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How to Pot an Indoor Succulent

An easy tutorial for planting your first succulent.Published: September 03, 2019

Affordable, photographable, and endlessly conducive to puns, succulents have captivated the millennial imagination. They’ve taken over coffee shops and Instagram pages; they’ve inspired everything from cupcakes and cocktails to manicures and hair colors.

Whether or not you consider yourself a plant lover, it’s hard not to agree that there’s something about succulents. Besides being simply adorable, they are also notoriously easy to care for. That said, it still takes a small amount of work to set one up in your home. But not much. Watch the video above with Summer Rayne Oakes, a Brooklyn-based environmental scientist and urban gardening expert, for a beginner’s guide to potting succulents.

Keep scrolling for a summary of Oakes’s starter succulent toolkit.


Her Pick: Opuntia Cactus from Sprout Home - Price varies
Why: “What's great about this one is that it's spineless. I also think that the sunburst pattern makes it a really beautiful plant. I have a Southwest facing window in my home, which has really good light for something like this.”

Planter and Basin

Her Picks: Aged Cylindrica Planter and Terracotta Basin from Sprout Home - Prices vary
Why: “I love getting good planters—I am a total planter snob. It's like buying a little furniture piece, if you will, but for your plant. If your plant is like mine with a root sticking out of the bottom, it will need to be re-potted very quickly in a planter that is slightly larger [than the plant]. Make sure you get a planter with a hole in the bottom to allow water to drain, and also a basin to collect the water.”

Cactus Mix

Her Pick: Sun Gro Horticulture Black Gold Cactus Mix - $15.18 at time of publishing
Why: “A succulent and cacti mix typically has some type of drainage amendment in it, which allows the water to go through in a more permeable fashion.”


Her Pick: Espoma Organic Perlite - $13.99 at time of publishing
Why: “Perlite is such a must in the houseplant market. It's lightweight and helps give aeration to any potting medium mixture. Espoma has a nice quality perlite that is readily available at most garden centers and plant shops.”


Her Pick: Gardener's Supply Company Snips - $8.89 at time of publishing
Why: “[These] handy snips fit right in your pocket without feeling as if they'll stab you!”


Her Pick: The Mud Glove - $9.99 at time of publishing
Why: “Get a high quality pair of gloves. I recommend one with some reinforcing in the fingers in case you're working with prickly plants, like cacti. I got the gloves [in the video] in the Netherlands two years ago, so you can't get them in the US unfortunately…”

Watering Can

Her Pick: Vintage—Oakes recommends searching Etsy and eBay
Why: “I like to use my vintage watering can, which has a thin spout so that you can spot water easily. Additionally, you can get one with a rose, which is a perforated top for the tip of your spout so that you can water more gently.”

To learn more about greenifying your space, check out Oakes’s newly released book, How to Make a Plant Love You: Cultivate Green Space in Your Home and Heart.

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Curated By

Frances Thomas

Quiddity Content Editor

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