What Are The Best Succulents For A New Hobbyist?

uniquelydivine(6)June 4, 2012

Hi everyone,

I've just started loving succulents and wanted your insight on what would be the best for a new lover (me!...lol).

I have to say the Crassula variety just caught my attention! I like the following Crassulas:

1. Crassula perforata variegata

2. Crassula alpestris

3. Crassula 'Buddha's Temple'

4. Crassula carallina

5. Crassula commutata

6. Crassula 'Green Pagoda'

7. Crassula 'Ivory Pagoda'

8. Crassula 'Moonglow'

9. Crassula perforata

  1. Crassula 'Tom Thumb'

I saw them on this website: http://www.thesucculentgarden.com.au/crass.html

Would those (Crassulas), especially the 10 mentioned above, be a good option for me? What are good light, water, care, etc. tips?

What other succulents do you recommend for a newbie?

Also, do succulents go dormant? And if so do they loose all the foliage during the period of dormancy or do they just stop growing but the foliage will stay the same?

FYI: I live in NYC and the plant would be in a bright window.

Thanks!

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kaktuskris

Funny, not a mention of Crassula ovata! You will see that this is one of the most discussed succulents on this forum, and for good reason, I might add.

Christopher.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 9:10PM
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rosemariero6(z10 /ss24 So. Calif.)

Hope the bright window is enough-but maybe you can put them outside in spring/summer?

Good draining soil, water when dry.

All you list would probably be good. A couple names aren't used anymore-but I'm sure you'll find plenty to grow.

Many Sedum do well for those starting out with succulents, but most would probably be to large for a window.

Good luck & have fun!!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 9:31PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi UD,

I'm in NYC as well. I'd suggest you try just a couple of these (2-3 maybe at the same time) before you spend much money on buying lots more. I've had a lot of trouble growing Jades here, C. ovata, etc. due to the summertime humidity. I have tried & failed repeatedly w/ several different kinds & I have good bright, west facing windows w/ good light & direct sun. I've got a couple of small ones but have largely given this up.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 11:02PM
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hanzrobo(11)

If I had just a bright window, I would grow Haworthia, Gasteria, Glottiphyllum, Stapelia, Aloinopsis, maybe some Aloe. Even your sunniest window in NYC is just barely going to be enough to get through winter. Go with lower-light succulents. I've never tried it indoors but Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' performs very well in the shade. Cremnosedum 'Little Gem' hates the sun.

Unfortunately, most Crassula prefer bright indirect light/partial shade and lots of airflow.

Your question about dormancy- Yes, some succulents have a dormancy period and some just grow better at certain times of year.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 11:38PM
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cactusmcharris

Like the other folks said, Crassulas, as a rule, do most of their growing in spring and fall. While those miniature Crassulas are delightful plants, without a greenhouse/dehumidifier you're going to have a difficult row to hoe with those, as they're fairly fussy, unlike the oft-posted jade (Crassula ovata). I would suggest other plants, such as the Haworthias and Gasterias mentioned - Kalanchoes, Cotyledons and Aloes, too.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 11:45PM
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Microthrix(9)

Buddahs temple? Isnt that very rare? Ive yet to get one of those ... i recomend haworthia, as they need less light and grow slowly into a clump (cute clump!)

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 11:56PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

No, I don't think it's particularly rare. Rare is a term somewhat overused in many plant circles especially if vendors think it'll help make the sale. When I hear 'rare', I think big grain of salt & also, to consider the source.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 12:30AM
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Microthrix(9)

Hmmm ... ive evn heard on here people call it rare ... but you can never trust ebay since they call everything rare

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 1:12AM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)

At one site Crassula piramidalis is Buddha's Temple and called "rare;" but there's a minimum order of 500 and they can supply the buyer with 10,000 pieces per year of this "rare" plant.

At another site, Crassula columnaris is labeled Buddha's Temple and called rare.

Sorta like which can truly claim the name "Money Tree"? Crassula ovata or Pachira aquatica? :-)

Linda

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 2:58AM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

Succulents are plants that have the ability to store extra water in fleshy leaves or stems. Cacti are one family of succulents, but they only represent a small portion of this wide and varied group of fascinating plants. Some are very familiar to us, like Aloe vera or jade plant. Others are more obscure, such as zebra Haworthia, with its unique white stripes. Many, many succulents make great indoor plants. Part of their nature is to be able to live where it is warm, sunny and dry and that describes many windowsills in our homes.
Here is a list of some of the more popular and commonly available non-cactus succulents and a little bit about each plant. For the same type of information about cacti, pick up a copy of .

Agave Agave a.k.a. Century plant. Slow-growing and as long-lived as their nickname implies, Agaves grow tough leaves from a central core. The leaves are often tipped with spines that can easily draw blood. Some varieties have variegated leaves. Agaves can take as long as 30 years to bloom.

Jade Plant Crassula ovata (syn. C. portulaca) One of the best know and easiest to grow succulents, Jade Plants are known for thick stems, fleshy leaves and winter blooming. They make excellent indoor plants and are very easy to propagate. There are many other Crassulas closely related to jade and just as easy to grow, with truly unusual shapes.

Crown-of-Thorns Euphorbia milla An attractive plant known for its red blooms, this thorny succulent is not a true cactus. Given enough room, Crown-of-Thorns will grow into a small shrub several feet wide and tall. Like all other members of the Euphorbia clan, when injured it will bleed a milky sap that can be irritating to skin and eyes.

Kalanchoe Kalanchoe hybrids Many beautiful blooming hybrids of this plant have been developed because it is so easy to grow and the blooms last so long. Most have glossy green leaves and offer yellow, pink or red blooms for months on end making a fine indoor plant.

Rosary Vine Ceropegia woodii a.k.a. String of Pearls and Heart Vine has long vines with well spaced, grayish heart-shaped leaves growing from a fleshy rooted crown. It grows easily and is striking.

Milk Striped Euphorbia Euphorbia This is one of the easiest Euphorbias to grow. It can easily grow to the height and width of an average adult. Beware of the thorns! As with other members of the family (including poinsettias), injuries will bleed a milky, sticky sap that can be irritating.

Silver Crown Cotyledon undulata This is an attractive compact plant that bears wavy-edged fleshy "leaves" that have a blue-gray coating on them. They are easy to grow but shouldn't be handled too much because the leaves can break off or the coating can be smudged.

Devil's Backbone Kalanchoe Several tall varieties of Kalanchoe have earned this nickname. This one is known for large scooped leaves that form little plantlets all along the edges. When disturbed, the plantlets can drop to the soil, root and grow another plant. There are other succulents with this nickname too.

Stapelia A genus of easy-to-grow succulents that share an unusual quality with a few other succulents. Stapeliashould only be grown by someone with a strong stomach or good ventilation, because when they bloom, the flowers smell like a dead animal. Commonly referred to as carrion flowers, these plants have evolved this distinctive "asset" to draw flies to aid in pollination. The carrion flowers are striking, often measuring over 6 inches across, covered with fine hair.

Burro's Tail Sedum morganianum This plant is also known as donkey's or lamb's tail and all of the names truly fit this trailing succulent. It forms long drooping stems that are tightly covered by fleshy small leaves. It has an unusual pale green color that can sometimes appear almost blue. Burro's tail is great in hanging baskets since the "tails" can grow more than 2 feet long.

Panda Plant Kalanchoe tomentosa a.k.a. Plush Plant A fun plant with fat, furry leaves all crowded along a fairly upright stem. The furry leaves are silvery with a red-brown edge. Easily grown and propagated, it will grow about a foot tall and occasionally blooms in late summer or fall.

Haworthia Haworthia Growing in a tight little cluster similar to aloe, this variety of Haworthia is often called a zebra plant because of the stripes that grow on the outside of the leaves. They stay small, seldom outgrowing a 6 inch pot, and tolerate lower light levels than most succulents. There are several variations offering different leaf markings.

Living Stones Lithops There are several succulent varieties that look similar to pebbles, including flowering quartz, baby's toes and living rocks. Each is a different genus, but they look and grow very much alike. They all originated in South Africa and truly look like little rocks. They grow just an inch or two tall in tight little clumps and are great for windowsills or in an arid terrarium or dish garden. As unbelievable as it may seem, some even bloom.

Aloe Aloe vera Almost everyone is familiar with aloe because of the soothing nature of the gelatinous liquid that can be squeezed from its fleshly leaves. Aloe vera (and several of its cousins) make excellent indoor plants. Native to dry, warm South Africa, they will grow well indoors as long as they receive 4-5 hours of strong light each day. They all have the same general form with lots of spikes emerging from a central area or two but the markings on the spikes will vary, as will the mature size of the plants. A few varieties have spines on the leaf edges.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 9:23AM
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cactusmcharris

Teen,

Is that your writing? Something tells me no, but if it isn't yours you should give credit from the site you took it from.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 10:13AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Interesting Jeff, I asked the very same question on a parallel thread he/she made about Houseplants Good for Beginners.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 3:40PM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)

On House Plants Forum Teen was, I hope, educated that this is plagiarism and also possible copyright infringement. Hope it helps since I'm pretty sure it's not the first time he's done it.

Source is Bachmans in Minneapolis (thanks, purpleinopp).

Linda

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 5:12PM
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