Succulents are popular house plants because of how interesting they look and how easy they can be to take care of. What is a succulent? It’s basically a cactus right? Well…not exactly. Cacti are indeed succulents, but there are many different types of succulents besides cacti. So what exactly is a succulent?
A succulent is a type of plant that stores water in its leaves, have thick, engorged parts, and are perfectly suited for dry climates. These types of plants are commonly found in deserts and dry locations around the world.
This type of plant does need to be watered, but you don’t have to water as frequently as with other plants. These plants can go through long periods of drought conditions and survive, thanks to their ability to store water. So what exactly are the different types of succulents out there?
Aloe – One of the most common succulents you’ll see is the aloe plant. Aloe comes in many different variations, and they all look a little bit different. The most popular type of aloe is the aloe vera plant, but you can also find options like aloe polyphylla, aloe perfoliate, and aloe nobilis. The aloe vera plant is popular because of the medicinal properties of the gel inside the leaves of the plant. It can help with sunburns, skin conditions, and many other medical issues.
Cactus – The cactus comes in many different varieties and is one of the most interesting succulents you could get. From the small, round “golden barrel cactus” to the tall, skinny “rat-tail cactus”, you can get them in almost any shape and size. These plants aren’t for everyone though, as their sharp spikes can be extremely painful. It’s best to have these when you don’t have small children or pets that might get into them. This type of succulent can be planted directly in full sun or in some partial shade. But it does require being in the sun most of the time. In some cases, cacti can also be toxic to humans and animals, so do some research on the type of cacti you’re considering before buying.
Graptosedum “Ghosty” – This plant is known for its beautiful rosettes and almost looks like a type of flower. These plants are very popular for hanging pots. Each rosette gets about 3-5 inches wide and the overall plant can get up to 12 inches. Like the cactus, this plant can grow in direct sun or partial shade. Unlike cactus, this succulent isn’t dangerous or toxic to humans or plants. It makes for a nice, versatile succulent that’s easy to take care of and looks great.
Aeonium – The aeonium is another popular variety of succulents. These often have brightly colored leaves that come out from the center of the plant. Popular varieties of aeonium are the “mardi gras”, the “sunburst”, the “kiwi”, the “salad bowl”, and the “tree aeonium”. One of the interesting features of many aeoniums is that the leaves start to change color when the plant is in direct sunlight for a long period of time. Many of them get a pinkish hue to the leaves at some point. These plants do well in direct sunlight or in partial shade environments.
Agave – Agave is another widely used succulent that is versatile and beautiful. Some types of agave include “blue glow”, “black-spined agave”, “royal agave”, and “artichoke agave”. The nectar from the agave plant is used as a type of natural sweetener in many products. It’s sometimes also referred to as agave syrup. These plants can look like a type of shrub and do well in direct sunlight or partial shade. They do not require frequent watering either.
Besides these popular varieties of succulents, there are many more to choose from. Before choosing a type to buy, do some research to make sure that they match up with your needs as well as your lifestyle.