Succulents make easy houseplants
A plant that isn’t fussy about watering? A plant that prefers when you forget it? A plant that gives you great textural interest? That’s a succulent. Unlike its thirsty houseplant cousins, succulents make terrific indoor plants because they’re just about as carefree as you can get. Although succulents are often called cacti, that’s not exactly true. All cactuses are succulents, but not the other way around.
Succulents don’t have to be pointy with spiny needles that poke you or hurt, so don’t worry about placing succulents in your home and the potential for injury. In actuality, many succulents are soft and fleshy, and almost invite you to touch them.
The appeal of succulents is how terrific they look while being wonderfully low-maintenance. One of their most attractive qualities is the wide variety of colors that succulents come in versus the standard green of regular houseplants. But if that traditional green color is what you’re after, a Christmas cactus has the billowy stems and deep green color that make it look most like a common houseplant.
A jade plant is another succulent that offers a green color and is a cinch to grow and propagate. Pinch off a 4-inch limb and place into a small pot with moist potting soil, and your new jade plant will be off and running.
One of the more interesting succulents is the panda plant that’s part of the kalanchoe family. This grey-green plant has soft, furry leaves with rust-colored tips. Its unique texture and coloration makes it a terrific indoor addition and difficult to resist touching.
If you like the look of cactus (and its spiky appeal) but without the sticks of needles, the Zebra succulent is your winner. They’re striking with their deep green backgrounds, and bright white, Zebra-like, stripes.
Sansevieria is another succulent that’s more commonly known as snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue. And while it’s a wonderful indoor plant, its cousin the bird’s nest sansevieria branches outward, comes in a variety of colors from deepest green to chartreuse, and has a multitude of color variegations that can fit into any decor.
For a succulent that drapes, look no further than burro’s tail or string of pearls. A pot with a cascade of burro’s tail that looks as charming as a long braid of hair, and burros tail make wonderful hanging baskets with their beautifully cascading stems. Try a simple pot of string of pearls for an easy to care for plant that makes a conversation piece. They can also be used to under plant or add interest in a pot with a combination of succulents.
Caring for succulents couldn’t be easier. Most have simple requirements, such as being dry and warm, and they do well in windows. If you have a sunny spot, your succulent will thrive, though some can manage with indirect light. What’s important is that they have a potting medium that drains quickly. Succulents don’t like sitting in soggy soil, but do check with your nursery specialist if you have care questions for your specific variety of plant.