Take one quick glance at your Instagram feed, and it’s a safe bet you’ll be bombarded with greenery big and small. Hanging plants! Climbing plants! Supersized monsteras! Fiddle leaf fig trees! Propagation stations! It seems that spending so much time at home this year has turned many of us into plant-obsessed people. But what if you don’t have the gift of a green thumb? What if you love the #apartmentjungle vibe but can’t be bothered to stick to a watering schedule? We’ve got the perfect low-maintenance solution. Enter: the succulent.
Much like a slow-cooked dinner, the ‘set it and forget it’ mentality applies. Succulents are hardy and most are drought tolerant. If you neglect them for a few days (or even weeks), it’s no biggie! They thrive in bright light and can hang tough near indirect light, indoors and outside. This cute and resilient species make succulents perfect for beginner plant parents.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started on your succulent garden:
- Pots or planters
- A variety of succulents
- Cactus and succulent specific soil
- A fork or chopstick (for arranging)
You don’t need a lot to create an appealing arrangement. It’s helpful to pick your pot or planter first, to get an idea of how many succulents you need. Ideally your pot would have a drainage hole, but it doesn’t have to! That just means your arrangement won’t last as long – but you can always transplant it to another planter later. Use Instagram or Pinterest to get inspiration and think outside the box. You can create a petite succulent display in a teacup, biscuit tin, cereal bowl – any empty vessel works. Shopping for succulents should be a cinch. If there’s not a plant nursery near you, you’re likely to find a variety of styles and sizes at boutiques, grocery stores and specialty shops. If all else fails, order some online! Finally, you’ll need some soil that’s specifically for cactus and succulents. This soil will be more porous than flower or houseplant soil, since succulents don’t need much water.
Now that you’ve got the goods, it’s time to get your hands a little dirty. If you’re looking for a plant pick me up while doing the absolute bare minimum: just keep a succulent in the plastic pot it came in. Really! Just place it in a planter that’s just a bit bigger than your new plant, and you’re golden.
If you want to get crafty, now’s the time to do so. Add some soil to your planter and try the Thriller, Spiller, Filler technique. First, pick your favourite succulent. Maybe it’s the biggest or brightest of your bunch. Either way, it will be the focal point of your display – the thriller! Next, add any succulents that could spill over the edge, like burrow’s tail or string of pearls. Finally, fill in the gaps with the rest of your loot. Using a fork or a chopstick to poke and prod soil and small succulents may be helpful here. Keep at it until you’re happy with your unique creation. It can easily take minutes…or as long as you like! If you live in a house and are lucky enough to have your own garden, when placing it out there you may also want to consider arranging other aspects of your garden, like cutting the grass or making use of local hedge cutting services – this way it’s all bound to look quite attractive!
Sit back, relax, and enjoy your new masterpiece! Water it about once a week – less is more. If the soil is completely dry, then your succulents are thirsty. Any moisture means you can check back in another day or two. Use a glass to water (or opt for a fancy watering can) rather than a spray bottle. There are plenty of succulent savvy gurus online; just do a quick google search and take advantage of their tips and tricks for succulent care. Now that you’ve gained confidence with a quick and easy succulent garden, you’re one step closer to becoming a #houseplantaddict… that’s a healthy addiction indeed.