This no-fuss succulent care guide for indoor and outdoor plants includes advice for propagating succulents. Succulents are so EASY to grow! No need for specialty products or soil.
I LOVE gardening. But I don’t really have patience for houseplants or decorative flower pots. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE other people’s flowers. But in my house, if it needs regular watering, repotting, or TLC it wont make it.
That’s why succulents are awesome. Pretty much the only thing that seems to kill them is too much water.
I didn’t know the joys of succulents until I met Mikal. Mikal is a succulent collector. He has more than thirty different varieties. And a few years ago he gifted me a whole bunch of jam jars with succulents growing in moist paper towel.
Since then, we have become succulent collectors!
- As the work-from-home person who’s always looking for reasons to procrastinate, I am the primary person in charge of taking care of our succulent collection.
- My daughter, Una loves collecting succulents. She’s gotten them from friends, bought them at craft sales, and received several as gifts.
- Brad decided to buy some lithops succulent seeds online, leveling up our succulent experience.
I know there are whole pages dedicated to succulent care. I’ve met a few succulent bloggers, but I’ll admit I haven’t looked at their sites. My no-fuss succulent care is entirely based on advice from Mikel and Sheldon along with a bit of trial and error.
–> Is it 100% perfect? Probably not.
–> Will it require a lot of time? No.
–> Do you need to buy fancy soil or pots? Nope.
No-fuss succulent care
There’s really only one trick to growing succulents: don’t overwater them.
Here are all the other tips you may need to grow succulents:
- Pot: Use a pot that allows excess water to drain out of the bottom. If you’re using a fishbowl or pot that doesn’t drain, make sure you use a lot of rocks, pebbles, or broken bits of pottery in the bottom for draining the excess water.
- Soil: There is succulent soil… but it’s not necessary. Just use your favorite potting soil and your succulents will be fine. (Probably better than fine, because they love nutrient-rich soil).
- Water: Succulents don’t like to be waterlogged. (Though I’ve accidentally done that and all the plants survived). In the wet, winter months, I place my succulents under an awning and water once a month. In the dry summer months, I water my succulents weekly.
- Light: Of course they like light. We only get about 4 hours of direct sunlight and our succulents are fine. Sheldon’s succulents get full-day sunlight, and they’re fine. Succulents are truly no-fuss.
- Horticultural gravel: Everyone seems to use rocks or gravel around their succulents. This helps keep down weeds and stops cats from digging in the soil. However, it’s mostly useful to keep the soil from drying out. We used broken pots and pottery to cover the top of our outdoor succulents.
Indoor or outdoor succulents?
We have a mix of indoor and outdoor succulents. And most of them are the same varieties. If you live somewhere with a particularly icy winter, then you’ll want to bring your succulents indoors for the winter.
But in the Pacific Northwest, we can have succulents outside all year round. Mikal’s advice is to:
- Bring in anything with fleshy parts. These are more prone to dying during those few weeks of below freezing weather.
- Shelter your succulents from rain so they don’t end up water clogged.
- Obviously, species that are native to your region can handle being in your rock garden all year round.
The biggest threat to our indoor succulents is our cats. This is why we’ve gone with a fish bowl pot for our indoor varieties.
Propagating succulents (so you can share with your friends)
Most succulents are SUPER easy to propagate. This is why they are one of my favorite zero-waste gifts.
Simple succulent propagation:
- Take a piece off of one of your succulents.
- Put it in some soil.
Seriously, that’s it. It takes a few months for a leaf to turn into a plant… so plan ahead if you want to hand out DIY succulent favors at your next birthday party.
Starting succulents from seeds:
While I was away at Girl Guide camp last summer (I volunteered as a Quartermaster for a site with a celiac camper), Brad went online and ordered succulent seeds. I’m not sure what he was expecting, but the microscopic seeds were surprising.
Growing succulents from seed definitely isn’t no-fuss. But it’s the perfect activity for Brad’s work cubicle.
Here is the easiest way to grow succulents from seeds:
- Fill a tiny pot with light and fluffy seedling soil. Use sterile soil to prevent mold growth.
- Sprinkling on some nearly invisible seeds. (We did this by placing the seeds on a piece of colored paper then carefully pushing them off with a toothpick.
- Mist the soil with water.
- Place the pot in a zip-top bag and place it in a bright, location that doesn’t have direct sunlight.
- Mist the soil regularly to keep it moist.
- You can remove the pot from the zip-top bag when the seeds have sprouted. But don’t transplant until they are large enough for you to easily move.
Voilà to no-fuss succulent care!