What is a Succulent?
Succulents are a type of plant that natively grow in hot, arid environments. They tend to require very little maintenance or care, making them an incredibly popular houseplant. Think Cacti, Aloe Vera and ZZ's to name a few.
This low-maintenance plant can be a great option to start your plant collection with, or one to simply add to an existing jungle.
Succulents are drought-resistant plants that store water in their leaves, making their stems and leaves thick and fleshy (some more than others). This is actually what inspired their name, as it is derived from the Latin word "sucus," meaning juice or sap.
Succulents tend to thrive in hot, dry climates such as deserts. They can endure extended periods of drought as they store water and nutrients in their leaves. Unlike your average houseplant, succulents need very infrequent watering. Depending on the season and plant, you could even leave a succulent months at a time without watering.
There are many different types and species that come in an assortment of colours, shapes, and sizes. They have unique features ranging from frills to spines and beautiful flowers.
Succulents tend to have quite thick, fleshy foliage, a nightmare for pests & insects. This is great news for introducing them into your home plant collection!
How do I care for a Succulent?
Succulents prefer warmer temperatures and typically cannot withstand freezing. Since they store their water in their leaves, if they freeze, it will cause the leaves to get mushy and often result in them dying.
Despite widespread belief, most succulents do not thrive in constant full sun exposure. Typically, they enjoy sunlight in doses. Much like Goldilocks: not too bright, not too dark, but right in the middle. Their colours can also change based on the amount of sunlight they’re exposed to.
Soil with plenty of drainage is advisable, this will ensure the plant isn't left sitting in water for too long. A simple compost with plenty of perlite added is ideal. When it comes to feeding them, they really only need to be fertilised during the summer when they’re the most active.
You’ll want to water all the way through to soak their roots, then drain the excess from the bottom of the pot. All succulents benefit from a complete soaking, but wait until the soil is bone dry to water again because if their roots sit in water for too long, they could rot and die. Dry and dusty soil is normal with these plants. Aim for a water every 8-10 weeks depending on the season.
Succulents are the low maintenance plant that thrive on neglect
Watching your Succulent reproduce is fascinating. They're very easy to propagate and can often reproduce by themselves. Each plant variant will differ; Pilea for example will create little off shots from the adult plant that you can easily repot, whereas Aloe Vera, and other fleshy succulents will simply grow tiny new version of itself from a cutting.