Succulents are the ideal houseplant to grow indoors in winter in Maine. They like the conditions found in our centrally heated homes, where it’s often as dry as a desert.

Add to that, they’re enjoying a moment in the sun – showing up as table decor at trendy restaurants (think Union at Portland’s Press Hotel) and glamorous events everywhere.

Succulents are related to cactus, but they lack spines. Instead, they have fleshy leaves that hold water. Popular varieties include sempervivum (hens and chicks), aloe, the jade plant (Crassula ovata) and sedums.

You can buy small succulents for not much money at most garden centers and nurseries, and then combine them in a larger pot for good effect, almost a dwarf garden. It is best to use an unglazed pot so the soil dries out quickly between waterings.

Succulents don’t like rich soil, so you can use a straight potting mix. Some websites recommend adding a 20 percent mix of sand, but it isn’t necessary.

Don’t water often, let the soil dry out completely between waterings, and don’t bother to fertilize – succulents do well on their own.

They do need a lot of light, however. The green ones survive better than those with more red, purple or gray, so if you have low-light conditions go with green leaf varieties.

But as long as you don’t over-water them, any succulent should survive. My wife and I sent a container of mixed succulents with our granddaughter Brighid when she went off to college, and she reports they are doing well. Her gardening experience is, to be generous, limited.