After my trip to LA, I’ve had succulents on the brain. I’m in love with their plump little leaves and the funky, exotic vibe they lend to both indoor and outdoor landscapes.
For those of you with black thumbs, these little beauties are a perfect houseplant because, unless you stash them in a closet, they’re nearly impossible to kill. All you need is a well-draining pot and light!
Succulents love bright light indoors or full sun outdoors that replicates their natural environment of African deserts or Alpine rock ledges. They naturally retain water (the term succulent literally means “full of juice”), so you don’t have to water them often. Regular rain outside or once every few weeks inside should do the trick.
In the succulent family, cacti are certainly the poster child, but these are some of my new favorite varieties:
Also known as Hens and Chicks or Jovibarba (Jupiter’s Beard), sempervivum are easy to identify by their pretty rosette shape. Highly adaptable and frost resistant, they make for a lovely coffee table plant and work equally well as a low-growing filler along the edges of raised garden beds.
Sometimes called the “money tree” or “friendship tree” (and who couldn’t use more of both), Jade plants work well on window ledges or patios and can be pruned like a bonzai to control their size. They can produce small pinkish white flowers like the plant below and can easily be divided by clipping off just a small branch…perfect for sharing with friends! My friend Anne just picked one up at the farmer’s market last week so I may be stealing a cutting of hers once it gets going!
Sedum come in a wide variety of shapes, colors and styles ranging from mid-size flowering shrubs to mat-like stonecrops. Flowering shrubs like this one below are hearty in cold weather and produce masses of burgundy flowers that are pretty fresh or dried. They also divide and transplant well so check with your gardener friends to see if you can snag a clump.
Not just something that comes in a bottle dyed green! Aloe vera plants can be grown at home and their leaves snipped to treat wounds, burns or sunburn. Just double check that it’s the aloe vera that you’re getting since some aloe species can be poisonous.