Succulents are one of the hottest trends in home decor, a nod to their minimalistic sensibilities and extreme hardiness. These hard-to-kill plants from the desert seem to be for sale everywhere, from supermarkets, flea markets, and discount stores to high-end boutiques and nurseries. The trend is so hot, it has sprouted stand-alone succulent shops that sell everything from tiny terra cotta pots to home decor emblazoned with iconic desert designs.
Why are succulents so popular?
In today’s busy world, succulents are the quintessential perfect plant, requiring very little maintenance. Because they retain water, even a busy or forgetful plant owner can be successful.
Exactly how much water do succulents need?
During the warmer months of spring and summer, water generously. Allow the soil to dry completely before watering again. However, don’t allow the soil to become over dry. To check for overwatering, look for soft or discolored areas or leaves that are yellow, white, or colorless. Plants that do not have enough water will stop growing, then shed leaves.
What temperatures are best for succulents to thrive?
Because most succulents come from the desert or similarly dry climates, succulents tolerate cooler temperatures and even flourish when daytime and nighttime temps differ greatly. Generally, they like temperatures during the day between 70 degrees and 85 degrees and between 50 degrees and 85 degrees at night.
Where do succulents thrive?
As a group, succulents prefer a few hours of fairly direct sunlight so place them in a room or window with eastern or southern exposure. To avoid too much direct light, which will bleach leaves of color, add sheer window treatments.
How do I take care of succulents during the winter?
If your plants normally sit outside during the milder months, or if you live in a colder area, bring your succulents indoors when exterior temperatures get too cold. You can also put them under a grow light.
What type of container should I use?
Small dishes, shells, or troughs made from terra cotta, stone, or concrete are all options. Good drainage is the key. Also, look for containers made out of a material called hypertufa, a lightweight artificial stone that allows for drainage. For pots that do not drain, drill holes near the bottom or fill the bottom with small pebbles or broken pieces of pottery.
What type of potting soil should I use?
Succulents need a potting soil that dries quickly and is fast-draining to prevent root rot. Look for a potting soil designed specifically for cacti and succulents. Or use a regular potting soil and add 25 percent builder’s sand to the mixture. Fertilize in every season except winter.
What are some of today’s most popular succulents?
Aloe, agave, Golden Jade Tree, Desert Cabbage, Jade Necklace, Morning Light, and Coppertone Stonecrop are all examples of best-selling succulents.