8 Easy Steps to Make an Indoor Succulent Garden! | DIY Guide
When it comes to indoor gardening, some people have better luck than others. Your experience might be greatly affected by the plants you choose, your skills and knowledge, your hardiness zone, and numerous other factors. Luckily, the succulent family of plants is among the best and easiest to grow for virtually anyone. This ease of growth and maintenance probably explains why succulents are widely available in different growing zones. However, growing a succulent does not mean you have no role to play as a gardener. In this guide, we will look at the best practices for creating the perfect succulent garden.
- Select a Container
- Select Your Potting Soil
- Design Your Succulent Garden
- Pick You Succulent Plants
- Pot the Plants
- Place the Container
- Maintain Your Garden
Succulent roots can easily thrive in a wide range of containers. However, these plants are best potted in wide, shallow containers. One only needs to keep in mind that drainage is quite important regardless of the chosen container’s type or shape. If you do not have a well-drained container, create one by drilling several small holes at the bottom and lower sides of your container.
Numerous easily available containers can serve as succulent growing pots. These include old buckets, saucers, planting dishes, and pots. If you don’t want to drill holes into the planting container, feel free to add some small rocks or gravel at the bottom to enhance drainage. Suppose you would want an even easier option, head over to your favorite online store and order a succulent growing container. One of the most common is the clay terracotta pot, beloved for its excellent moisture absorption.
Succulents do not do well in poorly-drained soil. This implies that your potting soil must be well-draining if the succulent is to thrive. The best option is to get a special potting mix designed for succulent growth. These mixes are easily available in online stores and local gardening shops. Do not be tempted to use the conventional houseplant potting mix since it will not drain to the succulent’s requirements.
Once you have your potting mix ready, ensure to lay a piece of mesh over the drainage holes so that the mix does not fall out of the container. However, if you cannot find the specially-made succulent mix, you can easily make one at home. Simply mix a quarter-part builder’s sand, one part perlite, and one part regular potting soil.
As you have probably figured out from different people with indoor gardens, succulent gardens can take different forms, patterns, and structures. When it comes to design, you are only limited by your creativity! One of the best designs involves having tall, cylindrical succulents towards the back of the garden and shorter, wider ones towards the front. Alternatively, one can have the taller succulents in the middle of the garden surrounded by wide and short plants. You can try and figure out the arrangement before actually potting the plants.
Keep in mind that, unlike other plants, succulents grow quite slowly and can therefore be placed closely together. If there are other decorative items in your indoor garden (such as figurines and large rocks), be sure to keep their placement in mind when designing the garden.
Picking the succulents to plant in your indoor garden is probably the most exciting part of the entire gardening process. However, the wide-ranging options can also make it quite daunting. There are numerous succulents out there with different colors, shapes, and sizes. Again, it is probably easiest to order these plants online since you can easily choose from several options. However, you can also purchase the plants from your local gardening store if they have them in stock.
When choosing succulents, make sure to choose different-colored varieties as well as different-sized ones. Doing this will give your garden a colorful look while the size difference enhances the space. When purchasing, it would be good to consider maturity periods, water requirements, light requirements, maturity size, and adaptability to varying temperatures.
If you have a significantly large space for your indoor garden, feel free to get several tall-growing succulents. If, on the other hand, you are limited on space, you might want to stick to medium and short succulents.
While potting a plant sounds quite straightforward, it can be quite complicated when it comes to succulents. This difficulty comes from the fact that succulents are often kept dry, so getting them off the growing pots can be tricky. One of the tricks is gently squeezing the growing pot on the sides, helping loosen the soil around it, and releasing the roots. Once you have pulled off the plant from the soil, shake the root ball gently before potting it again.
If the succulent proves tricky to pull from the soil, feel free to use common tools such as knives, tongs, and spoons. You can also use a paintbrush to remove any soil that might get onto the leaves. It is worth noting that some succulents have spikes that can easily cause injuries. When dealing with such plants, it is advisable to use gardening gloves for protection. If you do not have such gloves, you can use standard kitchen tongs to handle the plants.
Once you are done potting your succulents, you might consider adding some decorative touches. These decorations give some life to an otherwise boring-looking brown potting mix. One of the most common decorative options is aquarium/decorative stones. You can get these stones in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Use the stones as a top dressing for your succulent pots, adding to the mix of colors already available in your garden. Besides the decorative function, these stones also go a long way in stabilizing the plant.
Typically, succulents will survive in varying conditions. However, most of them thrive in areas with sufficient sunshine. To achieve this, ensure you place your container near a west, south, or east-facing window that gets several hours of direct sunshine each day. If your succulent has extremely tender leaves that might scorch under the hot sun, you can place a sheer curtain or shade to filter out the intense rays.
Feel free to experiment with different locations to figure out which one works best for your plants. Move the container from an area with moderate sunlight to one with intense sunshine and observe the maximum the plants can handle. When experimenting with these positional changes, make sure to do it gradually to avoid ‘shocking’ the plants.
Taking care of succulents  is extremely easy, partly thanks to their undemanding nature. Take care of these plants as you would other hardy plants such as ferns or African Violets. It is worth noting that some succulents can become quite ‘leggy’ when not exposed to sufficient sunlight. Still, some varieties can easily thrive in low-light conditions. Here are some succulent maintenance tips to keep your garden thriving.
- Go slow on the fertilizer: Most succulents grow quite slowly, particularly in cold seasons. This implies that they barely require any fertilizer. However, you can lightly apply some during the warmer months. If you choose to apply fertilizer, it is advisable to use the organic varieties.
- Sunshine is extremely important: Succulents love the sun. Even the varieties that can thrive in poor lighting conditions still do extremely well in areas with plenty of sunshine.
- Avoid overwatering: This is probably the biggest mistake you can make when it comes to succulent gardening. To avoid overwatering, ensure to only water the plant when the top of the soil has completely dried out. Additionally, make sure that your planting container has holes at the bottom and lower corners to drain off excess water.
Creating an indoor succulent is significantly easier than doing so with any other plant type. The succulents’ undemanding nature makes them quite easy to plant, water, and maintain. By following the tips and guidelines outlined above, you can have your indoor succulent garden up and running in no time. Happy gardening!