Ideas & Inspiration

Tips for Growing Succulents

Pick the Right Plant
Pick the Right Plant

Succulents are heralded as low-maintenance plants, but that designation doesn’t necessarily mean “no maintenance.” For success with succulents right off the bat, go with some of the easier-to-grow varieties such as jade plant.


Generally speaking, a greener leaf indicates an easygoing temperament, which is caused by more chlorophyll. Begin with the verdant varieties and then move on to the grays and blues as you gain confidence.


For landscape plants, try sedums like “Autumn Fire” (an improved Autumn Joy) and sempervivum, the stonecrop known as “hens and chicks.”

Sun Is Good, but Not Too Much
Sun Is Good, but Not Too Much

We imagine that succulents like desert conditions and that means lots of sunshine, correct? Not necessarily. Full, direct sunlight can burn the leaves of some plants. The best light combination for most succulents is bright morning light and filtered afternoon sunshine.


Indoors, place succulents near a sunny window. If you notice the plant getting leggy and stretching for light, move to a brighter location or rotate every few weeks for balanced growth.

Watch the Humidity and the Temperature
Watch the Humidity and the Temperature

In some growing regions, like the Southeastern states, humidity and high temperatures can be a challenge. Succulents are very forgiving plants, and although they prefer a dry environment, most will survive in high humidity. Aim to keep indoor temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.


Succulents store water in their leaves and for this reason, the thicker the leaf, the less water the plant will need. Look for varieties like jade plant, aloe, euphobia and agave.

Use the Proper Potting Mix
Use the Proper Potting Mix

Succulents have shallow roots and require well-draining soil, but not sand. A potting mix formulated for succulents and cacti is the best option.


An unglazed pot will pull water away from the roots and a layer of gravel between the saucer and the pot will help with any overflow of water.

Give Them Breathing Room
Give Them Breathing Room

Succulents need fresh air and ventilation. Layered succulent arrangements are as pretty as any bouquet of roses, but that’s not an ideal environment for the long-term. Give your plants space to breathe and soak up sunlight. Terrarium-style projects are popular with succulents.


Keep in mind that a true terrarium is a sealed environment with plants that produce all the water and nutrition to survive, which creates a moist atmosphere not suitable for succulents. Choose an open container for a terrarium-like home for succulents. See our project on a terrarium made from an old fish tank.