Garden Of Large Potters Filled With A Variety Of Succulent Plants
(Image credit: kongxinzhu)

Succulent plants are not only easy to care for but provide a wealth of intriguing shapes and stunning colors. What's even better is the fact that these exotic showstoppers have the unique ability to grow in some of the most unlikely of places. I bet you thought they were just desert plants! While these exotic plants are capable of storing water, which makes them ideal for growing in arid conditions, succulents also make wonderful houseplants, adding unique interest to any style.

Growing Beautiful Succulents

Succulents exhibit a number of survival tactics, which allow them to adapt easily to their particular environment. For instance, they will go dormant in times of excessive heat or dryness as well as during extreme cold spells. They also have the ability to adapt to areas of the home having little light, making them excellent candidates for nearly any location. Container-grown succulents make excellent indoor gardens. Growing succulents indoors will not only spruce up the home but will offer more flexibility as to both decorating and gardening options for those having little space. As these plants are highly adaptable, there are unlimited possibilities when designing your exotic indoor succulent garden. Nearly any type of container is suitable for growing exotic succulents as long as adequate drainage is provided. The exotic succulent garden will occasionally require significant watering, however, make sure that everything has dried thoroughly between watering intervals. Although these plants are easily adaptable, never allow them to stand in water for extended periods. When succulents are left in waterlogged soil, their roots will rot and they will die. Different textures and heights will give the exotic succulent garden depth and further interest as will topping the potted delights with small stones or pebbles.

Types of Succulent Plants

Some of the most common succulent plants include:

Many people are unaware of the fact that cacti are also considered succulents. Cacti come in many varieties and can be quite beautiful, providing outstanding flowers, additional interest, and character to the home. When it comes to the unusual, succulents are definitely the way to go. Outside of the most commonly grown, these exotic succulents are sure to please, making exceptional specimens indoors:

  • Black Aeonium - A dramatic succulent tree, reaching 3 feet (1 m.) in height. It makes an excellent focal point due to its height as well as its blackish leaves and large, yellow flowers. Aeoniums are easy to grow.
  • String of Beads and Rat's Tail Cactus - Exotic succulents for hanging baskets also make great focal points. Two noteworthy plants include the string of beads, which produces a string of trailing stems with pea-like beaded leaves and sweet-scented white flowers. The rat's tail cactus is another. This hanging exotic has long, spiked leaves with bright pink blooms.
  • Living Stone - If you're looking for something a little different, then the living stone is for you. Its conical shape actually mimics the look of pebbles. Just when you've thought you've seen it all, beautiful white blooms come bursting out from within its centers.
  • Moonstone - Another interesting and somewhat unusual plant is the moonstone. This succulent also resembles stones with its light green to white colored, egg-shaped foliage, which may be flushed with lavender blue as well. If that's not enough, the spikes of orange-red flowers are sure to impress.
  • Starfish Cactus - The starfish cactus is also quite impressive with clusters of toothed stems and star-shaped blooms in mosaic patterns. The curious looking carrion flower is a clump-forming succulent with sharp-angled stems that are grayish green in color. The plant also produces an unusual creamy yellow flower with specks of red.
  • Rose pincushion - Great for anyone new to growing cacti. This free-flowering pincushion cactus is compact, like a little ball, and produces lovely rose-pink blooms.
  • Golden ball cactus - Also resembles a ball, at first anyway. This odd little plant eventually grows into a fat, gold-spined column with pale yellow blooms.

If you're into something outside of the norm or just limited on space, exotic succulents are ideal plants to consider for maintaining interest indoors.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.