What Are Mini Succulents
Mini succulents refer to succulents that form part of the cacti plant family. They are not like those naturally tall succulents. As a matter of fact, they are smaller versions of the average-sized ones. In most cases, these mini succulents take pride in their fleshy stems and leaves capable of storing water. This allows them to utilize water efficiently. The succulents are also available in various textures, colors, and shapes, so picking one that can further improve your home or garden’s attractiveness is possible.
Benefits of Growing Mini Succulents
What makes mini succulents so adorable? Here are some benefits of such amazing plants that make them as impressive as those famous sophisticated flowering succulents available right now:
Add Attractiveness and Appeal
Regardless of where you put your mini succulents, they work perfectly as decorative attractive pieces. They are as versatile and attractive as the world’s best pink succulents. You can even choose from their various colors, shapes, and textures, allowing you to arrange them nicely.
The fact that they are indeed miniature versions of some succulents makes them space-saving. With that, expect the plants to fit any part of your home. Crassula succulents can improve the look of any room and the same goes for the impressive display that your small succulents can guarantee even in a small and compact space.
Another incredible advantage of mini succulents is that they are low-maintenance. You will not face any difficulty caring for and cultivating them. You can grow them, including the adorable Haworthia succulents, with less effort compared to other plants.
How Do Mini Succulents Work
Mini succulents work as amazing decorations. The majority of them are actually small cuttings or baby plants that have not reached their full size. You can make them work by planting them with other succulents or plants or by growing them alone. You may also glue or wire them onto any arrangement you intend to use. A few examples would be a wood planter and wall art.
Pros and Cons of Mini Succulents
- Visually appealing, thanks to their cool and unique miniature sizes.
- Can fit any part of your home or garden because of their small size.
- Provides a beautiful display and arrangement.
- Does not require a lot to grow, making the succulent low-maintenance.
- Great choices for wall decors and souvenirs or favors for certain occasions, like weddings.
- Prone to stunted growth, especially when you keep the succulent in a tight container or pot.
Types of Mini Succulents
Like when there are many low-light succulent varieties, you will also notice mini succulents being available in different types. Some amazing types you have to get familiar with are:
Also known as the incredible split rock succulents, lithops are mini succulents with almost fused leaves. Another name for it is the living stone plant. Aside from the leaves, you will also notice a split between them. Here, you can find the meristem as well as the flower that it can produce or bloom.
Lithops have different variations – among which are the following:
- Hookeri – This type features a leaf capable of growing up to around two inches wide. It is a bit larger when compared to other lithops species. It can bloom bright yellow flowers and has leaves with topmost edges that can be brownish, pink, or red.
- Fulviceps – You can often find these lithops in rocky areas and cold deserts. It is distinctive in the sense that its leaves come in a neat oval shape without any flower. It also features a split where the flower will pass, causing the leaves to resemble a kidney bean. The leaves have greyish green edges. There are also instances when these edges show off a yellowish or cream tone.
- Lithopslesliei – This one is the only lithops that you can find thriving in its natural habitat. It comes in a shade that perfectly blends with the color of its surrounding soil. It produces yellow flowers that many say are effective for healing and medicine.
- Dorothea – Another popular nowadays is Dorothea, a pigment that comes in the shade of creamy pale green. You will also instantly notice its dark green leaves.
- Aucampiae – You will see this type of lithops growing naturally in sandstones. You can also expect it to thrive in ironstone-based oils. It is succulent, which can survive even if watered incorrectly now and then.
- Karasmontana – This type is also called the karas mounting living stone. It is capable of blooming white flowers that feature a yellow shade in the middle. There are instances when it grows while mimicking the brown and gray shades of natural stones. You can also see versions of these lithops that have upper edges in red-orange.
- Viridis – Viridis also has another name, which is the green rock plant. It has uniformed pigmentation as well as edges in grayish-pink or grayish-green shades. The upper part of it usually comes in a dark gray-green shade.
Lapidaria Margaretae (Karoo Rose)
Aside from the different lithops species, there is also what we call the karoo rose (lapidaria margaretae), which is categorized as a mini succulent. It is a rare succulent, which is already gaining a lot of attention in the ornamental scene nowadays because of its amazing growth and visually appealing leaves. It is as rare as the exotic elephant bush succulent.
This mini succulent comes with two to four pairs of leaves around 2 cm long and 1 cm wide each. It is also capable of producing clumps composed of up to three rosettes as it ages.
If you search for small yet tough succulents, then the Conophytum Calculus will not let you down. It is a low-growing mini succulent without stems. It features individual rounded leaves that are being grouped in a single body. You can expect such leaves to multiply as this succulent ages. They also tend to cluster together, forming a cushion-shaped dome.
The spherical body that fuses the leaves is fully smooth and hairless. It is also non-glossy, non-transparent, and opaque. It is distinguishable through its nocturnal flowers, meaning the flowers open only at night. Such flowers have spicy clove scents and range from golden-yellow to dark-orange.
Zebra Cactus (Haworthia)
Another type of mini succulents is the zebra cactus, otherwise referred to as the Haworthia. Despite its name, the zebra cactus can’t be classified as a cactus. It features thick leaves capable of forming rosettes. It also boasts of its attractive dark-green leaves that also have white horizontal stripes resembling those you can see in a zebra.
You will also notice the slender tapering shape of its leaves. It has edges that feature small but not sharp spikes. They are as rare as rustic black succulents, so you may not be able to find sellers of the zebra cactus that easily.
Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum)
The hen and chicks (Sempervivum) also fall under the mini succulent category. A native to Africa and Europe, this succulent is mat-forming and looks like clusters of rosettes. It is a low-growing perennial, which can rapidly spread to at least two feet wide using self-propagation or manual propagation. What is great about it is that you can easily grow it. It works well in containers and rock gardens.
Air Plants (Tillandsia sp.)
If you plan to grow those that are as incredible as the premium blue succulents, then the air plants will not disappoint you. The mini succulents in this category actually come in around 500 different species. As their name suggests, air plants do not need soil for their roots. What they do instead is use the air to extract moisture.
Naturally, you can see these plants being grown on trees. They also seem to thrive well in arid and warm regions, especially in areas with bright and filtered light conditions. You can also grow and cultivate them as indoor houseplants. Here, you can expect them to survive under fluorescent lighting.
Mini Succulent Requirements
The general rule for watering succulents, which is only when the soil surrounding them is completely dry, is applicable for mini succulents. In most cases, these succulents only have small containers, so expect them to dry out faster and hold less water than others.
With that said, you may want to water these plants once a week. Ensure that you focus on watering the roots instead of the leaves or body to prevent them from rotting. Again, you need to be one hundred percent sure that the soil is totally dry before watering.
As for the soil requirements, mini succulents need a well-draining one. Note that just like other succulents, these smaller variations do not want to remain in wet soil for a prolonged period as excessive moisture may cause their roots to rot. In this case, well-draining soil is a wise move.
You may also want to make some changes to the soil to improve drainage. One thing you can do is to use the typical cactus potting mix then add perlite. It can help improve the draining capability of the soil.
You also need to provide your mini succulents adequate sunlight. If they are indoors, make sure to put them in a spot that gives them just the right amount of sun exposure for around four to six hours daily. Note, though, that the mini succulents are incapable of tolerating full direct sun and intense heat, so stick to the required number of sun exposure daily. Also, the morning sun would be a lot better than the somewhat intense sun in the afternoon.
Since you are only caring for mini succulents, fertilizers are not that necessary. This is especially true if you intend to retain the small sizes of the succulents. You may want to use fertilizer only if the succulents are arranged without soil. In that case, use diluted fertilizer. Just add it to the water you will be using in misting or watering the plant to nourish it.
One thing to note about some mini succulents is that despite their small sizes, they hold long roots. For instance, split rock comes with a long taproot. With that said, the pot you use should be capable of housing long roots. The bottom of the pots should come with holes, too. That way, it can guarantee proper drainage to prevent root rotting due to excessive moisture and water.
How to Grow Mini Succulents
Step 1 – Prepare leaf cuttings
You may want to grow succulents from such cuttings because it is also possible for them to remain small for a long period aside from being slow growers initially.
Step 2 – Wait for the cuttings to become rooted
This will signify that the cuttings are already well-established. When that happens, plant them carefully in a cactus soil mix. Make sure that the soil mix has perlite in it to maximize its draining capability. Use pots that have drainage holes, too.
Step 3 – Arrange them in a place not too exposed to direct sun
It should just be enough to supply them with sufficient light. Wait for them to grow and bloom.
How to Care for Mini Succulents
Step 1 – Ensure that the succulents receive sufficient light
Ample heat from the morning sun for 4 to 6 hours daily is usually recommended.
Step 2 – Water periodically
They need water to thrive but remember that the moisture they need is lesser compared to other plants. A sign that it’s already time to water your mini succulents is when the soil surrounding them is fully dry.
Step 3 – Offer protection from harsh conditions
Note that even if they can thrive well in extreme conditions, you still need to protect them from those, like accidental overwatering caused by precipitation and wild temperature changes. If your mini succulents are outdoors, then ensure that they have adequate protection from wind erosion as well as from interference brought on by natural pests, like predatory insects and mice.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
You have numerous choices if you want to grow mini succulents. This means that you can invest in those that perfectly suit your budget. Your succulents don’t have to be expensive. Remember that all succulents have their own beauty, so even the inexpensive ones can already make beautiful succulent arrangements and gardens.
Do’s and Don’ts With Mini Succulents
- Plant your mini succulents in pots that have proper drainage. This should prevent overwatering that may only damage the succulents.
- Invest in young mini succulents that have green stalks, foliage, and bulbs. In most cases, those are signs that the succulents are healthy and capable of surviving the change to a new and different environment.
- Slowly introduce newly planted mini succulents to the sun. The reason is that these new plants may get scorched by intense direct sunlight. You can put them under bright yet indirect light initially. For example, you can put the succulent in a window facing the south but make sure that you drape a curtain over the window.
- Do not mist the mini succulents. As much as possible, avoid misting your succulents, as doing so may only cause the leaves to develop molds and the roots to become brittle. Water the soil instead of the succulents’ leaves.
- Do not ignore bugs. You have to remove them right away. You also have to treat diseases affecting the succulents right after noticing them.
FAQ About Mini Succulents
What succulents stay small?
Many succulents are capable of retaining their small sizes provided you keep them in proper conditions. Some of them are the Haworthia or zebra cactus, air plants, lithops, and hen and chicks. You may also keep other succulents, including the Aloe Vera and snake plant, small by regularly trimming their more mature and older leaves.
Do small succulents grow bigger?
Yes, there are small succulents that grow bigger. As a matter of fact, some of them grow rapidly. For those that tend to grow, a larger space may be necessary for them to continue thriving.
How long can you expect mini succulents to remain in small pots?
The answer to this usually depends on the speed through which the succulent grows. In most cases, though, these succulents stay in mini pots for several weeks to months. There are even those that stay there for years. You have to watch out for signs that your mini succulents have to be transferred to a larger space. Among these signs are roots that break the pot or stick out of the bottom.
How to repot small succulents?
The first thing you should do is to remove the small succulents from their old pots. Make sure to avoid hurting the root system when doing so. For smaller roots, turning the pot upside down may be necessary for getting the root out. You should then clean the root then let it dry. Ensure that it is dirt-free by tapping it.
In case the succulent has long roots, trimming them down a bit may be necessary. Allow the roots to dry for a couple of days but make sure you do not expose them to rain and direct sunlight. After that, you can plant the succulents in a new pot. Use dry soil and wait for around two days before watering. This should help the plant recover from the transition. Avoid giving it excessive amounts of water, too, as this is the time when its roots are still fragile.
How much do you water a small succulent?
Just like other succulents, mini succulents need to be watered only if the soil around them is already completely dry. If you are staying in a humid climate, you can further lessen the frequency through which you water your mini succulents. You have to limit their exposure to the rain, too.
How long is the usual lifespan of mini succulents?
Mini succulents are capable of living for several months to years provided they receive proper care. One thing to constantly keep in mind is that some of them like to grow eventually. With that, you can further increase their lifespan by putting them in a bigger space.
Caring for mini succulents is probably one of the most rewarding tasks that you can do every day, especially if you love plants and gardening, in general. What is remarkable about these adorable small succulents is that they are never hard to take care of and maintain. You can make them grow the way you want with minimal hassle on your part.
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