Growing Beautiful, Healthy Succulents in Your Apartment

If you aren't a natural green thumb and quirky, otherworldly plants appeal to your sense of aesthetics, why not consider growing succulents in your apartment? We know what you may be thinking: succulents, like cactus, can only survive in hot, desert-like environments. Actually, they can grow in Ontario, so long as you keep them indoors, place them near windows so they can get as much sun as possible, and avoid keeping them outdoors when the weather is cooler than around 6ºC, you should have a beautiful garden in no time. You will also need to pick the right succulents and be patient; succulents may look a little drabber in the autumn and winter, but come springtime, they will don their most vivid hues, and you can once again place them on a small terrace or a windowsill so they can drink in the sun's rays.

Which Succulent Types Should You Opt for?

Succulents look beautiful when they are grown side by side. Roots don't require a lot of soil so you can use even a shallow pot to grow various types of succulents together, for a beautiful contrast in shapes and colours. Before heading to the garden centre, check out books on this type of plant and make a list of your favourite shapes. Narrow your list down to those that will grow indoors. Top picks include aloe vera, burro's tail, haworthia, and gasteria varieties. Read up on each plant, since requirements can vary greatly according to species. For instance, the Christmas cactus cannot take too much sunlight, despite its deceptive name. Jade plants, on the other hand, do need frequent sun exposure so they will need to place near or outside the window. As a general rule, succulents that are green grow well indoors, while those with brighter colours (such as red or purple) require direct sun. If your plants grow long, it is an indicator that they need more light. If so, cut the top off and plant it elsewhere; you might be surprised at how quickly succulents propagate.

How to Grow Succulents?

Plant your succulents in a clay pot with drainage holes. You shouldn't water your succulents daily. Rather, water them well, ensuring the soil surrounding them is thoroughly soaked. Leave the plant alone for a few days and when you feel the soil is dry, give them a good soak once again. The general rule is to water your plant no more than once a week. It is a myth that succulents don't need watering, though, in the winter months, they will need less moisture because this is not a time of growth. In warmer months when your plant is actively growing, apply a liquid fertilizer. When changing pots, purchase a good potting mix specifically for succulents. Re-pot your plant every two years, using a pot that is slightly wider than the diameter of the roots.

Apartment living is compatible with green interiors, but you need to carefully choose succulents and other plants that grow well without receiving direct sunlight for various hours in the day. With the exception of a small number of species, most succulents love the sun so make sure they are placed near the window. Water infrequently but abundantly, ensuring your pots have good drainage and breathability. Finally, although succulents don't have fast or deep growing roots, changing them to a larger pot may be necessary every couple of years.