Most succulents love an airy spot outdoors in bright sunshine, with free-draining soil that's kept on the dry side. When we bring succulents indoors, we limit the air circulation, significantly reduce the amount of light they receive, often grow them in poorly drained pots and potting mix and then over-love them in the watering department. We also commonly choose succulents that are just not suited to growing indoors. So, how do you balance a succulent addiction with a passion for indoor plants?
Succulent Plant Selection for Growing Indoors
First, it's important to choose the right succulents. Not all succulents will tolerate the lower light levels indoors, even on your sunniest windowsill. Here are some succulent options for growing indoors:
Pot and Potting Mix
Indoor succulents need pots with good drainage holes. It's very important that excess moisture is allowed to escape, as waterlogging is a death sentence for succulents. They also need a gritty, free draining mix that doesn’t hold on to too much moisture, try Yates Specialty Potting Mix and Succulents.
Despite being hardy, succulents will be much healthier when they're fed regularly. Try Yates Thrive Plant Food Spikes Cacti & Succulents - specially designed to provide a balanced blend of slow release nutrients to cacti and succulent plants.
Pests and Diseases
One of the insect pests that plague many succulents is mealy bugs. These sap sucking menaces appear as powdery mounds on stems and leaf bases and can lead to leaves yellowing and distorting, poor plant health and also sooty mould disease due to the sweet honeydew that mealy bugs excrete. A few mealy bugs can be gently scraped away, but for larger infestations take the succulent outside into a shady spot, spray the mealybug infested leaves and stems with Yates Nature's Way Vegie & Herb Spray and allow the spray to dry before bringing the plant back inside. Repeat spray each week as required to get mealy bugs under control.
When watering succulents, avoid watering the leaves (water the potting mix directly) as wet leaves can lead to diseases. And only water when the potting mix feels dry. Over-watering is one of the quickest ways to kill your succulent. And apart from Rhipsalis, don't grow succulents in a humid bathroom - they're desert plants, not rainforest dwellers!