How to Grow Succulents

The oft-spouted proclamation that succulents are easy to grow is, in fact, fiction. Sure, it can be easy, but it requires a bit of a mental adjustment. Get into the desert mindset. Imagine the unrelenting sun, monsoon-like downpours, and the boomerang temperature changes that characterize the desert’s days — and you might have a little more luck. Here is one of the most common mistakes succulent newbies are making, and how to get those beauties to thrive.

Putting Them in a Poorly Lit Area

The natural light of a plant’s native habitat is perhaps the most difficult environmental variable to emulate indoors. For common houseplants, we have an easier time. Many are native to tropical jungles and accustomed to the shifting periods of shade and sun that happen in your home. After all, that’s what naturally happens as the sun moves over a forest canopy.

But if you put a plant that’s used to experiencing a full 12 hours out in the broiling hot sun on an east-facing sill, you’re begging for failure. Your best bet: Choose the sunniest south-facing window available, and if all windows face elsewhere, pick a more forgiving succulent like aloe or throw in the towel and opt for a sturdy pothos.