• Kelly Grummons

What varieties of succulents will tolerate less light in the middle of the room?

Q:I just love the succulent houseplants I see in pictures in magazines and on Pinterest, but every time I buy them for my apartment, they slowly grow leggy and get really ugly. I have a big window on the east and two medium windows on the north side. The plants closest to the windows do best. What varieties of succulents will tolerate less light in the middle of the room? I would like to have them on my coffee table and in the entryway if this is possible.

A: Succulents are tremendously popular indoors and outdoors and, unlike other plants, are forgiving of drying out. They have beautiful textures, foliage colors, and many even have beautiful flowers. Most succulents I see for sale in the Big Box stores look like varieties that do best outdoors in tropical or subtropical environments. These plants (including Echeveria, Pachyveria, Pachyphytum, Sedeveria, etc.) do not make good houseplants.


Try species like Crassula, Haworthia, Gasteria, Aloe, Euphorbia and Tillandsia for areas that only get half a day of bright light. For your lower light areas try Sansevieria and which come in many forms.


Written by Kelly Grummons, who writes our Q & A column, is co-owner of the mail order nursery businesses, coldhardycactus.com and dogtuffgrass.com