If you’re anything like most of us, you’re busy–and likely forgetful! Succulents are the perfect green companions for normal, busy people. They have the ability to brighten any indoor space, even if you have the tendency to forget about them for long periods of time.
Succulents are easy to care for, and can be planted alone or with companions. They come in a variety of colors, styles, and sizes, and several even have important health benefits. They have limited care requirements, enabling them to survive in the dry humidity and warm conditions of most homes. They tolerate both high and low light, and prefer a fast-draining container with little water.
That being said, there are some succulent plants that are best for the home, and some that are also good for your physical well-being. Read on for the top ten succulent plants to boost your air quality and overall health.
1. Aloe vera
First on our list is the obvious aloe vera. Aloe vera has household recognition for its reputation as a powerful wound and sunburn remedy. Its healing sap can be harvested and used for a variety of medicinal purposes.
Ironically, aloe vera produces sharp ridges along the leaves that can easily cut and slice your skin. Make sure you plant it in direct sunlight and fertilize during the summer months. The soil must completely drain between soakings and the plant can never remain in standing water. This is true of most succulents, however, and an easy accommodation to make–just forget to water!
You are probably most familiar with the agave plant as a key component in tequila. Although that’s probably its most enjoyable benefit, it hosts a wide variety of additional qualities as well. It is high in alkaloids, coumarin, and vitamins B1, B2, C, D, K, and A. It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory qualities, making it ideal for treating minor cuts and insect bites. It can also be used to treat internal conditions such as jaundice, menstrual problems, and fever. Miracle plant? We think so!
Purslane can also be grown outdoors, in zones 3 through 10, and when found in most outdoor environments is actually considered a weed! It has small, green leaves and grow low to the ground. However, it is a great succulent to grow indoors, because it can be eaten fresh or cooked. It has a slightly bitter taste, but is cooked in a similar method as one would cook spinach. It makes a great addition to salads or as a sautéed side dish and hosts a variety of health benefits, including fiber and many vitamins.
4. Indian Borage
Indian Borage is actually known as a “succulent herb” and is very similar to its less-hardy twin, oregano. The leaves of this plant taste like oregano, but cannot be used in dishes like salads due to their fuzzy, unpalatable nature. However, they can be used to flavor meats. They also have several medicinal benefits, including as a cure for many respiratory and skin ailments. It is high in omega-6s, as well as vitamins C and A. It is thought by many to be a natural prevention method for cancer, and can also treat fever and reduce stress and anxiety.
5. Jewels of Opar
Like several of these other succulents, Jewels of Opar can also be eaten fresh or pickled. It has long been used in China as a remedy for low energy, as well as for health problems related to the lungs and spleen This plant is also attractive and can spruce up your home, producing a tight mound of glossy green leaves and blossoms of small pink flowers.
6. Houseleek: Semprevivum tectorum
Houseleek is a broad variety of plants–in fact, it exists as a genus with about forty separate members! Tectorum is arguably the most popular species of houseleek and produces beautiful red flowers. It has been used in traditional folk medicine for thousands of years, hosting a multitude of anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and astringent properties. It can help to bring down swelling and reduce bleeding, making it a great choice for topical skin treatment of burns, warts, and cuts. It can also be used to treat earache and boost the immune system. Finally, it also possesses essential acids for human life, including citric acid, free amino acid, and malic.
7. Houseleek: Semprevivum arachnoideum
This variety of houseleek–also referred to as Cobweb Houseleek–is an evergreen succulent. In history, it was often used to protect houses against witchcraft and thunderbolts. Although we don’t endorse this particular health benefit, it does host a variety of other benefits to the indoor gardener. It can help treat many of the same skin ailments as its previously mentioned cousin, but also helps to heal ailments such as digestive issues.
8. Sedum (also known as stonecrop)
This is another type of beautifully flowering succulent. The family includes over six hundred species of plant. They can be eaten in salads and stir-fries, and can be used to relieve coughs and high blood pressure. They also have astringent properties and can be applied topically to relieve burns, cuts, eczema, and even hemorrhoids.
9. Dragon fruit
Yes, the delicious and popular dragon fruit can be grown inside! This slow-growing, mild-tasting fruit hosts a variety of culinary and medicinal uses. Although it has a mild, melon-like taste, it is high in protein, fiber, vitamin C, calcium, and even iron.
Jade has been used for centuries as a natural epilepsy treatment in Africa. It can treat corns, diarrhea, and even purge the intestines. It can be eaten with milk and has calming effects. Caution should be taken not to ingest too must jade, however, as it can cause digestive upset in large quantities.
Succulents should be grown by any indoor gardener. During the day, these plants release oxygen into the air and help remove harmful toxins in your environment. Furthermore, having indoor plants can improve your concentration and mood and help you to relax. They can live just about anywhere, and are surprisingly hardy.
And of course, don’t forget to use your PlantCatalyst®! When used regularly on your plants, PlantCatalyst® will provide bigger, healthier plants with earlier, longer lasting blooms, and thicker, more robust root systems, plus your plants will have a stronger resilience against stressful growing conditions.
So grow some of these succulents in your house this winter!