Top 10 Succulents for Beginners
If you’re new to succulents and you’re not sure where to start, we bring you a useful list of the top 10 succulents for beginners. All of them are low-maintenance plants, but only if you avoid overwatering. Remember, succulents are drought-tolerant plants that retain water in their leaves, stems, or roots, so the only thing they really don’t like is wet feet. Plant them into well-drained, poor soil and avoid watering – the rest is quite easy.
Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum spp.)
One of the hardiest succulents, beautiful Hen and chicks will survive even the harshest winter. These gorgeous rosette-forming succulents will tolerate extreme frost, but like all other succulents, they like to receive a lot of sunlight. They are drought-tolerant, so try to avoid over-watering.
Hen and chicks are low-maintenance plants that look equally beautiful in containers and outside in rock gardens. They spread by pups, so you will get a lot of new plants easily. Thanks to their mat-growing habit, Hen and chicks can even be used as a ground cover particularly on a rocky surface.
Jade plant(Crassula spp.)
One of the most famous and most common succulents, Jade plant is an easy-to-grow as long it doesn’t receive too much water. Place your Jade plant in a bright position and protect it from direct sun.
Whether you choose the most famous species of Jade plant (Crassula ovata) and its cultivars (‘Hummel’s Sunset’, ’Pink Beauty’, 'Baby Jade', ‘Monstruosa', ‘Minima’, ‘Harbour Lights’, etc) or some other, equally beautiful species such as C. arborescens, C. rupestris, or C. falcata, you won’t make a mistake.
There’s no chance you haven’t heard of Mother-in-law’s-tongue, devil’s tongue, or a snake plant. These are all the common names for the plants of the former genus Sansevieria, now included in the genus Dracaena. However, these stylish succulent plants are still known by their former scientific name Sanseveria and are often sold in nurseries by that name.
Snake plants are one of those plants that you can place in the low-light corner of the room and simply forget about them. They will thrive in a low-light environment, with a minimal amount of water, and with a lot of neglect.
The most common type of Sanseviera is Dracaena trifasciata with dozens of wonderful cultivars.
Thanks to their low-care requirements and interesting growth habits, stonecrops or Sedums are very popular succulents. Many of them are native to mountain regions, so even those who live in a cooler climate can enjoy these wonderful plants outside.
Stonecrops are particularly suitable for rock gardens and they are often used as ground covers. They propagate easily and form a beautiful mat very rapidly. Some types have cascading growth-habit, which makes them perfect for hanging baskets.
Some of the most popular hardy stonecrops are S. acre, S. album, S. reflexum, and S. hispanicum, while S. morganianum (Burro’s tail) and S. rubrotinctum (Jelly beans) are the most popular tender varieties.
Yet another low-care, tender stonecrop is Sedum palmeri – a Mexico-native sedum that forms wonderful rosettes.
Ghost plant (Graptopetalum paraguayense)
Also known as the Mother-of-pearls, this wonderful, rosette-forming succulent is native to Mexico. It’s a tender succulent that can be grown outside in warm climates or inside in cooler climates.
The cream-pinkish leaves of Ghost plant are chubby, due to the water they retain. Therefore, you can water this charming succulent only when you find the leaves are wrinkled and soft to the touch. Once you water your Ghost plant, the leaves will retrieve its firm shape.
However, the best thing about this succulent is that it propagates through leaves very easily.Any leaf that drops off the plant will turn into a tiny rosette and form a new plant shortly. This way, with a little effort, you will have an abundance of these gorgeous succulents.
Ladyfinger cactus (Mammillaria elongata)
If you’d like to give cacti a try, Ladyfinger cactus would be a perfect choice for a beginner. Thanks to its low-care requirements, this cactus is one of the most popular cacti around the globe.
Ladyfinger cactus (also known as Gold lace cactus) is native to central Mexico, so it goes dormant in winter. Cut it back on watering as winter approaches and let it go through the winter in the state of dormancy.
Echeveriasare certainly one of the most popular and easily recognizable succulents. They are prized for their leaves in the form of a rosette and the wide range of colors they come in.
They are native to the desert, arid climates of Central America, so they belong to the group of tender succulents than can’t survive the frost. However, echeverias are grown as houseplants in cooler climates, while those who live in warm areas can enjoy planting echeverias outside.
The most important thing with Echeveria care is the light. Provide them with at least 6 hours of bright light (indirect light, if possible) because they need a lot of sunlight to keep its compact form.
Some of the most popular Echeveria species, hybrids, and cultivars, suitable even for beginners, are E. agavoides, E. elegans, E. ‘Blue Frills’, E. ‘Pearl von Nurnberg’, E. imbricata, etc.
This list would be completely meaningless without aloe! It’s the most obvious choice when it comes to succulents for beginners. Aloe vera is a low-care plant that loves well-drained soil and bright light.
Not only it is extremely ornamental, aloe plant contains a well-known, gel-likesap with healing and soothing properties. Aloe propagates rapidly through offsets, so you can always have plenty of aloe leaves to harvest and use the gel.
Haworthias are aloe-like small succulents that are usually covered with distinctive white markings. Like every succulent, Haworthia doesn’t like overwatering, but it differs from other succulents by its ability to thrive in low-light growing conditions. It will tolerate bright light, but it will do best in full shade.
Haworthia is a relatively effortless succulent that looks great when potted into groups. Some of the most popular species are H. coarctata, H. concolor, H. fasciata, H. retusa, etc.
Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera spp.)
Christmas cactus is a beautiful, but an unusual succulent. Unlike the most succulents, this one will thrive in a low-light environment, although the plant blooms profusely in bright positions. But, let’s say that the plant is quite adaptable to different light conditions.
Christmas cactus even likes a regular watering schedule, but only if it doesn’t become waterlogged. It’s a long-lived plant and it’s easily propagated through leaf cuttings.
Other succulents are also mentioned in this video
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