Are Succulents Good Houseplants For Beginners?

uniquelydivine(6)June 3, 2012

So I was just browsing this site and came across a members' pics of succulents. They are beautiful!

Do succulents make great indoor plants and if they are recommended for beginners?

Here is a link to a site that has the Crassula variety. I like those. They are beautiful!

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Yes, most succulents are good beginner plants as long as you can provide lots of good light, allow them to dry deep into their pots in between waterings, and resist the urge to repot them. They are mostly slow growers and can survive drought quite well, but if you fuss with them too much you will have problems.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 10:00PM
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I'm still sort of a beginner and I've been having success with succulents so far. The best thing you can do is read about every new plant you get and learn its needs, and you shouldn't have a hard time at all. Most succulents aren't very complicated to care for. :) Like mmn said, they mostly just need good light.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 12:05AM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

here is a list of succulents i reccomend for beginners:

Crassula ovata(jade plant,money tree, friendship tree, lucky plant or Money Plant.)give plenty of indirect light. water every two weeks in summer and once every three weeks in winter. repot every three years.fertilize monthly in march through december.

Sedum morganianum (commonly called burro's tail or donkey tail)same care exept water every week year round

Euphorbia tithymaloides(buck-thorn, cimora misha, Christmas Candle, Devil's Backbone, Fiddle Flower, ipecacuahana, Jacob's Ladder, Japanese Poinsettia, Jew's Slipper, Jewbush, Milk-Hedge, Myrtle-Leaved Spurge, Padus-Leaved Clipper Plant, Red Slipper Spurge, Redbird Cactus, Redbird Flower, Slipper Flower, Slipper Plant, Slipper Spurge, timora misha, and Zig-Zag Plant.[4][5][6] In other parts of the world, it is known as gin-ryu (Japan); pokok lipan and penawar lipan (Indonesia); airi, baire, and agia (India); aperejo (Yoruba); sapatinho do diablo (Brazil); itamo real (Puerto Rico); pantoufle (France); and zapatilla del diablo (Mexico).[7][8]this plant thrives in indirect light, watered weekly. fertilized mothly in summer and trimmed occasionally. this plant as you see has alot of names

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 2:37PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Teen, we really can't tell someone how often to water their plants ; you can only relate your own experience. Watering frequency depends upon SO many variables unique to each household that cookie-cutter schedules are useless. It's not even particularly helpful to tell someone how often you water your own plant since your variables are sure to be unique to you, alone.

Watering frequency depends upon time of year, size of plant in relation to the container, material that the container is made from, type of potting soil, temperature and humidity of the location, quantity /quality /duration of light, and (of course) the kind of plant. I'm sure that there are even more factors to consider. All we can really relate is the level at which a plant species' soil prefers to dry out.

The same goes for recommendations about fertilization and repotting. Your schedule may be perfect for your plants but they are not for mine.

Do you understand what i am trying to explain?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 4:35PM
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Unique..The plant link you posted has beautiful succulents. Each are well-cared for.

In answer to your question, the answer is Yes and No.

Succulents are easy to maintain as long as your home has sufficient light and you can control yourself from over-watering. lol

Over-watering is the number 1 plant killer. 'Including tropicals.'

Succulents hold water, so unless soil dries between waterings, 'especially during winter,' it can/will rot.

There are a zillion questions regarding succulents, so much to learn, but fun and rewarding in the end. Toni

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 6:15PM
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Depends on the plant!

I find that most desert cacti require WAY more light than you can suitably provide indoors and have a tendency to just collapse on you. Some do work, so feel free to experiment -- just don't get attached, and don't buy anything super-expensive. I SEEM to be having an okay time with Leuchtenbergias, myself, at least.

Oh, and a big tip -- inspect plants like crazy for mealies before you buy them. Cacti are magnets for them if you're shopping at big box stores.

Jungle cacti (christmas cacti, Rhipsalsises, and the like) seem to be a lot easier, but they're generally epiphytic shade plants that like water.

I've generally had poor luck with crassulids myself. Your mileage may very.

I've had a considerably easier time with Euphorbias, so those might be a good option if you're not concerned with the poison. Leafy ones will probably do better indoors than some of the others. Still, E. Trigona, E. lactea, E. tortillis, E. greenwayii, and E. cereiformis haven't proven particularly difficult for me.

Medusoid euphorbias have not worked out so well for me because they need a lot of light. I think you can keep them growing, but at the least they're not going to look right.

Ponytail palms seem pretty sturdy.

Some of the more succulent bulb plants have worked out pretty well too. Ledebourias require more water to really grow well (and I doubt they're really prone to overwatering?), but seem like they can survive prolonged drought. Haemanthus albifloss apparently does fine in lower light.

Aloes and haworthias don't seem terribly problematic either. I'd assume the haworthias that like growing mostly underground and have windowed leaves would need more light. Other ones I have grow fine, although they seem to need more water. Also apparently prone to losing their roots if they go dry for too long so might be more rot prone. Aloes... not a lot of issues with these either. Again, I kind of find they do better with more water.

Judging by what I've seen in atriums, Paychpodiums do just fine indoors, although again, poisonousness is an issue.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 8:19PM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)


Thanks for such a clear, concise explanation.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:45PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

Succulents are plants that have the ability to store extra water in fleshy leaves or stems. Cacti are one family of succulents, but they only represent a small portion of this wide and varied group of fascinating plants. Some are very familiar to us, like Aloe vera or jade plant. Others are more obscure, such as zebra Haworthia, with its unique white stripes. Many, many succulents make great indoor plants. Part of their nature is to be able to live where it is warm, sunny and dry and that describes many windowsills in our homes.
Here is a list of some of the more popular and commonly available non-cactus succulents and a little bit about each plant. For the same type of information about cacti, pick up a copy of .

Agave Agave a.k.a. Century plant. Slow-growing and as long-lived as their nickname implies, Agaves grow tough leaves from a central core. The leaves are often tipped with spines that can easily draw blood. Some varieties have variegated leaves. Agaves can take as long as 30 years to bloom.

Jade Plant Crassula ovata (syn. C. portulaca) One of the best know and easiest to grow succulents, Jade Plants are known for thick stems, fleshy leaves and winter blooming. They make excellent indoor plants and are very easy to propagate. There are many other Crassulas closely related to jade and just as easy to grow, with truly unusual shapes.

Crown-of-Thorns Euphorbia milla An attractive plant known for its red blooms, this thorny succulent is not a true cactus. Given enough room, Crown-of-Thorns will grow into a small shrub several feet wide and tall. Like all other members of the Euphorbia clan, when injured it will bleed a milky sap that can be irritating to skin and eyes.

Kalanchoe Kalanchoe hybrids Many beautiful blooming hybrids of this plant have been developed because it is so easy to grow and the blooms last so long. Most have glossy green leaves and offer yellow, pink or red blooms for months on end making a fine indoor plant.

Rosary Vine Ceropegia woodii a.k.a. String of Pearls and Heart Vine has long vines with well spaced, grayish heart-shaped leaves growing from a fleshy rooted crown. It grows easily and is striking.

Milk Striped Euphorbia Euphorbia This is one of the easiest Euphorbias to grow. It can easily grow to the height and width of an average adult. Beware of the thorns! As with other members of the family (including poinsettias), injuries will bleed a milky, sticky sap that can be irritating.

Silver Crown Cotyledon undulata This is an attractive compact plant that bears wavy-edged fleshy "leaves" that have a blue-gray coating on them. They are easy to grow but shouldn't be handled too much because the leaves can break off or the coating can be smudged.

Devil's Backbone Kalanchoe Several tall varieties of Kalanchoe have earned this nickname. This one is known for large scooped leaves that form little plantlets all along the edges. When disturbed, the plantlets can drop to the soil, root and grow another plant. There are other succulents with this nickname too.

Stapelia A genus of easy-to-grow succulents that share an unusual quality with a few other succulents. Stapeliashould only be grown by someone with a strong stomach or good ventilation, because when they bloom, the flowers smell like a dead animal. Commonly referred to as carrion flowers, these plants have evolved this distinctive "asset" to draw flies to aid in pollination. The carrion flowers are striking, often measuring over 6 inches across, covered with fine hair.

Burro's Tail Sedum morganianum This plant is also known as donkey's or lamb's tail and all of the names truly fit this trailing succulent. It forms long drooping stems that are tightly covered by fleshy small leaves. It has an unusual pale green color that can sometimes appear almost blue. Burro's tail is great in hanging baskets since the "tails" can grow more than 2 feet long.

Panda Plant Kalanchoe tomentosa a.k.a. Plush Plant A fun plant with fat, furry leaves all crowded along a fairly upright stem. The furry leaves are silvery with a red-brown edge. Easily grown and propagated, it will grow about a foot tall and occasionally blooms in late summer or fall.

Haworthia Haworthia Growing in a tight little cluster similar to aloe, this variety of Haworthia is often called a zebra plant because of the stripes that grow on the outside of the leaves. They stay small, seldom outgrowing a 6 inch pot, and tolerate lower light levels than most succulents. There are several variations offering different leaf markings.

Living Stones Lithops There are several succulent varieties that look similar to pebbles, including flowering quartz, baby's toes and living rocks. Each is a different genus, but they look and grow very much alike. They all originated in South Africa and truly look like little rocks. They grow just an inch or two tall in tight little clumps and are great for windowsills or in an arid terrarium or dish garden. As unbelievable as it may seem, some even bloom.

Aloe Aloe vera Almost everyone is familiar with aloe because of the soothing nature of the gelatinous liquid that can be squeezed from its fleshly leaves. Aloe vera (and several of its cousins) make excellent indoor plants. Native to dry, warm South Africa, they will grow well indoors as long as they receive 4-5 hours of strong light each day. They all have the same general form with lots of spikes emerging from a central area or two but the markings on the spikes will vary, as will the mature size of the plants. A few varieties have spines on the leaf edges.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 9:19AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)


Pls. tell us where you're quoting all this material from.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 9:29AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Agreed, when quoting info, one should include the source of the info.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 9:57AM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)


I know your post was made with the best of intentions. But add to your knowledge base that presenting someone else's words as you own is plagiarism; i.e., verbal stealing. In the above post you didn't cite sources so, obvious as it is, you claimed these as your words, based on your personal knowledge. And if the source of the quote is copyright and you don't receive permission to use, a violation of copyright laws applies. Sorry, the editor in me coming out. ;-)

The most helpful advice is from personal experience.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 2:09PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Bachmans, a store in Minneapolis.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 3:09PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Yep....straight out of Bachman 's website. Next time, teengrower, just copy and paste the web address as a clickable link so that we can all share the information together.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 4:41PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Thanks Purple, Rhizo & StonesR (Linda),

So Teen,

Just in case you missed in at the very bottom of the Backmans's website (for which Purple kindly provided the link) it says:

"@Bachman's 2008"

That's a copyright mark which basically means one may not use this material w/out prior permission. The act of doing so is called copyright infringement.

It is customary to credit other people's writing when quoted directly like that, just common courtesy & giving credit where credit is due.

Also, TeenG, did it ever occur to you the quoted materials may not be (1) accurate or (b) true? Just 'cause someone says it, or writes it or it's on the Internet doesn't mean it's true, accurate or current.

Pls. give this more thought.

As an aside for the future TeenG, a relative of mine is a college professor & she warns students on the 1st day of class that plagiarism will not be tolerated & students caught doing so will be expelled from class. She has had students' parents call to dispute this w/ her (college age kids' parents, yikes) & she will not even discuss it, just passes it on to the Dean.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 6:55PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

i really need to be more responsible sorry

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 10:42AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Ok :+)

Back to the original subject, I wholeheartedly agree with everything Toni (hopefulauthor) said.

Uniquely, which Crassula is making your heart beat faster?

Being a beginner, it might be a good idea to also find a faster-growing plant for something to fiddle with when you get the urge. And also so you can see something happening. Not much experience with Crassulas, but aren't they all slow-growing things? Might be kind of a let-down to have just this one plant, if that makes sense?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 12:08PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

my favorite reccomendation strait from me is hens and chicks

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 12:36PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You picked a good one, teengardener. They are a favorite of mine, too.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 1:48PM
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I got ten more today (apparently accurately named), but they'll never be houseplants - I'm trying to think which rock(s) they're getting planted with. Do you grow lots, too?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 11:44PM
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