Succulents have become quite popular over the past few years and it is no surprise why - not only are they quite beautiful and varied but they are incredibly easy to care for. In fact, they're virtually maintenance-free! The reason for this is that succulents store water in their leaves and stems so that they can tolerate dry conditions.
There are over 50 plant families that are considered succulents. While most are found in semi dry areas like the desert, some grow in the mountains and others on the coast, in semi as well as wet tropical areas. Perhaps the best known succulent is the cactus. But cacti aren't the only succulents and with their growing popularity you're bound to run into some wonderful varieties. There are a few basic and simple rules to keep in mind. These plants prefer bright light - natural sunlight. Since they don't require much water it's best not to water them often... a simple daily spritz to their leaves often offers the perfect amount of moisture - especially during the winter months. For more information about succulents and caring for them visit Succulents & Sunshine a wonderfully informative site. We also thought this piece by Gardenista was very informative.
We decided to try our hands at creating small succulent gardens in containers after a trip to the farmer's market this summer followed by a visit to Terrain, an amazing high end gardening center. This would end up being a perfect activity for my boys who love to garden but who don't necessarily have the discipline to water and care for their plants on a regular basis. We picked up a few items at Terrain - some small stones, colorful glass, containers on sale and a couple of plants. But Terrain can get pricey and so we filled in our collection with plants and more containers from the farmer's market and if you would believe, Ikea! Yes Ikea had all sorts of small succulents at very reasonable prices. We also found some great glass containers for our plantings. The plants sat outside on the porch all summer but we've just brought them inside. Even though they do pretty well in cooler weather - the desert, after all, gets quite chilly at night - I wanted to bring them in before it gets too cold at night. Last weekend I brought the plants in and integrated them into the decor of our family room. I love that my boys helped decorate the space.
I wanted to note that the gardens above were created by my two boys ages 9 and 13. They're so simple to create and they can be made to fit in with any decor, color and style.