What Are Types of Succulents
The different types of succulents refer to plants that often feature thick and fleshy leaves. These plants tend to grow and thrive well in dry and warm conditions. All types and species of succulents can store water in their different parts, particularly in the leaves, stems, and roots.
Most of the world’s best low-light succulents feature green leaves. However, you can also find species and variations of this plant that hold orange, pink, red, purple, and blue shades. It is also easy to find premium flowering succulents good for you if you prefer plants that bloom.
Benefits of Growing Different Types of Succulents
Why should you consider growing different types and species of succulents in your garden and home? The following benefits are among the most viable reasons:
Small and Compact
One reason why a lot of plant lovers now have a trendy succulent collection is the plant’s size. These succulents are small and compact, so they make fantastic houseplants and decorations. What’s even better is that they look so great and they need minimal maintenance.
Improves Air Quality
Another advantage of growing different types of succulents is that they can significantly improve air quality in the surroundings. Having these plants around can get rid of toxins from the air in your home. They can also humidify the air, which can further improve air quality.
Good for the Health
You can even use some of these succulents as medicines to cure stomachaches, cuts, and burns, among many others. Making a succulent arrangement and putting it in a spot where you can easily see every day can also improve your mental health. It can lessen your stress and ease your tension, which can also normalize your blood pressure. It also improves your focus and concentration.
Short History of Succulents
Originally, different types of succulents first appeared in semi-arid and arid places with long dry seasons, like deserts. Among the places where succulents first grew are Africa, European Alps, and Central and North America.
The reason why they survived in such areas is that they have the ability to store and retain water in the leaves. The name succulent also came from “sucus,” a Latin word meaning sap or juice. In other words, the name of this plant was inspired by its sap-filled and thick leaves.
Pros and Cons of Growing Succulents
- Makes incredible houseplants, thanks to their small and compact size.
- Helps in purifying the air and improving air quality.
- Good for your health – Some succulents even have medicinal properties.
- Can lessen anxiety and stress.
- Can make beautiful plant and flower arrangements.
- Prone to overwatering, which can only cause the succulents to rot.
Types of Succulents
If you are truly interested in growing beautiful and authentic succulent seeds and making them a part of your home and garden, then you will be delighted to know that they come in numerous types. You can even choose from those you can grow indoors or outdoors, depending on your preferences and environment.
Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata)
Also called the money tree, the jade plant symbolizes good fortune and luck. It has thick and glossy green leaves. It also features thick stems. Healthy growth can make the jade plant look like small trees. It would be best to put this plant in a terracotta pot with a well-draining soil mixture as it guarantees proper air movement. It should be in a sunny and bright spot.
It may surprise you, but Aloe Vera can be classified as succulent. It is even a medicinal succulent, which works great for beginners. By letting it mature and taking care of it properly, it can bloom small yellow flowers. It features green leaves that also have white specks. You will also notice tiny spikes that go up to its sides.
Zebra Plant (Fasciated Haworthia)
This is one of those indoor Haworthia succulents that can grow around five to six inches tall. It is small and compact enough that it won’t take plenty of room. It also requires minimal treatment and maintenance, which is why it is a fantastic houseplant. Among its distinctive features are the white variegated stripes that you can find on its leaves.
Most panda plants cultivated and grown indoors have sizes that are limited by their container. With that, expect them to grow at around two feet tall only. You will also notice its brownish-red leaves covered with silver or white hairs that contribute to this plant’s velvety feel and look.
This succulent can be easily distinguished because of its compact and fleshy rosette-shaped leaves. Many also prefer this plant because of its many colorful varieties. One variety is the plush plant with lime green leaves that also feature pink edges. There are also Echeveria varieties that are blue in color. Other species have attractive pink succulents. Some also belong to gorgeous purple succulents recognized by a lot of plant lovers.
This type is ideal for you if you prefer succulents that can handle low-light conditions while being easy to maintain and cultivate. It is a hardy indoor succulent that will remain elegant and fresh despite missing several watering sessions. This succulent is also available in various shades of green. It has variegated and long leaves that help bring out the plant’s elegance. Many also love this succulent for its air-purifying ability.
Also known as Fred Ives, this type is a dense succulent that showcases pinkish and purple leaves. Leave it in a place that exposes it to the sun and you can expect its leaves to turn green, blue, orange, or yellow. This plant can grow up to 8 inches while having the ability to bloom flowers during the summer.
This type of succulent got its name because it tends to bloom when the holiday season is already close. It often grows on rocks and trees, which is why it has long and trailing stems that can grow up to three feet. However, one thing to note about this plant is that its blooms will only be with you for a few days.
Sedum Praealtum (Shrubby Stonecrop)
What makes this succulent perfect indoors is that it can thrive with partial shade and sun. One thing to remember about this plant is that it can’t be classified as cold and hardy, which means you should protect it from the cold and the sudden decrease in temperature. It can grow to around thirty-six inches wide and 12 inches tall and produce star-shaped blossoms during the early spring.
Succulent Bush Senecio
This is an evergreen succulent capable of growing to around six feet. It has finger-like and long leaves that can reach around four inches each. This plant can also bloom yellow flowers. While this plant can survive on the ground outdoors, it is still highly recommended to plant it in a container and store it indoors as it seems to thrive much better that way.
Agave is an outdoor succulent capable of growing into a very large size, which is why it can be easily identified by its thick, large, and fleshy triangular-shaped leaves. You will notice an incredible feature of this succulent during its flowering phase. At this time, expect to witness a long spike emerging from its center. Some species of Agave are also shaped like a rosette and feature attractive fleshy and blue leaves. Moreover, it has a large offer of colorful succulents depending on the species.
Ice Plant (Delosperma)
This is another colorful succulent that is perfect for your outdoor garden. It can add more beautiful colors outdoors, plus many say that it has the advantage of being hardy and drought-resistant. You can also expect to enjoy daisy-like flowers in the shades of pink, yellow, white, or purple from this plant, which will depend on what variety you decide to care for.
Also called houseleeks, this plant is distinguishable, thanks to its pointed leaves that you can find on its lovely rosettes. Such leaves create a convenient colony composed of rosy, gray, or purple-tinted foliage. One good thing about this succulent is that it seems to survive cold and even freezing temperatures. With that, it can definitely thrive outdoors.
This type is a varied succulent that is easy to propagate while also being known for being hardy. It has several variations in terms of size – a short one at around three inches, a bit taller at around four to eight inches, and bushier and taller at around 12 to 18 inches. It is an easy-to-care-for succulent, making it an incredible choice if you are still a beginner in caring for succulents.
This famous succulent genus has several low-growing varieties. Some of the colors that its variations hold are bright green, silvery green, and green that features red leaf margins. The majority of its variations also have fleshy and waxy leaves shaped like rosettes. You can also find a few of them that are cylindrical and pointy.
This cold and hardy succulent is easy to recognize not only because of its leaves with fine textures but also due to its great-looking and colorful blooms. As a mat-forming succulent, Saxifraga seems to work well in rock gardens. It can tolerate full sun provided the soil it is in is moist and rich.
This succulent boasts of its fleshy leaves and compact rosettes. One striking and distinctive feature of this succulent is its bell-shaped bloom. It also has plantlets that the winds can blow away. When that happens, these plantlets will be rooted in another place, which is why it is also known as rollers.
This succulent holds ovate green leaves with pinkish edges. The leaves of this plant also have fine hairs that give it a bit of a fuzzy look and feel. As for the color of its leaves, you can expect it to intensify upon getting more sun. This plant is also recognizable for its ability to bloom amazing orange flowers.
This hardy succulent can form rosettes. It has a long lifespan, up to a hundred years provided you give it the perfect environment in your outdoor garden. It thrives well when given bright light, which makes it necessary to put it in a sunny area. This plant also needs minimal water only.
Pig’s Ear (Cotyledon Orbiculata)
This plant derived its name from its thick round or oval leaves in gray-green color. The leaves also feature a unique red line surrounding the edges. One remarkable thing about this plant is that its tall stalks are capable of producing a group of dainty bell-shaped flowers in orange shade.
This plant is also known as a black rose because aside from being rosette-shaped, it also has leaves that are kind of dark in color. It is also unique as it has a dark purple variation that can bloom flowers in bright yellow. The most recognized varieties of this plant are also capable of growing into small and shrubby bushes.
How to Identify Succulent Type
Step 1 – Check leaves shape
Identifying a type of succulent is possible by taking a closer look at its leaf shape. Scrutinize what these leaves look like. Are their edges scalloped, smooth, or toothed? Are the leaves fleshy and smooth? If your succulent is triangular in shape, there is a chance that it is Haworthia. If it is toothed or spiky, then it could be aloe vera or agave.
Step 2 – Identify the succulents
Spend time assessing how the flowers they bloom look like. Note that there are succulents with unique flowers capable of helping you identify their type quickly.
One example is Kalanchoe, which you can easily detect because of its reddish and bell-shaped flowers that tend to go drooping down from their thin and long green stalks. When identifying the succulent based on its flowers, focus on checking the following:
- The presence of long flower stalks
- The specific time of year when it begins to bloom
- Actual shape of the flowers
- Colors – They could be orange, vibrant pink, white, yellow, and red.
Step 3 – Assess their growth habits or form
How the succulent grows exactly can also guide you in determining what type or species it is. For example, your succulent may be aeonium or echeveria if it is rosette-forming. If it has stacked leaves, then it is highly likely that it is a crassula. Meanwhile, if your succulents are ground-covering, then they could be Sedum or Senecio.
How to Care for Succulents
Step 1 – Provide sufficient sunlight
Most succulents need a minimum of six hours of sunlight daily, though the actual duration will depend on the type or species. In the absence of sunlight, there should be a source of artificial light for your plants.
Note, though, that newly planted ones tend to get scorched when exposed to direct sunlight. With that, introduce them slowly to complete sun exposure. Alternatively, you can use a sheer curtain to act as their shade.
Step 2 – Water appropriately
Since most of these succulents thrive during the summer and spring, it would be highly recommended to give them more water at that time.
Lessen the frequency of watering during their resting or dormant period, which usually happens during the winter and fall. Be extra careful not to overwater these plants, though, as an excessive amount of water and moisture may only kill them. Before watering, test the soil to determine if it is indeed dry.
Step 3 – Plant them in soil that drains well
This means that regular potting soil would not suffice. One great choice for succulents is the cactus soil. You may also use mix potting soil composed of perlite, pumice, and sand.
Also, take note that most succulents have fragile roots, so repot gently and with proper care. Choosing the right time for succulents repotting is also necessary for better results.
Step 4 – Remove bugs
It is also crucial to monitor the succulents for bugs so you can remove them right away. Gnats, for instance, tend to penetrate succulents planted in soil without proper drainage, causing it to become excessively wet. You can remove their larvae and eggs by spraying the soil using 70% isopropyl alcohol. You can also do the same for succulents infested by mealybugs.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
Succulents are actually among the most affordable plants you can buy right now. This means it would be unnecessary for you to spend a lot just to get a hold of and care for these beauties. You just have to provide them with the right care, so they can thrive the best way they can.
Do’s and Don’ts With Succulents
- Ensure that the succulents stay clean. Note that the plants will slowly collect dust eventually. This may negatively affect their growth. With that said, make it a point to clean the plants often. Use a damp cloth to wipe off any dirt and dust from their spines and leaves. Do so gently. For spots that are hard to reach, using a soft paintbrush is advisable.
- Use a container with drainage holes. Note that succulents are not fond of sitting in waterlogged soil. With that, the container needs to drain well. This is helpful in preventing rot. If you are still a beginner, then terra-cotta pots are among your best options.
- Provide your succulents with enough room to breathe. There should be proper airflow. In that case, avoid putting the succulents too tightly when arranging them. While several tight arrangements are beautiful, they may also result in drainage issues and lack of airflow, so avoid them as much as possible.
- Do not let the succulents sit in a similar spot every day. You have to rotate them frequently. That way, all the sides of the plant will receive sufficient sunlight.
- Do not use a spray bottle for watering. It would be more beneficial for your succulents to water the specific soil where you planted them directly. Let the soil soak until the water flows through the drainage holes. Misting and spraying should be avoided as doing so may only result in moldy leaves and brittle roots.
FAQ About Succulents
How do I identify my succulents?
An effective method of identifying succulents is to spend time checking their growth habit and the shape of their leaves. Note that these two factors are often helpful in telling succulents apart. You may also want to check out their form, structure, and the shape and color of the flowers they bloom.
What is the most common succulent?
Echeveria is perhaps the most common genus of succulents. It has different species and hybrids. For instance, you can find one variety of it that acts as an evergreen decorative succulent capable of forming into tight rosettes. It is small, which makes it ideal to grow indoors and in rock gardens. Other popular succulents are Aloe Vera, jelly beans, Haworthia, and jade plant.
What is the best succulent for beginners?
There are several succulents that are so easy to grow and maintain that they work well for those who are still beginners in caring for these plants. If you are still a beginner, focus on growing and cultivating Aloe Vera, Crassula, Aeonium, Haworthia, and Sedum. All these species do not require too much of your time and effort as they seem to thrive well in various conditions.
Which succulents are safe for pets?
One thing to note about some succulent species is that they are toxic, making them unsafe for those with pets as well as kids. If you have pets, then you may want to grow succulents that are not toxic and poisonous for them. In that case, among your safest options are holiday cacti, hens and chicks, echeveria, pink moonstones, and lithops.
Which succulents can survive well in winter?
Contrary to what a lot of people believe that succulents are only capable of surviving in climates and areas that are warm, there are actually those that can tolerate the winter and the cold season. Some succulent species have the ability to thrive in the winter’s cold temperature, which means they will survive even if you put them outdoors all year round. If you are looking for such succulents, then you should go for Queen Victoria agave, hens and chicks, blue elf, pink ice plant, and blue spruce or sedum reflexum.
How do you water a succulent?
One important fact that you should know about succulents is that they have different watering requirements than other plants. While others require watering every day or a few days, you do not have to do it too frequently for succulents, as overwatering may result in drowning.
An effective method for watering indoor and outdoor succulents is the soak-and-dry method. It involves watering the soil until it gets fully soaked then wait for it to dry out completely before your next watering session. It is also important to house your succulents in a type of soil, which drains really well. The pot also needs to have drainage holes at the bottom to prevent the buildup of too much water.
What succulents do best in direct sun?
While too much exposure to the direct sun is not good for some succulents, other species and variations seem to respond very well to it. Some of the succulents that tend to thrive better in full sun are Agave, Aloe Vera, aeoniums, sedums, hens and chicks, crassula ovata, and echeveria.
Why do succulents lose their leaves?
There are several possible reasons why succulents lose their leaves. It may happen because the succulent is in distress. In that case, you will notice their leaves dropping all over or falling off.
While there are instances when they lose their leaves because it is part of their growth, it could also be because of certain unwanted circumstances, like insufficient or excessive water, inadequate light, and extreme cold or heat. The good news is that it is easy to nurse the succulents back to good health. Just pinpoint the exact cause of the problem and target it.
With the different types of succulents, selecting the ones that you prefer growing is easier. Apart from being trendy, growing any of the types and species of succulents can let you enjoy a wide range of benefits. In addition, they are undeniably pleasing to the eyes and can make beautiful arrangements that can add more charm to your home or garden.
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