6 Points to Consider on How to Choose the Best Succulents

You’ve seen your friends’ succulent gardens and you too wish to create one of your own. But you’re not sure from where to start.

Don’t worry! You’ll have to think upon certain points and shortlist your options and your job will be easy. What are those points? Let’s see.

1. Choose Low-maintenance Succulents

As such, most succulents don’t need a lot of your time and attention. Still, there are some which need almost no maintenance. Some low-maintenance succulents are:

Aloe Vera: Extremely popular for its beauty and medicinal uses, Aloe Vera only needs sunlight and water only when its leaves look brittle. By keeping it near a fully sunlit window you can enjoy its beauty all the time.

Aloe Vera

Crown of Thorns: With its beautiful tiny flowers that bloom year-round forming yellow or red bracts, crown of thorns add colors to your room. Its only needs are enough sunlight and moderate amount of water.

Crown of Thorns

Zebra Plant: This unique succulent has horizontal stripes like zebra on its leaves from which it’s got its name. This is a compact plant growing up to 6” wide and 5” tall, and only needs moderate amount of sun and water.

Zebra Plant

Jade Plant: Looking beautiful with its glossy green leaves with lovely red edges and thick stems, the jade plant only needs bright light and water when its soil is dry. So, this is a perfect plant for you if you don’t have much time for succulents’ maintenance. Remember that jade plant may even be killed by overwatering.

Jade Plant

2. What Size Should You Choose?

Size is also an important factor to consider while choosing succulents. Succulents come in a wide range of sizes and you can choose small or big succulents depending upon a few factors.

First off, you should consider the space in which you’re going to create the succulent garden. If it’s small, you are better off with small-sized plants, while if it’s big, big-sized succulents shouldn’t be a problem for you.

Another point to consider is that large plants are more stable and need less maintenance. They don’t dry out quickly and hence don’t need frequent watering. Thus a larger succulent in a gallon-sized pot will need less maintenance than that in a 6” pot which will need less maintenance than that in a 4” pot and so on.

Larger succulents are also pricier than their smaller cousins. However, since they are less likely to be killed, they are worth the higher cost.

Here are a few examples of small-sized succulents:

Echeveria Minima: Echeveria minima is a perfect plant when you want to create your succulent collection in a small space. It stays under 3 inches in height and under 4” in diameter. Its bluish green leaves grow in a beautiful rosette pattern and have stunning pink tips. What’s more, in the spring they even produce bell-shaped, pink and yellow flowers with short stalks. Echeveria is a desert plant and thus does well in dry conditions. It comes in a great range of colors and needs to be watered only when it’s dried out. To let it do its best, place it in full sun in well-drained soil.

Echeveria Minima

Lithops (Living Stones): Lithops or Living stones are wonderful succulents that usually grow in clumps. You can easily understand why they’re named so – they look like round stones. They come in a plethora of colors with which they camouflage with their surrounding. They even produce yellow or white flowers in the fall. After the first bloom, lithops split to give rise to new leaves that replace the old ones. Lithops are somewhat hard to care for. They should be planted in as much as sun as possible in a well-draining soil. They should be watered frugally and not at all in summer and winter.


Paddle plant (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora): Paddle plant is an ideal succulent to plant in a small space because it grows only 1 foot tall and wide. Its leaves are flat and are arranged in a weird rosette. The plant bolts when it blooms and its center stem lengthens into a gangly white stalk. As this spoils its looks, it’s a good idea to cut off the stem after it blooms and take good care of the remnant. Soon several new offsets are produced which can be plucked off and rooted.

Paddle plant

And here are some examples of big-sized succulents:

Jade Plant: Besides getting included in this list as a low-maintenance plant, the Jade Plant is also worth growing if you wish to have big-sized succulents. Growing up to 6 feet, jade plant is very beautiful to look at and so, is a popular garden plant. It’s also known as Lucky Plant and Money Plant, and is easy to maintain. Its leaves are oval and fleshy with attractive red edges. It withstands arid conditions and produces pink or white flowers too. It only requires full sun and well-draining soil. Occasional deep watering is recommended for good results.

Jade Plant with flowers

Moss Rose (Portulaca Grandiflora): Moss rose is a stunning semi-succulent, popular for its attractive rose-like flowers. It grows only 8 inch tall, but spreads up to 2 feet. It keeps spreading like a moss foliage mat. You can grow it inside your home, in your outside garden or in hanging baskets on your patio. It blooms all season long. Its fleshy tubular leaves store water and hence it withstands arid conditions. But it can’t withstand cold conditions, hence it’s best propagated through seeds after the frost ends. It does well in warm to hot temperatures, with occasional watering and even in poor, dry soil provided it drains well.

Moss Rose

Prickly Pear Cactus: The attractive Prickly Pear Cactus is characterized by its fleshy, flat pads with large spines and smaller prickles that easily detach. They are extremely tolerant to dry conditions and develop bright red flowers and fruit. They can grow even up to 5-7 m (16-23 feet).

Prickly Pear Cactus:

3. How to Identify the Healthiest Plants?

Obviously you should choose the healthiest plants for your new succulent garden. However, you may have to learn to identify them. While buying at your local store, you can bump the leaves a bit. Leaves of a healthy plant feel firm and not squishy or mushy. If they fall off, it’s a sign that the succulent has been overwatered.

You should also make sure if the color is bright which indicates that the plant is healthy and well-maintained.

Beware of plants that are painted! If you find them glittering or in a royal blue color, there are high chances that they are spray painted. They may look nice that way. But healthy plants that have not been painted are sure to do better in the long run.

4. Try to Get Multiple Plants in a Pot

Having multiple plants in a pot is like getting some plants for free! Also, sometimes you may see a plant that doesn’t look very good being among the crowd of many other plants. If you’re sure to help it look better and get more plants from it, you can choose such a plant pot.

Multiple Plants in a Pot

5. Benefits of Buying Plants Online

One obvious benefit of buying succulents online is the wider variety you get to see.

You get plants delivered to your doorstep – you don’t have to go shopping and thus can avoid all the stress.

Downsides: You can’t feel the plants.

Also, most plants bought online may be a bit soiled when they arrive. However, this problem can be easily overcome by removing the soil with a soft brush.

6. Change the Soil

Often the soil in which the succulents come planted is not good for further growth. Also, their roots may be in need of more space to spread out. Hence it’s recommended to plant them in a new, better soil as soon as possible.

Now you know how to choose the best suitable succulents for you. So, look forward to growing a succulent garden that you’ll be proud of!

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