As we continue to settle in for a long, dark and frigidly cold winter’s nap, we are already craving something warm and green to look after. While the lack of sun may leave many of us feeling helpless and a little blue, we suggest making a new green friend or two–one that has few demands and won’t mind if you split for the week.
Succulents are a funky group of low maintenance plants we typically associate with the cactus family. Their swollen fleshy leaves come in all shapes, sizes and textures and have one super skill in common–the ability to store and retain water in the most arid of climates. Translation, keep your distance because these plants like to be left alone and have just one wish, full sun. But like all plants, they are willing to share a little light with you. In fact the presence of plants alone is known to lower our systolic blood pressure and improve overall moods all while making our air more humid and breathable.
Succulents generally require at least four hours of bright, direct light each day, making a southern facing window the ideal home for these plants.
Most succulents will tolerate the super low humidity during winter, but avoid the jungle cacti unless you are willing to intervene on your homes humidity levels substantially.
Overall, succulents can be watered every couple of weeks, or even longer. Always check the moisture levels first by sticking your index finger into the soil. If soil particles don't stick to your finger, it's probably time to water.
All succulents require good drainage (your pots should always have a few drain holes), and the type of soil should be a coarser mix of two parts sand and one part soil mix.
Photographs by Minneapolis-based photographer Lauren Carpenter.