How to Grow Healthy Succulents Indoors

Growing succulents indoors can be a bit tricky. However, with these simple tips you’ll be able to better care for your indoor succulent collection.

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Welcome! I am so excited to help you learn more about growing succulents indoors!

As cute as they are, they don’t always make the best indoor house plants. That said, if you love them as much as I do, you’ll grow them anyway! And you should!

With a little bit of information you’ll be able to keep your succulents growing happily indoors. Choosing succulents that prefer low lighting will make a big difference in the success of your indoor succulent garden. For example, Haworthias and Gasteraloes are two genus of succulents that do especially well indoors.

For those of you with cold winters, bringing your succulents inside before it snows will actually be a good thing for them. Most succulents are dormant during the winter. They need a period of cold to help them produce better blooms in the spring and summer.

I’ll outline some tips below that will help your succulents stay as healthy as possible while they are living indoors. Some of these tips will seem familiar (see 5 Tips for Growing Succulents) but these will be directed specifically toward growing succulents inside.

6 Hours of Sunlight

When succulents are indoors it’s often hard for them to get enough sunlight. They generally about 6 hours a day.

You’ll want to keep your plants as close to the window as you can, but be careful not to let them get sunburned if the light from the window gets too hot. This tends to happen most with south facing windows (which tend to get the most light if you’re in the northern hemisphere).

I’ve kept my succulents in an east facing window, right up against the window, and they have done really well. If your succulents aren’t getting enough light they will start to stretch. Colorful Echeverias are especially prone to stretching indoors.

If there isn’t anywhere that gets brighter light (or more hours of light), don’t worry! After it get’s too stretchy for your taste, just cut off the top and propagate it! The bonus is that you’ll also get more plants :)

Water more, but less frequently

Many people will tell you succulents don’t need very much water. That simply isn’t true!

However, over watering is the number one way people kill succulents. So… here’s the deal. Succulents like to have their roots soaked with water but then dry out quickly. Granted, if you keep the soil wet every day, they will die from too much water. On the other hand, simply spraying them lightly with water will kill them too.

I have a whole ebook just about watering succulents. That’s how important it is! You can read the basic technique for watering here, but if you have more questions, I’ve probably covered it in the ebook.

Basically though, you need to be giving your succulents enough water that the soil gets completely wet. Then, let it dry out completely before you water again. Don’t water it daily and don’t use a spray bottle!

Also know that succulents have a dormant period (most of them in the winter) and they don’t need as much water then. Since they are dormant, they aren’t growing and they don’t use up as much water.

I get quite a few emails with people who think their succulents are dying because the leaves are wilting and shriveling up. Here is a little secret, just like all plants, eventually the lower leaves of succulents are going to shrivel up and die.

You should only be concerned about dying leaves if the newest or uppermost leaves on your succulent are shriveling. If it’s just the ones near the bottom of the stem (closest to the soil), you don’t have anything to worry about!

Avoid Glass Containers (or anything that doesn’t drain)

Glass containers generally aren’t a great long term potting solution for succulents, especially during the winter. Succulents do not like to be sitting in soggy soil so a glass jar (or terrarium) is not going to make your succulent happy. This seems to especially cause problems in the winter when succulents need even less water than normal. Often succulents will get bugs or diseases from having soil that is too wet.

If you just love the glass container you have your succulents in, be so so careful with how much water you give it! I would measure out how much water you are pouring on and make sure you only put in enough water to just get the soil damp.

The same thing goes for a container without a hole for water to drain out. Air flow is especially important for succulents in the winter to help keep the soil mostly dry and the plant breathing. Again, make sure you are using a well draining soil as well.

If you can help it, I really recommend staying away from glass unless you know your succulent really well and are confident in your watering skills. My favorite pots to use indoors are terra cotta and glazed ceramics (as you can tell from the photos). You can find a great selection of pots at a great price on Mountain Crest Gardens and Etsy. They provide great air flow and allow the soil to dry out easily.


If you grow your succulents indoors year round, they won’t notice much change in temperature unless they are right by the window. As a general rule, succulents like to be warm during the summer and cool during the winter.

If you can, keep the temperature in the summer between 70 and 80 degrees. During the winter, you’ll want your succulents to be a little colder, between 50 and 60 degrees. Most succulents can tolerate higher and lower temperatures as well, but those are the ideals.

Generally it is not a good idea to let the succulents get below freezing as this tends to cause damage to most succulents. I’ve found that having my plants by the window and keeping my house at a normal temperature for me seems to work just fine. They get a little warmer by the window in the summer and a little cooler in the winter.


If you are following healthy practices for your succulents as indoor house plants (good watering, well draining soil, sunlight, airflow and temperature), bugs should not be a problem. But… they often are still. I haven’t had too many problems with bugs but I’ve had quite a few ask about how to take care of them.

My experience has mostly been with gnats. You’ll generally get gnats if your soil stays too wet. Gnats are generally avoidable by using a well draining soil mix and allowing your soil to try out between watering.

There are a other bugs that can attack your plants too, including mealy bugs. If you do get mealy bugs, you’ll want to spray them with rubbing alcohol and pour alcohol over the soil to kill any eggs they may have laid. Learn more about treating mealybugs.

My friend Jacki at Drought Smart Plants actually has an ebook all about pests that your succulents might get. If you have a bug problem and it’s not gnats or mealybugs I’d recommend getting her ebook!

Hopefully you feel better prepared to take care of your succulents indoors now! If you have any questions , leave them in the comments below or send me an email! For an even more in depth guide, be sure to check out my ebook, Growing Succulents Indoors. You can also find some great succulent pottery for indoor growing on the Products I Like page.



  1. SRIVANI July 6, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Can you please guide me how to grow succulents from seeds. I bought seeds from eBay and sow them in succulent seeding soil (perlite mixed). Some seeds gave sprouts but unfortunately a week afterwards most of them dried up only one is alive as of today. Can you please help me where I went wrong?

    I am from Delhi, India. At this time of July, Temperatures vary from 34-38 degrees with monsoon showers in between.

    Thank you,


    • Cassidy Tuttle July 6, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      I have never grown succulents from seeds before so I am not totally sure how to help you. It sounds like you did everything right. I would look at this post from my friend at Drought Smart Plants and see if its helpful and maybe try contacting them.

  2. Amanda July 17, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Okay so i have a (1) tiny Echeverias, its just a light green no other color and i have 1 tiny lil cactus. Both were “resqued” basically the cactus in a lil bitty 1 inch plastic pot 75% off in parkinglot sale n the other i found lying on sidewalk down strt from my house. Neither have roots otherthan that look heathy. Catus is literally just sitting on top.
    In pics and at store i have seen atleast the echervias one on just rocks looks as tho dirt isnt needed. True? And how do i do potting with no string roots? & can i same pot? Also how big should the one be before i can propagate it if i can (1 or both of em)?? Thnx in advance. Im so new lol

  3. Hannah July 19, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Hi! I just got a succulent (a coppertone I think) and it’s in a metal pot..should I transfer it to a terra-cotta pot? And if I should, do I put something under the terra-cotta pot so it drains onto something instead of going everywhere?

    • Cassidy Tuttle July 21, 2017 at 11:08 am

      If you are new to growing succulents you will probably have better luck keeping it alive if you transfer it to a terra cotta pot. If you are keeping it indoors you can put something under it to catch the water. IF you really like the metal pot you can leave it in there. It is possible to grow them in pots without drainage it is just a little bit trickier. Check out this post for more information.

  4. Mitch July 20, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Can I put rocks then soil in my glass pot? I don’t think I have enough soil. They are dying.

    • Cassidy Tuttle July 31, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      You can but keep and eye on them and make sure that when the water drains to the bottom it drys out. It is important that the soil and container dry out as much as possible between watering and it seems to not do it as well when there are rocks in the bottom. Also make sure that your soil drains well.

  5. Brooke July 23, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    I didn’t do enough reading before caring for my succulent, and I’ve accidentally given it way too much water. The soil has been wet for weeks and won’t dry out. Suggestions?

    • Cassidy Tuttle July 31, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      I would take the succulents out of the soil cut off any parts that are brown or black from overwatering and let them dry out for a day or two. If you have more soil you can put them in new soil or dump it out of the pot and let it dry out. If the soil is staying really wet for long periods you may want to consider using a different soil. Succulents do best in a well draining soil. See what I recommend here:

  6. Mara Wiergacz August 11, 2017 at 7:23 am

    I ordered the bonsai jack succulent mix! I’ve reported all the cacti and succulents about 1 wk ago waited 2 days to water and I still feel like they haven’t rooted– is that normal?

    • Chantile -- Succulents and Sunshine Success Team August 11, 2017 at 9:38 am

      Mara, it can take a little bit of time for the roots to heal and grow deeper. This post can give you more information. Giving your plant a deeper watering instead of frequent watering will help it to grow stronger roots as well.

  7. Ruby September 1, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    Can you please tell me what succulents are dormant in winter. I live in Canada and have to keep all my succulents indoors during the winter. Thanks

  8. roseline September 14, 2017 at 7:41 am

    i keep on buying succulent they keep on dying they don’t multiply they are not glowing rather dying

    • Chantile -- Succulents and Sunshine Success Team September 14, 2017 at 9:34 am

      Hi Roseline, what do they look like? Are they shriveled or mushy? Are there any dark spots on them?

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