Ultimate Succulent Guide: Growing Tips, Décor & More
Dive into the enchanting world of succulents with us in our ultimate succulent guide!
Widely adored for their variety of colors, textures, shapes and sizes, succulents are exciting plants to grow because you can tap into your creativity with them. These little guys are the perfect plants for anyone due to their drought tolerance, easy propagation, and super low maintenance needs.
A colorful succulent garden, photographed by Orlova Maria.
In this succulent guide, we’ll cover:
- How to help your succulent thrive: essential tips on lighting, soil, and watering frequency.
- How to style succulents: Easy ideas that will let any plant-parent unleash their creative, inner-decorator!
Before you embark on this journey though, you might want to stock up on a few extra succulents. As one of the largest succulent retailers (and definitely our favorite), your entire succulent needs from vertical to horizontal growing can be met with Mountain Crest Gardens. They provide pristine quality plants with safe delivery right to your doorstep. We received our first selection of 10-15 succulents and could not be more pleased. Definitely check these guys out!
Not only do they have almost every succulent under the sun available for sale (including rare species!), they also offer subscription boxes, sampler trays, soil mixes and more. Visit their website here.
How to Help Your Succulent Thrive
Succulents are well known for their ease of care and forgiving personalities. However, there are still a few essential guidelines that must be followed to keep them as healthy as can be. Once you understand these core concepts, you’ll be a succulent care pro in no time!
As desert plants, succulents need a lot of sunlight to grow healthily and happily. The amount of sunlight your succulents receive is vital for their survival. Most need 12 hours to a full day of sunlight. In high temperature areas, some afternoon shade is ideal.
One detail to notice is over-exposure to the sun, results in leaf sunburn. This can happen when placed in direct sun outdoors in high temperatures. A good indicator of this is brown or black spots on the leaves. If you do observe sunburn occurring, place them somewhere with some shade & cooler temperatures.
For indoor growing, locations with bright light for most of the day work well. Sunburn is less likely to happen indoors, but it is possible. Place your succulents by bright windows, or better yet, invest in a grow light bulb! There are a myriad options on the market, but we prefer full spectrum lights for their efficiency and color temperature. The Aspect pendant light is a fantastic option that is succulent-friendly and looks fantastic in any home.
Indoor succulent collection under the Aspect. By @earthwindandcactus via Instagram.
Succulents typically thrive best in hot, dry environments. With this in mind, you want to make sure you use soil with great drainage. If planting outdoors, try to use a location that drains well. Usually, higher spots that do not stay wet are ideal.
If planting indoors or in a container, cactus soils are fantastic, as well as adding sand, gravel or rocks to help the draining process. Make sure the container being used has a drainage hole. If you can, stick to breathable materials such as terracotta instead of glass to encourage even more draining. Ensuring a well-draining environment also prevents your succulents from being victims of a gnat infestation!
This is the tricky part in succulent care. Although they are dry desert plants, succulents like to have their soil soaked when watered. Yes, soaked! It is best to thoroughly water your plant, letting it dry out completely before the next watering session. They store all of the water in their leaves, as if they were in the desert.
Another tip to consider based on your succulent is the thickness of the leaves. Typically, plants with thicker leaves need less water because they are able to store more internally.
Styling Your Home With Succulents
Unique takes on the classic pot
Succulents give plant owners the ability to create their own plant style into their decor, but so do pots! Though we love a classic terracotta pot, a huge variety of creative designs can now be found online. Keep it simple with an individual or variety of succulents in an elegant pot to match any interior design. Some of our favorite pots are the simple, natural designs that embrace the beauty of the plant. Others we enjoy have a modern, chic design or energetic patterns that add color or statement to a space.
The best part is, you can use almost anything to pot your succulents! This is where the fun happens. Be bold, creative, and unique with your creations… and own it!
Possibly one of our favorite succulent trends is the terrarium. These are tiny, self-sustainable ecosystems consisting of your choice of small plants. For more information on terrarium growing tips, styling tips and different varieties, check out Growing Tips on The Latest Trend: Terrariums. Succulents are perfect for terrariums because of their low maintenance requirements. Feel free to customize your design by picking different succulents for your little ecosystem.
There are limitless options for containers to grow terrariums in. From hanging golden glass to desk orbs, terrariums are a great way to incorporate succulents into your space!
Image of a succulent terrarium, photographed by Jeff Sheldon.
Plant styling is merging with interior design to create a sophisticated, natural appeal to a space using you guessed it: your favorite plants! Style your succulents with hanging planters for a dynamic room bound to wow your guests. Hanging planters are similar to terrariums in the sense that you can build your own creations or hang one bold, desert beauty. Utilizing hanging planters is a great way to enhance windows or bright spaces. For more plant hanger inspo, check out Plant Styling Tips: Enhance Dull Space With Hanging Plants.
Last Notes in our Succulent Guide
Now that you’re well versed in all the basics of succulent care from this succulent guide, it’s time to start a succulent garden of your own. Succulent care should be therapeutic and add to your space – so make sure to have fun with the journey!