5 min read
This article is going to discuss:
- Basic Succulent Care
- Basic Types of Succulents
- Ways to Use Them in Your Home.
The first step to proper care for a succulent is using the correct soil. Unlike many other plants, succulents prefer well-drained, aerated soil. Think of a cactus. They live quite happily in the sand but put them into fertile loamy soil and they simply won’t survive. Succulent’s stems and leaves are filled with moisture. If you were to cut inside one, you can see an almost jelly-like substance. This is because the plant has an immense capacity to store water and why they do not need soil that retains water.
There are many soil products sold in stores and online that are specifically meant for growing succulents. These are great products to use for potting and growing succulents. However, if you do not have access to these soils, it is possible to amend other types of potting soil. The key here is that the ground needs to be proficient in draining quickly. You can try mixing sand or pebbles into your other soil product. This creates drainage and air pockets for the water passes quickly through the soil.
The second step in basic care is watering. While this is true for any plant, succulents are a little different. They prefer to not to be overwatered. A good rule of thumb is to water your plant once a week. In a warmer, more humid climate, succulents likely need even less water. Keep an eye on your plants and learn what they are telling you. If your succulent gets droopy and soggy looking, it has likely been over watered. It may even begin to lose leaves. When this happens, all is not lost. It is in a plant’s nature to want to live and to persevere. So, try repotting the plant into clean soil. This should help to dry out the root system and start fresh.
Another essential thing to keep in mind for succulents is the type of pot being used. All containers should have drainage holes in the bottom. If you are using a clay pot, moisture is going to be held in the pot itself, so it is recommended that you water them less.
Types of Succulents
Jade Plant (crassula ovata)
Jade is a popular type of indoor plant and one you may recognize even if you don’t know what it’s called. In essence, it almost looks like a miniature tree with thick oval-shaped leaves. It is characteristically dark green in color with some varieties sporting a red leaf tip. Like most succulents, a jade plant produces flowers, usually white or pink, but the conditions must be right. Don’t be discouraged if yours doesn’t flower, the plant itself is still a wonderful addition to any home.
Hens-and-Chicks (sempervivum tectorum)
This is the perfect plant for those who may not have a green thumb but want to grow succulents outside. Hens-and-chicks are easy to care for and spread quickly to fill large spaces in the garden. They are very low growers, meaning they don’t get much height, so are great as border plants. Keep in mind that each individual plant only lasts a few years, but their babies or ‘chicks’ continue to be produced, so the plant lives on for many years.
Flaming Katy (kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
This is a plant that does not like any sort of sold temperature. In more northern climates, it can only be grown indoors. One of the best features of this plant is its unique and colorful flowers. The flowers can be either red, white, or orange, depending on their variety. Flaming Katy’s are readily available in most areas and make a great hostess gift.
Aloe Vera (aloe vera)
Perhaps one of the best known and most useful succulent plants is the aloe vera. Most people recognize the medicinal uses of this plant and purchase the gel in a pharmacy. However, you can easily grow your own aloe vera and produce the burn alleviating substance yourself. Again, this is a plant that cannot survive outdoors in northern climates but makes an excellent indoor plant.
Uses for Succulents in Home Décor
As mentioned earlier, succulents and succulent terrariums are all the rage in home décor. Many plant nurseries or home improvement stores with garden centers sell pre-made versions of these. If you do not like the look of pre-made ones, you can also purchase all of the components separately and make your own. This gives you the advantage of choosing plants you like or feel you can care for. Just be aware of how big the plant can grow. For example, the Jade plant can grow quite big so that it may be better suited in an individual pot.
Terrariums are great as a tabletop display. Use them as a centerpiece on a living room table or a table in the hallway. Perhaps you don’t like the look of terrariums. No problem, succulents are great on their own too. Mix and match decorative pots to give your succulent display your own personal flair. No matter how you display them, keep in mind that each plant may have different light requirements, and tolerate different temperatures.
The use of succulents in home décor is a great way to get into the indoor plant game. They are easy to maintain and add a splash of color and warmth to a room. With so many varieties, you can surely find a plant that works for you. Not to mention, they can also be a great gift for anyone in your life who may not be a green thumb or who are looking for a low-key and maintenance plant.