Growing Succulents



Succulents, as a general rule, prefer bright indirect light. Specific varieties however may be more tolerant of dimmer or brighter environments. If your succulent lacks proper light it will start to etiolate, a condition where a plant will reach and stretch itself towards the nearest light source. If your succulent has too much light its appearance may take on a “bleached” or yellowish hue.

When changing the amount of light your succulent receives, be sure to gradually acclimate it to the new environment. For instance, putting an indoor succulent outside in direct sun will lead to scorching.


Succulents require a quick-draining soil. Planting in a poor-draining soil will make the succulent susceptible to root rot. To improve the drainage of a soil, one may add horticultural grade sand, volcanic rock, or perlite to their mix. Pre-made succulent soil mixes, such as DIRTBAG Cactus Soil, are ready to use and don’t specifically require amending.

Plan to repot in 1-2 years to provide your succulent with a fresh medium and ensure good drainage.


Succulents are drought tolerant plants that store water in their fleshy leaves and stems. Because of these characteristics succulents thrive on a sparse watering schedule and dislike overwatering.

Water only when soil is completely dry. How quickly the soil dries depends on factors such as pot size (small pots dry quicker) and environmental conditions, like air flow and sunlight (more air flow + sunlight = quicker drying).

Water slowly and thoroughly until water runs out through the drainage holes. Dry potting soil tends to pull-in away from the circumference of the pot. Be sure that your water is being absorbed and not running off the top and down the sides of the medium. You may tell that the water has been absorbed by the increased weight of the container.


Succulents are native to arid environments, making them xerophytes: a plant that needs little water. As for suitable temperatures some succulents can thrive at near freezing conditons, but it is safe to not let temperatures drop below 50F. For highs, don’t let temperatures exceed 90F. Remember that hotter, drier conditions also call for a more frequent watering schedule.


Succulents prefer a NPK ratio of 2-7-7, however, using an all-purpose water-soluble fertilizer is also acceptable. Follow directions as listed on the fertilizer’s package. You may fertilize during the growing season, but avoid fertilizing during the cold season.

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Read more about the different types of indoor succulents here.

For more advice on growing succulents or other plants, visit our store or call (919) 878-8877