Here is my first post about one of my main loves in life: houseplants.
My collection has now reached 18 plants; my room is turning into a mini jungle; I really should stop getting plants but they’re all like children to me. After all, once you’ve proven that you can take care of a plant, you can then progress to small animals and then ten years down the line, you can successfully raise a small army of children. (Don’t question the logic, just do it.)
Here are four easy- peasy succulents to look after, for all my succulent and cacti lovers out there, or anyone who wants to get stuck into the depths of houseplant care.
String of Hearts: My string of hearts are my favourites, they are so easy to grow and so pretty. I got my first plant a year ago and since then, it has easily grown another 3ft, had a really good and long flowering season and it also grew enough for me to get a good amount of cuttings off of to turn into a baby string of hearts, which is also doing really well!
I care for mine my putting it in a position where it will receive a good amount of sunlight (Very important! My string of hearts definitely do better when I’m at home as they can live in our conservatory where they receive a lot of light) and water it minimally. I generally water mine when it either looks a bit lack lustre, if there are yellow leaves (this can also be an indicator of too little light) or if the leaves are really soft – this is a great tip that my sister gave me, so thanks Liv. They’re also really easy to propagate, there are loads of youtube tutorials to follow out there if you’re interested in doing this.
Bunny ears cactus: Yes this is a succulent -all cacti are succulents but not all succulents are cacti! This is also one of my faves, however I will put out a casual age warning of 18+ on cacti with needles. I have known my adult flatmates to ignore my ‘don’t touch’ sign and end up getting needles stuck in their fingers so there’s no limit to what an actual child would do…) You can get a lot of growth out of it every spring which is really cool to watch. It you look at the photo of mine I’ve included, everything except the bottom centre pad has grown since I got it!
Like a lot of cacti species it doesn’t require a lot of water. I water mine about once a week during summer and in winter, every 2-3 weeks, or even less! They don’t need a lot of water in the winter as they go dormant, frequent watering in cold weather could make them get root rot. When it really needs water, the cactus pads become thinner and wrinkle slightly.
One thing to look out for with this plant is its teeny tiny needles which will come off on your skin at the slightest touch. It’s really easy to not realise you’ve got needles stuck in your skin because they’re so small, but it will feel like you’ve got splinters in your hand and can be painful. They are easily plucked out with tweezers but it’s still good to be careful!
String of Pearls: This is really pretty plant of green vines with little green buds to make up the ‘pearls’. (Can you tell I like trailing plants?)
They’re super easy to take care of because they don’t require a lot of water, string of pearls suck up water into their buds so they can go along time without water if need be. I find that mine definitely does better on the drier side. I generally water when the soil is dry, about as often as I would water a string of hearts. Other than that I make sure it gets a good amount of sunlight, trim off any dead buds and it ticks along very happily!
Aloe plants: These are very common succulents and you can find them really easily in shops. I have two, one from Ikea(!) and one a gift from a friend and I love both of them. They grow a lot in the spring- from my photos, you can see small off-shoots and they have all grown since I’ve gotten them, which has been less than a year for each.
Again, they require minimal watering and do better with under watering rather than over-watering (they don’t like being sat in soggy soil) and want lots of natural sunlight.
A few general notes for all the plants, I would be careful of having them near heaters or radiators as they do not react well to the dry heat. Also, even though all these plants like bright sunlight, try to avoid putting them in positions where they can receive a lot of intense sunlight (like right next to a window in full view of bright sun) as they can burn! In terms of when to re-pot, I am yet to re-pot any of these plants since I first got them (a good few months ago), yet none of them have shown signs of being pot bound (e.g roots coming out of the bottom of the pot) and if the plants are happy, it’s better to leave them alone. In terms of feeding my plants, I give them all Baby Bio very occasionally.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my overview of some of my favourite plants and that it may inspire you to add some greenery to your life- succulents really are so easy to look after, and if you get a plant and you’re not sure what it is or how to look after it, it’s always worth doing a bit of research first!