Succulent plants are among the most amazing on earth, and because they are well adapted to harsh, dry climates, they can be super easy to grow in gardens both indoors and out.
A succulent plant can be nearly any size or shape - tall and thin, wiry and cascading, or in spreading rosettes. Its leaves can be plump or flattened, or round, long, or curly, and with wild variations in colors, stripes, and variegations. They often have unique, sometimes whimsical growths including frills and spines. Most have astounding flowers as well. The one thing they all share is the ability to store water in usually-fleshy leaves and stems to help get them through long periods of drought.
While a cactus is a succulent, not all succulents are cacti. They are all native to xeric or seasonally-dry climates, including deserts, seaside cliffs, freezing mountain sides, and even tree limbs in steamy jungles. Some are tropical and will freeze easily, while others can tolerate temperatures down into the teens or even below zero.
For best growth and color, succulents require very bright light - full sun outdoors or sunny windows, with protection from hot midday sun in humid areas. For some, a sheer curtain may be needed in hot south-facing windows.
With enough bright artificial lighting, some succulents such as Sansevieria, Hoya, Aeonium, Euphorbia, Pedilanthus, and Haworthia can grow quite well indoors, even tolerating the low humidity; if they start getting leggy or weak looking, move them to brighter light. Others, especially Agave, Aloe, Crassula, Echeveria, Kalanchoe, Opuntia, Sedum, Sempervivum, and Yucca, require at least six or eight hours of direct sunlight to remain compact and colorful.
Plant succulents in areas which never stay wet. To prevent overwatering during rainy spells, the typical collector of succulents plants them as specimen or in amazing combinations on terraces, slopes, or other areas with fast drainage; in xeric (dry) climates, they are often used in foundation plantings and shrub beds, and even as lawn substitutes. They are ideal for planting in creative containers including wall hangings.
For better drainage, add coarse sand or grit to your native soil. For container gardens, select a cactus mix or any good potting soil that has had coarse sand, crunchy perlite, or garden grit added.
Grow Your Own
Most succulent plants are easy to propagate from stem or leaf cuttings allowed to dry a few days to heal over before planting, or from offsets of small “pup” plants at their base. Many have the unique ability to grow new plants – roots and all - from leaf tips or margins, and some can sprout new plants from fallen leaves simply stuck into potting soil.
Simple Succulents 03:34
- What is a Succulent Plant
- Types of Succulents
- Different Colors of Succulents
- Aloe Succulents
- Rare and Unusual Succulents
- Hen and Chicks Succulents
- Cactus and Succulents
- Flowering Succulents
- Succulent Gardens