The Perfect Plant
Succulents are distinctive, easy to grow, and practically maintenance-free.
If you’ve ever doubted the popularity of succulents, just check out Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media sites. There, you’ll find endless garden projects using these delightful fleshy plants.
Succulents are colorful, architectural, easy to maintain, and forgiving. And the plant’s ability to store water helps make it extremely drought tolerant.
Want to learn more? These tips on growing succulents will guide you in earning a green thumb.
Place succulents where they will receive at least six hours of sunlight each day. Growing them indoors is possible, but watch for plants that start to get rangy and tall, as this is a sign they need more light.
While succulents are low-water plants, they are not considered no-water plants. Determine its moisture needs by gently squeezing the leaves. Succulents that have plenty of water will be firm. Leaves with a little “squishiness” to the touch will indicate water is needed. Generally, give them a drink once every 1-2 weeks.
Another consideration: Take care when handling your succulent plants. Most have brittle leaves that can easily break off.
Succulents are available in a rainbow of colors—from gray and bluish green to pink and orange. For many plants, their color is most pronounced during the winter months when shorter days and cooler temperatures cause them to flush.
From small rosettes to upright columns, succulents are a great way to add interesting textures to your garden. Echeverias are a Florida favorite with a wide range of shapes, textures, and sizes. Others include Sedum, Dwarf Aloe, Stapelia, Huernia, Euphorbia, Kalanchoe, and Graptopetalum.
Succulents are one of the easiest plants to propagate. Simply trim the stems from large plants and place them in potting soil. These cuttings will root, while the parent plant continues to branch out.
You can even grow a new plant from single leaves. Set a leaf on top of a pot of soil (avoid the temptation to plant it) and soon you’ll start to see small roots forming and reaching down for the soil. Eventually, baby plants will form at the end of the leaf and as these get larger, they can be planted in their own pots.
Cacti are spiny stem succulents that vary mostly in their prickly appearance. The exterior spines are modified leaves, which allow the cactus to protect itself from harm. The slow-growing, compact nature of these plants makes them ideal for containers where they can remain for several years.
Cacti surprise us with amazing flowers. Unlike most succulents, which hold small blooms on tall lanky stems, cacti produce large, brightly colored flowers next to their spines. These showy flowers are a favorite food source for bees and other pollinators.