Succulents survive dry indoor environments because of their special adaptations – fleshy leaves, thick stems or enlarged roots – that allow the plants to hoard water. Cacti, which most people are familiar with, are a type of succulent. Succulents also include a host of other plants grown primarily for eye-catching foliage - distinct leaf shapes and striking textures that transform them into living sculptures for interior rooms. Succulents make great indoor plants because they’re adapted to survive dry conditions. In winter especially, homes offer dry interior air to houseplants, which is why many don’t survive. Succulents, though, with their water-storing ways, endure dry air without ugly side effects. Light Most succulents, in an indoor setting, need the brightest light possible, especially during winter in northern climates. Place them near a south- or east-facing window. This same setting works during the warmer parts of the year. Alternately, you can shift succulents outside during late spring and summer. Choose a protected location where plants receive bright, indirect light. Watering The fastest way to kill your succulents is with too much water. Unlike usual houseplants, succulents store water in their leaves or roots, which act like a reservoir to slake the plant’s thirst. To avoid overwatering, water only enough to keep leaves from withering. Clues that a plant needs watering include shrinking or puckering leaves or normally shiny leaves that appear dull. If you suspect it’s time to water, put a finger into the soil two knuckles deep to make sure it’s dry. About 95 percent of houseplants need soil to dry out almost completely before watering. Fertilizer Succulents experience strongest growth during spring and summer. Growth slows in Autumn , and winter is rest time. Fertilize lightly or not at all during winter. In warmer months, feed plants three or four times. Use a standard houseplant fertilizer for most succulents, but keep in mind that it is easy to over fertilize these plants. In most cases, they should be fed lightly or about half what you would feed a regular houseplant.
Ferns are one of the oldest plants, dating back to prehistoric times. These adaptable plants will thrive indoors with the right amount of humidity.
Ferns do best with indirect lighting. A north-facing window is ideal although during the winter months, when the sun is low on the horizon, an east window is fine for these plants. Avoid south and west-facing windows, as the intense sunlight may scald the leaves or fronds of the ferns, depending on the intensity of the light. Or they may dry out faster or scald the leaves if there is low moisture in the soil or air. Consistent watering, keeping the soil evenly moist, not wet, is also key to the health and well being of the plants. Overwatering causes the fronds to yellow and wilt and may eventually lead to root rot and fungal diseases. Too little water also causes wilt. Ferns, many of which are native to the tropics, like high humidity, which is why they do well in bathrooms and kitchens. If they are in other rooms, the best solution is to have a room humidifier next to the plants. This also benefits people indoors in dry homes as well! In addition, misting the foliage, especially in winter, will increase the humidity. Ferns require only light feedings of fertilizer once a month from April through September unless actively growing in winter months. Apply liquid houseplant fertilizer at about one-half the recommended rate.