Some of you have green thumbs. You can grow anything, keep it alive, and create beautiful, lush spaces with your greenery and blooms.
And then there are the rest of us.
Luckily for us, we’ve got options. Succulents are drought-resistant, low-maintenance plants that hoard water a lot like cacti—but we think they’re much more lovely than your average cactus. The name succulent is derived from the Latin word sucus, meaning juice or sap. If you treat them right (and it doesn’t take much, we promise), they’ll be a lovely addition to your landscape. Bonus: many species propagate easily, meaning you can turn the leaves that fall off your succulents into new plants.
Here are the basics your succulents need to survive and thrive:
- At least a half a day to a full day of sunlight. You may want to allow for some afternoon shade to account for those good old Texas heatwaves.
- Dry soil with good drainage. You don’t want to plant a succulent in any low-lying place where water is going to pool. And if you’re container planting, make sure you use cactus soil or something that facilitates better drainage (like sand, gravel or volcanic rock).
- Water, but not too much. Don’t water your succulent unless the soil feels dry. When you do water it, though, make sure it gets plenty.
Here’s something important to keep in mind: succulents are a pretty broad category of plant, and some varieties are easier to care for than others. So if you’re a succulent newbie, check out Drought-Smart-Plants.com’s top 10 list of the best succulents for beginners.