Succulent plants are by far my favorite living creature. More so than any animal or other green thing, I really enjoy care for succulent plants. Maybe it’s because of my attraction to all things ‘southwestern,’ that I love these desert plants. Their thick and juicy stems and leaves set them apart from other types of plants as does the variety of colors, shapes, and sizes that they come in. They can survive and tolerate higher temperatures–and those with a not-so-green thumb, like me.
Succulents plants can be used to raise the roof on the value both indoors and outdoors. You can grow them in your front lawn or in your bedroom–or anywhere in between. The sky really is the limit. My suggestion is to think about spaces where you really need to bring peace and harmony and begin there. You might even bring in a little feng shui.
Here are tips on care for succulents outdoors.
Table of contents
- TYPES OF SUCCULENT PLANTS TO BUY
- A SELECTION OF SUCCULENT PLANTS
- HOW TO CARE FOR SUCCULENTS
- SUCCULENT PLANTS BENEFITS
- About the author
TYPES OF SUCCULENT PLANTS TO BUY
There are over 60 different types of succulent plants, so there’s always something to learn. One of the most important facts being that a cactus is NOT a succulent. Heart-breaking I know. But hey, you can love them both.
Kind of like with animals, categorize succulents based on various features that they possess. So while they are both dogs, a Dalmation is very different from a poodle. It is the same with succulents.
So, if you are wanting to buy one, you can choose it based on how prickly, leafy, and how much sunlight and water it needs. There are large succulent plants, mini succulent plants, outdoor or indoor plants and succulent plants with and without flowers. Under each category, there is a variety of succulent plants too. So the buying possibilities are really endless.
MINI SUCCULENT PLANTS
If you don’t have a lot of space, mini succulent plants might be just the right fit. I keep a couple of these beside my nightstand, in my bedroom, and other random areas of the house. Not only do they add a pop of color to otherwise drab areas, but they can also purify the spaces. Like other house plants, succulents are able to convert volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into plant food. Our toxic air becomes their dinner, literally.
Etsy has tons of plant options. If you’re wanting some fresh cuttings but are short on cash, try out the mini succulent plant cuttings above or the three planters below. You can buy on a budget without having to give up the benefits of being a plant owner.
Another Etsy treasure, the Echeveria Pulidonis shown above is a slow-growing succulent that thrives in Mexico. Known for its color and shape, it can spice up any drab bedroom or boring office area. Want even more drama? Try one of the plants from the Harvest Collection displayed below. Coming in at under twenty bucks, these are a steal as well. The only difficult thing to decide is which variety to buy. Hopefully, these suggestions make it a tad easier.
INDOOR SUCCULENT PLANTS
Although many can, not every succulent is made to thrive in the great outdoors. If you’re looking for some potted plants to spruce up the inside of your home, there are tons of options available both in-store and online. Here are a few of my all-time faves. Also, they come with another plus–they’re reasonably priced at 40 dollars on below. So, nothing on this list will ‘succ’ your wallet dry.
If I could only choose one of the featured succulents on this page it would be the hexagon planter above. Why? I adore the snake plant, plain and simple. I also like the challenge of getting my hands (mildly) dirty and arranging my succulents in a way that feels right for me. Although this one is a bit pricier than the others, it’s not over budget and is worth every penny. You’ll never regret adding this beauty to your indoor succulent collection no matter how many plants you add on.
If you’re a romantic by nature, take a peek at the Romantic Collection. These succulents are sure to pull on your heartstrings and make any room they’re added to a little more ‘lovey-dovey.’
LARGE SUCCULENT PLANTS
If you have tons of square footage or are looking for some dramatic flair, consider buying large succulent plants instead of their smaller counterparts. Most people assume that bigger plants have to be kept outdoors but this is a gardening myth. I’ve found that having larger-than-average succulent inside common areas can be a style ‘do’ and a conversation starter. So many people ask me about my ‘Neon Breaker’ when they notice it in the dining room corner. It’s quickly become one of my favorite succulents.
Could two plants be any more beautiful? They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this is certainly the case for the succulent above and below this commentary. The pricing is also optimal, so you may be able to splurge on a few large succulents without breaking the bank.
SUCCULENT PLANTS WITH FLOWERS
Here’s another succulent myth: succulents don’t have flowers. Although many don’t, there are many types of flowering succulents that bloom as bright as any other type of plant. If you’re partial to red, yellow, purple, or any other color of the rainbow, there’s a variety for you.
Red rover, red rover, send this red Schlumbergera right over. If you’re a fan of red, look no further. Although most succulents are green or neutral in color, this red beauty is a standout that has to be seen. The ‘Red Flame’ is another option for crimson lovers while the ‘Limelight Dancer’ is a good fit for those who like sun-kissed plants.
If orange is the new black, does that mean black is out of style? Not when it comes to succulents. The Black Rose is quite a beauty. If you’re non-traditional in style, it’s probably a number one draft pick.
A SELECTION OF SUCCULENT PLANTS
I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that there are more varieties of the succulent plant than one simple article could name. They can either be grown indoors or outdoors depending on your preference. Whatever place you decide to grow your plants doesn’t matter all you need to know is that growing the plants is beneficial to you and the environment around you. The list below is a compilation of someone the most interesting that I’ve found as I’ve dabbled in growing plants over the years.
1. SNAKE PLANT
Hisssss–A perfect plant for beginners, the Snake plant is one of the most common indoor succulent plants. It is is the easiest succulent to care, so if you’re a first-time buyer, you might want to start here.
This plant comes in different shades of green, and the leaves are long and variegated. The plants are said to be able to help in purifying air even when you are asleep. Notably, the Snake Plant will clean the air from chemicals found in toilet paper, cleaning products, deodorants, and other personal items. It’s a very popular houseplant for bathrooms.
Sansevieria Trifasciata is also known to be a plant for spiritual protection as it was used by native West Africans to ward off bad spirits and said by the Chinese to bring good luck. So, if you’re a bit superstitious, your snake plant purchase could bring you in-home harmony with a side of long life and prosperity. What more could a person need from a succulent?
2. ALOE VERA PLANT
This plant can be used indoors or outdoors and is probably the most globally-recognized succulent of all. Why? Well, there are a few reasons. For one, Aloe Vera is a favorite type of succulent plant due to its medicinal benefits. It can be used on burns, skincare and more. Have psoriasis? Try aloe vera. Have you spent too much time in the sun and ended up with a sunburn? Aloe vera to the rescue. Bug bites, dry skin, and even frostbite are said to be cured by aloe’s gel. It is well worth caring for this succulent.
Cleopatra herself even used this succulent as a part of her beauty routine. So, you have to know that there’s some bit magical hidden inside its thick, green-gray leaves. Native Americans even called it the ‘wand of heaven’ because of its ability to heal. For this reason alone, it should be one of your top succulent pics.
3. JADE PLANT
This plant is more or less the same as the bonsai plant. It sometimes has some red color at the tip of the leaves. Jade plant has thick stems. The leaves of this succulent plant are usually thick, shiny and dark green. If the plant is mature enough, it often produces flowers. It’s also known to be a plant of friendship and good luck. The jade is one of my ‘go-to’ housewarming gifts for friends who have just married or moved into a new home. You can’t give a better gift than financial prosperity.
4. CROWN OF THORNS
Crown of thorns is one of the indoor plants. It is one of the succulent plants that adjust perfectly in the room. However, this plant should be kept near a window as it needs more light. When watering, make sure you only add water when the soil is very dry.
One of the reasons why I like this succulent so much is that flowering occurs year-round, but it is at its highest during the winter months. This makes the Crown of Thorns one of the best ways to ward off the winter blues and decorate your home during Christmas. Watch out Poinsettia plant. This one might soon take over as a noel favorite.
5. PANDA PLANT
This plant is also one of the indoor succulent plants and much to my dismay, it does not resemble a panda. It is still a crowd-pleaser, though. It’s also not one you should skip out on during your succulent search.
The plant is usually very small with a velvet appearance. The edges of the leaves are usually brown, and it has fuzzy leaves. This plant is more suitable in children’s’ bedrooms due to its unique look and soft texture. You don’t have to worry about them poking their fingers like they would with a cactus. You also don’t need to worry about the panda dying very easily. Like most succulents, care is low maintenance and the perfect first ‘pet’ for parents who aren’t quite ready for a puppy or a kitten.
6. HENS AND CHICKS PLANT
This is an outdoor type of succulent plant. It multiplies very fast to give rise to offspring called chicks. If you are looking for a plant that will mix up colors in your garden, then choose hens and chicks. The plant is in a variety of colors that will leave your garden looking beautiful. Just make sure you’re in it for the long haul if you plan to purchase this variety. It’s real name, Sempervivum Sempervivum, means ‘live forever.’ They really do–and they multiply. Care for this succulent is easy.
7. PLUSH PLANT
This is one of the posh succulent plants with white hair. Its tone usually mirrors the sunset. This plant can be grown on the ground or in a pot. If grown in a pot, it is advisable to report in warmer weather. Caution should be taken when repotting. You need to report when the soil is completely dry. So care for this succulent is straight forward.
Also known as the Chenille plant, the Plush is one of the popular kids because of its rosette shape. When the sun hits them, they’re sure to shimmer, so if you’re looking for a beautiful succulent to add to your collection, this one is a must-buy.
8. TORCH PLANT
Top five favorite flower alert. I love lace. I also love the torch plant. Why? It looks like it’s outlined in lace. It belongs to the same family as Aloe Vera although they have a few distinct features. They don’t have more medical benefits as aloe vare, and they also grow taller than the aloe vera. Other pluses? They’re disease-free, attractive to birds, and bees and they serve as great flower bed borders.
9. PICKLE PLANT
With its plump, little gherkin shaped leaves, Delosperma echinatum, also known as the Pickle Plant, is simply too cute for words. Just looking at these adorable little fellows can easily bring a smile to your face. I know it certainly does mine. And one of the great things about pickle plants is, if you give them the right conditions, grow and care for them is a simple process.
HOW TO CARE FOR SUCCULENTS
- Like any other plant, care for succulents is best done by those who take them under their wing. The plants will definitely need water to help in their germination; therefore, you should try watering the plants at least once a week. As you are watering, make sure that you pour enough water to soak the soil. Otherwise, your succulent might suffer.
- Succulent care includes protection from sunlight. Yes, they need the light but when it is too much, try to keep them away. Although, when it comes to light it depends on the species. Some will need more, and some will need less light. However, keep all succulent plants away from direct sunlight
- Succulent plants require a different degree of heat, but it ranges from 50-60 degrees. Not sure how much sun is too much for your plant? Google your specific variety and go from there. Every succulent is a bit different so particular plant info is always helpful
- Make sure that the containers have holes before planting. If there are no holes, you can use rocks at the bottom of the pot to help in draining water. Don’t overwater your plant. This can actually cause the plant to suffer instead of thriving.
SUCCULENT PLANTS BENEFITS
Care for succulents is worth it because of the benefits they provide. Since succulent comes in different shapes, sizes, and colors, they will brighten your home both indoor and outdoor depending on where you have planted them. But this is not the only use of succulents. There are many more benefits of a succulent plant, and they include:
1. AIR PURIFICATION
Generally, plants help in purification of air. According to NASA’s research, it is confirmed that plants can get rid of volatile organic compounds. The water vapor that is emitted by plants helps in pooling contaminated air to its stems and roots which will be used in manufacturing food for the succulent plants.
Here’s more valuable information on plants that provide air purification.
If you have a compromised immune system or live in an area where ‘fresh air’ is hard to come by, having a succulent inside is a great way to make your space a bit less toxic. It’s crazy to think that cleaner air is just a plant away, but it’s really true.
2. THEY ADD FRESH OXYGEN TO THE ENVIRONMENT
Plants usually release carbon dioxide at night. This is not the case in succulent plants. They are therefore releasing oxygen both at night and during the day. For this reason, the succulent plant will add more fresh oxygen to your surroundings. Who doesn’t want fresh air? I find it fascinating that plants, as meek and mild, as they might be, organically make things that we humans cannot. Glad to be alive? Thank a succulent.
3. THEY HELP PREVENT DISEASE
Since plants release water vapor to the surrounding, they help improve the humidity of the surrounding. Therefore, they help prevent you from a sore throat, dry skin, coughs and colds.
I have a friend who suffers from sleep apnea. Her doctor suggested that she buy an expensive humidifier to help her bedroom environment. Thankfully, her grandmother suggested that she buy a few succulents instead. Although we never recommend going against doctor’s orders, in this case, it worked out for the best. In combination with other treatment options, the succulents helped my friend’s nighttime sleep improve. So, if you’re looking for better zzz’s you might find them at the bottom of a planter.
4. PLANTS ALSO HELP YOU FOCUS
Research shows that some people who struggle with ADHD or focus issues can see improvement from succulents in and outside of your home. Why? Well, scientists have many different theories and are yet to pinpoint just one. Still, we can link gardening to both enhanced focus and better memory. It also teaches responsibility. This is important for both children and adults to learn regardless of diagnosis.
5. THEY CAN INCREASE PAIN TOLERANCE
Ready to read something amazing? Studies show that plants can help you improve your pain tolerance. Also, research shows that patients with plants in their rooms tend to require less pain medication. Other amazing results? One research study suggested that lower blood pressure, lower heart rates, lower ratings of pain, anxiety, and fatigue can all be found in rooms of patients with flowers when compared to those without. Maybe sending flowers to those in the hospital is more thoughtful than we knew.
6. THEY ARE MEDICINAL
Plants can cure various types of illnesses and diseases. Long ago, before we had drugs produced by men in white lab coats, the things that we used to heal our bodies came from the earth. Most of these remedies derived from plants. So when you hear of someone suggesting plant medicine as a way to heal the body, mind, and soul, don’t be so quick to ignore their notions. Many plants, including succulents, have possessed healing powers from millions of years. It is up to us to unlock their secrets.
Medicinal Use of Aloe Vera
An example of a succulent that is popular today a medicinal plant is Aloe Vera, but it isn’t the only one. Here are a few tips on care for this succulent:
- Some succulent leaves can be boiled to help with arthritis, eczema, conjunctivitis, hypertension, and even depression and stress.
- Fresh bitter sap is used as a cure for sinus issues.
- The anti-inflammatory effects of the Opuntia (a Mexican plant) are said to do many things including riding one of the hangover headaches.
- The Agave Americana was used by the ancients as a ‘cure-all.’ It is said to heal tummy issues, get rid of ulcers, and even cure menstrual cramps. So if you’re adventurous, you might want to put the Tylenol away and grab a succulent instead.
Succulent plants are essential in our day to day lives. They have a lot of benefits to our environment. Maintaining and care for succulent plant is also easy hence can be kept by anyone irrespective of where you are or how busy you are. These plants need not much attention and consume little water, but that’s not all. They also contain a bit of magic and healing power that can make not only your home but also your body, better just from having them around.
Think of buying a succulent as an investment in your overall well-being. I’m certain that you won’t regret trying out your green thumb.
About the author
Nancy Drews here. I am a biologist and I love all living things, but plants have a special place in my heart. I aim to bring plants and YOU closer again. If there’s one thing I want you to take with you, it is that plants aren’t intimidating if you have the necessary knowledge. That’s why I’m here. I will share everything I know about my beloved plants and hopefully, you decide to adopt one in your home. You know, for fresh air, something to talk to sometimes, and possibly an instant destresser. Yes, I talk to my plants. A lot actually! If you got any concerns about planting, please don’t hesitate to message me.