Succulents for Beginners (Indoors)

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Vanessa Garcia, our admin guru extraordinaire, is multi-talented. When she’s not working wonders with Excel costing sheets or stepping into the kitchen to help prep (she’s a trained professional chef), she’s always got some fun DIY projects going, whether it’s raising quite an impressive succulent garden or making a rainbow cake.

We decided now would be a great time for Vanessa to share some of her projects for you all to try at home. 

While Vanessa’s succulent garden at home has hundreds of plants, here she breaks down succulents for beginners (indoors) into a starter tutorial. Below you’ll find the steps to build a low-maintenance, indoor succulent arrangement that will brighten up your home, keep your air fresh, remove toxins and give you a new hobby!


A Simple Intro to Succulents for Beginners:










Items Needed:

1. Succulents

Isaac Farms Website Instagram Curbside Purchase Link

Mountain Crest GardensThe Succulent Source | AmazonEtsy

2. Succulent Soil (If you do not purchase from Isaac Farms)

Home Depot: Here (*I use a blend of that soil and these two, this is completely OPTIONAL: PerliteSphagnum Peat Moss*)

Potting Soil | *Perlite | *Sphagnum

3. Pot for planting

Ikea: Here is what I used.

(These are similar): Here + Here

4. Rocks

Decorative Stones + White Pebbles

5. Spray Bottle, Squeeze Bottle or Small Cup with Spout  – For Watering

6. Gloves (Optional – If you don’t mind getting dirty.)

7. Other Decorative Items (Optional):

Moss, Stones, Planters


Let’s get started!


Step 1:

Gather your material. Make sure you are working in a space that you don’t mind getting a little messy.

Step one to creating an indoor succulent arrangement.

Start by adding your smaller rocks to the base of your planter.

We do this for “drainage.” The standard outdoor planter usually comes with holes for this. Since we are planting in something that does not have holes, we have to give our soil an extra layer to drain.


Step 2:

Top your rocks with your soil loosely.
Step two to creating an indoor succulent arrangement.

Loosely packing the soil allows for you to fit all of your succulents into the arrangement. If you need to add more soil in the end, add until you feel comfortable.


Step 3:

Here is where the magic happens!

Now, create small wells with your hands and start to place your succulents in the dirt. The soil should be tight around the plants but should not be pressed with much force. (Remember, you want to allow space for drainage.)
Step Three to creating an indoor succulent arrangement.


Step 4:

Next, lightly spray the roots of your succulents.

DO NOT spray the succulents, carefully spray the stem portion under the leaves and the dirt that surrounds it. You just want to get everything damp. Not soaking, not dry.
Step Four to creating an indoor succulent arrangement.

For your indoor succulents, any excess water on the leaves can cause the plant to rot if it sits too long. We avoid this by spraying directly under the leaves and at the dirt. This can also be done with a squeeze bottle or a small cup with a spout.


Step 5:


In this step, I used the larger rocks that I had to cover any open areas of soil that I saw.

Step five to creating an indoor succulent arrangement.

This step helps keep in some of the moisture during waterings AND it helps ensure that all of your succulents are in place and planted correctly. YAY!


Step 6:

Add optional hidden surprises.

Often, succulent plants come with what I like to call, “hidden surprises.” They’re these smaller pieces of a leaf that have broken off of the plant and started growing a new plant. (More on this below.)

I like to take those leaves and their little roots and place them on a rock. I try to get the roots to touch some of the soil so that they can soak up water.

Step Six to creating an indoor succulent arrangement.


What is Propagation?

It’s a process where a piece of a “mature” succulent is taken and a new plant is grown out of it. This can be done with various parts of the succulent, including leaf cuttings, stem cuttings or seeds.

I LOVE leaf propagation and it helps me grow my collection of succulents pretty quickly.

How to Propagate at Home:

  1. Carefully remove a leaf from the stem by gently twisting. I like to use the leaves closest to the soil. They are typically the largest and come off of the stem the easiest.
  2. Let the leaf dry out in a warm-ish place, on a dry napkin, for 2-3 days. (If you skip this step, your leaf may absorb too much water and will not sprout.)
  3. After 2-3 days, the leaf should be callused over. You can now rest your leaf over your rocks.
  4. Once roots have sprouted, try to move the leaf into a position for it to soak water from the soil.
  5. Once a succulent plant starts to form, continue to care for it as you would your other succulents. (DO NOT remove the leaf that is attached. This will remove itself. It is acting as the mother to the plant until it can be on its own.)



Q: What are succulents and why should I plant them?
A: Succulents are plants that store water within themselves. Both stems and leaves are storage for them. So they’re basically self-sufficient during the week and need attention on weekends. They are very low maintenance when treated correctly and can go 2-4 weeks without water (though, not recommended.) Though they typically don’t like humidity, I have had some pretty good luck here in Zone 10B.

Q: How do I maintain my succulents?
A: My favorite method is the soak & dry method. You soak the soil completely then let the soil dry out completely before watering again. This can be done every one to two weeks depending on how dry your soil is beginning to look. I typically wait 1.5 weeks to ensure my soil is completely dried out. DO NOT OVER WATER–over watering will cause your root to rot.

Q: Do succulents need sunlight? What about temperature?
A: Succulents that are indoors should be placed in an area where they get at least 2-3 hours of direct sunlight and 5-6 hours of indirect light per day. Too much sun can harm them. Succulents can grow in a variety of temperatures. For the most part, as long as your indoor space is between 60 and 80°F, your plant should be able to grow.

Q: How quickly will it grow?
A: This all depends on care. If you care for your succulents correctly, you will see a lot of growth going into month two.

Q: What qualifies a plant to be a succulent?
A: Succulent means that the plant can tolerate prolonged drought, sometimes for months; most grow best in bright light, but not always full hot sun.

Q: Can I move it outside eventually?
A: Absolutely!! Select another planter (this is my favorite outdoor planter) that has draining holes and carefully take apart your current arrangement. Replant it using the larger rocks on the bottom and the smaller rocks on the top this time.


– All cacti are succulents BUT not all succulents are cacti.
– To be a succulent, the plant must be able to sustain drought and thrive in bright light.

Your plant doesn’t look healthy?

Try reading this or this to get more info on why this may be happening and how you can fix it. You can also reach out to me directly, via Instagram and I will be happy to answer any questions.


*Most sites will advise against using a pot without drainage. I think it is fine as long as you use rocks, well-draining soil and water correctly.

A guide to evaluating what's wrong with your succulet
via Essential Home & Garden

Some of my favorite succulent Instagrams:

@succulentcity | @succulentsssss | @concrete_gardens | @succycrazy



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