How to Decorate Your Home With Succulent Plants | Almanac.com

How to Decorate Your Home With Succulent Plants

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Living works of art in your space!

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Succulents are having a moment, and it’s no wonder. Growing them is like having living works of art in your space. So, get ready to unleash your creativity as we teach you how to decorate your home with succulents.

Not only are succulents easy to care for, but they also come in a wide range of colors, patterns, shapes, sizes (including tiny!), and textures.

Before Your Decorate With Succulents … 

Before we get to the decorating portion, though, there’s one thing you should know: If you want to grow succulents successfully indoors, you’ll need a good bit of sunlight. Many succulents, including the extremely popular echeveria and sempervivum, as well as lithops (aka living stones) and cacti, need to be kept in super-bright locations that get at least 6 to 8 hours per day (10 is even better) of bright sunlight. Putting them right near a south-facing window is the best choice, though a west-facing window should also provide enough light.

But don’t worry if you either don’t have a window facing in one of those directions or would rather put your succulents elsewhere. There are many varieties that thrive in bright but indirect light, also called “medium light.” This is when there’s enough light to cast a shadow, and it can include bright light coming through a sheer curtain, light a few feet back from a south- or west-facing window, or light coming directly through an east-or north-facing window. Medium-light succulents include jade plants, agave, sedum, haworthia (aka zebra plant), kalanchoe, string of pearls, and the always-popular aloe plant. For more ideas, see our article on Top Succulent Plants for the Home.

How to Arrange Succulents

Given the wide variety of colors, shapes, and textures of succulent plants, it looks best to group them. Try a broad, shallow bowl, wooden cigar box, or metal cookie tin. You can also plant miniature succulents in separate small pots and arrange them together in odd numbers.

Credit: Bulbuli

Keeping their light needs in mind, succulents are excellent for decorating desks, shelves, bedside tables, and windowsills, as well as serving as a centerpiece for the table in a sunny room. 

Credit: Dzina Belskaya

Or, create small space surprises (again, in a well-lit room) by tucking succulents into unexpected nooks. For a truly eye-catching display, hang larger, potted succulents at varying heights in front of the window or in a bright corner.

Credit: Parijatplant

Consider out-of-the-ordinary containers, too, such as vintage teacups or teapots, 4-ounce mason jars, small metal drawers, hollowed-out wood pieces or stones, and even egg cups (be sure to stick with mini succulents for those). Got a free afternoon? Browse an antique store or two to find one-of-a-kind homes for future succulent pals.

Credit: Panattar

You can add personality to your plantings through what you put in the pot, along with your succulents, too. Pebbles or other pretty rocks, sea glass, shells, and bits of driftwood all make wonderful complements. And did we mention that these plants both grow nicely in terrariums and pair beautifully with miniature figurines for fairy garden decor?

Credit: Christina Siow

Whatever kind of succulent arrangement you create, be sure to rotate it every week or two to ensure all sides of your plants get equal time in the sun. Also, periodically wipe off the leaves, as a layer of dust can get in the way of sunlight reaching the plant.

Picking Succulent Pots

There’s one more important thing to know about succulents: They like it dry, so plant them in a fast-draining potting mix (look for one made specifically for succulents or cacti, or add a bit of sand and perlite to regular potting soil). 

Clay pots tend to dry out faster than pots made of other materials, so they’re an excellent choice if you’re going the traditional container route. Whatever kind of pot you pick, your plants will appreciate plenty of drainage holes; if the container you choose doesn’t have holes and you can’t add any, just be extra careful not to overdo it when you water. 

Speaking of which, only water when the soil is completely dry and crumbly—this will happen sooner in the warmer months and take longer when it’s colder. This whole “let ‘em get bone dry” aspect actually makes succulents excellent plants for slightly neglectful growers. Forget a couple of waterings? No problem–they’ll likely be fine. After all, most succulents originated in arid regions; like the camels of the plant world, they store extra water in their leaves, stems, and roots so they can handle a bit of drought. But they can’t handle extreme temperatures very well, so keep them away from heating and cooling vents.

Adding easy-care succulents to your décor is a simple way to add delightful touches of living art throughout your indoor space. And best of all, you don’t need a green thumb to grow them!

For outdoor succulent decorating ideas, check out Surrender to Succulents.

About The Author

Su Reid-St. John

Su, a master gardener, spent many years editing and writing garden content for Bonnie Plants and Miracle-Gro. Read More from Su Reid-St. John

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