If you’ve hopped on Instagram lately, you’ll know that succulents are all the rage. It’s no wonder: these plants are incredibly beautiful! There are many different types to choose from, and they can be a great addition to both your indoor decor or your garden outside. Here’s the lowdown on all the different ways you can use succulents – plus how to grow and care for them yourself.
The Ultimate Guide to Succulents
Types of Succulents
There is a huge variety of different species of succulent plants. The one thing they all share is their fleshy, sap-filled leaves. Their leaves are perfect for holding plenty of moisture, an invaluable trait for their natural desert habitat.
Some more common types of succulents you’ll probably recognize are aloe, orchids, and cacti. Peyote and asparagus are also succulent plants! Here are a few commonly available succulents with some of their key characteristics:
Stonecrop: These low-growing, grey-green beauties can grow even in rocky conditions and make a lovely accent and ground cover.
Aloe: One of the more popular succulent plants because of its burn-soothing properties, these South African plants can actually get quite large!
Jade: This exotic, mat-forming succulent is another lovely choice for ground cover.
Decorating with Succulents
Because they don’t require a lot of excess care, succulents are incredibly fun and easy to decorate with. You can create beautiful terrariums with them, place them in cute little pots on the windowsill, or even create a succulent table! Another blogger even had the amazing idea to create driftwood planters and hang them on the wall.
Want to get your succulent fix without a lot of hassle? Simply order a gorgeous terrarium and find the perfect place for it in your home. Done!
Gardening and Landscaping with Succulents
Succulents thrive in sunny locations with very well drained soil. Sand and gravel are just fine – when it comes to choosing a home for these plants, think desert.
Creating a succulent garden can be so much fun because they are totally low maintenance. They don’t tend to attract pests, and the hardier versions can thrive well outside desert regions. They also don’t require pruning and because of the soil they thrive in, don’t typically get overrun with weeds the way plants that require richer soil do.
However, if you do live in a cooler climate, you might consider keeping your plants in pots or other types of containers so you’ll be able to move them inside for the winter.
For the most aesthetically pleasing design, have a few larger “focus plants” surrounded by smaller succulents like hens and chicks. Because succulents come in so many different colors, you can get really creative when it comes to color combinations in your design. As always, Pinterest is a wonderful source of inspiration: search “succulent garden” for ideas.
Caring for Succulents Indoors
Succulents are very easy to care for. That’s probably a huge part of why they’re so popular. Because of the way they are designed to hold in moisture, they require very little watering. Their desert origins are to thank for this hands-off trait. In contrast, certain succulents don’t require a ton of light to thrive, despite their super sunny origins. Most cacti share this trait, so choose these for your shadier locations. For species that do require more sunshine, a sunny window is a perfect home.
Keeping succulents away from children and pets is always a good idea. Even those that aren’t poisonous can often have sharp and pointy leaves. Cacti are the most obvious example.
Whether you decide to go all out with an outdoor succulent wonderland or stick to a few simple potted plants, it’s a safe bet that once you get started, you’ll be a succulent lover for life.