Succulents come in many varieties and are extremely versatile in that they can be used for landscaping and, when grown in pots, as part of the decor.
Succulents flourish anywhere. They look fantastic in pots and are ideal for landscaping. The fact that they are very resilient and can thrive with minimum fuss makes them suitable for most homes.
Succulents are plants that store water in their leaves or stems, which means they can withstand periods of dryness. Most plants would die without regular watering, but succulents, being able to absorb and store more than the normal amount of water in their leaves or stems are able to survive long periods without water. They usually have thick, waxy leaves that help reduce water loss. In the right conditions succulents can produce colourful flowers.
The requirements to grow succulents are few and the key is free-draining sandy soil and lots of sun. If growing in the garden, it is best to plant in spring or autumn as winter can be too cold and wet. There are low-growing plants suitable as flower-bed borders or larger plants to complement the other plants in the bed. Succulents are especially suitable to be grown in areas that have low water and good sunshine.
When planting in pots, ensure that the potting mix is free draining and has a good component of sand. The location of the pot will need to be sunny and the plants will need to be protected from extreme cold.
A control-released fertiliser in granular form should be applied in spring and summer. The plants tend to be dormant in winter and will not require fertilising or much watering. In the dry months it is best to water the plants in the morning, allowing the soil to dry out in between watering.
If the soil needs to be covered, it should be done with pebbles, gravel or crushed shell and not mulch.
Succulents can be propagated very easily. Some types of succulents produce offshoots at the base of the parent plant which can be removed and replanted.
Some succulents, such as Echeveria, can be propagated with a single leaf.
Decorating the Home with Succulents
Succulents, when grown in pots that complement the decor of the home, can add living colour to balconies, patios, courtyards or windowsills. They can also be placed inside the home for short periods at a time because they need sunshine for healthy growth.
There are many varieties of succulents with bold forms and many colours and there are varieties that can even be grown in hanging pots.
The variety, versatility and ease of growing of succulent plants makes them an ideal choice for gardners who have little time to spend tending to plants and gardens. Succulents are one plant group that actually thrive on very little attention.