People love the sight of plants in their homes, but not all of them have the “green thumb” or the time to grow and care for ornamental plants.
But here’s the good news: you still can grow plants that do not need a lot of maintenance. These plants are called succulents. Succulents are plants that have thick and fleshy tissues that are adapted to store water in hot and dry environments. You do not have to water them constantly and do other kinds of maintenance to keep them green.
Cactus is the most widely known type of succulent, and there are several types of cacti that have both ornamental and practical purposes. But there are many types of succulents other than cacti that have a common place in many households.
Succulents are hardy plants, and they can thrive in warm weather as well as dry and even crumbly soil. Which means that you do not have to water them every day. However, make sure that succulents get enough sunlight. Succulents love the sun! Depending on the type of succulent, they should get about six hours of sun every day.
Succulents are perfect, especially for the new “plant parents” or for people who love to see some natural greens inside the house, but do not have the “green thumb” to grow ornamental plants. Check out some of the most popular varieties of succulents that you can grow indoors:
1. Burro’s tail or donkey tail
Burro’s tail or donkey tail (Sedum morganianum) is a flowering plant native to Mexico and Honduras. A trailing succulent, it looks best in a hanging pot or in a pot sitting on a shelf or a ledge so it can hang over. Each stem is packed with plump green-gray leaves and can grow up to three feet in length. It grows pink to red flowers in the summer. Like many other succulents, the burro’s tail enjoys sunlight and enough heat – too much water or excessive heat can damage it in a short time. It can do well either indoors or outdoors.
2. Crown-of-thorns, Christ thorn, or Christ plant
Many flowering succulents add a splash of color to your garden or decorate your windowsill or office table. One of the most popular flowering succulents is crown-of-thorns (Euphorbia milii). With enough sunlight and low-to-moderate watering, it can bloom year-round, producing colorful petal-like bracts surrounding its tiny flowers.
3. Hen and chicks, hen-and-chickens, or hen-widdies
Hen and chicks are popular for gardens and as an ornamental plant indoors. It is a common container plant you can see on shelves, ledges or on the home office table. There are a few types of hen and chicks, including Sempervivum globiferum that feature larger plants (“hens”) and smaller globular offsets (“chicks”) and Sempervivum tectorum that feature flatter and pointed leaves that grow openly. The term “hen and chicks” also refers to the plants of Echeveria, Sedum, Jovibarba, and Bergenia species that differ slightly from Sempervivum varieties.
4. Jade plant, lucky plant, money plant, or money tree
Jade plant (Crassula ovata) is a classic favorite as it’s easy to grow. A native of South Africa and Mozambique, it grows thick and stocky stems and thick, smooth, and shiny leaves. Keep this plant in full sunlight and water when the soil feels dry. But like all succulents, overwatering can quickly damage the plant, so be careful.
5. Aloe vera
Aloe vera, from the genus Aloe, is one of the popular plants not just for ornamental but also for practical uses. For many centuries, it has been used in cosmetics, food, and medicine. This prickly plant is either stemless or short-stemmed, depending on the variety. You should keep aloe vera in full sunlight and water it when the soil feels dry and crumbly.
6. Panda plant, pussy ears, chocolate soldier, or cocoon plant
There are dozens of plants in the genus Kalanchoe, and this variety with red-rimmed, fuzzy leaves is probably the most popular variety grown as a houseplant. With its appearance, small size and ease of care, it will adorn your kitchen countertop or home office table. Make sure to give it bright light by the window, and let the soil dry between waterings. When watering the plant, make sure not to get any water on the leaves, or they may rot.
7. Zebra plant
There are many plants that are named “zebra plant,” but this article refers to the Haworthiopsis fasciata, a species of succulent plants native to South Africa. This small but striking plant gets its name from the white stripes on its leaves. This plant is perfect for growing in small containers and an ideal ornamental plant for smaller spaces. Like all succulents, the zebra plant enjoys lots of sunlight and requires little to moderate watering.