Do you know that the fuzzy-ness or white hairs that grow out from succulents is their way to survive? The hairy-like or velvety-textured elements in the leaves of fuzzy succulents help them adapt to intense heat or light in the wild or desert. These unusual, unique-looking varieties are one of the top favorites of plant growers and hobbyists. If you’re planning to add them to your collection, this guide will teach you how to keep your succulent alive.
What Are Fuzzy Succulents
Fuzzy succulents typically have a layer of a wax-like element or hairy leaves that are actually specialized epidermal cells that protect them from the sun’s heat, insect attack, or wild animals that devour plants. In addition, each hair or bloom-like element casts a shade, keeping the leaves cooler while getting enough sunlight without getting sunburnt.
Benefits of Fuzzy Succulents
Improve Your Mood
Succulents add a dash of color to your living space that is both calming and invigorating. The therapeutic effect of these tiny plants is well-known as they can help your mind focus on caring for them rather than thinking of the problems. Their cute appearance promotes a sense of happiness and helps to relieve stress.
Purify the Air and Improve Indoor Humidity
Why not put those beautiful hanging dolphin succulents in your living room and enjoy a healthy, safe indoor environment? Moreover, succulents are known for their strong ability to remove contaminants and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air, preventing the symptoms of sore throat, common colds, dry cough, and dry skin.
Provide a Learning Experience
Repotting succulents after bringing them home is the beginning of learning how to keep them alive and thrive indoors. It lets you broaden your gardening skills and enjoy a sense of accomplishment for growing various succulents.
How Do Fuzzy Succulents Work
Fuzzy succulents are generally low-maintenance plants that thrive in any setting, provided they are given the proper environment. For beginners, it is best to start with plants that require minimal care. The low-light succulents require less care and maintenance. As your skills advance, you can start growing the most-prized varieties.
These succulents are incredibly versatile and can live in pots as houseplants or as low water ground cover. Some of the best indoor varieties are Echeverias, Kalanchoes, and premium split rock succulents. Take note that Echeverias are slow growers, so you need patience when you choose to grow them.
They have certain needs like not watering the leaves to prevent damaging the fuzzy elements and using tempered water or rainwater only to keep them healthy. Basically, caring for fuzzy succulents is similar to smooth-skinned varieties.
The rule of the thumb includes:
- Providing bright light that they require
- Watering them adequately when the soil is dried up
- Repotting them in containers with good drainage
- Using a fast-draining soil for succulents
If you plan to grow them commercially, opting for fluorescent grow light can easily cover larger areas.
Pros and Cons of Fuzzy Succulents
- They are very attractive and unique-looking.
- They come in different colors, textures, and types.
- They are more resistant to a harsh environment.
- They are great houseplants and gifts.
- They have special needs like not using cold water or water with a lot of minerals.
- They need extra care, like not getting their leaves wet to prevent rotting.
- They are more tender and less cold-tolerant.
Types of Fuzzy Succulents
Bear’s Paw (Cotyledon Tomentosa)
It got its name from the small tips or ‘teeth’ of the leaves that look like a paw. When exposed to bright light, these teeth turn to deep red. So the fuzzy surface of Bear’s Paw is yellow-green.
Woolly Rose (Echeveria ‘Doris Taylor’)
This tiny succulent is a hybrid between Echeveria pulvinata ‘Ruby’ and Echeveria setosa with pale green leaves and red tips when exposed to the sunlight. It features multi-colored blooms with a yellow interior core and a red shading to a yellow exterior.
Mexican Firecracker (Echeveria Setos)
This beautiful succulent has the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit under its name. It produces 15 cm stemless rosettes with spoon-shaped green leaves. The red flowers with yellow tips usually bloom in spring.
Teneriffe Houseleek (Sempervivum Ciliosum)
Another recipient of the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society is this succulent beauty with green leaves that grow up to 10 cm offsets in spherical formation. It bears yellow blooms during summer.
Panda Plant (Kalanchoe Tomentosa)
This must-buy succulent has velvety green leaves but can be toxic, so make sure to keep it out of reach of kids and pets. Its brown-spotted tips make it more unique and charming.
Pickle Plant (Delosperma Echinatum)
This fuzzy succulent originated from South African and is categorized as a horizontal grower. The leaves and stems of this plant are both covered with tiny spiny white hairs.
Plush Plant (Echeveria Harmsii)
This alluring Mexican native fuzzy succulent has green leaves with pinkish tips and closely-cropped hairs, giving it a velvety appearance. Its blooms come in bright orange with yellow throats, while the urn-shaped flowers are captivating.
White Chenille Plant (Echeveria Pulvinata Frosty)
This succulent comes with almost white or very pale green leaves with velvety silver fine hairs, hence frosty. During winter, it can produce up to 20 orange bell-shaped flowers at a time.
White Velvet (Tradescantia Sillamontana)
It is often called Cobweb Spiderwort, Hairy Wondering Jew, or White Gossamer Plant due to the white hairs on the surface. The leaves are usually faded olive, gray-green, or purple with purple-pink blooms during summer.
Copper Spoons (Kalanchoe Orgyalis)
This beautiful succulent comes with spoon-shaped leaves with upward folds in a cinnamon brown with a grayish underside. It usually grows to 1.8 meters but stays small when in a pot. It is also known as Cinnamon Bear, Shoe Leather Kalanchoe, or Leather Plant.
Millot Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe Millotii)
With oval green leaves with little hairs on the surface and scalloped edges, this beautiful succulent can grow up to 12 inches or 30 cm. Its blooms appear in clusters and come in greenish-yellow.
How to Grow a Fuzzy Succulent
Step 1 – Choose the variety of fuzzy succulents
Prepare pots with good drainage holes—the size and type of material of the pot matter. For example, ceramic and terracotta are porous and allow faster water evaporation than glass or plastic pots.
Step 2 – Fill the pot with fast-draining soil or potting mix
Fast draining soil prevents water retention and lets the roots breathe. This type of soil is made for cacti and succulents and available commercially. To make a soil mix, combine light, porous potting soil plus perlite or pumice. Remove your succulents from nursery pots and replant them in your ready pots.
Step 3 – Thoroughly soak the soil
Let your succulents start getting acquainted with their new habitat. You can water your plant once every two weeks in the beginning and then adjust the schedule accordingly.
Step 4 – Add a fertilizer
For indoor succulents, adding nutritive succulent fertilizers should be not more than once. The best time to do it is during spring which is the beginning of the growing season.
How to Water Fuzzy Succulents
Step 1 – Use a watering can or bottle
When watering adult succulents, use a watering can or bottle with a long, small spout. Fill it with rainwater, distilled or filtered water. Water the plant gently and directly at the root area. Do not pour water on the top or on the leaves to avoid rotting them.
Step 2 – Water your succulents in the morning
Observe watering succulents when necessary or when the soil is completely dry.
Do’s and Don’ts With Fuzzy Succulents
- Do water your succulents carefully. Succulents like their leaves to be dry so when watering them, be very careful to prevent harming their foliage that can cause a magnifying effect during direct exposure to sunlight.
- Do clean their leaves using a small paintbrush or a dry brush with soft tips to avoid damaging their leaves and blooms.
- Do make sure to rotate your indoor potted succulents frequently to give them enough light. They need at least 6 hours of light every day.
- Do water the soil directly until you see the water running out of the drainage holes.
- Do get rid of occasional bugs by using 70% isopropyl alcohol.
- Do not mist or spray them with water because it can cause moldy leaves and brittle roots.
- Do not use cold water or tap water. Tap water has mineral deposits and chemicals that can harm your fuzzy succulents.
- Do not water the succulents when it is extremely hot, humid, or raining.
- Do not use too much fertilizer to avoid burning the roots or leaves.
FAQ About Fuzzy Succulents
Why are some succulents fuzzy?
Some succulents evolve to survive the harmful elements in their environment. Fuzzy succulents are the best examples. The surface of their leaves has tiny hairs that serve as makeshift umbrellas to shade them from the extreme heat, deflect the UV rays of the sun, reduce loss of moisture, and keep pests away.
Are fuzzy succulents poisonous?
There are two known varieties of fuzzy succulents that are dangerous – the Euphorbia family and Kalanchoes. Euphorbia can cause skin irritation and rashes in humans, while Kalanchoes cause diarrhea and vomiting in pets.
What are the hairs on succulents called?
The tiny hair-like protrusions on fuzzy succulents are called ciliates or epidermal cells that act as their protection.
When should you water fuzzy succulents?
The best time to water them is when the top of the soil is totally dry.
On a final note, if you look for eye-catching, fun, and easy-to-grow indoor plants, fuzzy succulents are your best choice.
Photos from: geniuslady / depositphotos.com,