A Guide to Succulents – All You Need to Know
Succulents are very on-trend right now. That’s because they’re SO easy to care for and look fantastic too. They’re also one of the most popular houseplants with both plant newbies and experts alike. It’s important to look after these little botanicals, so we’ve put together this succulent care guide. If you’re looking to add new greenery to your collection, there’s so much to love about these cute green beauties.
The name comes from the Latin word ‘succus,’ which means sap or juice. It reflects how their leaves absorb water which sits in their leaves enabling them to thrive in hot, sunny conditions. Not only that, but approximately 60 different plant families have succulents within them. Some of the most popular species include the Cactus, Aloe Vera and Hoya Kerrii. And with so many different succulents available, there really is something for everyone.
If you’re looking to become a proud plant parent to an indoor succulent plant or simply learn a bit more, we’ve got everything you need to know in this handy guide. Enjoy!
How to care for your Succulent
Succulents are well known for being some of the easiest plants to look after. That’s because they’re drought resistant, hold their own against pests, and barely need any special care. Some succulents are also pet-friendly (but do check our product descriptions for confirmation first).
Succulent plant care varies between the different types of plant, but here are some general tips to get you started:
How often do you water a Succulent?
Succulents are fondly known as ‘camels of the plant world’ because of their ability to cope without water. This means you only need to water them once a month. Let the soil dry out before giving your succulent its next drink to prevent overwatering.
For smaller plants, water directly into the soil, being careful to avoid the leaves. If you have a larger succulent, water it from the base by soaking it in a sink with cold water for roughly 10 minutes. Don’t do this any longer, as you’ll risk overwatering it.
Healthy leaves should be firm and thick. Soft, limp leaves indicate it’s time to hydrate your plant. If you’re someone who finds it hard to remember to water your plants, set an alarm on your phone on the day you water it for a month’s time.
Do Succulents need sun?
Succulents love sunlight and need about 4-6 hours of it a day. If they’re kept in the shade for too long, their stems become weak and they struggle to grow. They also lose their bright green pigmentation, becoming dull over time.
Direct sunlight isn’t a good thing either, as it can scorch the leaves. Bright, filtered sunlight that fills a large, airy room is best.
Where’s the best place to put a Succulent?
Succulents thrive in bright and airy conditions where there’s plenty of light. Pop yours up on a windowsill or in your kitchen and choose somewhere you can admire it. Bathrooms are usually too dark and humid for succulents, so it’s best to keep your succulent away from where you bathe and shower.
Our favourite types of indoor Succulents
There are many different types of succulent plants, and they all have their own unique personalities. Find out more about some of our favourite potted succulent plants, including how to care for each one
Our Hoya Kerrii succulent is available with either a single or double heartleaf. It makes the perfect gift for someone special and is one of our top easy succulents for beginners. Choose from our signature black and gold, grey and copper, or pink and copper pot.
All the Hoya Kerri plant needs to survive is a tiny bit of water straight under the leaves no more than once a month. With the right care, it’ll bring you joy for a few weeks, whether you place it on a shelf or your kitchen windowsill.
Hoya Kerrii Single Heart, £11.99 / Hoya Kerrii Double Heart, £14.99
There’s nothing cuter than the Haworthia succulent. With its stripey zebra leaves, it’s tough, stylish and ready to brighten up your home. They also make a stunning addition to any indoor jungle.
Like most other succulents, hydrate it with a bit of water straight into the soil. Don’t get the leaves wet, or it won’t be too happy.
Mini Haworthia, £9.99 / Haworthia, £12.99 / Large Haworthia with Short Stand, £36
Miranda succulents are as cute as they come. With their robust thick leaves and short stems, they’re one of the most fool-proof indoor plants – and they’re an excellent option for newbie owners.
Miranda succulent care is easy. Treat it like all other succulents and hydrate it with a tiny bit of water once a month directly underneath the leaves. Easy-peasy!
Mini Miranda, £9.99 / Miranda Succulent, £13.50
The Aloe Vera is a tried-and-tested favourite. With its long, luscious, spongy leaves, it’s just as well known for its health benefits as it is for its unique looks.
Aloe succulent plant care couldn’t be simpler. Unlike some other succulents, Aloes enjoy lots of sunlight, so don’t be afraid to place it in a sunny spot for a few hours each day. Make sure it’s completely dry before you water it and squeeze the leaves to see if it’s thirsty. The leaves on a hydrated plant should be nice and firm and full of gel.
The Crassula is a well-known succulent that’s been in homes for decades. This South African plant has thick, shiny leaves that go on forever with a bit of TLC. Some grow with yellow and red tips that change in sunlight over time.
When it comes to Mini Crassula care, a little goes a long way. It only needs watering once a month, but you can keep the moss fresh with a spray or light sprinkling of water a bit more often.
Mini Crassula, £9.99 / Crassula, £12.99
Succulent Plant Gang
If you don’t know where to start with adding greenery to your home, create a mini indoor jungle with our Succulent Plant Gang. This gang includes the Haworthia, Crassula and Mini Echeveria Miranda. They’re super stylish and easy to care for, and they’re finished off in our signature black and gold pots. Pop them on your coffee table or group them together on a sideboard – they’ll look fabulous on display.
Trio Succulent House
Refresh your living space with our Trio Succulent House. Featuring a selection of three mini succulents potted in stylish marble pots inside a black metal house, this stunning display of greenery is seriously on-trend and the perfect way to make a style statement.
Plant Shelfie Bundle
Create your very own plant shelfie with this cute selection of mini succulents and cactus. The Little Botanical Plant Shelfie Bundle includes:
Mini Cactus (Opuntia)
Mini Haworthia Succulent (Zebra Cactus)
Single Hoya Heart Succulent (Sweetheart plant)
Peperomia Rotundifolia (Trailing Jade plant)
They look great bundled together or out on their own in separate rooms. The choice is yours.
Our plants aren’t known as easy-care succulents for nothing. With a bit of TLC and a lot of love, you’ll get plenty of fun and enjoyment out of your succulents for weeks to come – and possibly even longer.
Did you know…?
Fancy hearing a few succulent fun facts? Succulents are a fascinating bunch of plants and no two are the same. That’s what makes them so unique. Impress your green-fingered friends with these interesting nuggets of information:
It’s believed that some succulents protect against bad luck and death. This is the case with the Sempervivum Tectorum (the common houseleek). Its name means ‘always on top,’ so you’ll often find them on rooftops, particularly in mid or southwest Wales. According to myth, if a stranger removes or picks up the plant, bad luck strikes the house and can lead to a family member’s death. Spooky!
Succulents are a surprisingly colourful bunch. You’ll recognise the most popular species as being luscious green, but you can find succulents in red, orange, pink, purple and blue. Some also change colour as the seasons change. Sunlight, temperature and watering can cause a succulent to ‘blush,’ which is where it becomes a slightly different shade to normal.
Some people confuse cacti and succulents with being the same thing. That’s not entirely true. All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. It’s easy to get them mixed up, though, so don’t worry if this is news to you.
Succulents have wax-coated leaves. Officially known as farina, it’s what protects them against the sun. It also makes them water-resistant and provides them with a natural defence against pests and diseases. Unfortunately, the coating wipes off easily and doesn’t return, so try not to touch your succulent’s leaves too often – if at all.
A bit of history
Succulents first appeared in desert regions with long, dry seasons, such as Africa, South America and Egypt. There are different succulent varieties all over the world
Succulents started to become popular in 2011 when a Californian drought forced residents to fill their gardens with low-maintenance plants that didn’t need much water to survive. Succulents were the perfect option, as they store water in their leaves and don’t turn brown in the sun.
Around the same time, more and more people started to take up gardening as a hobby. But these weren’t your traditional over 50s gardeners – they were much younger millennials who’d developed an interest in plant parenting. This interest in gardening continued to grow rapidly.
Millennial gardeners currently face two critical barriers when it comes to gardening: space and money. And they don’t tend to have much of either. . Also, as house prices continue to rise, and people live in flats for longer, they’re looking for more creative ways to green up their homes.
That’s why succulents have become such a popular option. They’re low cost, low maintenance and come in a range of shapes and sizes to fit any living space, whether you live in a small studio apartment or sizeable two-bedroom flat. Even better, you can easily take them with you when you move.
And let’s not forget the rise of Instagram influencers. The social media platform is a great way to show how stunning succulents can be. If you search for #succulents on Instagram, you’ll find over 7.2 million posts! Certain ‘grammers’ have highlighted the versatility of succulents and 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 confidently identify a Haworthia, Aloe and Miranda.
Check out #thelittlebotanical on Instagram to see what some of our amazing customers have done with their plants.
We hope this succulent care guide has provided you with all the information you need. If you have any burning questions or need some extra advice about how to care for your succulent plant, get in touch with us at [email protected] We’d also love to see some snaps of them in your home! Feel free to share them on Instagram and don’t forget to tag us @thelittlebotanical.
Lots of love, Team TLB xx
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