I have a few succulents that I have grown indoors for several years. Not every succulent can be a houseplant and if you grow them indoors they are not all the same due to different growing conditions. Some succulents can be finicky but if you find the right one for your home or apartment environment you can be successful. Many of these plants are toxic to dogs and cats, so if you have a furry friend please check the ASPCA site of toxic plants.
Planting succulents indoors is not that different when compared to other houseplants. Make sure the pot you use has a drainage hole and you use a well-drained potting soil. I use a soil that is specifically for succulents.
Here are some of our favorite succulents for growing indoors:
Aloe Vera is known for offering health and beauty benefits. The leaves have thick juice/sap which can be used topically on burns and scrapes. Aloe Vera is a great choice for a beginning gardener because it is tough and easy to care for. This succulent will flower in orange, pink, red, and yellow, but it will take several years for a bloom to show up. The thick green leaves are sometimes flecked with white spots. These succulents are like cactus as they have a lot of water in their leaves. The soil needs to be kept moist and will need less water in the winter.
Growing Conditions: Aloe Vera loves bright conditions but not direct sunlight. Place it on a shelf, windowsill or another area without direct sunlight. Too much sunlight will dry out the plant and cause the leaves to turn yellow.
Burro’s Tail is also known as Sedum Burrito, Sedum morganianum, or Donkey’s Tail Succulent. The plant is native to Mexico. The plant has rounded fleshy silver-green leaves that have a braided pattern. Burro’s Tail makes an excellent hanging plant but the fleshy leaves are heavy so don’t use a flimsy pot. Don’t overwater as it can rot out the plant. The plant can be divided. Do this when the plant gets too large for the container. Every couple of years it is good to transplant the plant so it gets fresh soil with nutrients
Growing Conditions: Burro’s Tail is happy in bright indirect sunlight but can also do well in low light. Once the plant is established do not move the plant around too much as the leaves might fall off. If this happens don’t worry, the plant will be alright.
Crown of Thorns Plant
The Crown of Thorns Plant is originally from Madagascar and is also called Euphorbia Milii or Christ plant. It is a succulent shrub with dark green leaves and multiple stems. There are thorns on the branches. The thorns are soft so they are not a problem to work with. The plants first became popular during Victorian times. This evergreen plant is also drought resistant. The plant flowers in the spring until the late summer. This is another plant that adapts to indoor conditions well. Fertilize the plant with a liquid houseplant fertilizer and do it every two weeks in spring, summer, and fall. In the winter, use half the strength and only do it monthly.
Growing Conditions: The best locations for Crown of Thorns houseplants are a sunny window where it can get 3 to 4 hours of direct sunlight each day. The plant can withstand temperatures as low as 50 degrees in the winter and 90 degrees in the summer. When watering the plant in the spring through late fall, flood the pot with water and empty the saucer when all excess water has drained. This will help prevent root rot. In the winter you can water the plant less.
This succulent is easy to grow indoors and is quite resilient. The plant has a thick, woody stem with oval-shaped leaves. It almost looks like a little tree. The warm dry growing conditions found in most homes work well for this plant. During the summer and spring growing season the plant needs to have more water than during the dormant season of fall and winter. During the growing season, do not overwater it as the plant could rot. Jade plants like to be crowded so there is no need to repot them, but it is probably best to change the soil. Mature Jade plants will flower in late winter or early spring if during the rest period they do not receive too much water, they are not fertilized, and in the evening they are in full darkness.
Growing Conditions: Jade plants need at least 4 hours of direct sunlight each day. Younger plants do best in bright, indirect sunlight. A more mature, well-established plant can handle direct sunlight. Southern and western facing windows are great locations for catching the best light. If your home is too hot the plant will go dormant and the leaves will fall off.
Another name for Panda Plant is Kalanchoe Tomentosa and Chocolate Soldier. This succulent is native to Madagascar and is another plant that is good for a novice gardener. The plant is a slow-growing succulent and has curious foliage. The leaves on this succulent are furry and have reddish-brown spots on the tips of the leaves. Outdoors this plant can grow up to 24 inches tall. Indoors the height of the plant is limited by the size of the container.
Growing Conditions: Panda plants do well in a mixture of bright indirect light, direct light, and shade. A sunny windowsill that is in the shade for some hours during morning or afternoon makes a great location for your panda plant. This plant does not need to be watered often but when you do make sure it is a deep watering. Let the plant dry out between waterings.
The snake plant is also known as mother-in-law’s tongue or sansevieria. This old fashioned hardy houseplant is still quite popular. It adapts to most growing conditions, thus making it an easy to care for plant. There are many varieties of this plant but they all have upright, sword-like foliage that can be banded or edged in gold, gray, or silver. The Snake plant doesn't require pruning because it's such a slow grower.
Growing Conditions: Snake plants never need fertilizer, can handle almost complete neglect and can live happily in indirect light or even partial shade. The plant will grow faster in brighter conditions. Snake plants have low watering needs.
This small succulent is one of the most popular to grow indoors because it is attractive and low maintenance. This is one of the succulents I grow on my kitchen windowsill. The leaves are dark green and thin with a white ridge that resembles a zebra. To showcase the white spots plant it in a solid container. It is often confused with Aloe plants. These plants are small and slow-growing but they do produce offshoots or “pups” that can be potted to form new plants.
Growing Conditions: Zebra plants can go weeks without being watered. This plant is tolerant of under-watering. Grow them in a room away from direct sunlight and make sure the room has average warmth. Direct sunlight will make the leaves turn an ugly red, purple, or brown color. If the plant is in a location with too much shade it will weaken the plant and it might turn a lighter green color. In the winter, keep them away from heating units.
Let us know if you give any of these a try!