Succulents have become increasingly popular over the past few years, and for a good reason! They are attractive, easy to take care of, and beneficial to humans in many ways.
Below are 11 compelling reasons why succulents are so popular:
- They are low maintenance.
- Succulents are multi-functional.
- Succulent wreaths are great alternatives to standard ones.
- They are relatively inexpensive.
- Succulents are widely available.
- They come in various sizes, shapes, and colors.
- Kids love taking care of succulents.
- You can keep them indoors or outdoors.
- Succulents enhance the look of any room.
- Some succulents have medicinal properties.
- You can house succulents in many ways.
This article will explain why succulents are so popular and the many ways they can enhance your life.
1. They Are Low Maintenance
Succulents are desert plants and are no strangers to long periods without water and extreme fluctuations in temperature.
Rainfall in the desert is ordinarily short-lived and intense, and this is how succulents like to receive their moisture.
They are low maintenance because you need only water them every two to three weeks with the “soak and dry” method. This involves saturating the succulent soil with fresh water and allowing the plant to absorb the moisture gradually into the roots.
The succulents will then store the water in the leaves for later use, which is why their leaves have their plump and rounded shape.
Apart from watering every few weeks, very little additional care is needed. This makes succulents great houseplant options for busy professionals and people who travel regularly.
As long as you gently wipe down the leaves every quarter, keep your succulent in a well-ventilated place, and ensure that it is in indirect sunlight, it should thrive and provide you with a lot of pleasure.
2. Succulents Are Multi-Functional
Not only do succulents make excellent houseplants, they also have other uses:
- They make great wedding favors or centerpieces.
- Succulents can be used in floral bouquets.
- They are excellent gifts.
- Succulents purify the air.
- They are inexpensive interior decor items.
They Make Great Wedding Favors or Event Centerpieces
With the growing popularity of succulents over the past few years, many folks have been using them as wedding favors or table centerpieces.
Succulents are pretty cost-effective, and the price of several dozen mini succulents for guest gifts suits even the tightest of wedding budgets.
Going one step further, using succulents to create an eye-catching centerpiece adds a touch of uniqueness to the event, and unlike fresh flower centerpieces, succulent centerpieces can be prepared well in advance.
As a centerpiece, they look striking when alone and housed in an attractively patterned pot, or you could make a contrasting centerpiece with a few different succulent plants.
You Can Use Succulents in Floral Bouquets
Florists and flower arranging enthusiasts sometimes use succulents alongside flowers to create unique and striking flower bouquets.
Since succulents come in a wide range of colors, sizes, and shapes, there will always be a succulent variety that will perfectly complement the flowers being used in the floral arrangement.
Some people like to gift a cute succulent to show affection for someone instead of sending a bouquet, which can often be generic or boring.
They Are Excellent Gifts
Are you looking for the perfect housewarming or birthday gift for the person who already has everything? A succulent is a beautiful and welcome gift for anyone.
In traditional Japanese culture, succulents were given as gifts to express love and kindness. Their thick and strong compositions were seen as signs of everlasting love, tenacity, and compassion.
Today, succulents are still excellent gifts to receive, and you will be hard-pressed to find someone who does not appreciate their beauty.
Succulents Purify the Air
Like all indoor plants, succulents help to purify the air inside your home or office.
Succulents absorb the carbon dioxide that we breathe out and release oxygen back into the room.
You may think that your home is clean. Still, most houses contain low levels of harmful volatile organic compounds (including ammonia and formaldehyde) from cleaning products and pollution (especially if you live on a busy road).
A 2011 study by Environmental Health Perspectives revealed that indoor plants could help to remove many of the volatile organic compounds circulating inside.
If you consider that these harmful substances can cause asthma, allergic reactions, and other respiratory ailments, particularly in children, succulents are effective and inexpensive air purifiers.
They Are Inexpensive Interior Decor Items
If you are looking for a way to freshen up the look of a room without breaking the bank, consider using a succulent to give it a new lease on life.
Succulents look like mother nature’s work of art as they have sharply formed, robust, and distinctive leaf shapes with thick stems that are sometimes contrasted with smaller and more delicate leaves.
Their beautiful and bold appearance, coupled with the fact that they are inexpensive, make them popular choices.
3. Succulent Wreaths Are Great Alternatives to Standard Ones
Are you sick and tired of the same old, boring wreaths for fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas? Why not create a beautiful and unique wreath using succulents?
Some people love the look of a succulent-only wreath that is not holiday-specific and can therefore be used for any event, occasion, or holiday.
You can also combine some of your favorite color succulents with some holiday-appropriate ribbon and other small decor items for a wreath that you will not see elsewhere.
Once the holidays are over, you can remove the individual succulent plants from the wreath and transplant them into pots or into your yard.
4. They Are Relatively Inexpensive
Whether you are buying a succulent as a gift, a plant to purify your home’s air, or a pretty decor item, you will always be able to find one in your budget.
A small, 2.5-inch (6.35 cm) succulent plant can usually be purchased for less than $4 to $5 from a big box store or garden center.
Succulents come in plain, plastic pots, which can be painted to your taste (costing pennies on the dollar), or you could replace them with an inexpensive pot of your own.
5. Succulents Are Widely Available
Succulents are widely available year-round and can be bought at DIY stores, garden centers, big box stores, grocery stores, and even online.
Due to their growing popularity, there are succulent subscription boxes available where you receive a different succulent each month. This is an excellent option for succulent fans who do not necessarily have the time to shop for succulents.
6. They Come in Various Sizes, Shapes, and Colors
Whether they’re mini succulent plants, medium-sized succulents with flowers, or large cacti that grow outdoors and dominate the desert, succulents come in an extensive range of sizes, shapes, and colors.
You can find succulents in many different sizes. Typically, when fully grown, their height can range from only 6 inches (15.24 cm) to an impressive 12 feet (3.65 m).
Examples of the tiniest succulents include:
These small succulent plants look sweet when alone on a table or as part of a larger succulent display.
If you prefer something in between large and small, you might like:
These succulents make incredible interior decorations and are often displayed on end tables, office reception areas, and dining room tables.
The largest succulent varieties include the following:
With their large and impressive shapes, these succulents make a statement on their own and look attractive next to a front door, on your patio, or as a standalone office plant.
Shapes of Succulents
A succulent’s unique shape is largely determined by the appearance of the leaves, which can be:
- Plump and round
- Long and tail-shaped
Aloe succulents usually have strappy leaves, the Burro’s Tail has long, trailing leaves, and the Jade Plant has wedge-like leaves.
Their rosette-shaped leaves identify echeveria succulents, and a good example of a spiky succulent is the pincushion cactus.
Succulents come in many attractive colors. The color is typically due to the amount of sun the succulent receives, the temperature of the surrounding atmosphere, and the amount of water it absorbs.
The most common succulent colors are green, blue, red, purple, orange, and yellow.
Succulents that grow in bright sunlight have very vibrant colors. This is because of the brightly-colored pigments the plant produces to protect itself from the damaging sun rays.
Purple, red, or blue succulents have high levels of anthocyanin pigment, while orange or yellow succulents have many carotenoids.
If you have a green succulent, the green color will be enhanced whenever you water it (as long as it does not receive too much water).
Succulents enter a dormant period during the winter, and this is when their growth is slower.
Many succulents will develop a darker color during dormancy as this attracts heat more effectively.
7. Kids Love Taking Care of Succulents
Since they are easy to care for, succulents are an excellent way to introduce kids to gardening and plant care.
Once they have gained some confidence by caring for a succulent and watching it grow and thrive, they may be motivated to move on to other kinds of plants, thereby inspiring a possible lifelong love for plants.
Having your kid take care of a succulent can also be a fun way to keep them occupied during the long summer vacation.
Of course, with kids (especially younger ones), you should try and avoid letting them handle succulents that have spikes, and thankfully there are plenty of succulent varieties that do not have any sharp bits.
8. You Can Keep Them Indoors or Outdoors
Depending on the climate where you live, you can keep succulents either inside or outdoors.
If you have a temperate climate, your succulents will do well outdoors as there is less of a risk of the soil freezing over in winter and submerging the plant in water when the ice melts.
Many people like to have succulent beds in their yards, consisting of contrasting color succulents, which give your home an attractive curb appeal.
Succulents will thrive just as well indoors, as long as they are kept in a well-ventilated space that does not have direct sunlight.
9. Succulents Enhance the Look of Any Room
A well-placed succulent can enhance the look of a room, provide a sense of calm, and create an air of sophistication.
They can make your desk at work look more cheerful, your dining room table look exciting and elegant, and your bedroom peaceful and inviting.
10. Some Succulents Have Medicinal Properties
In addition to their decorative qualities and air purifying benefits, many succulents also offer medicinal properties:
The aloe vera plant is the most well-known succulent for its medicinal properties.
When cut, its leaves reveal a gel-like substance that can be used in food, drinks, and as an ointment.
Aloe vera gel is soothing and moisturizing while promoting healing for burns, cuts, sunburn, and dehydrated skin.
A 2018 study by the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility showed that using aloe vera can be beneficial in treating IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) symptoms.
Most mouthwashes contain chlorhexidine, but if you are looking for a natural alternative, aloe vera could be an option. In 2014, a study by the Ethiopian Journal of Health Science proved that aloe vera was just as effective when used as a mouthwash.
Aloe vera juice contains high levels of antioxidants and polyphenols, making it a healthy addition to smoothies and water.
Since it is a low GI substance, aloe vera juice is a great option for maintaining good glycaemic control.
The common stonecrop succulent (also known as creeping Tom, golden moss, or bird bread) yields a beneficial herb extracted from the parts of the plant growing above the ground.
Although not much research has been conducted around using stonecrop as a medicine, folks have been using it for centuries for many different complaints.
Some people find that it helps stop coughing, while others believe it can lower blood pressure.
Common stonecrop can also be boiled into a poultice and applied to the skin to soothe cuts, burns, and eczema.
Golden root is a sought-after herbal remedy because it contains salidroside and rosavin, which are two substances that have been used for centuries in Russia. Russian health professionals use these substances to treat mental health problems and fatigue and to improve brain functioning.
Sour fig is also called Cape fig, as it originates in the Western Cape region of South Africa.
Juice extracted from its leaves can be used to add to water as a traditional herbal remedy for dysentery, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
The sour-tasting juice is quite acidic and effectively relieves the symptoms of a sore throat, but it can also be applied to ease the itching from insect bites.
Apart from the medicinal properties of this succulent, one can also use the fruit to make a tangy jam or chutney.
The wild grape succulent is characterized by its white and paper-like bark that yields berries that look very similar to grapes. It is also very well-known for its roots and tubers, which can be removed, and boiled or cooked.
When eaten, these parts of Wild Grape succulent can be eaten to ease the stomach, bladder, and abdominal discomfort.
The leaves of the Spanish thyme succulent can be removed and boiled to make a juice that has, for many years, been used as a herbal remedy.
This juice can be used as a soothing skin treatment for eczema, psoriasis, itchy skin and insect bites.
It has high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that help to ease swelling, irritation, and discomfort.
Once the dried fruit pulp or bark has been cut off the baobab succulent plant, a drink can be made to treat diarrhea, fever, or hiccups.
This drink is known as “cream of tartar” and has a sharp and bitter taste. Despite the unpleasant taste, it’s a very beneficial drink.
By cutting open the fleshy leaves of the pig’s ear plant, you can apply the juice to the skin to help remove warts or calluses.
When warmed, the juice can also be used to soothe the pain from a sore throat or toothache.
Alternatively, the juice can be boiled into a poultice and then applied to boils or inflamed skin.
Gethyllis is a beautiful African succulent that bears small pieces of fruit after the summer. It has a thick stem that produces upright growing leaves, but only the fruit is edible.
The fruit can be harvested, chopped up and then fermented to make an alcoholic drink to help treat indigestion, colic and other abdominal complaints.
11. You Can House Succulents in Many Ways
Succulents do best in soil that drains well and in pots that have drainage holes.
Most plant pots have at least one drainage hole, giving you an extensive range from which to choose.
Some folks like to house their succulents in pots where the color goes well with their room’s interior, while others enjoy pots in quirky shapes or painted in bold patterns to brighten up a work or living space.
A popular trend has been to place succulents in geometric wooden boxes that can be nailed to a wall for an ultra-modern and sleek look.
Whatever your taste is, there will be a succulent pot that you will love looking at and enjoy for many years to come.