You probably know succulents for their reputation of being hard to kill and perfect for forgetful plant parents. And maybe you know they’re easy on the eyes as well. But did you know that succulents also provide many great uses and benefits? Join me as I cover some reasons why you should bring one of these low-maintenance plants into your home.
1. They’re Drought Tolerant
Are you the type of person who forgets to water your plants, no matter how hard you try? Or do you frequently travel for work, leaving your plants alone for weeks at a time?
Well, not to worry, succulents don’t mind a few weeks without water. These plants prefer their soil to be on the drier side and will become unhappy if they sit in constantly moist soil.
Watering them once every two to three weeks will keep them happy.
2. They Love Full Sun
Although you may think most plants like full sun, many houseplants actually prefer indirect light. If you place these plants in a sunny, south-facing window, they’ll protest with scorched or discolored leaves. Trust me, I’ve been there.
Fortunately, succulents happily bask in direct light. According to them, the more light, the better! That means they’re the perfect addition to bright rooms and sunny windows. Succulents are one of my top choices for bright areas of my home.
3. They Help Reduce Stress
Succulents, like all live plants, have the ability to help reduce stress. You know how you feel more relaxed when you look at plants? Well, you’re not imagining this feeling!
Researchers involved in one 2008 study looked at the stress hospital patients faced. Patients were either in a bare room or in a room with live plants. The people who were surrounded by plants reported less stress than the people who didn’t have plants in their rooms.
And this stress reduction applies to areas outside of hospitals! Another study reported that having access to plants reduced stress in college students working on computers. So consider adding a succulent to your office if your work is stressful.
4. They Fit in Anywhere
There are hundreds of different types of succulents, so you can find one for just about every space. Many succulents remain under a foot tall, which makes them perfect for the tops of small tables and bookshelves.
Some succulents can also grow quite large, so you can grow a statement plant with a bit of patience.
Plus, succulents grow in a variety of shapes. Plants like aloe and jade grow upward, making them perfect for tables and windowsills. And plants like string of dolphins and string of pearls trail elegantly downward.
5. They’re Forgiving
Remember how I said succulents are drought-tolerant? Well, that also means they’re pretty forgiving of poor care. If you forget to water them for a few weeks, just give them some water, and they’ll bounce back.
Overwatering is one of the main ways plant owners harm their succulents. Fortunately, you can repot an overwatered succulent into fresh potting soil, reduce water, and it will likely recover.
6. They’re Easy to Propagate
There are many reasons why it’s nice to be able to propagate new plants. Propagation allows you to share your favorite succulent with friends and create a new plant in case your prized plant dies.
Fortunately, you can easily propagate most succulents via stem or leaf cuttings. Remove a leaf or bit of stem, dip the cut end in a rooting hormone, and place the cutting in a moist potting mix. Within a few weeks, the cutting will develop roots.
I love taking dropped succulent leaves and placing them in moist potting soil. Although it’s easy to discard the leaves, they form roots more often than not.
7. They Help Improve Focus
Are you struggling to concentrate on your work after 15 minutes at your desk? Adding a few succulents to your workspace may help you focus on your tasks.
One study reported that participants who had plants in their room completed a computed task 12% faster than participants without plants. That suggests plants have the ability to improve concentration and, therefore, reduce the time it takes to complete tasks.
And since succulents are easy to care for, they add a bit of greenery to workspaces without adding a big care burden.
8. They Come in a Variety of Colors
Sure, most succulents are green, but the range of greens is stunning! From mint green that resembles the popular ice cream flavor to deep green reminiscent of a forest floor, you can find just about every shade of green.
Many succulents also have red, pink, or orange bits mixed in with their green leaves. And some are an entirely different color! Browse through all the succulent varieties, and you’ll see bright purple, light pink, and deep red hues.
9. They Can Help With Skin Conditions
If you’ve ever experienced a sunburn and grabbed a leaf of aloe vera to soothe your burn, you know the power of succulents. Aloe vera is the most widely used succulent for skin conditions, but you can also use other types of aloe to help with burns and bruises.
Rather than buying creams and gels that contain aloe sap, just pluck off an aloe leaf and apply the plant’s sap directly to your skin.
10. They Have Beautiful Flowers
While most people adore succulents for their luscious leaves, most succulents also produce gorgeous flowers! Getting the plants to flower often requires a bit of patience and lots of sun, but the work is worth it!
The flower color and shape vary between succulent species, but many succulents produce bright yellow, pink, or orange flowers. Seeing these vibrant flowers contrasting against the muted leaves is a treat.
If your succulent isn’t flowering, ensure it has access to lots of direct light and warm temperatures. You can also try applying a little bit of flowering fertilizer.
Whether you’re looking for an easy-to-care-for houseplant or want to try your hand at plant propagation, succulents are a great choice.