Formerly desert plants, succulents are now a household name. Is it their unique features that make them stand out among other houseplant varieties? Succulents are popular for many reasons. It is easy to care for succulents, and they are durable and portable plants. From luscious greens to rainbow arrays, they come in all kinds of shapes and styles.
A succulent is derived from the Latin word sucus, which means juice or sap. Their leaves and stems are packed with water, making them drought-resistant. Because they are versatile and resistant to neglect, these desert residents make great houseplants, although some varieties do better indoors than others.
When selecting succulents, consider their size, style, color, care needs, and natural climate. As white on succulents
, they range in height from under an inch, such as the Blossfeldia liliputana, up to 12 feet, such as the blue yucca. In addition to their variety of colors and shapes, they also have a variety of sizes. Many succulents come from arid desert climates, but there are some varieties that hail from tropical regions, like Macho mocha mangave and octopus agave.
In general, succulents require a lot of light, and in some homes, it's not enough to grow certain varieties of succulents. The green varieties usually do better indoors than colorful succulents, depending on the amount of light available. To give them the best care, emulate as closely as possible their natural habitat.
Common Types of Succulents
Succulent plants can be grouped under about 60 plant families. The most popular plants come from Sempervivum, Cactaceae (cacti), Sedum and Haworthia. In each of the succulent families, we have provided examples and images of popular types. Explore some of the details that set these plant families apart to determine which one may be best for you.
Succulents such as cacti are recognizable for their protective spines and prickly leaves. Desert adapted humans can withstand extreme temperatures and survive with little water.
From southern Africa comes the small succulent plant Haworthia. They are accustomed to a lot of sunlight and dry weather. In spite of their small size, the Haworthia family is one of the most important succulent groups.
In general, Sedum succulents range in size from just a few inches high to three feet high. The Sedum plant family includes the popular Crassulaceae ovata (jade plant). Sun and water are not a problem for them.
Rosettes distinguish Sempervivum succulents from other types of succulents. There are a lot of colors to choose from, and some even bloom. Hardy succulents are also frost-resistant, very fitting for a plant with a name like "always alive".
Succulent Care Tips
Despite their tough guy persona, succulents still require love and care. Simply remove dead leaves from the bottom of your plant to keep your plant healthy. To avoid one of the most kill-resistant plants, make sure that you follow these instructions to avoid a commonly made plant care mistake. jade plant turning red
require at least 36 hours of direct sunlight a day in order to grow properly. Plant it in a sunny spot, like in a south- or east-facing window. There is a small chance that too much direct sunshine can sunburn a succulent, so look out for any unusual scorch marks. Lack of light will cause succulents to stretch their leaves outward in order to absorb as much light as possible.
Since succulents are adapted to desert climates, they do not require much water. Before watering them again, you need to let the soil completely dry. Their roots could rot if you don't let them dry between waterings. Water may have to be provided more frequently about every 23 weeks if the environment is very hot and they have an efficient drainage system because their soil will dry out faster. It is less necessary to water them as the weather gets colder.
As succulents are used to temperature extremes, most can survive in a range of 4095 F. However, there are some varieties that need a more conservative temperature range. You should keep the succulent at a temperature that corresponds to the amount of water it receives.
Most succulents are not toxic. It is not uncommon to use succulents like Opuntia ficus-indica (prickly pear) and Aloe vera as ingredients in many delicious dishes. Cacti and succulent varieties, primarily, have sharp spines that should be avoided because they can puncture skin. While most succulents are not harmful to humans or pets, there are some you should avoid if you have a baby or a pet in your home.
Soil and planters that have adequate drainage are best for succulents. Use cactus soil for a base and add organic matter like peat moss and rocks to improve the soil's ability to drain. In many cases, repotting is required at different times depending on how your plant grows and if you want to bring it indoors for the winter. Read our guide on how to repot a plant if it has outgrown its container or requires a warmer environment.