If this is your first time researching plants for your home or office, you have likely been wondering what will work well as a decorative plant, but at the same time require minimal attention.
Succulents offer a fantastic range of low-maintenance plants that are often easy to grow.
Affordable and with a wide variety of plants to choose from, succulents do not require extensive gardening experience and are very simple to care for even if you are a first-time plant owner.
Before rushing to the gardening store and buying your first succulent plant, here is some basic information that will help you to get started.
Why Are Succulents Good For Beginners?
A succulent is any plant that has leaves, stems, roots, or bulbs that contain significant amounts of water. The storage of water often causes these parts of a succulent to have a thick, bulky appearance.
Succulent plants derive their name from the term “succulent,” which is a word used to describe something that is juicy.
The high volume of water stored within succulents ensures that the plants can live for fairly long periods of time without frequent watering. This means that succulents are incredibly easy to take care of and a great introductory plant for the first-time plant owner.
How Easy Is It To Take Care Of A Succulent?
The simple answer to this question is that it is very easy provided that the plant is receiving the correct amount of water.
How much water you need to use will depend on the type of succulent that you are growing. Surprisingly, many beginners underestimate just how much water succulents can store, accidentally damaging their succulents as a result.
This includes using pots without drainage holes and standard potting soil used for other types of houseplant. As succulents already store a significant amount of water within themselves, you need to allow excess water to drain itself from the soil and the pot.
There are several varieties of potting soil specifically designed for succulents that can be purchased at gardening stores. It is also important to note that many gardeners consider cacti to also be a type of succulent.
Specialized soils can also be bought for these plants that carry out much the same function. Once the succulent has been potted and is receiving sufficient water, sunlight, and nutrients, it will not require all that much attention.
Succulents That Do Not Require Much Sunlight Are Easier To Grow
As a first-time plant owner, there are three main considerations that you need to bear in mind when choosing your first succulent.
Your first succulent should be a plant that requires little maintenance, limited pruning, and is also easy to handle.
Ideally, your first succulent should be able to continue growing with the lower levels of sunlight available indoors. Not everybody has space available on their window sill to display their plants, and many succulents respond very poorly to excessive sunlight.
As a first-time plant owner, you want to avoid having to frequently check the levels of sunlight reaching your plant, and instead place the succulent in a relatively well-lit area indoors.
Keep Pruning To a Minimum
Another consideration is the amount of pruning that has to be done. Pruning is an essential part of houseplant care and is difficult to avoid entirely.
Pruning is simply the removal of dead leaves and other parts of the plant to ensure that the succulent remains healthy.
Fortunately, for many succulents, you do not need to spend a significant amount of time, or spend a substantial amount of money on pruning equipment, to successfully prune your plant.
Pruning is often as simple as spotting the dying leaves or excess stems, and cutting them with a pair of gardening secateurs. With smaller succulents, you may even be able to use your fingers to remove dying leaves.
Taking Care With Spikes
Finally, you need to choose a succulent that is easy to handle. You want to avoid purchasing an excessively large succulent that will take a significant amount of space, and therefore require more water and time for pruning.
You also want to be particularly careful when handling cacti and other succulents with spikes. There are specialised cacti gardening gloves that can be purchased at gardening stories for holding and planting such succulents.
Succulents with large spikes should also be avoided as a first-time plant owner. With these three considerations borne in mind, here are four excellent succulents that a first-time plant owner should find easy to grow and care for:
- Ogre Ear Succulent. As the name suggests, the most famous characteristic of this succulent is the large number of rounded, dark green leaves that are somewhat long. As this succulent grows, it begins to take on the appearance of a small bush or tree which makes it a fantastic decorative office plant.
- Haworthias. Haworthias are compact succulents with clusters of often spiky leaves, although some varieties have leaves with rounded tips. Some haworthias have a distinct striped pattern that has led to them being given the name of “zebra plants.”
- Lace aloe. Similar in appearance to haworthias, lace aloe also has spiky leaves that grow in clusters. There are two main aesthetic differences, however. The first is that instead of stripes, the leaves of lace aloe are often marked by dots. The second main difference is that the leaves of lace aloe are bordered by white points. Remember to wear protective gloves when working with this plant.
- Bunny Ear Cactus. Bunny ear cactus is a succulent with small spikes that a first-time plant owner should not find too difficult to work with provided that they wear protective gloves. This succulent derives its name from the fact that its pads have the appearance of rabbit ears. The small spikes, as well as the limited maintenance required to care for this cactus, make bunny ear cactus an excellent choice of succulent for the first-time plant owner.
Start With Succulents
Now that you have an idea of what succulents are best for first-time plant owners, as well as some basic information regarding the subject, you can now try to grow your own succulent.
dAffordable, low maintenance, and easy to grow, you can experience the rewarding feeling of owning and growing your own plants!