Succulents are taking off in popularity and it is easy to understand why! So many times, people begin to talk about that great plant that they used to have years ago, and they wish they knew what it was so they could get another one, describing how it seemed almost indestructible and if they ever forgot to water it, no big deal because it seemed to survive just fine. That is the nature of a succulent! With their low maintenance requirements, and their unique varieties of plant forms and stunning colors, succulents are becoming the plant of today’s gardener– the one that might be a little forgetful, or may just simply run out of time for gardening in their day, but want to enjoy the beauty and benefits of plants!
What is a succulent?
Succulents are plants that store water in their leaves, stems, and roots. Think about the succulents you have seen; many of them have thick leaves, a waxy appearance, because these leaves act as water storage tanks. Due to this, succulents can tolerate dry conditions. While succulents are native all over the world, most are typically found in semi-deserts, areas that are dry in climate but receive slightly more rain than a true desert. Think about one of the best known succulent plants, the cactus! Cacti store water in their stems and are found in hot, dry locations.
How to care for a succulent?
Most varieties of succulents need at least half a day to a full day of sunlight. And surprisingly enough, succulents can tolerate colder temperatures than most people think; succulents can thrive in temperatures down to 40 degrees. When you are planting your succulent in the garden (Yes, succulents can be planted in your flower beds! They are NOT just an indoor plant!), be sure to plant it in a well-drained area. Succulents need good draining soil and do not like to be planted in an area that is a low spot and will stay wet. If you are planting your succulent in a container garden or a decorative pot for indoor gardening, make sure the container you plant it in has a drainage hole or place crushed rock in the bottom for proper drainage. You can even incorporate sand in your potting mix for better drainage. After you plant your succulent, water it in well and then be sure to allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings after that. In the summer, you will find that you have to water your succulent more generously than in the winter, when you really only want to water about once a month, sometimes less. Most succulents do not require much fertilizing, so watering with a fertilizer once a month will be sufficient enough.
How to use succulents?
Succulents are great rock garden plants! Combining different colors, shapes, and textures of succulents in troughs, window boxes, and container gardens make beautiful plantings as well! The possibilities are endless! Check out our Pinterest for more ideas on how to use succulents!