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Succulent House Plants – Not All Are Cactus!

 

 

Considering Succulent House Plants – Low-Maintenance Ornamentals

 

 

Succulent house plants provide us with unusual ornamental plants to feature in our homes. With the need for minimal care, they prove to be quite popular in our busy lives.

 

But what is a succulent?

The Merriam Webster online dictionary refers to the word succulent as juicy, moist, tasty. And that accurately describes the succulent plants. In fact, the thick, fleshy parts retain water to help them survive in arid climates and dry soils. And some are even edible!

To learn more about cactus succulents, read: Cactus Houseplants

 

Popular succulent house plants

(warning some of these are toxic)

 

 *Mother of Thousands (bryophyllum daigremontianum)

Also known as the Good Luck Plant, Mexican Hat Plant, Alligator Plant, and Devil’s Backbone,  A native of Madagascar, the plant is a succulent that grows up from one stem. Its large blue-green, pointed leaves grow up to 6-inches long and 3-inches wide. The plant itself grows as tall as 18 to 35-inches unless pruned to a shorter height.

Named for the many seeds that grow along the leaf edges, this plant often becomes a nuisance in the garden, sprouting more seedlings than room allows. As a houseplant, this allows you to share with your friends!

Plant in well-drained soil, leaving room for growth. Water only when dry. It’s important to remove the extra seedlings when they grow before they take root and crowd each other. However, this gives you a chance to propagate a few extras for your home or to give to others.

 

 

 

NOTE: The entire plant and seeds are toxic to children and pets.

 

*Aloe Plants (Aloe genus)

Most people know the Aloe plant as the very common Aloe Vera plant. This plant offers medical benefits from skin-soothing, digestive aid, and mild burn treatment. Additionally, manufacturers use it in cosmetics, creams, and gels, too. As such, farms dedicate growing space to this medicinal wonder as demand increases.

However, the Aloe genus actually contains many more varieties, some more common than others. I’ll be featuring these other varieties in another post soon. For houseplants, many of the Aloe genus perform well for decor and also air-purifying.

Like other succulent house plants, Aloe plants need infrequent watering, well-drained soil, and sunlight. If natural sunlight is not available, a sunlamp suits its needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Snake Plant (Dracaena trifasciata)

Also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, Saint George’s sword, and viper’s bowstring hemp, this plant offers some of the best in air-purifying for your home. Some regions call it the Good Luck Plant and it may be that for your home.

One of the easiest plants to keep, it needs infrequent watering and will tolerate varying sun exposure, while preferring about 2-6 hours a day of actual sunlight. However, it will not survive with over-watering and soggy roots.

This may prove to be the best “set and forget” type of plant for homes with little time for plant care. With several sub-varieties, it can also be a favorite decor plant.

NOTE: The Snake Plant is quite toxic to pets and children. Enjoy its beauty while keeping it at a safe distance from them.

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Toxic Succulent House Plants

With so many of us enjoying a household with children, pets, and plants, we wanted to include some pet and child-friendly succulents for you to consider.

 

 

 

*Zebra Haworthia

zebra haworthia
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zebra haworthia

 

This low-maintenance succulent needs only infrequent watering and some sun, indirect is fine, to stay happy. However, its best feature might be in the attractive growth habit. In fact, many consider this to be among the most photogenic of all succulents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
succulent house plants | ponytail palm
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Is it a palm or a succulent? While the name references palms, the Ponytail Palm does indeed belong to the succulent family. Another name for this plant, Elephant’s Foot, comes from the way it stores water in the base of its trunk, rather than the leaves or stems.

While the Ponytail Palm, named for its obvious ponytail appearance, grows quite slowly, it still does best with a moderate amount of watering. It needs more direct sunlight than average to thrive, too. However, it can adapt to indirect lighting, if needed.

While in the wild these plants grow up to 15 feet tall, your houseplant will stay smaller and grow very slowly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Blue Echeveria
succulent house plants | Blue Echeveria
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This rosette-shaped succulent provides interesting design in an easy to care for plant. The one concern you need to watch for is crowding. The Blue Echeveria quickly fills out the size of its container so is best kept with a single plant or in a group with adaptable varieties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Sempervivum “Ruby Heart”

succulent house plants | hen & chicks
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Sempervivum Ruby Heart (Hen and Chicks)

You might know Ruby Heart by its other name, Hen and Chicks. Named for the main rosette stalk, the hen, and the side rosettes it forms, the chicks, this unique succulent’s color intensifies in cooler weather.

Like the Mother of Thousands Plant, the Ruby Heart propagates very easily on its own. While not as productive, it still provides you with many baby plants to share with friends and family.

While this plant seems to call out to your kitty to nibble on its leaves, it is non-toxic so the plant bears the worst of the experience. To prevent leaf nibbles, keep it away from your cat.

 

 

*Sempervivum “Pacific Blue Ice”

Sempervivum “Pacific Blue Ice”
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Sempervivum “Pacific Blue Ice”

 

 

Similar to the variety, Ruby Heart, this variety features a unique “blue ice” coloring that highlights green succulents. Both Ruby Heart and Pacific Blue Ice varieties are cold tolerant allowing them to be kept outdoors in very mild climates.

 

 

*Burro’s Tail

 

While not the easiest plant to start, once the Burro’s Tail succulent house plants take hold, they become much easier to grow. Once started, they grow quickly into an impressive feature plant.

As a lovely trailing plant, it creates a beautiful waterfall effect in a hanging basket. Keep it in partial shade. You might utilize it into a multi-variety arrangement, too.

Enjoy these succulent house plants

We hope you find places in your home to feature some of these incredible and easy-to-grow succulents. We’ll be featuring others in upcoming posts, too. Please sign up to receive free updates. Also, consider joining our FACEBOOK page and PINTEREST site.

 

 

 

Interesting Facts About Succulent House Plants

Did you know?

  • One popular use for succulents in an arid climate is for Xeriscaping 
  • Some succulents are used as food for people and animals.
  • Many natural medicines and treatments use succulent material.
  • Succulents grow in a rainbow of colors including green, blue, purple, pink, white, orange, red, and even black.
  • Creative gardeners sometimes plant succulents on walls, growing vertically, such as a photo frame. The slow growth rate and infrequent watering needs allow for this artistic flare.
  • Currently, we know of over 10,000 varieties of succulents around the world.
  • The Baobab Tree of Africa, the largest succulent known in the world, reaches up to 92 feet around and heights of more than 80 feet tall.
  • Blossfeldia liliputana, native to South America, measures only about one-half inch in diameter, full-grown. This makes it the smallest variety known.
  • The waxy coating on succulents acts as a natural sunscreen, preventing them from burning in desert conditions.
  • While more than half the world’s succulents claim native to South Africa, they now grow in the USA, Mexico, South America, and many areas in Africa.
  • Succulents symbolize enduring and timeless love to people of the western hemisphere.
  • In Asia, they symbolize wealth and prosperity. In fact, Jade plants are known as Money plants as they are thought to bring prosperity and wealth to the home.
  • As such, Jade plants are often given as a gift to businesses as a gesture of hope for success.

 

 

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