We know that plants are great for indoor air quality, but if you’ve got a black thumb, the thought of keeping a house plant alive probably fills you with a little bit of dread. Succulents to the rescue!
Growing succulents requires little water, and once you’ve established your succulents they don’t need much maintenance. These beautiful plants can be a little bit pricey up front, but one other cool feature about succulents is that they’re very easy to propagate. That means you can invest in just one or two plants to start and use those plants to start your mini succulent garden.
To create your garden, you can cluster a few little potted succulents on a sunny table top or windowsill or you can use one large planter and arrange them there. My friend Jeanee at Finely Crafted is super knowledgeable about growing succulents, and she was kind enough to share some excellent tips about how to keep those succulents alive!
Growing Succulents Indoors
1. Succulents need great drainage. Instead of planting in just potting soil, create a mix of 1/3 Permatill or very small gravel with 2/3 potting soil. This will keep your succulents from drowning!
2. Preventing leaf rot. Succulents like the one in the photo above have leaves that are very close to the soil. To keep the leaves from rotting, put some rocks under the lower leaves.
3. Let them rest. For two days after you plant, don’t water your succulents and keep them out of direct sunlight. They need a little time to bounce back from the shock.
4. Fertilize. Once a month, use a liquid fertilizer diluted to 1/4 strength to feed your succulents. Do you forget to fertilize like I do? Set yourself a recurring reminder on your phone or computer’s calendar! My plants have gone from dying to thriving since I started doing this.
5. Don’t over water. Succulents don’t need a lot of water, so water sparingly – start with once a week and see how they like it, and don’t water if the soil feels moist to the touch. If the leaves stay plump, you’ve hit the sweet spot. If they are looking skinny, it’s time for a little water.
6. Find a sunny window. Succulents do need some sunlight. Give them at least 4 hours of sun each day.
Next: Propagating your succulents
Image Credit: Photo by Becky Striepe
How to Propagate Succulents
See those little shoots that look like mini plants on the succulent pictured above? Those little guys mean your succulent is ready to propagate. Unless you have the hands of a surgeon, you’ll probably lose a few leaves when you transplant your succulent from the pot it came in to its permanent home, and you can use those leave to propagate, too. Here’s how!
1. Pull off the little shoots like in the photo above or gather any leaves that fell off of your plant when you planted it.
2. Set your cuttings to dry in indirect light for a few days.
3. Move your cuttings to a shady spot until they start to form roots.
4. Plant your cuttings in pots filled with the 1/3 gravel and 2/3 potting soil mix, and treat them just like you would your other succulent plants.
Your succulents will continue to send out shoots like these and sometimes lose leaves, and that’s OK! If you run out of room to plant more, I bet you can find a friend who would appreciate the chance to start her very own succulent garden from your cuttings!
Next: 10 DIY recycled succulent planters
Image Credit: Photo by Becky Striepe
10 DIY Recycled Succulent Planters
1. Burlap planter – You can make a burlap succulent planter – like in the photo above – from a disposable plant pot!
2. Succulent end table – Grab a small drawer from an old, dilapidated dresser and transform it into a small succulent planter that’s great for a sunny corner spot.
4. Yard accessories to indoor planters – My pal Nancy at Surviving and Thriving on Pennies reclaimed an old fountain and a bird bath and filled both with succulents that a neighbor gave her.
5. Brick planter – This one requires a little bit of power tool action. Create a small brick succulent planter.
7. Use a shoe – Find a cute pair of shoes at the thrift store and use them to plant a couple of succulents, just like at the Alamo Square Shoe Garden, pictured above.
8. Tiered succulent planter – Grab some old bowls and small juice glasses and create a multi-level succulent planter!
9. Gutter window box – Turn a length of gutter into a fresh succulent window box! The ReStore is a great place to find old gutters.
10. Pallet planter – Got a whole sunny wall that could do with some green? Check out this graphic on how to make a succulent planter from a reclaimed wood pallet.
Are you growing a succulent garden? I’d love to hear about how you designed it! Succulents are so versatile!