Decor Health & Home

Sweet little succulents

March 28, 2016

succulents old fashioned modern livingI’ve found a new favorite plant, and I feel so trendy admitting this. Succulents are just so cute!

I’ve been aware of them for a while, and always felt a fondness for these chunky little plants. As it happens, my favorite flowers are the bulb flowers of early spring, the thick blooms of hyacinths and tulips and the sturdy growth of bright daffodils.

I recently looked around my home and realized that I was sorely lacking in living decor – yes, plants. I had a houseplant on my windowsill, looking a little worse for wear, and a large peace lily that has not been doing so well. It’s a bummer! It’s not like I have a black thumb. I’ve planted a reasonable successful garden for many years, and used to maintain a silly collection of bamboo arrangements in all shapes and sizes.

I like the energy of having living plants in the house, and it’s widely accepted that the presence of houseplants can improve air quality, and who wouldn’t like that? Unfortunately my only really sunny spots are the narrow windowsill of my kitchen window and the bay window in my living room, so I needed to be space conscious. So when some colorful little succulents came up on my Instagram feed, I decided to look into them. A quick search revealed that succulents are wildly popular right now!

Succulents are plants with thick, fleshy leaves and stems which retain water, allowing them to live in dry climates. Aloe plants are succulents, and cacti are sometimes classified as succulent plants as well. About 60 different plant families are considered succulents, so there is a wide variety in what is available.

I ordered a few small assorted pots of soft succulents from Mountain Crest Gardens to play with, and I chose a few specific ones from the Home Depot Garden Center. I noted to my husband that succulents are the toddlers of the plant world – they’re little, cute, and chunky.

So why are succulent plants awesome?

  1. They start small and can live in small, tidy containers.
  2. They come in a variety of interesting shapes and pretty colors, with soft succulents suited for indoors and hardy succulents suited for outside planting.
  3. Multiple varieties can be planted together to make lovely arrangements.
  4. They’re inexpensive to start.
  5. With a little care and patience, you can easily grow new succulents from cuttings or leaves of your favorite plants.
  6. There are a ton of resources available on the internet about succulent planting, care and propagation.
  7. I get to say the word “propagation” on a regular basis.

succulents old fashioned modern livingI decided to do something different for Easter this year. The women in my family tend to gift each other Easter flowers, sometimes a live plant, sometimes a bouquet of cut flowers or even a faux flower. I took 2″ terra cotta flower pots that I purchased very inexpensively and brushed some craft paint around the rim, then added a little bow of twine and planted a petite succulent from my assortment in each in a little cactus soil from Home Depot (you can mix clean sand and quick draining soil, but if you don’t need too much, buying the cactus soil is plenty cost effective). Care is simple, “indoors, plenty of sun, just a little water when the soil is dry.”

Sure, caring for them long term is a little more complex, and you need to periodically re-pot your succulents if you want them to continue growing, but that’s a good start. I’m not going to go into in-depth care, as a quick Google search will turn up all the details you need from people who know much more than I do on the subject.

If you do go to order succulents online, be sure to read the details. Are these potted plants or just cuttings? Are they available year-round? Can you expect your little plants to survive shipping in extreme hot or cold? How often does the company ship? Remember that you’re ordering living things, and certain considerations may apply.

Personally, I’m hooked. I have a lovely little arrangement for my front window in a shiny turquoise ceramic pot, a tiny plant in a tiny pot in my kitchen window, a hanging terrarium ornament I still need to fill, and a little purplish plant that is slated to go into the Bulbasaur planter I ordered for my husband from an Etsy shop. Then in a few weeks, I’ll order some hardy succulents and create an outdoor arrangement.

Do you have succulents? What are your favorite indoor plants?

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