No Need For “Green Thumb” These Plants Survive on Near Neglect


Photo Courtesy of Abigail Larsen

Succulents have been appearing everywhere, from home design, fabrics, paper goods, jewelry, and even as nail designs. However, the most common use for succulents is as a garden plant. Although they appear exotic, succulents are one of the easiest plants to grow even if you do not have a “green thumb,” according to

Succulents, the name derived from the Latin word sucus meaning juice, are extremely easy to grow, especially compared to other plants. One basic requirement for succulents is the required six hours of sunlight.  A good succulent soil mix is 2 parts potting soil, 1 part perlite, and 1 part small size gravel. The most common mistake that kills a succulent is over watering a succulent. Once planted in the correct soil and lighting conditions, succulents can thrive on little care but will die if over-watered.

Most succulents originate from dry areas like Africa that don’t receive much rain, according to Like animals and humans, succulents adapted to their environment and adapted to the limited availability for water.  Much like cacti most succulents store water they store water in their fleshy leaves and in their roots. Succulents with prickly edges are designed by nature to be protected from wildlife that would seek to eat those water rich leaves and roots.

If you live in a wet climate they can grown indoors, and if you live in dry places they can be outdoor or indoor plants, as long as they have six hours of sunshine and a little bit of  water according to Cassidy Tuttle at

Some nurseries in Orange County that specialize in the care and growth of succulents are, OC Succulents  ( and Plants Express (

Some interesting succulent plants are Agave, a plant with sharp leaves, Aloe are fleshy-leaved plant which originate from south Africa, and Dudleya which is native to Western United states and Mexico and has a powdery coating according “Sunset Easy-Care Succulents” magazine.

Thriving on near neglect is not the only reason they are popular, Tom Oder, a reporter for MNN (mother nature network) wrote  “Coming in a variety of colors, textures and shapes, they also tend to be some of the most distinctive and gorgeous plants you’ll see at your local nursery.”