Succulent Tips: Do Succulents Need Sunlight?

Succulent Sunlight Preferences

It’s no secret that succulents love the sun.

Not everyone has access to abundant sunlight, though. And winter rolls around every year like clockwork. Are succulents still a good idea even if you can’t give them full sunlight all the time?

Don’t worry – we’re gonna tell you exactly what kind of light your succulents needs and where you can get it.

Is Sunlight Mandatory for Succulents?

The short answer is no, sunlight isn’t a requirement for growing succulents.

Any plant can use any light (in the visible spectrum) for photosynthesis. Sure, the amount of “power” they get can vary hugely depending on the qualities of the light, but they’re always getting something from the light.

Even succulents and cacti, as special as they are, don’t absolutely require fancy-schmancy sunlight. They will continue to grow under your office fluorescents, the LED desk clip light, or even a regular old lamp. Or even a grow light like this.

That being said… succulents would definitely prefer sunlight.

That’s largely true for all plants – after all, they evolved for millions of years with just the light of the sun. They’re pretty well-adapted at this point.

Echeveria succulent plant
Echeveria @kazu228728

Why is Sunlight Beneficial?

The vast majority of succulents prefer to be in full, direct sun. There are two big reasons that sunlight is better for succulents.

The first is that it’s the easiest way to reveal their “true colors”, also known as “sun blush”. Those are terms that describe the gorgeous colors that succulents are known for; the luscious tones of lavender, turquoise, tangerine, and opalescent rainbow are the result of the plant being “sun stressed”.

“Sun stress” is a response to lots of intense, direct light. Plants have different responses to intense light. Some, like grasses, curl up to minimize the amount of surface area exposed. Succulents, on the other hand, change colors. Color changing in this case helps to reflect some of the light, preventing heat damage and reducing the amount of energy they uptake.

Those Pinterest-worthy color schemes are just a happy side-effect.

Succulents can and do survive just fine even without that amount of light. The catch is that they tend to just stay a (somewhat boring) shade of green.

The second reason that sunlight is helpful might be a little unexpected since it has nothing to do with the actual light. Sunlight is useful because it brings with it heat… and that heat will help dry out your soil.

We’ve talked about watering best practices and the importance of dry soil before. Sunlight helps dry out your soil even if the plant is behind a window or in an environment that is otherwise cool. The light from the sun is very high in energy, which speeds up evaporation even if you don’t notice the temperature rising.

Sunlight Alternatives

Don’t be concerned if you don’t have access to an abundance of sunlight. Succulents are not off the table yet. You just need to grab some grow lights.

There are two main types of grow lights: LEDs and fluorescent bulbs. The old-style incandescent bulbs should be given a pass – they make more heat than light.

While both LED and fluorescent will provide plenty of energy to keep your succulents happy, we recommend using fluorescents (especially the tube-light configurations). LED only emits light at specific wavelengths, which is very efficient in terms of electricity, but won’t get you the colors you want.

Fluorescent lights, on the other hand, come in full spectrum varieties. Those usually have a “color temperature” of about 6500K, meaning that it emits a light very similar to that of the sun. Some even have a bit of UV light, and while that won’t contribute to growth, it’s great for stressing the plant a little to get those beautiful colors.

Grow lights come in a bunch of styles to fit your needs. There are CFL bulbs that screw into a regular bulb socket (a great trick is to replace your desk lamp with one of these – now it’s a grow light)! LEDs often come in adhesive strips so you can put them under shelves, for example. There are tube lights which have varying lengths and can be suspended above your plants. Particularly versatile is the simple goose-necked clip on light that can go anywhere you have plants!


Succulent plants colorful

Where do you get the Best Sunlight?

If you’re committed to growing your succulents au natural, you’ll need to know the optimal places to set your plant.

If you’re trying to get your plant as much light as possible, that’s easy – set them outside in a place that’s slightly elevated and has nothing around it to cast shade.

Not everyone has the luxury of open spaces in their apartment or wooded properties, however. Furthermore, putting succulents outside year-round isn’t viable for most of us. When temperatures begin to drop below the 50° F succulents start to suffer.

Windowsills are the natural next step. Of course, you only get light from one direction in this scenario. That could cause your succulent to grow in the direction of the light – to fix this, rotate them regularly or add supplemental light from the other direction.

What are the best windows for plants? I’m glad you asked. If you live in the northern hemisphere (that’s us in the USA), a south-facing window will get more light than any other direction (assuming there are no external circumstances like another house or a tree casting shade).

A good south-facing window is almost as good as being outside in direct sunlight because it will get light all day. The next best window is east-facing. That’s because morning light tends to be more intense than afternoon light, and so it’s better for succulents. You would lastly prioritize westward windows over northward ones, but it’s unlikely that those two will be quite enough light.

Windowsills tend to fill up pretty quickly, unfortunately. It’s like home-builders don’t know that their primary purpose is to hold lots of plants? It took me a while to discover this, but it turns out that there exist windowsill shelves. They easily attach to your window and can double or triple the amount of sill real estate. It’s a game-changer.

You can also buy some planter stands that elevate the planter so that your succulents receive better light with a stable base. Something like this will work depending on how tall your windowsill is.

Succulent plant burros tail

Sunlight Precautions

It’s worth remembering that it is possible to give your plants too much sun. A few kinds of succulents only want partial sun, or even like shade. Be sure to check the care requirements on your specific fat plant before making big changes.

It’s also not advised to move a sun directly into very bright, intense light without acclimatizing it first. If it’s been in a low-light situation for a while and then is moved into the open sun, it’ll cause shock and even sunburn. In extreme cases, the succulent can die.

It’s easy to prevent, though. Just introduce it to sun gradually over a week or two. That might mean putting it in a place that gets shade during part of the day, or moving it in and outside once per day.

No, that’s not a chore! That’s another excuse to play with plants!

Now that we’ve enlightened you about the amount of light a succulent plant really needs, your succulent will grow healthy! Be sure to read our articles below if you need more tips and tricks on how to take care of your succulent plants. With over thousands of shares on some articles, we’ve helped so many people, you can be one of them.

Did this article about how much light succulents need help answer your succulent-care questions? We sure hope so! If not, no worries. Succulent City is devoted to aiding all succulent lovers, and that’s why we created a line of ebook guides! Check out our in-depth tips on Best Lighting Practices for Succulent Growth or even The Best Soil Recommendations for Your Succulent today!

Everything You Need to Know About the Snake Plant

Sansevieria Trifasciata— Snake Plant

Many succulents are short and squat because they’ve adapted to grow in arid climates, but not the snake plant! It’s a tropical plant that’s known for its beautiful tall leaves and color variations. Some varieties have leaves with thick, buttery yellow edges, while others have striking dark green stripes. Interior designers love this plant, and so do we―it compliments pretty much any style of decor and looks great in arrangements!

Succulents are known for being hardy, and snake plants are no exception. They’re one of the easiest types of succulents to care for, so we love to recommend them to new gardeners and people with black thumbs.

Even if you forget to water your snake plant for a month, you probably won’t kill it, so don’t let your lack of gardening prowess stop you from owning this wonderful plant!

Even though snake plants are tough, you’re still going to need our advice to keep your plant looking its best. In this article, we’ll give you lots of helpful care taking tips with some fun snake plant facts thrown in for good measure, so keep reading!

Snake plants in white planters sansevieria trifasciata

Sansevieria Trifasciata— the Snake Plant

History and Origin

Snake plants are native to tropical West Africa and are an important part of African culture. Nigerians believe that the plant provides spiritual protection. They use it in a ritual to remove the evil eye, a malevolent stare that casts a curse on its victims. This succulent is also associated with several African gods, including the god of war.

The Chinese also think that this plant brings good luck like the jade plant. They believe that the gods will bestow the eight virtues, which include long life and prosperity, onto its caretakers. Even if this succulent didn’t bring us good luck, we’d still keep it around because it’s so pretty!

Sansevieria Trifasciata

Snake plants are a type of Sansevieria, which is a genus made up of seventy different flowering plants. These plants are grouped together because they all have shared characteristics like narrow, upright leaves and short, thick roots.

Because the snake plant belongs to the genus Sansevieria, its full scientific name is Sansevieria Trifasciata. The second word in its name, Trifasciata, comes from Latin. It means “marked with three bands.” Several snake plant varieties are variegated, which is just a fancy way of saying that their leaves have different colored streaks. These colorful markings are why snake plants got the name Trifasciata.

In addition to its scientific name, the snake plant has a few nicknames. It’s often called mother-in-law’s tongue because of its sharp, pointed leaves. If you ever buy this succulent for your mother-in-law, don’t tell her what it’s called!

Snake plants are also known as viper’s bowstring hemp because they have strong fibers that were once used to make bowstrings.

Snake plant in black planter

How to Care for Snake Plants

Best Soil for Snake Plants

Snake plants are sensitive to water and prone to root rot, so it’s important to plant them in soil that drains well. Commercial succulent or cactus soil is great for them because it has added sand that helps with drainage. Read our best soil article to understand what the best soil mix is for your succulents.

You can also make your own succulent soil from scratch. You’ll save some money and get to control exactly what goes into it, so try it out if you can. There are lots of homemade soil recipes floating around on the Internet, but we like to use three parts of potting soil, two parts of coarse sand like builder’s sand, and one part of pumice.

We won’t lie, though―as much as we love a good DIY, we usually use commercial succulent soil because it’s more convenient.

We highly recommend this soil mix by Bonsai Jack. It is one of the best soil mixes on the market. It doesn’t need to be mixed with any other soil, it helps fight root rot, perfectly pH Balanced & is pathogen-free (ie: won’t kill your plants). This soil is the go-to for our office plants. Go ahead and get the 7 Gallon Bag if you are plant nerd like us :). Pick up some of our favorite soil by clicking here: Bonsai Jack Succulent Soil.

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10/26/2021 03:17 pm GMT

Repotting Snake Plants

Unlike other succulents, snake plants prefer to be a little squished in their pots. You don’t have to repot these guys until they’re busting out. Wait until you see obvious signs of overgrowth, like excessive top heaviness that makes your plant topple over or roots that stick out of the drainage hole. You can expect to repot your snake plants every three to six years.

Here’s some nifty geometric planters in case you want to get fancy.

Repotting a snake plant is pretty easy, but there are still a few things you need to know. Snake plants like to be root bound, so each time you repot yours, choose a pot that’s only a few inches larger than the old one. The pot you pick should definitely have a drainage hole because snake plants can rot if they sit in any water.

When you’re ready to repot, get your succulent soil and fill the new pot about a third of the way full. Support your succulent by placing your hand on top of the soil and gently turn the pot over. Your plant should pop right out, but if it doesn’t, try tapping on the sides of the pot a little. If it just doesn’t want to come out no matter what you do (we’ve all been there), try watering it. Soaking the soil will loosen the roots and make it easier for you to get your plant out. 

Now, place your plant in the new pot and see where it sits. If your plant sits one to two inches below the pot’s rim, you’re good to go! If not, add or remove soil until it’s positioned properly. Allow your succulent some time to adjust to its new pot before you water it―a few days is usually enough.

Hold off on fertilizing it for a few weeks, too, so that you don’t damage its unestablished roots.


Snake plants in modern planters

How Much Water Does a Snake Plant Need?

Succulents need a lot less water than other kinds of plants, and they also need a different watering schedule. Succulents do best when you let their soil dry out completely between waterings, which usually takes about a week.

Snake plants require a bit less water than other succulents, so you may want to water yours every week and a half to two weeks instead of every week.

How to Water a Snake Plant

To water your snake plant, fill up a watering can and pour water onto the soil until it starts to run out of the drainage hole of the pot. Make sure that your succulent doesn’t sit in any water―if you keep your pot on a saucer, lift up the pot once or twice a day and drain any excess water. Make sure that the soil is dry to the touch before you water your succulent again.

Considering that succulents need less water than other plants, it sounds a little strange to flood your snake plant with water every other week. But trust us―this watering schedule works!

If you’re still unsure how much water you’ll need, read our complete watering guide for succulents here. (It’s helped over 2000 succulent lovers to date!)

Snake Plant Light Requirements

Snake plants love indirect sunlight, but they’re pretty adaptable and can survive in full sun and low light conditions. Because they only need indirect sunlight to thrive, they make great houseplants like these.

To keep your snake plant healthy and happy, try placing it near an east facing window. These windows provide a few hours of direct sunlight in the morning and indirect sunlight for the rest of the day, which is perfect for this plant. If you want to keep it close to a brighter south or west facing window, just make sure that you shield it from the sun’s rays by closing the blinds a little. Too much direct sunlight will burn the leaves of your snake plant.

Outside, the best place to put your snake plants is in the shade. While they can be planted in areas that get full sun, we don’t really recommend it. In full sun they’re much more likely to develop symptoms of sun damage, like dark brown spots on their leaves. You’ll also have to water them more often because the heat from the sun causes the soil to dry out faster. If you’re not always great at remembering to water your plants, keep them in the shade!

If you’re dying to plant this gorgeous succulent in a sunny spot in your garden, we get it! We think it would look fab out there too. Just make sure you keep a close eye on it and have shade cloth on hand in case it starts to burn.

Snake plant Sansevieria Trifasciata

Snake Plant Temperature Requirements

Just like real snakes, snake plants don’t like the cold! They can’t tolerate temperatures below 40°F. If you leave them outside in freezing temperatures, the water inside their cells can freeze, expand, and burst their cell walls.

This will cause tissue damage and make the leaves look brown and mushy in certain spots. Your plant can even die if it’s left outside in the cold for too long! If temperatures in your area drop to forty degrees, make sure you bring your outdoor snake plant inside or put some frost cloth over it to keep it as warm as possible.

If you keep your plant inside, that’s ideal. Snake plants do best in temperatures between seventy and ninety degrees, so indoor environments are perfect for them. They’ll reward you for keeping them indoors by purifying the air you breathe. They remove toxins like formaldehyde from the air and release lots of oxygen, improving the air circulation in your home.

Best Fertilizer for Snake Plants

Fertilizer can encourage your snake plants to flower and help them grow faster. You can fertilize them as often as once per month during the spring and summer months.

To get the best results, use a balanced fertilizer. You can tell that a fertilizer is balanced if it has three identical numbers on the package, like 8-8-8. These numbers indicate that the fertilizer contains equal proportions of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, the three main nutrients in fertilizer. We recommend that you pick up an 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 formula and dilute it to half strength before applying it to your succulent.


Succulents can sometimes get infested with pests like mealybugs. Plants that are kept outdoors and ones that are overwatered are more susceptible to infestations, but any plant can become infected.

The two main pests you need to watch out for are mealybugs and spider mites. They stymie your plant’s growth and suck the sap from its leaves, wounding them in the process. If they’re left on your plant long enough, they can even kill it. That’s why it’s so important to get rid of these nasty little critters as soon as you spot them!

Mealybugs are often mistaken for mold because they’re white and fuzzy. If you see lots of white, fuzzy spots on your plant, grab some isopropyl alcohol and put it in a spray bottle or on a q-tip. Spray or wipe the affected areas with the alcohol. Do this as many times as it takes to get rid of all the mealybugs.

Because they’re so small, you probably won’t be able to see the spider mites on your plant, but you will be able to see the damage. Spider mite damage appears as small yellow and brown spots on your plant’s leaves. These mites are related to spiders, so they’ll also leave webbing on your plant that looks similar to a spider web. If you see any of these warning signs, start spraying your succulent’s leaves, especially the undersides, with water and insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Propagating Snake Plants

One of the reasons why we love succulents is because you can get baby plants from them for free through a process called propagation.

Division is one of the most popular ways to propagate snake plants because it preserves the variegation patterns of the mother plant. If you want your new snake plant’s leaves to have the same thick yellow borders as your old plant, then don’t propagate it with leaf cuttings or rhizomes―divide your plant instead.

Propagating Leaf Cuttings

To take a leaf cutting, grab a sharp knife or a pair of shears and cut a leaf off of your plant. You want to make the cut pretty close to the bottom of the plant.

Now, take that leaf and cut it up again into a few different sections. As you’re cutting, make sure that you note which end of each section is the bottom. The “bottom” of each cutting is the side that was closest to the roots of the main plant when it was still attached.

If you plant the top sides of the cuttings in soil, they won’t root, so that’s why this step is so important. We like to take a non-toxic sharpie or pen and mark which sides we need to plant so that we don’t get confused.

Leave these cuttings to dry out for a few days. Then, fill a planting tray or pot with succulent soil and plant the cuttings bottom side down in the soil. You should keep them in bright, indirect sunlight and mist them with a spray bottle once a day to keep them moist.

Propagating succulents from leaves isn’t an exact science, and not every leaf will take, but you should see some roots and buds after a few weeks. Once your baby succulent grows a bit larger, you can water it the same way you water your mature snake plants.

3 snake plants in modern white planters

Propagating Rhizome Cuttings

Propagating rhizome cuttings is pretty much the same process as propagating leaves. If you’re not familiar with rhizomes, they’re kind of like roots, except they grow horizontally. Plants that have them use them to store nutrients. Rhizomes sometimes sprout up through the soil near your main plant and grow new leaves. They can be cut and used to grow new succulents.

It’s important to wait until a rhizome sprouts a leaf before you cut it. Once that happens, take a sharp garden knife and cut the rhizome as close to the bottom as you can. Allow the cutting to dry out for a few days, and then plant it in soil, cut side down. Water this cutting the same way you watered the leaves.

Dividing Snake Plants

You can also cut your snake plant in half with a sharp knife to gain a brand new plant. Like we mentioned earlier, division is the best way to ensure that your new plant will have the same variegation as your main plant.

Cut your plant and its root structure in half right down the middle. Plant each half in its own pot with some succulent soil. Allow these plants to take root for a few days before you water them, and then water them as normal.

By now you’re probably dying to run to your local garden center and pick up one of these plants. We don’t blame you! Snake plants are beautiful, low maintenance houseplants that anyone can grow and enjoy regardless of their gardening skill level.

We love their gorgeous tall leaves, color variations, and greenish white flowers. We hope that this guide has helped you figure out how to take care of a snake plant once you get it home from the nursery, whether or not you have a green thumb!

Last update on 2021-10-26 / Amazon

Leave a comment below about what you enjoyed learning about in this article, we’re curious! And if you have a new snake plant after this, let us know the progress of your succulent baby, happy planting!

Enjoyed learning about Snake Plants? If so, you’ll really enjoy the ebook about The Right Way to Propagating Succulents Successfully. With this ebook you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents.

Top 7 Best Succulents You Need in Your Succulent Garden

Top 7 Succulents You Need in Your Garden

If you have a gut feeling that something “different” is missing in your succulent garden, then it’s probably true. Some plant gardens just aren’t complete without certain outdoor succulent varieties.

Outdoor succulents are a perfect fit for busy gardeners who might not be able to devote much time to maintenance but equally want to enjoy their outdoor spaces. Not only are these plants low maintenance, but their quirky and unusual looks add that wow factor to your succulent garden.

The following succulents are a must-have in any succulent garden. I’d highly recommend checking it out!

The Ghost Plant— Graptopetalum Paraguayense

Graptopetalum paraguayense the ghost plant

The ghost plant is one beautiful succulent with a mysterious past.

It’s a real survivor and can withstand the harsh outdoor weather conditions. Fortunately, there’s nothing ghostly with this succulent and was probably named so due to its grayish-white leaves. Although the specie’s name denotes that this succulent comes from Paraguay, its real native home is Mexico.

The plant grows in neatly arranged rosettes of plump, pointed leaves almost resembling an Echeveria.  The leaves are brittle and often fall off easily if disturbed. Graptopetalum paraguayense behaves like a chameleon. Its color is highly dependent on the amount of light it receives. When grown in partial shade, it’s gray-blue in color while in full sun, its color changes to pinkish-gray or yellow.

The ghost plant blooms in spring or summer producing dainty star-shaped yellow flowers on the tips of the rosettes.

Growing a Graptopetalum is quite a snap. They only need well-draining soil, a bit of water, and lots of sunshine. They’re cold hardy and can survive the worst frost.

They are easily propagated via beheading or leaf cuttings which bring forth buds a few weeks after they’re calloused. Ghost plants can be grown as cascade succulents or ground cover plants in your garden. Just don’t walk on them.

Check out our other post “How to Propagate Succulents Successfully”

Hens and Chicks— Sempervivum Tectorum

Hens and chicks sempervivum tectorum succulent plant

Sempervivum tectorum, also known as houseleek hails from Europe where it is commonly grown on house roofs of cottages. Roofs of cottages? That’s right.

Apparently, folklore has it that hen and chicks planted on your roof will shield your home from fire, lightning as well as hold those roof slates together.

With such a history, hen and chicks would definitely perform pretty well when grown outdoors. Sempervivum grows in compact rosettes with fleshy, thick leaves which are often tinged with red color at the tips.

Blooming is quite rare in houseleeks, but when it happens, the flowers are small, scentless, yellow, or pink in color which grows on a stalk emerging from the plant’s center. Once the plant blooms, the “hen” dies and fades away leaving plenty of chicks for its replacement.

Their native habitats are rocky and so they require soil with high draining capabilities. These sun lovers prefer full sun or partial shade. Hen and chicks are drought-resistant so avoid overwatering them to prevent root rot.

Propagation is simple. Just pluck out a chick, pot it and you’re done. (Check out our article for propagating successfully if you want to learn more). Hen and Chicks forms a neat mat on the ground when grown outdoors.

Aeonium Kiwi— Aeonium Haworthii

Aeonium kiwi haworthii succulent plant

The Aeonium Kiwi is an easy to grow succulent with a luscious look. It comes in different shades and may be chartreuse, cream, or red. Also known as dream color or pinwheel, the kiwi succulent is quite showy with rosettes having fleshy, spoon-shaped leaves awesomely colored. The leaves in the middle of the rosette are pale yellow progressively turning green on the outside. The edges are red making the plant drop-dead gorgeous.

Aeonium kiwi can do well in the poorest of soils as long it has good drainage. Water deeply and let the soil dry out before doing so again. They prefer growing in partial shade although they don’t mind some bright sun for a few hours.

Unlike most succulents, Aeonium kiwi actively grows in winter and spring. They may go dormant during summer and you may recognize this once their leaves curl in. This is also the time they bloom by producing yellow flowers.

Yellow Flowers are beautiful, and we made an article you should check out talking about Succulents With Yellow Flowers That You Should Have!

Mexican Rose— Echeveria Elegans

Mexican rose echeveria elegans succulent plant

Echeveria Elegans is a stemless, evergreen perennial with fleshy gray-blue leaves that grow closely forming neat, tight rosettes. As the plant grows, it forms a carpet effect by continuously producing new baby offsets.

Native to Mexico and Central America, the Mexican rose blooms in spring producing slender stalks carrying pink flowers with yellow tips.

These cute plants prefer full sun or partial shade when grown outdoors. They form neat ground cover on gardens or landscapes. The soil needs to be well-draining to avoid problems related to damp soil. Water once a week or even less depending on the climate of your environment. Echeveria Elegans stores water in it leaves and will quickly rot if given too much water.

Check out our post “Most Popular Succulents From Mexico”

Living Stone— Lithops

Living stone lithops sucuclent plants

Lithops are tiny succulents that resemble pebbles and normally grow in arid areas. Native to Southern Africa, locals call them “sheep hooves” because of their hoof-like appearance.

Lithops don’t have a true stem. They’re composed of two concaved leaves that emanate from a taproot. The roots are longer than the actual plant and can grow six inches deep. They’re generally slow growers and may take some time to produce new leaves.

Do you know what that means? You can have them in cute small planter even a coffee mug works well for the initial growth.

They thrive on rocky soil with minimum organic matter. Lithops will quickly perish if overwatered as they’re adapted to arid conditions. They love bright sunlight and can still do well in partial shade. They’re dormant during summer so avoid watering during this time.

Propagation by leaf or stem cutting is impossible as they only have two leaves. The best way to get more plants is by growing lithops from seeds.

The Zebra Plant— Haworthia Fasciata

Succulents you need in your garden

It’s a slow-growing succulent, with erect, green leaves streaked in white resembling a Zebra. It is native to South Africa and literally thrives on neglect.

The Zebra Plant produces teensy, white, or pink flowers that appear on a thin tall stem known as an inflorescence.

It blends perfectly well with other succulents when grown outdoors due to its undemanding nature. Well-draining soil, full sun, and watering once a week and you’re good to go!

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera succulent plant

This is a popular, stemless, and midsized perennial succulent, forming rosettes with its leaves growing in alternate layers. The leaves emanate from the center and are thick, fleshy, and lanceolate. They contain a green gel that is medicinal and has a horde of other uses.

Growing an aloe vera is pretty straightforward. Only feed them water when the soil completely dries out. Use a well-draining cacti mix to avoid damp soil. Aloe vera prefers bright sunlight and can endure the heat of summer.


Which one will you choose for your garden? Or how many of these do you already have for your garden? Let us know in the comments below which one is your favorite.

Personally, you can never go wrong with an aloe vera plant, just look at that mesmerizing growth they have above! Anyways, share with your fellow succulent garden lovers, and don’t forget, happy planting!

Calling all succulents lovers— rookie or veteran! Succulent City has developed a line of 12 ebooks (Click here to grab them, it’ll be super helpful), ranging on topics from indoor & outdoor succulents, essential tools, the best soil to use, and more! We even threw in a complimentary ebook to help get your succulent journey started you just have to insert your email on our front page for this. With our ebooks, you’ll be a succulent guru in no time, have fun!

8 Best Indoor Cacti You Need to Have

Best indoor cacti

Mini succulents and other conventional houseplants are in for a big competition. Cacti décor designs are springing up from every corner of the internet and boy, don’t they just look gorgeous!

Taming these desert survivors may seem hard, but not to cacti connoisseurs. Nothing beats the unique rustic look exuded by cacti. With their spiny texture and varied shapes, you’d be forgiven to think they’re living sculptures.

And no, they don’t need to be watched closely. Cacti actually thrive on neglect. (Yes, deprive them and they’ll still grow). Love them too much and you’ll soon be burying lots of them.

This is good news to beginner gardeners, busy plant lovers or brown thumbs who are looking for some bragging rights. Whichever category you fall into, cacti got you covered, talk about independence! If you’re a brown thumb, be sure to join our Succulent Plant Lounge, a lot of the members here converse and help each other out, it’s a great community to be in for succulents.

Sold on getting one of these alien-looking plants for your living room? Picking just any variety for your indoor needs may not be a good idea. Certain cacti varieties are just not meant to be tamed. Be that as it may, there are cacti species that thrive indoors and may even reward you with spectacular blooms.

Ready to explore? Let’s do this!

Bishop’s Cap— Astrophytum Myriostigma

Bishop’s Cap Astrophytum Myriostigma

Native to the Chihuahuan desert of Mexico, the Bishop’s Cap cacti is the most popular species in the genus Astrophytum. Its appearance resembles a star-shaped globe with equally divided segments. This hardy plant is usually green in color while young but as it matures, it’s covered by a grayish coating of fine scales to protect it from sunburn.

Tiny spines are lined on the ribs that separate the plant’s segments giving it a distinctive look. Take good care of it and it’ll give you brilliant yellow blooms during spring. Feeding it some fertilizer from time to time will do just that, any highly rated fertilizer for cacti like this will work just fine.

These dainty flowers appear at the center top of the plant where the ridges that separate the different segments converge.

Also known as the Monk’s Hood, taking care of the Bishop’s Cap is an easy ride. They can thrive in light shade but require sunlight for at least three hours a day. They can do well in a window sill on a south or west-facing window. Subject them to plenty of sun if you want to see the blooms.

We think a great window sill planter like this modern white one will look wonderful with the Bishop’s Cap cactus.

Astrophytum myriostigma prefers quick-draining soil so avoid your regular gardening mix. Water infrequently as too much water will lead to an early grave. You may feed them diluted fertilizer once a month during their growing season. Propagation is mainly done through seeds.

Barrel Cactus— Ferrocactus Species

Barrel Cactus Ferrocactus Species

Arrayed with ferocious spines, this quirky cactus makes a perfect complement to your existing interiorscape. As the name suggests, the barrel cactus is spherical with long spines on its ribs. The spikes act as protection to the juicy, edible pulp located on the inside.

The barrel cactus has a long life span and may live for a couple of decades. Its size varies depending on the species. Some are squat while others may be as tall as 10 feet. (Now that’s one tall and spiky plant!)

This cactus is a true sun lover and prefers full sun for a few hours a day. Setting it beside a large uncovered window will ensure it gets plenty of sun for optimum growth. Water sparingly, and do so after the soil has completely dried out. Use commercial cacti mix to prevent damp soil-related problems like root rot and fungi.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have to handle the barrel cactus with your bare hands, don’t. Be safe with cut resistant gloves so that the sharp spines won’t make a dent in your flesh.

Old Lady Cactus— Mammilaria Hahniana

Old Lady Cactus Mammilaria Hahniana

Native to the Guanajuato state of Mexico, this cactus is tall growing reaching a height of 10 inches. Mammilaria hahniana is commonly referred to as the old lady cactus due to its white hair covering on the entire plant. The white hairs and spine also serve to protect the plant from the intense sun.

The old lady cactus blooms in spring and summer producing attractive purple flowers that may even grow in a ring on the plant’s apex.

Use well-draining cacti mix while potting this plant as they hate sitting in damp soil. Water once a week during the hot season and once a month during winter. Mammilaria hahniana will readily bloom in bright sunlight.

Learn more about this succulent here!

Angel Wings Cactus— Opuntia Albispina

Angel Wings Cactus Opuntia Albispina

Also known as bunny ears, the angel wings cactus is a desert denizen, highly adapted to small amounts of water and extensive heat. It has a striking appearance with its flat pads endowed with glochids –a fancy term for the white prickles you see on its surface.

Unlike most cacti, it lacks spines as these are replaced with clusters of hair on the surface of the pads. Careful though, these glochids can still injure you so take care while handling it.

Opuntia albispina is a summer bloomer producing creamy yellow flowers with globular edible fruits that are purple in color. Provide it with lots of light, quick-draining soil, and infrequent watering and you’ll have one happy angel wing cactus.

Christmas Cactus— Schlumbergera Bridgessii

Christmas Cactus— Schlumbergera Bridgessii

Well, if you can’t pronounce the complex scientific name, don’t worry. You can also call it the thanksgiving cactus. Unlike most cacti, the Christmas cactus is spineless, characterized by its serrated green leaves.

This Brazilian cactus blooms in winter, producing showy tubular flowers in shades of purple, pink, red, and pink.

Keep your Christmas cactus in shaded light with a few hours in direct bright sunlight. Exposing this attractive indoor cactus in the hot sun will lead to sunburn. This plant is native to the tropical forests of Brazil and so it needs more water than other cacti. Thus, water frequently during its growing seasons but be careful to let the water drain out. If you’re wondering, propagation is also possible via cuttings.

Learn more about the beautiful Christmas cactus here.

Saguaro Cactus— Carnegiea Gigantean

Saguaro Cactus— Carnegiea Gigantean

Native to the Sonoran Desert of Mexico, the Saguaro cactus is a slow-growing and long-lived plant that can live up to two centuries. Its scientific name, Carnegiea Gigantean means gigantic candle. And quite rightly so! This cactus can grow up to 40 feet in height.

Saguaros are barrel-shaped with water storing capacity in the external pleats. It is hard on blooming and may take over 35 years for flowers to appear.

Carnegiea prefers bright sunlight. Water only once a month and cut back on watering during winter and other cool seasons. Let the soil be grainy and quickly draining for optimum growth.

Rat Tail Cactus— Aporocactus Flagelliformis

Rat Tail Cactus— Aporocactus Flagelliformis

Can you throw a guess of the native home of this beauty? That’s right! The magnificent Mexico –home to almost all cacti.

If rats annoy you, well hopefully not this quirky rat tail cactus. With its trailing stems covered with fine spines, it’s definitely the perfect plant to set up on a hanging basket. The rat tail cactus thrives on bright sunlight and if everything goes well, they may bloom in spring bringing forth spectacular pink flowers.

Water as you would any cactus, making sure not to overwater the plant. A well-draining commercial cacti mix is recommended to prevent root rot. You can share the rat tail cactus with friends through cuttings. More the merrier! If you have some to give away, why not lend some to our members at Succulent Plant Lounge?

Be sure to check out “The Rat Tail Cactus: Everything You Need To Know

Star Cactus— Astrophytum Asteria

Star Cactus Astrophytum Asteria

It’s a short, plump and round plant with approximately eight ribs each arrayed with woolly areoles. Also known as the sand dollar cactus or sea urchin cactus, Astrophytum asteria is generally green in color covered with decorative white dots.

When conditions are right, the star cactus blooms during spring, producing alluring yellow flowers having orange shades at the center. The fruits are pink, gray, or reddish, with woolly hair covering them.

Taking care of Astrophytum asteria is quite a breeze. Use grainy cacti mix that’s well-draining and water them twice a month. Ensure the soil dries out completely before in between watering. These sun lovers prefer bright light so get them the south or west-facing window for healthy growth.

If you’re looking for a more in-depth guide of this fantastic cactus, check this out!


Have enough of the cacti yet? If you get any particular cactus please let us know and if you want us to write a full in-depth article on how to take care of one of these cacti, don’t be afraid to comment it below.

Succulent City is here to help!

Did you enjoy reading this article? If so, you’ll really enjoy the ebook about All the Types of Succulents for Indoor & Outdoor. With this ebook, you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents.

7 Rare Air Plants You Need in Your Home

7 Rare Air Plants

Air plants are so cool, that even the common varieties seem rare to us!

Here’s a fun fact, all air plants can grow without any soil. Isn’t that amazing? No other plant can do that… sounds pretty rare to us already!

But today, we thought we’d share some real rare air plants with you. These plants are on the list because they’re hard to come by or because they have unusual characteristics that are just worth checking out.

If you’re a Tillandsia (air plants) collector, you’ll definitely want to get your hands on these seven rare air plants, so keep reading for some hard- to- find air plants!

7 rare air plants
rare air plants @saltyhogcreations

Tillandsia Ionantha ‘Druid’

The leaves on Tillandsia Ionantha plants usually turn bright red in direct sunlight, but this special cultivar is different. Its leaves grow in clumps and turn a beautiful orangey pink color before they bloom and after they soak up a lot of sunshine. The rest of the time, the leaves are a green color.

This cultivar also has different colored blooms than the original plant—they’re bright white instead of dark purple. We like the colors of this cultivar better because they look so tropical! Plus the bright colors just scream rare!

What do you think?

7 rare air plants
Ionantha ‘Druid’ @thegoodest

Tillandsia Tectorum

This rare air plant has a ton of white fuzz on its leaves, but it’s not mold—it’s trichomes! Trichomes are structures on the leaves of air plants that help them absorb nutrients from the air and water. Very few air plants have this many fuzzy trichomes on their leaves, so that’s what makes the Tillandsia Tectorum a rare air plant!

This plant may look like it’s covered in snow, but it’s actually native to the deserts of Peru. It does quite well in the heat and doesn’t need much water to thrive. Its abundance of fuzzy trichomes help it absorb and store lots of water, just like succulents!

We recommend you check out our watering air plants article if you’re unsure of how much water you need to give your air plants, which isn’t that much at all.


7 rare air plants
Tectorum @naobon_

Tillandsia Cacticola

This rare air plant got the name “Cacticola” because it grows on cacti—how cool is that! It’s hard to find because it doesn’t produce very many offsets unfortunately, but it’s worth tracking one down.

It produces beautiful lavender blooms that grow on a long stem high above the plant. The flowers last for a few months, which is a little unusual for a flowering air plant, so you’ll get to enjoy them for a while!

This plant is prized for its flowers, but we think its leaves are pretty cool too. They’re silvery green, slightly curly, and form a pretty rosette.

Tillandsia Cacticola plants are native to northern Peru, so they like moderate humidity, plenty of bright, indirect sunlight, and warm temperatures. If you do manage to get your hands on one, remember to take good care of it!

7 rare air plants
Cacticola @tillymandias

Tillandsia lonantha ‘Fuego’

“Fuego” means fire in Spanish if you didn’t know, and these little air plants sure are fiery! They turn bright red before they bloom and retain that color for a few months after, which is unusual. Usually air plants revert back to their original color shortly after blooming, which is why we’re calling this cultivar a rare air plant!

These plants only grow to be two inches tall, so they’re great for small terrariums. Check these hanging terrariums out from Mkono, they’re so cool and the perfect size for these tiny fiery air plants!

Even though they’re small, they’ll be the star of your plant collection with their bright red leaves and vibrant purple, yellow, and red blooms! Especially if you use those terrariums we mentioned, they’ll be the star of the room or home!

7 rare air plants
Fuego @sekoyabodrum

Tillandsia Streptophylla

Tillandsia Streptophylla plants are known for their beautiful, curly leaves. Their nickname is actually Shirley Temple (not to be mistaken from the cocktail) because their curly clumps of leaves look a lot like her hair!

Tillandsia Streptophylla plants are native to Central America, Mexico and the West Indies, so they’re used to drier climates. They’re considered to be xeric plants, so they retain water well and don’t need to be watered too often. If you’re guilty of frequently forgetting to water your plants, then this is the one for you!

This rare air plant is especially hard to find in a large size, so bonus points if you can track down a jumbo one! If you get your hands on a Tillandsia Streptophylla that is quite large, let us see it in the Succulent City Plant Lounge, i’m sure all the exclusive members would love to see your beautiful plant!

7 rare air plants
streptophylla @flowerheartseverywhere

Tillandsia Funckiana V. Recurvifolia

This is the rarest variety of Tillandsia Funckiana, and we can see why! Its leaves are extremely unique and look like pine branches. Its leaves also recurve, or bend backward, which is how this variety got the name “Recurvifolia.” Neat, huh?

Tillandsia Funckiana plants are native to Venezuela, so they like bright, indirect sunlight and warm temperatures. They’re pretty hardy, though, so they’re good plants for people who don’t have the greenest thumbs!

7 rare air plants
Funckiana @davesairplantcorner

Tillandsia Bulbosa Belize

This large rare air plant got its name because of its round, bulbous base. It has smooth, wavy leaves that remind us of snakes. A lot of people say this plant looks like a sea creature, though! Not sure if that’s scary or awesome…

This Tillandsia is native to Belize and is another one that’s hard to kill. It doesn’t need very much water—you can get away with misting it twice a week. The only thing it doesn’t handle well is low light, so make sure you put it in a bright corner of your home! If your home is lacking sunlight but you want to keep this plant indoors, you might need to bring on the handy grow light from a reputable company like Ankace.

7 rare air plants
Bulbosa @ryokumouzoku

Those are the seven rare air plants that we think you need to complete your air plant collection!

Which one is your favorite? We love the Tillandsia Tectorum because it looks like it’s covered in snow! Let us know which ones you love in the comments section below or join the conversation in the Succulent City Plant Lounge.

Thanks for reading about these rare air plants, if you know an air plant that deserves to be on this list, please don’t be shy, let us know below!

Enjoyed learning about 7 Rare Air Plants You Need in Your Home? If so, you’ll really enjoy the ebook about Rare Succulents You Wish You Knew About. With this ebook, you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents.

Happy planting! ?