Like all other plants, a succulent’s natural habitat is outside, in the wild. But does that mean succulents should only be grown outside? No.
Then, what exactly are succulents? Are they indoor or outdoor plants?
Well, they can be both. In this guide, you'll know how. And you'll know which succulents are ideal for your landscapes, depending on your area's weather.
Succulents need very specific conditions to thrive. They might be heat-tolerant but intolerable of the cold. If you plant a succulent outside, it should get at least six hours of direct sunlight. Indoors it needs about 10 hours of sunlight or you can use a grow light.
So, the space to begin your succulent journey- indoor or outdoor, depends on what you desire from your succulent and what you can provide for it.
An interior plant service can help you with such concerns and guide you through the journey. Google ‘office plant service near me’, talk to a consultant, evaluate whether they seem to be helping or selling, and buy from someone you can trust.
Here are some factors that you should consider while making a choice of an outdoor or indoor succulent.
Outdoor Succulents: Why, and Why Not
Ideally, succulents should be grown outside. Over the years succulents have evolved to survive various conditions. They can thrive on steep slopes, survive cold weather, and stand strong in the face of little to no soil.
Succulents are resilient. To grow them outdoors you should be in a sunny and dry environment. Note that sunny does not mean hot.
Many plant owners make this mistake and burn their succulents. Anything above 90°F is too hot. However, this also depends on the type of succulent. Large succulents should be able to tolerate heat and light.
Blue Senecio (Senecio mandraliscoe), Black Rose (Aeonium arboreum Schwarzkopf), Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus Grusonii), Whale’s Tongue Agave (Agave ovatifolia), Pachyphytum fittkaui are all extremely heat tolerant succulents.
How much heat your succulent can tolerate also depends on how long it has been planted for. Freshly planted succulents will not be able to tolerate extreme heat.
Succulents can’t survive frost. So, if you live in a cooler part of the country, outdoor succulents aren’t a good idea. You will have to move them indoors when it gets too chilly.
Do you live in Portland? If yes, you might want to say goodbye to your outdoor succulent dream. So, should everyone living in a rainy area.
Succulents cannot thrive in moist soil. They require little water. Too much water can cause root rot.
Because succulents require less water, they are a great plant option to cut down on water usage. Outdoors, you have to provide them with well-draining soil to prevent root rot.
Create a six-inch mound using a lightweight, succulent-specific soil mix to plant the succulent. Sandy soil is better than clay soil because sandy soil dries out faster. You can also prepare your own soil mix.
Motivation Behind Succulents
Succulents can also be outdoor or indoor plants depending on what you want to do with them. Do you just want a few small succulents to adore? Plant them indoors and create an interior landscape design.
Outside, you can use them as different landscaping elements. Make your own succulent garden. Place them around your fountain or pool. Have a variety of large and small succulents to embellish your garden.
Succulents planted outside certainly have a wider creative scope.
The Problem of Pests
Outdoor succulents can attract pests. The biggest threat is the mealybug. Mealybugs can spread from plant to plant.
These little bugs eat new growth on succulents. Overwatering, over fertilizing and certain weather conditions can cause them.
You can use 70% Isopropyl Alcohol to get rid of the bugs.
Here are some types of succulents you can get for the outdoors. Echeveria, Sempervivum, Sedum, Crassula, Agave, Haworthia, Aeonium, Senecio, Dudleya, Graptopetalum, Kalanchoe, and Euphorbia.
Indoor Succulents: Why, and Why Not
While there are many benefits of growing succulents outside such as their colored tips, widened scope and obviously, them being at home. Indoor succulents have their own perks.
Your journey with your indoor succulent starts with choosing a variety that is suited to grow indoors. Succulents need at least partial sun so you need to find a succulent that can survive in indoor sunlight.
Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum), Zebra Cactus (Haworthia fasciata), Zebra Cactus (Haworthia fasciata), Aloe vera, Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii), String of Bananas, Lithops, Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi), Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata), and Snake Plant are all varieties that can grow well indoors.
Watering indoor succulents is one of the hardest things. Because they don’t get enough outdoor sunlight or experience the breeze, the soil has a harder time drying out. Buy a pocket book about watering requirements of succulents for more specifics.
On average, you need to water your succulents once every 14 - 21 days.
What should I keep my succulents in? This question is often the most puzzling one. Again, there is no one right answer.
If you can afford a less breathable option, go for a plastic container. This means your soil won’t dry as fast. A terracotta or ceramic container means that the soil will dry out faster but the pot will be heavy. So, if you are not planning on relocating your plant, terracotta or ceramic is a better choice.
A huge benefit of having an indoor plant is clean air. Succulents can remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. VOCs are present in cleaning chemicals and other stationary items.
Succulents release water vapor, which causes a pumping action that draws contaminated air down to the succulent's roots. These contaminants are converted to plant food by the succulent, which cleans the air in your home.
It also enhances the humidity of the house. Thereby, reducing sore throats, colds, cough and can even help with dry and itchy skin.