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What Are Succulents?
“Succulent” is a term to describe a plant that holds excess water.
Some of the most popular succulents store water in fleshy leaves.
There are thousands of varieties- different colors, leaf shapes growth habits etc.
Some are hardy (survive in a cold climate and therefore often planted in the ground) or non-hardy (used as a houseplant or potted plant in cold climates).
For this article, we will focus on those that are non-hardy and grown indoors as houseplants.
Why Are Succulents Popular?
Succulents and cacti have become very popular because they tend to be more forgiving of neglect than most traditional houseplants.
They aren’t particularly fussy making them great plants for the beginner gardener.
They are also being used to decorate hotels, offices and other commercial spaces.
Southwest home decor has also become more popular, making succulents a must-have for the stylish home, office and dorm.
How to Care for Succulents & Cacti as Houseplants
Because of their ability to store water, succulents don’t have to be watered as often as traditional houseplants.
It is best to allow the container’s soil to completely dry before watering. However, don’t wait until the soil becomes hard and compacted.
There are additional considerations when deciding when and how often to water.
Click here for an easy watering guide that will keep your plants healthy for years to come.
Most succulents are native to sunny, dry climates.
Therefore, they grow best when they have 6 or more hours of daylight per day. An ideal location is near a window or in a bright room.
If they don’t receive enough light, they become “leggy.”
A “grow light” is a great way to provide supplemental light and promote compact growth.
However, cacti tend to grow slowly, so a grow light is rarely necessary.
Grooming & Maintenance
Succulents are generally very easy to maintain.
Occasionally some of the lower leaves will begin to turn color, shrivel and die.
This is normal. Simply remove these leaves at the base of the stem.
Succulents purchased in a plain pot can be re-planted into a stylish container to enhance their appeal.
A collection of various succulents can be arranged and planted in a container to create a beautiful indoor garden.
Select shallow containers with drain holes.
Clay and terracotta pots are ideal as they are porous and aid in drainage.
Use soil that is specifically designed for cacti or succulents.
Standard potting soil will retain too much water and cause health issues.
Where to Start?
The following are popular succulents that will be easy-to-grow for a beginner gardener. (Click link to see photos)
Aloe (Aloe vera)
Jade plant (Crassula ovata)
Cacti– various species
Kalanchoe– (Kalanchoe- various species)
Echeveria– (Echeveria- various species)
Living Stones (Lithops- various species)
Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)
String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)
Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa)
Zebra Plant (Haworthia- various species)
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)