01 Apr SERIOUS ABOUT SUCCULENTS: 5 EXOTIC SUCCULENTS AND HOW TO CARE FOR THEM
SUCCULENTS WITH PIZZAZZ
Succulents are some of the most intriguing plants on the planet, with their plump leaves, flower formations, literally incredible blooms, and gorgeous color varieties. So, although the bar is already set high, we’re going to go just a bit higher with these exotic succulents — there is something over-the-top unusual about each one of them. Nothing against pothos and ivy, you understand, but when one gets their hands on a truly unique and gasp-worthy succulent houseplant, it’s a game changer.
1. Bunny Succulent (Monilaria moniliformis or Monilaria obconica ) Despite its reputation for being a bit of a fussbudget to grow, Bunny succulent is just so darn cute that you might find it irresistible. Its new bright green growth resembles bunny ears, with a first set of leaves appearing as a “head” and a second pair of leaves popping up as the little ears. This succulent is a winter grower, dormant during the summer months. Give it a loam-based compost with grit or perlite for extra drainage, bright indirect light (a sunny window is perfect) and plenty of ventilation. Water lightly but regularly throughout the winter, then when the foliage wilts and withers in the late spring, leave it alone until the fall. USDA Zones 10a-11b (all zones as houseplants).
2. Plover Eggs Plant (Adromischus cooperi) This low-growing (up to a whopping 3” tall) succulent has silvery-green 2” long leaves that have intriguing purple speckles and splotches. The flower spikes, however, are up to 14” tall with a bright pink bloom. It prefers bright, indirect light and well-drained gritty compost. Let it dry out in between watering, keeping water off of the leaves. Spring and autumn are the regular watering seasons, with dry periods in summer and winter. USDA Zones 9b-11b (all zones as houseplants).
3. Crystal (Haworthia obtusa) This slow-growing and easy succulent grow up to 6” tall with rosettes in dense clumps. The rosettes have bright green, plump leaves that look like molded glass and 8” tall pale pink flower spikes. The care is similar to an Aloe vera — bright, indirect light, loose and well-draining soil, and light but regular water. Never allow this succulent to sit in water — you’re asking for quick rotting if you do. USDA Zones 9b-10b (all zones as houseplants).
4. Split Rock (Pleiospilos nelii) These tiny succulents grow on a bit over 3” tall and 4” wide with stemless, opposing plump leaves. It produces a new pair of leaves each year, “splitting” up from the center of the previous growth. Its alien-looking flower is a daisylike yellow-orange up to 3” in diameter. These flowers are quite large in proportion to the actual plant, opening in the afternoon and closing at sunset. Split rock prefers bright, indirect light, loose and well-drained soil, and excellent ventilation (no closed terrariums for these guys). Give it light but regular water in the spring and fall, backing off in the winter and summer. USDA Zones 9b-11b (all zones as houseplants).
5. Dolphin (Senecio peregrinus) Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a 6” tall succulent that looks like dolphins jumping out of the water. We know. It’s adorable. And guess what? Pretty easy to grow, too. Make sure it has loose, well-drained soil and bright, indirect light. As for water, it actually likes a bit more than other succulents — weekly during active growing — letting the soil dry out in between. During its winter dormant period, water only once monthly. USDA Zones 9b-11b (all zones as houseplants).