Affordable, fun to collect, and easy to care for — it’s no wonder why succulents have become such a popular choice of houseplant. If you’re ready to start filling your home or office with these little green beauties, then take a look at this basic guide to succulent care from the Pueblo florists at Campbell’s Flowers.
How Succulents Differ from Other Plants
The most notable difference between succulents and other houseplants is the unusual leaves. Most plants have thin, papery leaves, but succulents feature thick leaves or spines with a rubbery texture. These specialized leaf segments help succulents expertly store water. In nature, succulents tend to sprout up all around the world in places where water is hard to come by, such as arid regions and even on the bark of trees in rainforests.
The Benefits of Growing Succulents Inside
Indoor succulents are more than just fun to collect and pretty to look at, they’re also fantastic for your indoor environment. They’ll help create a calm atmosphere to promote increased energy and focus. They also purify the air. Succulent roots generate a small pumping action that draws air toward the soil. When harmful toxins, like VOCs, enter the soil, succulent roots convert them into nutrients, effectively filtering indoor air pollution from the air. Succulents will also replenish the oxygen in your home or office, ensuring you can breathe easily.
Some of the Most Commonly Found Succulents
There is a seemingly endless variety of succulent plants that grow all around the world. They’re all different, and they’re all beautiful, but the following tend to show up commonly in succulent gardens and greenhouses.
Portulacaria Afra (Elephant Bush)
These succulents have white-rimmed green leaves and brown stems that eventually turn wooden. In smaller arrangements, the elephant bush gives a succulent design height. With enough time, proper care, and the right nutrients, the elephant bush can grow to truly astonishing heights — up to 12 feet!
Succulents – Echeveria
There are a wide variety of these commonly found succulents available. Echeveria plants grow in starburst shapes and have leaves that range from round to pointed, stick-like to tubular, and flat to crinkly. They also come in a selection of different colors such as ghostly pale green, bright green, sage, dusty pink, and almost-black dark red.
Senecio Barbertonicus (Succulent Bush)
These succulents grow into bush-like shapes with long, skinny leaf segments. The succulent bush can grow up to five feet tall with the proper care and enough growing seasons. These pretty succulents add depth and height to a succulent garden, and they also flower with pretty yellow blooms in the spring.
How to Grow Healthy Indoor Succulents
Succulents truly don’t need much attention to stay healthy. In fact, given the right start, they practically thrive on neglect. First, be sure to pot your succulents in a container that drains well with soil specially formulated for cacti or succulents. Keep in mind that succulents tend to prefer smaller containers, as they’ll grow faster with a compact root system. Next, find a warm, sunny location where your succulent can live. Window sills, as long as the window won’t frost, are wonderful spots.
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Only water your succulents occasionally. In the winter, depending on how dry the air is in your home, they’ll only need a splash of water about once a month. In the summer, they might need to be watered once every week or two. If you’re not sure, check the plant’s soil to make sure it’s completely dry before watering.
If a succulent starts turning yellow-brown, this is a sign of a distressed plant. Usually, this occurs when plants are either over or under-watered. Feel your plant’s soil to determine whether it needs to dry out or have a drink. Then feel free to contact an expert at Campbell’s Flowers for additional help.