Succulents are some of the easiest plants to grow. And don’t let those high prices fool you - all you need to do is start trading leaves with friends!
Succulents come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors, some of which are really amazing. They make great ornamental additions to the garden because they take very little care. Also, most of them have a spreading growth habit that makes it easy to turn them into living gifts for family, friends and neighbors.
What are succulents?
Succulents and stonecrops have evolved to store large amounts of water in fleshy leaves, stems, or roots, depending on the variety. This makes them an excellent choice for drought-prone areas. As temperatures rise, the plants absorb this stored water, shrinking the storage area for later use, rather than dropping leaves and making a mess. Common characteristics of succulents include:
There is some debate about the difference between succulents and cacti. Basically, not all succulents are cacti, but most cacti are succulents.
If you know of someone who already has succulents, they will probably be more than happy to give you cuttings, baby plants, or leaves, depending on the species. Jade plants, in particular, can be started from a single leaf. Simply place the stub of the leaf in rich potting soil and keep moist. Within a week or two, new roots should be visible. Cuttings and baby plants can be propagated in the same way.
Caring for succulents
Succulents can be used as permanent ground cover, in containers, and they make lovely windowsill gardens. Succulents prefer well-drained soil, making them an excellent choice for slopes, raised beds and containers. These tips will help you get the most out of your succulents:
Succulent container gardens look lovely year round, and they are surprisingly easy to make. You can see several inspiring ideas (complete with instructions) at the Instructables page on Succulents.
I hope this information inspires you to grow more of your own food. You can ask your garden questions on my Home page.