With the invention of Pinterest, gardening has somehow become cool, as more and more people scroll through endless streams of luscious greenery and become obsessed with bringing the outdoors inside. Say hello to the succulent trend.
What exactly is a succulent? They are resilient, low maintenance plants that have the ability to retain water in arid climates and soil conditions. What this means in everyday language is that these plants are the perfect choice for those who are time-poor, forgetful or find routines a bore.
The popularity of succulents has been steadily increasing since the massive drought ten years ago but has only peaked recently. Most nurseries now stock a wide variety of succulents. Ranging in price from anywhere between $6 to $50 for standard-sized varieties, you can also spend upwards of $800 if you spy a statement plant (one that is either very large in size or a rare variety). Some popular succulent choices are Haworthias, Gasterieas and Euphorbias.
Speaking to Darryl Mappin and Catherine Haydock, part of the team at Mappins Nursey in West End, they acknowledged the appeal of succulents and have catered to this trend with all types and styles of succulent on offer. They pointed out that succulents are very tolerant plants and can handle periods of low watering, which makes them perfect plants if you go away on short holidays or are an infrequent waterer.
Darryl and Catherine’s tips for maintaining a successful succulent
1. Water them according to the instructions
Even though these are dry climate plants and require very little moisture, they still need to be watered every now and then. Exactly how often and how much will vary from plant to plant, so ask your gardening expert when you purchase them.
2. Plant placement is critical
These plants need direct sunlight so even though you may have seen them photographed in a dimly-lit lounge room in an interior design magazine, if you place your plant in similar conditions, it will most likely suffer and perish. There are some varieties that grow well indoors and with less sunlight so if you know that you want your succulents sitting next to your desk in the office, make sure you pick the appropriate plant for that situation.
3. Choose the right pot
As with any plant, some respond well to constrained conditions (ie small pots) and others need to be able to spread their wings, I mean, roots. So once you’ve picked your plant, find out what kind of home it prefers before you purchase a pot.
4. Consider a succulent terrarium
One of the latest trends in the gardening world is the advent of terrariums — glass bowls/domes that house your plant, which is artfully nestled in amongst the pebbles and sand. To create your own requires knowledge and skill so do your research before you start. Or even better, go along to a workshop at Mappins Nursery — all the details can be found on their Facebook page.
Make sure you click through our gallery above to see all the succulent photos!
Do you grow succulents? Share your tips and experiences in the comments below!