What Succulent Plant Should I Get?
If you follow design and photography blogs, you'll have seen that succulent plants are all the rage in gardening and decoration, and it's no surprise. Succulents, also called fat plants, thrive on arid soils and sunlight, but they're sturdy enough to survive the most clueless of rookie gardeners. Their odd, beautiful shapes and pale colors make succulent plants great choices to start a stunning garden no matter where you live.
Caring for succulents is easy; in general, they should be planted in pots or containers with drainage holes. You shouldn't water succulents' leaves; instead, you have to soak the soil. The soil should be dry before watering them again, which usually takes 2 or 3 days, although it depends on the climate, but they can resist droughts.
There are plenty of succulents to choose from, and some might be better than others depending on what you want from them. Stay at OneHowTo to learn what succulent plant should you get and specific instructions on how to care for them.
What can you do with succulent plants?
If you're a practical person, you might be looking for succulent plants with uses in health, cosmetics or other natural remedies. If so, these plants are the best for you:
- Agave: This sturdy, rosette-shaped plant has a sap that can be turned into agave nectar, a natural sweetener that can substitute sugar. Agave's leaves are hard and lined in white. We recommend the species Agave americana is very common, while Agave parviflora and Queen Victoria Agave (victoriae-reginae) are smaller and very beautiful.
- Aloe vera: Famous for its many beneficial uses, it is very good to have at home to treat burns. However, be careful with the sharp leaves when cutting them! Plant them in direct sunlight and wait until the soil has dried to water it. Here you can learn more about how to take care or aloe vera properly.
What succulent plants are easy to grow?
You're in luck - most succulents require very little care, and they will survive even if you're distracted. However, that doesn't mean you should forget about them! Succulent plants are so resilient because they store water inside their leaves, which is why they look so round and cushion-shaped.
Some succulents are easier to grow than others, especially for newbie gardeners - you'll know them for their bright green shades.
- Crinkle leaf plant (Andromischus cristatus): As the name proves, they are famous for their wavy leaves. They'll thrive if they get plenty of light.
- Jade plant (Crassula ovata): Plant it in a sturdy, well-aired terracotta pot and you'll get a beautiful plant with branch-like stems and elliptical, shiny leaves. Prune them into a symmetrical shape - a branch can be planted to create a new succulent.
- Mexican rose (Echeveria elegans): A beautiful rosette with velvety, reddish leaves. Don't let the water touch them, because they will get marks. In the winter, water even less. Like most of its family, it's known as a "hen and chicks" succulent because its offsets can easily be re-potted.
- Firestick plant (Euphorbia tirucalli Rosea): This plant with red and fine branches thrives under full sun. Be very careful with its latex, which is highly irritating and can be toxic.
- Zebra Haworthia (Haworthia attenuata): This succulent has leathery white-striped leaves. It's so noticeable, you won't forget about it! Grow it in bright indirect light.
- Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata): The name of this plant is very appropriate, since it has very long pointy green leaves with bright yellow patterns. Grow in medium light.
- Cobweb house-leek (Sempervivum arachnoideum): This rosette-shaped plant can survive the cold, and it thrives both in the sun and the shade.
- Common house-leek (Sempervivum tectorum): Like the cobweb, this is also a rosette-shaped succulent. It has smooth edges, and like echevarias, can be planted from offsets.
What are the most beautiful succulents?
Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, some succulents are more popular than others in garden and interior design. These species tend to have different textures in their leaves, and they include wide varieties of colors. Indoors succulents should have some space, while orange and purple plants will thrive outdoors.
If you want to know how to start a succulent garden, we have some tips for you. Succulents should be planted in unglazed pots, if not directly in the soil. Plastic and terracotta pots will do, though, and lately all kinds of creative containers have appeared: terrariums, fishbowls, teacups, jars... However, if you try that, make sure to line the bottom with pebbles and/or sand to ease drainage. The most beautiful succulent plants include:
- Tree houseleek or Irish rose (Aeonium arboreum): This rosette can grow quite tall when well-lit. The "Zwartkop" variety is especially beautiful, with a green center and deep purple edges - contrast it with pale succulents.
- Aloinopsis orpenii: Its leaves look like triangular pebbles, and it can have yellow flowers.
- Living stones (Argyroderma): This succulent family doesn't grow quite high, but its blue smooth pebble-like leaves are very beautiful.
- Echeveria: We've already discussed the Mexican rose above, but this family comes in such a variety of beautiful colors that they're surely right for your succulent garden.
- Paddle plant (Kalanchoe thrysiflora): This plant has dark flat leaves and grows better in the shade.
- Panda plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa): Known for its lovely texture and thick, blue leaves with dark red edges. It's dormant in winter, and grows best under medium to bright indirect light. It should be watered once the top layers of the soil are dry.
- Burro's tail (Sedum morganianum): This succulent has very long stems with small, round overlapping leaves - which shouldn't be touched too much. Grow indoors or in the shade, but make sure it gets plenty of light. These plants look especially beautiful when hung or suspended.
- Jelly bean or Pork and beans plant (Sedum rubrotinctum): Small branches with glossy, bean-shaped leaves that grow upwards. The "Aurora" variety is particularly pretty, since it has pastel pink leaves. Grow slightly shaded.
- Blue Chalk Sticks or Blue Fingers (Senecio mandraliscae): Grow this succulent under the sun to enjoy its bright blue, strange-looking long leaves.
What succulent plants have flowers?
Many succulents blossom every now and then, but they often have quite small flowers. However, if you want big, noticeable ones these might be the best succulent plants for you:
- Spider aloe (Aloe humilis): It doesn't grow as tall as Aloe vera, but it has bright orange, spiky blossoms that will brighten any garden - and hummingbirds love them!
- Prince Albert Vygie (Bijlia tugwelliae): This plant has compact pebble-ish blue leaves, which contrast with its beautiful and delicate round yellow flowers.
- Ice Plant (Braunsia apiculata): Its interestingly-shaped stems and thick leaves should be enough, but this succulent blooms in magenta in the spring.
- Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii): Although its stems are indeed thorny and its sap is irritating, this succulent plant is worth it; it can bloom all year, and its small round flowers are very pretty. They should be under the sun, and the soil should not be more than half dry before watering.
- Flaming Katy or Christmas kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana): It can bloom in any color, and the flowers will last for a very long time. They often bloom in the winter.
- Pincushion cactus (Mammillaria): This cactus family is known for its round shape. It should be grown in full sunlight, and it doesn't have to be watered in the winter.
- Cliff stonecrop (Sedum cauticola): This succulent has blue leaves in different sizes, and the light pink flowers of the "Lidakense" variety appear in the early fall. Grow in full sunlight and always drain well.
- Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi): This kind of cactus starts blossoming when the days get shorter. Careful with buds, though, as they easily fall out. Grow in medium or bright light and water when the top layers of soil are dry.
Now that you know what succulent plant should you get and how to care for it, get gardening!
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