Succulent plants store water in their leaves so they can survive dry conditions and most varieties are easy to care for which makes them ideal for those who don’t have the greenest thumbs but dream of brightening up the house with a little foliage. There’s even a wall of succulents gracing the The Honest Company headquarters. Jessica Alba recently told More why she insists on it despite her CFO’s objections about the cost, saying, “We needed something alive. We couldn’t just have pretty pictures. And so when he’s like, ‘Do we really need the live succulents?’ I say, ‘Yes, yes, we do.’”
And if you think succulents are boring, think again! There’s a great variety of shapes and colors and many even have flowers. One of the most important things to know about succulent care is that they need plenty of drainage so be sure to use soil made specifically for succulents. You can make your own potting mix with this DIY recipe from Get Busy Gardening. It’s also essential to use pots that don’t hold water. A low, wide container is ideal for quick draining and, of course, it must have holes in the bottom. You can even make your own rustic containers out of hypertufa. It looks like cement but it’s incredibly light and porous.
Soil for the succulent
Like all green things, succulent plants require sun and water to thrive. Because they’re made for the desert, most varieties do best if they get plenty of direct sunlight. While it’s pretty difficult to kill succulents by forgetting to water them, they won’t grow and thrive if you don’t regularly water them when the soil is completely dry. Once you get your basic succulent care down, you can start having some fun. They can be packed into small spaces so you can plant a bunch of different types in one pot and see how it turns out. If you’re really ambitious, try creating your own succulent wall out of bricks as seen on Upcycle That.
If you’re patient, you don’t need to buy tons of plants because succulents aren’t just easy to care for, they’re also extremely easy to propagate. This means you can remove leaves, let them air dry until the cut end hardens, then set them on top of the soil until a new baby succulent sprouts and takes root. Adorable! You can do the same thing with stems, remove all of the leaves and cut the stem down to an inch. Let the cut end dry out and harden, then start watering. Soon you’ll see babies sprouting where the leaves were. With the holidays approaching, it’s an ideal time to start your succulent garden with a Christmas cactus. This plant actually produces beautiful flowers when it gets plenty of darkness and cool temperatures.