With their fleshy leaves, range of shapes and hardy nature, a succulent is the perfect indoor plant for a beginner looking to add some greenery to their living space.
In lockdown, our obsession with houseplants hasn’t shown any signs of stopping. With more time on our hands to spend pruning, watering and admiring our leafy friends, we’ve finally been able to give our ever-growing collection of plants the TLC they deserve.
On top of taking care of the plants that we already had, we’ve also been buying a few more, too. Thanks to the variety of online plant shops continuing to deliver throughout lockdown, we’ve been adorning our homes with all the greenery we could ever want. And we’re not finished yet.
Right now, we’re obsessing over succulents. Not only are they hard to kill (and easy to care for), they also come in a variety of shapes, colours and sizes, making it easy to find one that suits your living space.
“Succulents, like cacti are found naturally in dry, bright climates. Remember this and you should have little trouble with their care,” says Meg Spink, Patch Plants’ plant doctor. “They will be happiest in a bright, well-lit spot – avoid placing them in direct sunlight as this can burn their leaves.
“Like other desert plants, they like their soil to dry out completely between watering. They want a good soak, allowing all the water to drain through the soil, every 10-14 days instead of regular mini waterings. Also, try to avoid getting their leaves wet - use the nozzle attachment on your watering can to water just the soil.
“You’ll also help them grow healthily by giving them a feed with liquid fertiliser once per month in spring and summer (make sure to use feed specifically formulated for succulents and cacti).”
Ready to jump on the succulent bandwagon? Here are five of our favourites to get you started.
Notoriously bad at looking after plants, but still fancy adding a leafy friend to your home? Grab yourself a snake plant and never look back.
These tall, leafy plants require the least amount of effort to make them look great, making them the perfect plant for beginners. All you need to do is give them a drink when the soil begins to look dry, and stick them in a place where they get some light (anything but a pitch dark room will do). What’s not to love?
The elephant bush succulent (Portulacaria Afra) doesn’t have the classic ‘succulent’ shape you might expect, but it’s fleshy, glossy leaves and red-coloured stem would make the perfect desk buddy.
Keep your elephant bush in a warm place with lots of bright light and it’ll reward you by growing into a big, bushy shape. If you’re lucky, you might even see some flowers in the summer.
Sedum Burro’s Tail
The trailing, fleshy leaves of the sedum burro’s tail are perfect for drawing a bit of interest to a dull corner. Native to Southern Mexico, sedum burro’s tail occasionally flowers during the summer with pink or red flowers at the tip of its leaves, making for a seasonal surprise.
To look after these succulents, simply water when their soil feels dry to the touch and keep them in indirect, bright light.
Besides the facts that the towering, pointed leaves of the aloe vera plant give it a particularly stylish appeal, this succulent also offers a range of medicinal and health benefits. As we approach the summer season (and the occasional case of sun burn) the gel released by the aloe vera leaves is perfect for soothing your skin.
Keep your aloe vera in a light spot, water them when their soil is dry and they’ll give you lots of love in return.
As Stylist’s junior digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.