Growing succulents can be a great introduction to gardening, as they can be easy to grow. However it pays to know how to care for your succulents, as too much water and not enough light can kill them.


One of the most exciting things about growing succulents is the amazing range of forms and colours available. Buying from a specialist supplier will give you the widest choice, which you can display on a sunny windowsill, greenhouse bench or conservatory.

More on growing succulents:

Water sparingly

Succulent care guide - water sparingly
Succulent care guide - water sparingly

Succulents have evolved to cope with drought. This means they don't need watering as regularly as other house plants, and can actually suffer from over-watering. For most succulents, the rule is to water from spring to autumn only, and let the compost dry out between watering. However, some succulents have more specific watering requirements – for example lithops should be watered rarely, and only from late spring, after its old leaves have died back. Always check the watering requirements of your succulents before watering.

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Provide plenty of light

Succulent care guide - provide plenty of light
Succulent care guide - provide plenty of light

Most succulents thrive in a dry, well-lit position. Some do best in full sun. However others, such as Haworthia truncata, does best in a slightly shaded position. Always check the growing requirements of individual succulents before buying them. What's more, if your succulent looks unhappy in a particular spot, try moving it to see if it fares better elsewhere.

Mulch the compost

Succulent care guide
Adding crushed shell mulch to a container of succulents

Adding mulch to pots of succulents enhances the arid look and stops damp compost coming into contact with the leaves, which can cause them to rot. Use horticultural grit, shells or another dry material. Apply carefully with a spoon and cover all of the compost.

Protect in winter

Moving succulent plants to a drier spot over winter
Moving a large pot of succulents

Most succulents are tender and need moving indoors for winter. Ideally, move pots into a greenhouse or conservatory. Some succulents can be left out in a protected spot (under an eave/by a wall) but bubble wrap round the pot only to guard against frost.

Unusual succulents to grow

Aeonium tabuliforme
Succulent care guide - Aeonium tabuliforme
  • Crassula muscosa
  • Rhipsalis baccifera
  • Bryophyllum daigremontianum
  • Echeveria setosa
  • Aeonium tabuliforme (pictured)
  • Stapelia desmentiana