Decorating Your Home with Succulents and Cacti
One of the most popular decorating trends, succulents and cacti seem to be popping up everywhere. And there are some very valid reasons for this. First off, they add some lovely greenery to the space, and second, they’re exceptionally easy to maintain. Use them in any room of the house and they’re sure to bring some fresh air, liveliness and wonderful textures to the area.
Why use succulents and cacti?
While cacti are most commonly associated with the desert, there’s more to this type of plant than sand and blazing sun. In fact, there are species of cacti from as far north as Canada and some are native to rainforests rather than desert climates.
In terms of succulents, the name really speaks for itself – they’re pretty juicy. The leaves and stems of succulents store the water, which means they can withstand most conditions. Plus, the glossy and leathery nature of the leaves protects the plant from losing moisture, meaning succulents as a species are among the easiest plants to care for.
What’s also nice is that succulents come in a range of styles and colours so you can pretty much find a type of plant for each and every room, and each and every occasion.
So where exactly can you use succulents and how are they best displayed? There is a huge range of options.
Arrange it together – find a planter box and arrange the succulents together. Use different types of succulents to give the arrangement some variety. Planter boxes will mostly be used outdoors but they’re a great way to bolster the area. Whether it’s in the middle of a table or placed on a side table, they give the space a beautiful array of textures and tones.
Box them up – if you’d rather the succulents be inside, find a planter box that suits your style and rather than planting the succulents together in the same soil mixture, position them individually wrapped or in individual small boxes. Again, this can sit as the centrepiece on a table, they can sit on your windowsill or even in the foyer as a lovely welcome for guests.
Unique potting – have some spare tea cups, milk jugs or funky bowls lying around? Put a succulent in and sit it on the counter. This is an adorable and unique way to use what’s lying around the house, and repurpose it into something gorgeous.
Pop them on the ledge – use some succulents to create a collage of plants on the windowsill. This is a great idea if you have a large bay window. To really mix things up, plant the succulents in vessels of different heights and textures.
Hang them up – this really looks delightful hanging on the front porch. Find an old birdcage or some form of hanging vessel, fill the bottom with some soil to act as a securing agent and plant away. Use a mixture of succulents in terms of texture and style so there’s a bit of variety in there. You can even put some hanging succulents in to create a bit of a cascading effect.
Gardening – if you want, you can plant succulents directly into the backyard. But if you’re after something to help decorate a balcony or porch, these are your new best friends. Grab some clay pots and plant the succulents. If you want to get really creative, decorate the pots. You can use lace, string or even some chalk – whatever takes your fancy.
Caring for your succulents
Of course, as we’ve mentioned, succulents tend to mostly take care of themselves. But you still need to put in a bit of effort.
First things first, most succulents need a lot of light. Now, of course, the amount does depend on the individual species but as a general rule, with light, the succulent will grow better. When people refer to the amount of light succulents need, there are generally three variations.
- Bright – bright light or full sun with no curtains between the window and the plant
- Filtered – diffused sunlight by a curtain
- Shady – no direct sun or other light
Understand the benefits of natural light in your home by reading our guide containing experts tips and advice on windows, screens and lighting.
While succulents retain moisture, that doesn’t mean you never have to water them. Again, the amount of water required largely depends on the type of succulent you have. It’s important to research this so you don’t drown your plant, or alternatively, leave it too long without water that it starts to dry out. Generally speaking though, the best method is to give them a nice, long, healthy drink and then give them a bit of a break until the next one. There are three types of watering for succulents.
- Drench and let dry – submerge the pot in tepid water, wait until all the bubbles have stopped. When the surface of the soil is dry to touch, repeat the process.
- Moist – never soggy and never dry.
- Wet – keep the soil wet at all times.
Succulents will thrive in most environments around your home and they’re a lovely addition to your décor. Just remember to look after them well.