How to Care for Succulents & Cacti
It’s no secret that we love house plants, with a couple of the little guys as residents here at Joanie HQ! Bringing the outdoors indoors has never been easier, with a list of our favourite succulent plants and cacti – plus some of our top care tips; even rookie plant parents can bloom into green-fingered gurus! Here’s our guide on how to care for succulents and cacti!
Are All Cacti Succulents?
In short, nope! All cacti are succulents but not all succulents are cacti!
Succulents are plants that hold water in their stems, roots and leaves, as do Cacti but the main way to tell the difference between the two are the areoles (small, fluffy little lumps that look a little bit like cotton wool). If the plant doesn’t have these, it’s a type of succulent!
How Often Should You Water Succulents?
We'll show you how to care for succulents! Because they store their water, succulents can last a fair amount of time without water, but there are a couple of tell-tale signs that they’re getting thirsty! If your succulent or cactus isn’t looking too plump and perky, this means its water stores are low and it needs a bit of water. If the succulent’s soil is completely dry, give it a good soaking, most succulents love a shower! Just be sure that the soil is completely dried out again before their next dip.
How to Propagate Succulents
Indoor plants make fab gifts for friends and family and propagating succulents is unbelievably easy to do! When the plantlets (succulent babies) start cropping up next to the mother plant, they’re ready to grow on their own. These plantlets need removing and the roots need separating. Once the roots have been separated, the babies can be planted in a well-draining pot with a succulent soil mix. Water the plantlet sparingly the day after. Your mini succulents are now ready to be gifted to your gal pals.
Joanie’s Top Types of Succulents & Cacti
Kalancho Tomentosa a.k.a. Panda Plant
There are many lovely little guys in the Kalancho family but the Panda Plant is up there with the best of them. A truly unique succulent with plump, fuzzy leaves that have unusual rust coloured tips. The Panda Plant is very easy to care for; it loves a sunny spot on the windowsill and will let you know that it’s thriving with beautiful yellow blooms in the spring.
Sedum Morganianum a.k.a. Donkey Tail
A smashing trailing succulent. If you don’t have much space for plants in your home, this is the perfect succulent for you. They’re happiest when hanging out in high spaces such as a bookshelf or in a sweet macramé hanger from the ceiling. They thrive in bright light and don’t require much watering at all – a truly fabulous beginner succulent!
Tillandsia Stricta a.k.a. Spotted Air Plant
Low maintenance and absolutely beautiful – the Spotted Air Plant is ideal for the organised ‘everything has its place’ household. More of a living ornament than anything else, they love being in a terrarium or glass jar with a little wood to latch onto and nothing more – no soil, no mess right?! All this little guy needs is disbursed sunlight and a light mist of water every now and then. In summer they might even reward you (for doing next-to-nothing) with beautiful blue blooms!
Astrophytum Asteria a.k.a. Star Cactus
Arguably one of the most sweet-looking cacti we’ve ever come across, the Star Cactus is known for its chunky, star shaped body and little hairy white spots. If you’re lucky, around the month of May the Star Cactus will flower (this could be a combination of colours) and then in the late spring, the beautiful flowers change into little woolly berries down the cactus’ spine! It’s a hardy little cactus that doesn’t mind braving the cold but absolutely adores being in beaming sunlight!
Schlumbergera Bridgessi a.k.a. Christmas Cactus
One for the more seasoned cactus carer, the Christmas Cactus which gets its name as it blooms at Christmas time! Unlike our other faves, the Christmas Cactus requires a bit more TLC in order for it to show its gorgeous cactus flowers. With the proper care and attention, this lovely little guy will become an absolute joy to look at and makes the perfect Christmas gift!