away from different succulents and spray with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol.

9. Keep Succulents Clean

“Inevitably, your indoor plants will gradually pick up dust on their surface, which can inhibit their growth,” write Langton and Ray. Wipe off the leaves and spines gently with a damp cloth (use a soft paintbrush to get at hard-to-reach spots).

10. Rotate Succulents Frequently

Succulents love the direct sun, but if yours is sitting in the same spot day after day, only one side is likely getting enough light. Langton and Ray suggest rotating the plant often. Succulents will lean towards the sun, so turning them will help them stand up straight. (Leaning may also be a sign that they need to be in a sunnier spot.)

How Much Light Do Succulents Need?

How much sun your succulents need depends on where you live and if they’re growing indoors or outdoors. If they start showing signs of sunburn, move them right away. Just know that it only takes a few hours for some succulents to burn.

Pruning Succulents

Because they’re slow-growing, succulents don’t need frequent trimming. 

Why is Pruning Necessary?

Pruning succulents aren’t required. However, it’s always a good idea because of its many benefits. Succulents that are pruned every year or two grow more energetic, healthier, and faster. Visually, trimming plants declutters and revives the arrangement.

Every time you prune, look for the following features to trim:

  • Dead or dying leaves/pads.
  • Abnormal-looking growth.
  • Stems outgrowing the pot.
  • Etiolated stems.
  • Dead flower stalks.

If part of your succulent is dying from rot or another disease, it needs to be pruned immediately. The rest can be done all at once every year or so. Learning how to trim a cactus or succulent comes with preparation and practice.

Necessary Materials

To prune succulents, you’ll need the following:

  • Pruning shears.
  • Tweezers.
  • A tray for clippings.
  • Rubbing alcohol or soap.

How to Trim Succulents Professionaly

Step 1: Plan

The first thing to do is to plan your pruning session. The best time depends on what type of succulent you have. Flowering plants should be pruned while dormant and after their blooms have faded. Having recovered from the pruning before the growing season, they’ll be able to put all their energy into flowering again.

Non-flowering succulents should be pruned right before the growing season. This way, the preserved energy can go straight to regrowth.

Step 2: Trim

Before you start pruning, clean your shears with rubbing alcohol or a bleach solution. If using bleach, use one part bleach to nine parts water. Choose a plant to start with and determine what type of pruning you’ll be doing.

Stem Pruning

Focus on the stems if you’re pruning due to oversized plants, flower stalks, or etiolation (stretched out stems). Select a cutting area that’s right above a leaf or stem node. This area will be able to regrow and keep your plant healthy.

Cut the stem at a 45° angle. Be sure to make a clean cut without crushing the stem. Over time, the remaining stem will grow new shoots or rosettes from the wound.

Dead or dying leaves/pads

It’s entirely reasonable for the lower leaves of succulents to die as they age. You can wait for them to fall off themselves or remove them once you notice they’re dying. Leaves that are dying due to rot or another disease must be removed immediately. If left alone, the infection can quickly spread to the rest of the plant.

To remove leaves, simply pluck them off by hand. Cactus pads can be broken off as well. However, never remove just one section of a leaf or pad. If a single part is damaged, the whole thing will have to go. 

Step 3: Preserve

After pruning, healthy tips can be propagated to grow new plants.

Once your succulent is all fixed up, the wounds need to heal. Don’t water the plant until the cuts dry and “scab” over. If you don’t allow them to dry, they can quickly start to rot. Clean up any plant material that’s lying on the soil. Not only does debris look messy, but they will also attract pests.

Instead of throwing away the castoff cuttings, use them for propagation if they’re healthy. Just trim them to the right length, let them dry, and stick them in the soil. Mist the cuttings with a spray bottle until they’ve established roots.

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