Indoors Or Outdoors: Where Do Succulents Prefer To Be Kept?

If you’re new to the wonderful world of succulents then you might be wondering if you should keep them indoors or if they’ll be happier outdoors. After all, ‘in the wild’ they live outside but does that mean they’re not happy inside? If you’ve ever wondered this don’t worry, in this article we’ll look at what’s best for your plants as well as whether or not you can move them from being outdoors to indoors and vice versa.

Do succulents prefer to be indoors or outdoors? As a rule of thumb succulents, like all plants, prefer to be outdoors, but this is if you live in an area that is dry and gets plenty of natural daylight. If, however, you live in a region that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight, or has a high level of rainfall, your succulents will favor being indoors.

There’s no doubt that, in an ideal world, succulents are happier living outdoors but as we all know this isn’t an ideal world although that doesn’t mean they should always be indoors either. Each case is different, so read on to find out when succulents should be outside and when they should be inside.

Like all plants succulents are happier living outside

Do succulents do better indoors or outdoors?

In theory, succulents are outdoor plants and they certainly prefer that style of living but that doesn’t mean they should always be outside. Like all living things they have certain requirements and needs that, if met, mean they can thrive outside. If, on the other hand, your succulent can’t get what it needs outdoors then bringing indoors is the best option.

So what are your succulent’s needs I hear you ask? Well, these are pretty simple really, just sun, temperature, water, and well-draining soil. Being hardy plants they can survive (and even thrive) in most environments if these basic needs are met. 

If your succulent can’t get between two and six hours of natural light a day, is rained on a lot or you have a clay-like soil that doesn’t drain very well then you’re better off bringing them indoors. You’ll be able to control the amount of light, temperature, and water they get much better, something that your plant will thank you for in the long run.

When shouldn’t you keep a succulent outdoors?

As we’ve talked about already, succulents do need to have a good amount of natural daylight but more important than that is the amount of water they get. While you can move plants around depending on whether there’s enough light (or shade), the amount of water they get isn’t so easy to control. If you live in an area that gets anything more than a moderate amount of rain you should think about bringing your succulents indoors, even if you have well-draining soil.

Another thing to take into account is the temperature. While succulents are hardy and can survive most things, their water-filled leaves don’t lend themselves to cold temperatures. Conversely, if the temperature gets too high their leaves can burn and dry out. That’s not to say some succulents can’t live outdoors in the winter or during the height of summer, but to be safe I’d recommend bringing your plants indoors if the temperature rises above 90°F (32°C) or drops below 40°F (4°C) for more than a few days in a row.

When shouldn’t you keep a succulent indoors?

The conditions in our homes are far more static and controllable than they are outside so there generally aren’t any times when you shouldn’t keep a succulent indoors. That said though you still need to make sure they get enough light so it can be a good idea to move them outdoors during the summer as long as the temperature isn’t too high (or too low).

Succulents are happy living indoors

Can you move an outdoor succulent indoors?

Succulents are hardy plants that will naturally grow outside but they can also be happily moved indoors, as long as you do it carefully and don’t over stress them. 

You can’t move a succulent from a bright outside place to a dark indoor spot without expecting it to suffer somewhat. It’s better to gradually reduce the amount of direct sunlight they get by either moving them to a shaded spot or using something like an umbrella to block out some of the light. This will help them to adapt better to the change in available light.

Can you move an indoor succulent outdoors?

Just because succulents may be happier and prefer being outdoors it doesn’t mean you should go and move all of your indoor plants outside right now. Moving an indoor succulent outside is not only possible but also a good idea although you need to be more careful than you would be if you were doing the opposite.

Succulents are good at adapting to their environment but moving them from a climate-controlled home to outside can be a real shock to them if you do it too quickly. Instead, you should start by increasing the amount of light they get indoors before moving them outside for a few hours a day. After a week or so you can leave them outside all day, although you may want to bring them in at night if it gets too cold.

Succulents need plenty of light

Takehome message

Despite being natural outdoor plants, succulents are just as happy living indoors as they are out. What is far more important is that they get enough light, the temperature is right, and don’t get too much water. Providing your plants have this they’ll be happy living wherever you place them.

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