How do I care for succulents and cacti indoors?

Quick Answer

Looking for seriously laid-back houseplants? Succulents and cacti are where it's at! These quirky beauties look amazing and barely need a second thought. Think lots of sunshine, special sandy soil, and a good drink now and then (but don't drown them – soggy roots are their only enemy!). Make sure they've got a pot with holes, give them a sprinkle of plant food when they're looking hungry, and they'll happily add a splash of unique desert vibes to your home.

Further Information

If you love plants but aren't exactly a gardening wizard, succulents and cacti are here to save the day! These quirky-looking chaps have figured out how to store water, so they can handle a bit of neglect and still look fabulous. But for truly happy succulents, here's what you need to keep in mind:

Sunshine is Your Succulent's Superfood!

These plants hail from desert lands, so they crave lots of strong light. Plonk 'em in a south-facing window where they'll get at least 6 hours of direct rays a day. No sunny spots? No problem – grow lights can work wonders! Not enough light means stretchy, sad-looking plants.

Think Well-Drained Desert

Soggy soil = instant doom for these guys. Special cactus/succulent mix is easiest, or make your own with equal parts potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite or pumice. The goal is for water to run through FAST, so those roots don't turn to mush.

When in Doubt, Don't Water!

Seriously, overwatering is how most people kill succulents. Poke your finger in – if the soil's bone dry, give them a good drink. If it's even slightly damp, wait a few days longer. Pots MUST have drainage holes to let the water escape.

Temperatures: Warm and Cozy

Most succulents and cacti dig daytime temps between 21-27°C (70-80°F) with a little chill at night. They can handle the heat, but drafts and super cold air are a no-no.

Humidity? Nope, Don't Need It!

These plants are built for dry times, so the average home is perfect. In fact, too much humidity can lead to problems – skip the misting!

Feeding Time (but not very often)

Give 'em a weak dose of balanced fertiliser once a month in the spring and summer (when they're actively growing). The rest of the year, no food needed!

Tidying Up is Easy

Not much pruning needed here! Just snip off any dead or ugly bits. If they get too leggy (not enough light!), chop them up and start new plants from the cuttings.

Your Succulent Starter Pack

Here are some easy-peasy, oh-so-cool picks:

  • Aloe vera (bonus: sunburn soother!)
  • Echeveria (like rosettes in loads of colours)
  • Haworthia (stripes and bumps and general weirdness)
  • Jade plant (grows into a mini tree!)
  • Donkey tail (those trailing bits look awesome in a hanging basket)
  • Christmas cactus (blooms in the depths of winter!)
  • Pincushion cactus (cute, prickly, and easier than it looks)

A bit of TLC and your succulents and cacti will add a touch of unique desert style to your home with minimal effort. Now that's my kind of plant!

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