One of the reasons why people love to grow succulents is because they can be very easy to care for. These plants can thrive indoors and, unlike other plants, will not need constant attention. Not all succulents are the same, however. Some need more light than others, and if you do not have a lot of light, you may wonder which is the best one.
Several succulents grow well in low light. The best succulent to grow indoors with low light is the “snake plant,” which is also known as the “mother-in-law’s tongue.” These succulents are commonly referred to as “indestructible,” and do very well in low light.
When choosing a succulent to grow indoors with low light, you need to consider several factors before choosing one. Moreover, understanding how to properly care for an indoor succulent is important, too. Read on to discover all you need to know about which succulent is best to grow indoors with low light.
Succulents That Do Well Indoors
While the snake plant may be the best option when choosing an indoor succulent that only needs low light, there are many others that you may find are what you are looking for. A common factor between these succulents is their propensity to need minimal water and little to no direct sunlight.
The best succulents will be ones that thrive in the environment you provide them. Perhaps you live in an apartment with few windows, or maybe you have a room in your house that does not get much sunlight. You will want to consider some of these succulents to decorate the room.
- Aloe vera. Aloe vera is a popular succulent that can grow in low light. There are several varieties, so you will want to pick one that will fit your available space. Additionally, aloe vera succulents grow well in colder temperatures (down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit), so they are a good option if you live in a colder climate.
- Holiday cacti. Holiday cacti is a group of succulents named after holidays that thrive in low light. They will bloom in shady areas better than in areas with direct light. Unlike some other succulents, they do require more water than usual. Moreover, they prefer warmer temperatures and humidity.
- Flaming Katy. The Flaming Katy succulent is one of the most popular succulents for a few reasons. It does not require much light, though occasional bright light will help it bloom better, and it has beautiful flowers that bloom at its top. They do not require much water. They work well as centerpieces or a nice piece of decor.
- Mistletoe cactus. This succulent looks best when planted in a hanging pot, which is where it gets its name from as it droops over the side. It likes humidity, so placing it in the bathroom may be a good option. It does not need an abundance of light, though some morning light is good to have.
- Tiger aloe. Tiger aloe is a variation of the aloe succulent. This variety can survive quite well under low-light conditions, and they can thrive under artificial lighting if necessary. Additionally, its watering needs, like others, are relatively sparse.
- String of bananas. The name of this succulent perfectly describes its aesthetic. The leaves look like little bananas, but these leaves are toxic, so be careful. Nevertheless, this succulent works best as a hanging succulent and can withstand low light conditions, though brighter conditions are used.
- Candle plant. The candle plant is an interesting-looking succulent. It is narrow and grows upward. It is a highly toxic succulent, but that should not deter you from trying this one in your home. The candle plant works very well in low light, so if you have not much light, this one can work for you.
- Zebra wart. This succulent is aesthetically very interesting. It grows in twisting columns that point upward. It is also non-toxic, so you do not have to worry about that. Moreover, they grow well in low light.
These are just a handful of succulents that will grow well indoors with low light. Others will also grow well. However, many of them do require some more direct light for at least a part of the day. Sometimes this is not possible if you do not have many windows or your home does not receive much direct sunlight.
What Does “Low Light” Mean?
When looking for a succulent that does well in low light, you may begin wondering what exactly “low light” means. It can be a vague term, but it is a term that is crucial to understand if you want your succulent to thrive.
Most importantly, low light does not indicate the total absence of light. Rather, it refers specifically to direct sunlight. For example, if a succulent can grow in low light, it means it can grow without direct sunlight. Consider the following criteria for low light areas.
- No direct sunlight, such as a north-facing window.
- Bright light for a fraction of the day.
- Shady areas that receive soft light instead of bright light.
Shady areas and areas that only receive bright light for a few hours a day are considered low light conditions. Remember, succulents still need light to grow. If an area is very dark or shady, the succulent will suffer as a result.
Also, some succulents can grow with artificial lighting, which is useful if you have shady light but not bright light. It depends on which type of succulent you choose for your space. Nevertheless, as long as your environment is not overly dark, you will be able to have a low-light succulent.
Why the Snake Plant is Perfect for Low Light
While succulents such as the aloe vera, Flaming Katy, and others are great for growing indoors in low light, the one that is perfect for most scenarios is the snake plant. The snake plant can withstand most conditions that come with an indoor environment. Moreover, it will match most interior designs because of its green and yellow-tinged leaves.
The snake plant is great for low light because it does not need any direct sunlight to thrive. While others need at least a little bit of direct sunlight, the snake plant is different. Of course, if you provide a little bit of direct sunlight, it will help its growth. It will not, however, hinder its growth if it never receives direct sunlight.
Consider the following elements that make the snake plant a perfect succulent for your home.
- No direct sunlight. Snake plants do not need any direct sunlight, as mentioned. So, if your home or apartment is in a shady area or does not have much sunlight, these indoor succulents are perfect for your light conditions.
- East-facing window is the best location. If you have an east-facing window, this is the best place to put your snake plant. An east-facing window will provide some brighter light briefly in the morning, and it will provide low light for the remainder of the day. This is the best combination for the snake plant.
- Minimal watering. Snake plants use very little water. You will only have to water it once every two weeks. Its roots can become waterlogged and rot, so it is important to make sure the water dries up before watering again.
- Avoid cold temperatures. Snake plants do best in warmer temperatures, though they can survive down to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. When you keep them indoors, this will not be an issue.
- Easy to propagate. If you want more snake plants, you can easily propagate the snake plant. This means you are essentially splitting the plant to make new plants that are identical to the original.
A snake plant, when exposed to too much light, can easily burn. You will notice discolored spots on its leaves. You will also notice that the edges will begin to burn and turn brown. This is why low light is so important for these delicate succulents.
Caring for an Indoor Succulent
Succulents require different care than your other houseplants. If you are not used to caring for a succulent, it may be a little confusing at first. However, once you understand the basics of caring for an indoor succulent, it will be easy.
It is important to remember that, generally, succulents that have bright and varied colors will need more sunlight than more aesthetically basic succulents. Green succulents usually work best indoors because they require far less sunlight.
You will want an indoor succulent that thrives in low-light environments if your home is located in a shady neighborhood, or you do not have many windows to let abundant sunshine in.
There are several elements you need to consider when taking care of an indoor succulent. Pay attention to the following tips:
- Place your succulent near a window.
- Use well-drained pots.
- Rotate the plant for optimal light.
- Do not overwater your succulent.
- Monitor the air temperature.
Each of these elements, when performed properly, will help preserve your succulent. Many succulents can last for a long time when taken care of properly. Many succulents die because of improper care. Remember, their needs are different from the plants you may be used to.
Place Your Succulent Near a Window
While you may be getting your succulent because it can survive in low-light conditions, this does not mean you can ignore its lighting needs. Remember, low light just refers to indirect sunlight.
Therefore, you must place your succulent near a window. When you place your succulent near a window, regardless of how much light is coming through, it will grow better and healthier than if left completely in the shade away from the window.
Remember, most succulents need at least some brighter light during the day. The best sun for them to receive is the morning sun. The sunshine in the morning is not as strong as the sunlight in the afternoon. This will help your succulent. If the light is too strong, it will burn the succulent, leaving it discolored.
Moreover, if you do not have ample light coming from a window, you can always install a grow light in your home. This will allow you to have your succulent anywhere you wish within the home.
Now, all this does not mean you cannot have your succulent away from a window. You may place your succulent anywhere you wish as long as some indirect sunlight is reaching it. However, near a window is where it will thrive the best. Succulents are resilient plants and can handle most conditions you place them in.
Use Well-Drained Pots
Succulents do not need a lot of water, and if it is planted in a pot or container that cannot be drained then it will suffer. For example, you will want to avoid glass containers. Glass containers have several downsides when it comes to succulents, such as:
- Glass containers do not drain water.
- Glass containers keep the soil wet and soggy, which can rot the root system.
- Glass containers limit airflow to the succulent, which is needed for a healthy root and leaf system.
The root system of a succulent is very delicate, and when the soil remains wet the roots will rot. This is why having a well-drained pot is crucial to the health of your succulents.
You want a pot that can drain the water well. Succulents do not need a lot of water to survive, but they do need water from time to time. However, an important part of watering a succulent is letting all of the soil dry out before watering again. A poorly drained pot will not allow this to happen.
Rotate the Succulent
Returning to the light requirements of a succulent, it is important to rotate your succulent at least once or twice a week to keep it healthy. Consider the following reasons for rotating your succulent:
- Even coverage of light. Oftentimes, the light source is only going to be coming from a single direction. If you have a succulent in a window then the light will be continuously hitting just one part of the plant. You want the entire plant to get sunlight.
- Stretching will be avoided. When a succulent needs lights, it will begin to stretch toward the light source. So, if part of the plant is not getting the light, it will begin this process. However, this stretching is not good for the plant, and it will cause the plant to lose any vibrant colors it may have.
- Burning will be avoided. Likewise, if one part of the succulent gets too much sunlight, it will burn. The leaves can shrivel and die, and the color of the succulent can change from a healthy green to an unhealthy yellow and brown. Rotating the plant will prevent this from happening.
So, while many indoor succulents can survive with low light, it is still important to rotate them and to provide them with enough light to help them grow strong. Rotating the plant is the best way to keep your plant healthy.
Do Not Overwater Your Succulent
One of the most important aspects of caring for a succulent is its water intake. Many plants you have in your home require constant watering, especially during the summer months.
A succulent, however, does not need nearly the same amount of water. For many succulents, you only need to water succulents once a week. Sometimes, you can stretch it to once every two weeks.
Moreover, it is important not to overwater your succulents. You must make sure that the entire pot and soil are dry before watering again. If you water before this occurs, you could potentially ruin your succulents. Most succulents will die if you overwater them.
It is also important to remember not to water the succulent itself. Rather, put the water directly onto the soil to completely saturate it. If the leaves of the succulent get wet it could turn to mold, so be sure to avoid that.
Since the soil needs to be completely saturated for proper watering, the presence of drainage holes is important. Remember, a well-drained pot will allow for a proper watering schedule.
Monitor the Air Temperature
Most succulents cannot survive in very cold temperatures. Succulents are used in arid climates, so if you live in a very cold environment, it is important to monitor the air temperature. For most succulents, anything above 40 degrees Fahrenheit should be okay for them to survive.
However, succulents will grow better in warmer temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. You should consider hanging a thermometer in the room so you can monitor how hot or cool it is.
Additionally, if the weather gets too hot, it can harm the succulent. For most, however, this should not be an issue. Regardless, when you keep a succulent indoors, the temperature will be regulated for the most part, especially in the winter months when you have your heating system on anyway.
The succulent that is best to grow indoors with low light is going to the snake plant. It is because it can withstand a lot of low light, and it has been described as “indestructible,” so if you accidentally forget about it for a while, it should be fine.
However, many succulents can be grown indoors with low light. Consider the aesthetics of your room when making your decision. Moreover, taking the proper steps to take care of your succulent will help maintain its health for a long time.