By Katherine Gotthardt
If you have ever looked around your house and thought, “This place could use a few good plants,” and you thought you might try bringing home some succulents, you’re not alone. Home décor can come alive with the right succulents. Their thick leaves and stems made for storing water are interesting and attractive, making them popular choices. What’s more, succulents can improve air quality and help regulate humidity.
Plus, some succulents, like aloe, have medicinal value. If all this sounds appealing, you’ll need to know the basics on buying and caring for this unique type of plant.
Planning for Your New Plant
Before purchasing any houseplant, be sure to scope out your home to ensure you have the right kind of space to accommodate the variety of plant you’re looking for. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I have spots that allow several hours of sunlight per day?
- Are those spots safe from animals that might knock over or eat my new plant?
- Do I have shelving or windowsills where my plant can live?
Next, you will need to choose the right kind of succulent. There are hundreds of varieties, and not all are meant to grow indoors. Some things to consider are:
- How often do you plan to give your plant attention (for example, watering it)?
- What colors will help bring out the beauty of your home?
- What size, shape and style of plant and pot will fit in the space you’ve designated in your home?
Once you have answered these questions, you’re ready to start purchasing.
Purchasing Your Succulent
You’ll want to think through which purchase options work best for you, as there are many ways to acquire your new succulent. You might choose to order your plant from one of the thousands of online outlets. Or you might visit a local nursery. No matter what you decide, it’s best to speak with a professional about your particular needs to ensure you choose the right variety. As you make your selection, also check for the following:
- Does the plant have bumps, bruises, mushy spots or discoloration? If so, you could be looking at an unhealthy plant that won’t live long, no matter how well you treat it.
- Does the plant have insects on it? If so, put it back! You don’t want to bring home unwelcome guests.
- Is the plant small, full of roots and being sold in a tiny pot? If so, you will need to transplant it and keep a closer eye on its growth.
Be sure to purchase everything your succulent will need. This includes:
- The right size pot to accommodate the plant while allowing for growth
- Potting soil designed for succulents
- A water bottle or watering can to help you water evenly
You might also want to purchase a guide on caring for your new succulent.
Helping Your Succulent Settle In
When you get home, if you need to transplant your succulent, you can do it right away, using the appropriate soil in the right amount. Arrange your plant, taking care that all roots are covered and soil is evenly distributed. Don’t forget to water it. Direct water into the soil, taking care not to over water. Doing
so will cause it to grow mold and rot. You know your plant has enough water when the water runs into the drainage holes at the base of the pot. Going forward, you will know it’s time to water your succulent if the top inch of the soil is dry.
Now it’s time to sit back and take in your succulent in its new environment. Enjoy the color and vibrance it brings to your living space. With the right care, your plant can remain a healthy, beautiful part of your home for several years.