Cacti & Succulents (1)

Have you tried growing succulents indoors? Many an indoor plant lover will have tried to grow their favourite succulents indoors, only to have them yellow, rot away or develop tall lanky and unhealthy growth. Read on for our top tips on growing succulents indoors.


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:


Mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)

A very hardy, low maintenance, slow growing plant with long sword like variegated leaves. Mother-in-law's tongue will tolerate a low levels of light and likes the potting mix to dry out almost completely in between watering.

String of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

A trailing succulent that creates an interesting curtain of bead covered stems.

Donkey’s tail (Sedum morganianum)

Another wonderful cascading succulent with thick bluish green leaves, that’s great for a hanging basket. It needs a brightly lit spot to do well. A word of caution, the individual leaves can fall off the stems with the lightest touch.

Zebra cactus (Haworthia sp.)

Forms clumps of thick, pointed zebra-striped leaves. Grows slowly and makes a striking, low-maintenance desk plant in a brightly lit office.

Panda plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa)

Attractive furry grey-green leaves with brown margins or spots. Position the pot in a brightly lit spot with some direct morning sun.

Mistletoe cactus (Rhipsalis sp.)

Many are native to tropical areas and have masses of long thin cacading stems and leaves. Another perfect succulent for a hanging basket or where the foliage can overflow out of a decorative pot. This is a succulent that can handle humidity.

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!

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