How to care for succulents indoors

Written by diane dilov-schultheis | 13/05/2017
How to care for succulents indoors
Succulent plants grow well indoors as houseplants. (Siri Stafford/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Succulents come in numerous shapes, sizes and colours, and include some remarkable or unusual-looking plants. These plants store water in leaves, stems or roots, and can survive in dry areas for long periods where other plants would certainly die. Cactus is widely known as a succulent, but this group includes many other plants. Growing succulents indoors as houseplants differs slightly than other plants. However, as long as they are provided the basic requirements, they will thrive.

Water the succulents weekly during the growing season. Allow the soil mix to dry before watering in the dormant period. Add water until it drains from the bottom and remove excess water in the tray.

Apply a balanced fertiliser, such as 10-10-10, watered down to one-quarter strength at each watering during the growing season. Do not apply any fertiliser through the winter. Follow the fertiliser's label instructions for application rates.

Place the indoor succulent plants in a location with the best light conditions for the specific plant. Most succulents require bright sunlight all day. Read the markers supplied on the succulents or inquire about this when you purchase them.

Keep the indoor succulent plants in a cool location during the dormant period. The typical winter temperature range is 7.22 to 12.8 degrees Celsius. Many succulents, such as the holiday cactus plants, require cooler temperatures to bloom.

Re-pot succulent plants every one to three years into a pot that's one size larger. Place screening or a coffee filter over the drainage holes, then fill the pot with a cactus mix.

Wear thick gloves or use newspaper or rags to handle succulent plants with thorns or spines when repotting. Bury the plant at the same depth, but do not water for one or two weeks to allow any damaged roots to heal.


Most plants' growth cycles occur from spring through summer and slows in the fall. The plants go dormant in the winter.

Tips and warnings

  • Most plants' growth cycles occur from spring through summer and slows in the fall. The plants go dormant in the winter.

Things you need

  • 10-10-10 Fertilizer
  • Planting pot
  • Screening or coffee filters
  • Cactus mix
  • Gloves, newspaper or rags

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