Succulents are often touted for their unique, eye-catching foliage and textures, but many flowering succulents also produce blooms that draw lots of attention. Their ability to store water in their leaves and stems and easy care undoubtedly earn them popularity in the garden world, but flowering succulents have their own uniquely captivating intense beauty.
You may wonder where to grow flowering succulents: outdoor vs. in? Flowering succulents are easy to maintain indoors as houseplants and when planted outdoors both in containers and in-ground. Check out our tips on successfully growing flowering succulents: outdoor vs. in, and find out some of our favorite, most rewarding varieties.
Growing Flowering Succulents: Outdoor vs. In
Flowering succulents are traditionally hardy in zones 9-11, where they can be grown outdoors as high-performing perennial plants. Although, some perennial varieties such as Rock Purslane and Sedum Varieties perform well in Zones 3-10, returning each year with vigor.
Flowering succulents thrive in sunny locations with warm, dry climates and can tolerate some neglect, so growing succulents outdoors is a fantastic option. You can grow succulents in-ground, in pots, or tuck them away in unexpected planting spots.
They can be grown outdoors in other regions during the summer months if the growing conditions are optimal, and they can be brought indoors when frost threatens. These eye-catching and easy-going plants also make beautiful and easy to grow houseplants, providing visual intrigue and attractiveness.
*Pro Tip: Flowering succulent care may vary with the species, so ensure that you follow the individual guidelines for how to care for particular succulent varieties.
Tips for Growing Flowering Succulents
No matter if you are growing your flowering succulents outdoors, indoors, or a mix of both, there are some basic succulent care guidelines to ensure healthy, happy plants. Succulents are easy to care for plants that do not demand much attention and care from gardeners. Provide your flowering succulents the proper growing conditions and simple care requirements, and you will have gorgeous plants that will keep on giving year after year.
Light & Temperature Needs of Flowering Succulents
- Provide succulents with adequate sunlight exposure for the plant variety.
- Succulents grow well in full sun conditions. Sunlight makes for happy succulents that exude health through their plump and colorful leaves.
- Inadequate sunlight will result in flowering succulents reaching awkwardly for the sun, resulting in leggy and unbalanced plants.
- When growing flowering succulents outside, hardy varieties can be overwintered in their containers or in-ground as long as the soil remains well-draining and there is some protection from extreme dips in temperature.
- More tender succulent varieties are not as hardy in the colder growing zones. It’s best to bring them indoors during the winter months and place them in a sunny window, preferably facing south or west.
- Many flowering succulents grown in scorching climates can benefit from morning sunlight and afternoon dappled shade, as their foliage is susceptible to sunburn.
How To Water Indoor & Outdoor Flowering Succulents
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when watering flowering succulents is overwatering. The amount you should water your flowering succulents is dependent on many factors and can vary if you are growing flowering succulents.
- The best time to water succulents is during their active growing phase. For most flowering succulents, this is in the spring and summer.
- Reduce watering during the fall and winter months when plants enter dormancy.
- For outdoor flowering succulents, saturated soil makes succulents more susceptible to frost damage during the winter months.
- During the growing season, water more deeply but less frequently.
- Saturate the potting mix thoroughly, allowing the water to drain through fully.
- Allow the mixture to dry out a bit before the next watering.
- Watering about once per week keeps the roots plump and leaves full for your succulents.
- Try to keep your plants on the dry side.
- If the plants begin to look gangly or the leaves start to wither, test the soil with your fingertip, and if it is dried, provide water more often.
- Too much moisture in poorly draining soil can cause root rot and eventually the entire plant’s demise.
- Avoid watering the foliage. Instead, water the soil directly to avoid fungal growth on leaves.
The Best Soil for Growing Flowering Succulents
Planting succulents in an optimal soil composition will boost the health of the plant. Succulents have shallow root systems; therefore the best soil for growing succulents is one that is well-draining.
- For indoor and container planting, select a potting mix specifically formulated for cactus and succulents.
- Plant succulents in loose, rocky soil that is nutrient-rich for best results.
- If you’re planting succulents in containers, use a potting mix specifically formulated for succulents and cacti and plant in a pot with holes in the bottom for drainage.
- Flowering succulents grow well in slightly acidic soil that hovers around 6.0 to 6.5 on the pH scale. Alkaline soil has the potential to cause the demise of succulent plants.
- Choose containers with drainage holes.
When to Fertilize Flowering Succulents
- Fertilize flowering succulents in the spring and summer during the active growing season.
- To encourage blooms, wait a couple of weeks into spring to apply a fertilizer specifically formulated for succulents and cactus.
Pruning Flowering Succulents: Outdoor vs. In
When pruning flowering succulents: outdoor vs. in, the pruning requirements generally remain the same.
- Keep your succulents pruned of dry, dead, or diseased foliage.
- Prune spent blooms at the base after they have finished flowering.
Recommended Flowering Succulent Varieties
One of the most fascinating characteristics of flowering succulents is the vast array of textural differences and foliage and their unexpected showy blooms.
Check out some of our favorite flowering succulents for outdoor and indoor growing:
- ‘Echeveria Afterglow’
- ‘Flowering Kalanchoe’
- ‘Jade Plant’
- ‘Purple Ice Plant’
- ‘Red Yucca’
- ‘Sempervivum Arachnoideum’
- ‘Crown of Thorns’
- ‘Christmas Cactus’
- ‘Pincushion cactus’
- ‘Rock Purslane’
- ‘Red Starfish Aloe’
- ‘Senecio Mandraliscae’
- ‘Firestorm Sedum’