There is a great variety of succulents in the world, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some succulents, such as the African Milk Tree, can grow into great sizes. Others remain small enough for you to carry in your palm or keep as desk plants comfortably. The growing conditions for succulents are more or less the same, but there are specific measures that you should take to care for the minis in the family. The following are some examples of mini-succulents and their particular care regime.
What Are The Cute Mini Succulents You Can Have For Your Home?
The following are some of the more common mini succulents you will likely find in your home.
- Jade Plants
Jade plants is a collective term used to refer to several different plants. They are shrubs that are usually grown indoors, and they are characterized by a glossy green sheen on the leaves and woody stems. Jade plants also have fleshy leaves like typical succulents. Not all species that fall under the Jade Plants category may be considered mini succulents. However, the dwarf jade falls squarely within the ambit of mini succulents.
The dwarf jade is characterized by brown stems and the characteristic glossy green leaves of jade plants. This jade plant grows very slowly, and it is perennial. It is a plant you can use as a bonsai tree. Furthermore, you can grow the plant in a hanging basket and keep it as a desk plant.
Lithops are unique mini succulents whose leaves look like stones. Each litho has two leaves that grow upwards and then fuse at the base. After merging, the plant tapers downwards into a carrot-like appendage that becomes the plant’s roots. Each plant’s leaves are flat, and the gap between the leaves is wedge-shaped. The opening allows sunlight to get through to the plant to facilitate chlorophyll.
The plant produces showy flowers. Each plant produces a single flower in the season, but it first has to produce the woody stalk on which the flower would eventually grow. Flowers from this plant come in different colors, including white, yellow, or orange. This plant can be grown indoors, provided it receives adequate light. It is a noonday flowering plant, meaning that the flowers bloom when the sun shines at noon.
- Hens and Chicks
They usually belong to the Sempervivum genus. Rosettes characterize them and may also be referred to as house leeks. They thrive both indoors and outdoors. It is referred to as hen and chicks because it resembles a hen and its young. The main rosette at the center is the hen, while several tiny ones on the side look like chicks.
This plant does well when grown on a rocky place like a rock garden, but you can also grow it in a pot as it forms a great indoor plant that can do well in an outdoor rock garden.
- The Tiger Jaw’s Plant
Also known as shark jaws, it is a short dark green succulent with white variegation in certain sections. The plant has tiny thorns on the sides that have an uncanny resemblance to shark jaws. Its botanical name is Faucaria tigrina. You can grow it indoors but be wary of its thorns if you want to keep it close to you, like on a desk.
Unlike most other succulents, this plant can withstand relatively cold weather. It does well in temperate climates, even when grown outdoors.
- The Panda Plant
Panda Plant is the common name, but its botanical name is Kalanchoe tomentosa. It has an exotic look to it with a velvety feel caused by whitish hairs that grow on its fleshy green leaves. The outer edges of the leaves are variegated with dark brown and black. The fur and the colors give the plant the panda name.
This plant is relatively easy to parent, giving you everything it has with just a little care.
How to Care For Mini Succulents
Succulent-Specific Soil Mix
Any well-draining soil would work best when cultivating this plant. As earlier stated, this is to avoid stagnant or excess water, which causes the roots to rot. A cactus mix would be great. Adding a layer of gravel would help keep moisture from the roots.
Waterlogged soil can quickly kill it; it denies the roots oxygen, causing them to rot. If you don’t remedy root rot quickly, it can easily cause your plant to dry up. So which is the best substrate?
If you are going for a commercial pottage, buy cactus or succulent soil in nurseries or other related shops. That soil is already well-draining, but you will need to make it even easier to drain by adding fifty to seventy percent grit.
Grit could be coarse sand, perlite, or pumice. You can even improvise by grinding coconut shells and mixing them with the soil. The soil should be moist most of the time for the benefit of the plant, but it shouldn’t be soaking wet either. The use of commercial pottage mix is best when growing your plant in a pot.
If you grow the plant outdoors in a Mediterranean garden or as a hedge, you must ensure the soil is well-draining. The plant can handle rock ground, so that should not be a problem. If the soil in your area has more clay than grit, you can introduce sand in the planting holes to allow your water to drain quickly. Also, you may need to create French drains to allow any excess water to run off the roots.
This plant has a susceptible root system; therefore, the soil you plant should be well-draining and contain peat moss, perlites, and sand. Ensure that you put pebbles at the bottom of the pot to allow air to pass through.
Watering is always a sensitive issue regarding succulents, including mini succulents. Overwatering causes the roots to rot and eventually die. First, ensure the pot you use has drainage holes to release excess water. Also, the soil should be well-draining; any cactus mix soil is ideal. All this is to avoid any instance where water stagnates.
Although these plants generally require little water, you will need to water them more often in hotter seasons than in colder ones due to evaporation. How easily you manage this aspect of care for your mini succulent plant will largely be determined by the type of soil on which you have grown it. Since there is no one-size-fits-all approach to watering, you will need to determine the need for watering on a moment-by-moment basis.
How do you know your mini succulent requires to be watered? The topsoil dryness test is always an effective method of knowing whether your plant requires some watering; it enables you to avoid overwatering. Insert a finger into the plant’s soil or potting mix to feel whether or not the top two inches of the soil is dry. If dry, your soil needs more water since moisture from the previous drink has dried up.
When you notice the bottom leaves of the plant start to wrinkle and slightly wilt when the plant is severely dehydrated and needs urgent watering.
We are always cautious about giving a definite watering schedule even for the various seasons because the environmental conditions are a significant factor in how well the soil can retain water. Ambient temperature, for example, determines how fast water in the soil evaporates. Even in the same seasons, this temperature varies from place to place.
Enough Indirect Sunlight
These mini succulents are delicate and require sufficient light to thrive. You should expose them to bright indirect light. Direct sunlight burns the leaves of the plant and causes discoloration in the leaves.
It might be tempting to keep the plant in certain places to enjoy its appearance, but ensure it gets as much light as possible. The lack of sufficient light can cause stunted growth in the mini succulents.
If you grow these mini succulents indoors, you can place them on an east-facing window sill that receives adequate light. Keep it a few meters away and provide a tarp to filter some of the light. This ensures the leaves are not scorched. As seen with this plant, too little light will also affect it, so ensure to move it around till you find the best spot for it to grow.
Be Careful When Pruning Your Mini Succulent
Prune mini-succulents sparingly using the appropriate tools owing to their size. Think of the dwarf jade that you can use as a bonsai. You must be attentive to it. You should also consider the plant’s structure when pruning. For example, lithops has only two leaves, and it is likely to have significant problems if you cut one off. You should, therefore, think through your pruning carefully.
There isn’t much difference between regular succulents and mini-succulents in terms of requirements for growth. They are relatively easy to care for, especially concerning water, and sunlight. Pests and diseases are a significant menace if you pay close attention to the plant.