TLC for the Indoor Succulent Garden

Monday, 19 Jan 2009


There’s nothing like a little container of luscious green succulents to brighten up an indoor space during the gray winter months.  The mini-garden I put together last September usually sits on my desk next to the window.  It had started to look a little haggard, so I thought it was time for an overhaul. Following is the “before” shot.  The various “hens and chicks” type succulents have done really well, but you’ll see that the leggy, scruffy plant (don’t know the name of the variety) at the top of the container needs some help.


Step one was to remove all the plants and decorative rocks from the top of the container.  One thing I did succeed at was not over-watering these plants.  The soil was bone dry.  As you’ll see in the next photo, drainage is provided by a two-inch layer of lava rocks at the bottom of the container.  There are no holes in the bottom of the white dish, so I am always careful not to water too frequently because water would accumulate.


I saved the little decorative river stones I had picked up at Target, and rinsed them off in a colander for future use.  I thought the container was looking cluttered with the stones, so I didn’t put them back in after I put the plants back in.


After removing all the plants and rocks, I added a fresh layer of cactus potting soil, available at garden stores. This soil drains really well, so the succulents love it.



I added the plants back in, including the tiny new growth plants I’d moved from the main container to a smaller dish about a month ago, and watered them thoroughly.  I probably won’t water them again for at least a couple weeks.  I put the suffering leggy plant into the small container with some new soil, hoping to rehab it.  I moved both containers to a new location with strong indirect light, not directly next to the cold windows.  I think the cold coming through the windows was causing the problem plant to deteriorate.  I’ll keep you updated on how the plants do in their revitalized home!

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