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Are succulents ideal for indoor growing?

Are succulents ideal for indoor growing?

Succulent plants are not ideal for indoor growing, especially at desks. Unless you have a sophisticated LED lighting setup, it is not recommended. Succulents need a lot of natural sunlight, ventilation and in some species even a differential in outdoor temps to ensure that they flower or produce more pups for the next season. A lot of times, even “sunny” windowsills are not enough.

Why succulents appear beautiful indoors

You might then wonder why there are so many photos of succulents shown in interior decorating shots (especially on Pinterest and mags like Better Homes and Gardens) if they do not do well indoors. The answer is simple – they look stylish and trendy. They are used for the photography session and either removed, or if left by the homeowner, are soon replaced when they look terrible or die.

How succulents grow

In their natural habitats, succulents grow in dry, usually hot (although night temperatures can be quite low), harsh conditions but always sunny with little to no shade. (Think rocky deserts.) This is why most succulents have a waxy type coating on their leaves and all have thick swollen leaves where they store water.

The two Haworthia species such as Haworthia fasciata (Zebra plant) or Haworthia attenuata look nice and will live for quite a while under less than ideal conditions. But do not expect them to grow much.

To extend their life, only water them occasionally and lightly. Otherwise, they’ll end up rotting. Choose your plant(s) in a somewhat larger size – not a small one expecting it to grow bigger – since it will remain at that size for as long as it stays on your desk.

A lot of people still do it anyway growing succulents indoor, but you will most likely end up with etiolated succulents that have stretched and lost their colors. 

Tara Joy
A plant lover who loves nature and likes to share gardening tips.

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