Succulents: Care, benefits and types
Succulents are getting more and more popular as an ornamental plant in modern interior decoration theme, collectors and landscapers. The beauty of succulent is mainly because of their unique geometric shape and thick green or colorful structure of leaf or stem. They are easy to grow and requires low maintenance.
What are succulents?
A succulent is any kind of plant having thick organ whether it is leaf or stem or another part which stores water in them. This kind of adaptation is mainly to survive the hardy arid or dry environment.
There are around 12,500 species of succulents spread all over the world compromising about 3% of total flower-bearing plants (1).
How to take care of a succulent
Succulents require bright light. Sometime it will be good if we keep them in the shade as it protects their leaves from getting bleached. If you have succulents in your rooms or bathrooms try to keep them near windows where there is direct light. Again I think it depends on the type of succulent or simply periodical switching of succulent in light and shade will be good.
Succulent is more temperature tolerance than any other plants. Succulents grow good in cold temperature also. But be careful from frost as they may turn leaves of succulent into yellow or rot the leaves.
Fertilize once in a year preferentially during summer. Liquid fertilizers can be used monthly with ¼ strength. Fertilize next day after watering during the growing season.
Succulent look like they can survive in very little water as they are well adapted for a dry environment. But in fact, succulents need a generous watering but obviously not regular.
Therefore if you are watering a succulent make sure that you give plenty of water but not overwater it. But yes after that should wait until the top soils get dry. As regular water rots the roots of succulent. Following points should keep in mind before watering a succulent
- Before watering makes sure that the soil is dry and then irrigate it properly until waters sip down the pot. Drain the stagnant water under the pot.
- Do not spray water over the succulent as it also causes damage to the leaf or stem of succulents.
- Use good aerated sandy soil with mulch or peat on the top. Clay soil does not let water to flow properly thus causes rotting of roots.
Succulents health benefits
Yes, succulents not only adds up to the aesthetic value of a home but also adds up to our health by providing clean air.
- Many succulents of Sansevieria family like snake plants and other types like Jade plants helps in improving the indoor air quality by absorbing many harmful pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.
- Succulents can also be used as bedroom plants as they release oxygen during the night. Plants like aloe vera and snake plants can be used to keep the indoor bedroom air fresh and clean.
- Succulents also help in concentrating and calming the mood. Therefore succulents act as a mood elevator. Because of their unique appearance, it gives a good vibe to the indoor and soothes the eye as well as mind.
Some of the commonly grown succulents
1. Echeveria imbricata
This succulent can be grown both as indoor and outdoor plant. Requires moderate water and fertilize once in a year. Non-toxic to animals and humans. Grows up to 15-20 cm commonly known as the blue rose.
2. Sansevieria trifasciata
This succulent is or sansevieria family. It is a good indoor plant and also a bedroom plant. This plant helps in cleaning the indoor air and releases oxygen during the night. Require moderate water, medium light, and porous soil.
3. Sedum morganianum “Burrito”
This plant is also known as burro’s tail. Can be grown both as indoor and outdoor. Requires moderate sunlight and moderate watering. Non-toxic to cats, dogs, and children.
4. Aloe vera
Medicinal succulent is grown as an outdoor and indoor plant. Requires a good amount of sunlight. Moderate watering periodically. Can be toxic to pets like cat and dogs and children. Purify indoor air and releases oxygen during the night, therefore, can be used as a bedroom plant.
Indoor succulent required moderate sunlight. Watering once after completely drying of the topsoil. Non-toxic to cats, dogs, and children.