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A brief guide to succulents

Modern history

While succulents can apparently be traced back to the Ancient Egyptians, we wanted to provide a brief guide to succulents to find out when they started to become more popular in recent times.

Apparently, a drought in California in 2011 was a key turning point. People had to fill their gardens with plants that were low maintenance and didn’t require water or turn brown within a few weeks, so succulents were an obvious choice. They store water and can go for long periods without it. The perfect solution!

Around the same time, outside of the Golden State, there was a growth in the number of people who named gardening as one of their hobbies. Many of these were of a younger generation than the traditional gardeners; enter the millennials. However, they faced two key barriers in gardening – space and money. Given that house prices continue to go up every year, more people are living in flats and for longer. So creative ways are needed to greenify homes. Succulents started becoming a popular option due to their low cost, low maintenance and the range of sizes they come in. Even better, if you need to move then you can easily take them with you.

And then came the rise of Instagram and influencers. The social media platform was a great way to show how stunning succulents can be. If you look at #succulents on Instagram today, there are over 7.2 million posts! Certain ‘grammers have shown how versatile succulents can be and have expanded our botanical knowledge. Around a decade ago, the average person probably would have called all succulents cactus or jade plants. Now, many amateurs can identify a haworthia, aloe and miranda.

Today, succulents are still incredibly popular and we love seeing them everywhere we go. Obviously, we are biased, but we think they work in any environment whether it is a home, office, shop or bar! Furthermore, with websites like ours, you don’t need to visit your local garden centre, you can quickly buy succulents online. You don’t even need to worry about what pot you will put them in as ours come with pots included. This makes succulents even more accessible, perfect for whoever you are and wherever you are.

A montage of nine different photos of succulents

Now we have covered how we came to love succulents so much, we want to look at some of the current trends to help keep your little succulents stylish.

We may have mentioned plant shelfies on a few occasions before… but that is because they look fantastic and are achievable for nearly everyone. Whether it is a window shelf in your bathroom or a bookcase, grouping together plants and at points that catch your eye is a great way to make the most of your greenery. A combination we love is a row of our mini succulents including ones like the mini crassula and hoya kerrii.

Five succulent plants in black and gold pots on a shelf

Plant gangs are another favourite of ours. You can group succulents and houseplants of different types to create some diversity. This can include some giants like the monstera alongside the crassula – the variations in their size, leaf shape and colour help to highlight all of their amazing features.

A monstera next to an echeveria hookeri on a table.


Succulents are most well known for being some of the easiest plants to look after. If they weren’t, then they probably wouldn’t be quite so popular! We couldn’t miss out caring for these little green beauties in our brief guide to succulents. While succulent care can vary per plant, here is a general overview of how to look after your plants, that is a helpful guide if you can’t remember exactly what each one needs:

  • Try to water them around once a month but make sure you let the soil dry out before giving the next drink
  • Use a generic houseplant feed every couple of months
  • For smaller plants, water straight into the soil avoiding the leaves
  • With larger plants, water from the base – soak them for roughly 10 minutes in a sink with cold water
  • Gently press a leaf between two of your fingers – if it feels firm, then it probably doesn’t need any water. If it is a bit soft and the leaves look a little droopy, then it is time to hydrate!
Close up shot of succulent leaves

We hope our brief guide to succulents has been useful. Follow us on Instagram @thelittebotanical to keep up to date with our latest products and style ideas!

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