The Q&A Archives: Inside garden

Question: If I wanted to start an inside mini garden with succulents do I need to have sunlight or is it ok without? I live in sunny Florida

Answer: Even though you live in sunny Florida, natural sunlight coming through a window won't be quite as intense as the sunshine outdoors. Even so, there are many succulents which will be happy indoors without artificial light. Here are a few to consider:

Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop'
An erect sub-shrub with shiny, black-purple leaves and yellow flowers at maturity.

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana 'Tom Thumb'
A dwarf cultivar of the florist kalanchoe with thick green scalloped leaves and bright red flowers.

Greenovia aurea
A small succulent rosette with light green leaves and yellow flowers at maturity.

Kalanchoe eriophylla
A low, clumping groundcover with fuzzy white leaves and pink flowers.

Aloe dorothea
A small groundcover with a star-shaped rosette and spiny leaves, which are medium green in summer and red in winter.

Kalanchoe uniflora
A mat-forming succulent with light green leaves and pale salmon flowers.

Agave Agave a.k.a. Century plant. Slow-growing and as long-lived as their nickname implies, Agaves grow tough leaves from a central core. The leaves are often tipped with spines that can easily draw blood. Some varieties have variegated leaves. Agaves can take as long as 30 years to bloom.

Jade Plant Crassula ovata (syn. C. portulaca) One of the best know and easiest to grow succulents, Jade Plants are known for thick stems, fleshy leaves and winter blooming. They make excellent indoor plants and are very easy to propagate. There are many other Crassulas closely related to jade and just as easy to grow, with truly unusual shapes.

Crown-of-Thorns Euphorbia milla An attractive plant known for its red blooms, this thorny succulent is not a true cactus. Given enough room, Crown-of-Thorns will grow into a small shrub several feet wide and tall. Like all other members of the Euphorbia clan, when injured it will bleed a milky sap that can be irritating to skin and eyes.

Rosary Vine Ceropegia woodii a.k.a. String of Pearls and Heart Vine has long vines with well spaced, grayish heart-shaped leaves growing from a fleshy rooted crown. It grows easily and is striking.

Milk Striped Euphorbia Euphorbia This is one of the easiest Euphorbias to grow. It can easily grow to the height and width of an average adult. Beware of the thorns! As with other members of the family (including poinsettias), injuries will bleed a milky, sticky sap that can be irritating.

Silver Crown Cotyledon undulata This is an attractive compact plant that bears wavy-edged fleshy "leaves" that have a blue-gray coating on them. They are easy to grow but shouldn't be handled too much because the leaves can break off or the coating can be smudged.

Enjoy your new garden!

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