DIY Flower Facts

Low-Water Alternatives For Succulents

air plants, palms, terrarium and other succulent alternatives

If you’re like us, you love succulents and can’t get enough of our succulent delivery service. One of the reasons we love them is that you can forget about them for a few weeks yet they still grace us with their cute lil’ leaves and dazzling shapes. With that said, it’s always nice to add new and unique members to your plant fam’.

We’re here to tell you that succulents aren’t the only low-water plant! That’s right, there are lots of other plants that fit right in with a life filled with forgetfulness or travel. Check out this list and pick a plant or two to add to your home or garden ASAP.

Air Plant (Tillandsia genus)

If you’re looking for a drought-tolerant addition, don’t sleep on these strange yet beautiful plants. In their native habitat in Central and South America, these plants grow atop other plants. They don’t harm their hosts, but rather use them solely as support. This type of growth makes them known as epiphytes.

When you add an air plant to your home, you won’t need to plant it in soil. Rather you can leave it out on a dish, in a globe, or hanging from a string. While it may seem like these plants can survive on air alone, they do require a little bit of care.

To water these air plants, place them in a dish of water once every two weeks. Remove the plant after five minutes, and shake off any excess moisture. Make sure the plant is fully dry within a few hours in order to prevent issues with rot.

Snake Plant (Dracaena trifasciata)

Snake plants, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, add a subtle yet beautiful touch to any part of your home. With over 50 varieties to choose from, you can find a snake plant that matches your style and available space. The best news? All of these plants can handle a bit of neglect.

To keep your snake plant happy and healthy, take note of these two important tips:
Keep your plant out of direct sunlight. If it’s casting a shadow, move it to a shadier location. These plants can even thrive in dim corners and shady hallways.
Don’t overwater! Snake plants like to dry out between waterings and typically need a drink only a few times a month.

Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

Put on your jazzercise outfit, because this plant has taken a note from the high ponytails from the ‘80s. Not only does this plant look like a ponytail, but it’s also as easy to maintain.

While this plant resembles a baby palm tree, it’s actually not a palm or a tree! Rather, it’s a member of the agave family.

To keep this plant happiest, place it in bright light and water only a few times a month.

Hoya (Apocynaceae family)

Hoyas are a group of drought-tolerant vining plants. Some people also call them wax plants. They love bright, indirect light and average indoor temperature and humidity. Best of all, they are extremely drought-tolerant!

If you take good care of your hoya plant, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful star-shaped white or pink flowers. Some of the most popular varieties of hoya plants include shooting stars hoya, rope plant, and tricolor hoya.

Lesser-Known Succulents

We know this is a post about succulent alternatives, but we couldn’t help but sneak in some of our favorite lesser-known succulents. Check out these plants if you’re looking to add something new to your home or garden.

Burro’s tail (Sedum morganianum)

These attractive plants make a statement with cascading stems covered in fleshy, green leaves. They look stunning sprawling out of a container.

Moss rose (Portulaca grandiflora)

Cute little ground cover that produces rose-like flowers. Depending on the variety, the plant may have single or double blooms.

Aloe plants (Aloe genus)

Well-known for their burn-relieving abilities. But did you know there are over 550 aloe species? Collect a few and make yourself a little aloe container garden.

Are Succulents Easy to Take Care Of?

You bet! All these desert-dwelling cuties need is full sun and a bit of care. Make sure to choose a well-draining potting soil and plant them in a pot with drainage holes. Be careful of loving succulents to death; over-watering is the number one problem that succulent owners face.

Succulents can thrive both indoors in containers and outdoors in warm-weather gardens. If you choose to plant them outside, add some sand or rocks to help with drainage. You can also make them a part of a container garden that you move inside when it becomes cold.

What Are Some Succulent Care Tips?

To keep your new succulent pal happy, follow these tips.

  • Don’t overwater! Succulents are desert-dwelling plants and only need watering about once or twice a month.
  • Let them soak up the sun. Unlike a lot of houseplants, succulents love basking in the sun’s rays. Place them near a bright window or move them outdoors during the summer. If they receive too much shade, they will suffer.

To learn more about these plants, check out some facts about succulents.

How to Water a Drought-Tolerant Plant

We get it. You want to take care of your plant babies. While we know you mean well, we’re here to tell you that you can love your plant to death. Since all of these plants are drought-tolerant, they don’t do well with continuously wet soils. But, they do still need water every now and then.

To help figure out when to water a drought-tolerant houseplant, follow these tips.

  • Check your potting mix. These plants should be planted in potting mixes that drain excess water. Look for a mix that contains materials such as perlite and vermiculite.
  • Drainage holes are key. When you water your plant, you want excess water to be able to escape from drainage holes. Make sure to dump excess water out of the water dish so the soil doesn’t slurp it back up.
  • Check the moisture level. Before you water your plant, stick your finger into the soil. If you feel the moisture in the top inch of soil, wait to water.

Set And Forget

Now that you know a bit more about plants that handle low water, it’s time to add some new members to your home. While you can’t ignore these plants forever, you won’t have to worry about them holding a grudge if you forget about them for a week.

FAQ

How do plants survive without water?

Many drought-tolerant plants like succulents and cacti have fleshy leaves covered in a thick outer layer. This helps them retain water so they can survive dry periods. Plants can also decrease the amount of water they lose through their leaves to conserve moisture.

How do you fix under-watered plants?

If your plant is dry and yellow, you may be able to save it by increasing the frequency you’re watering it. We’re said to say it, but sometimes the damage is irreversible. If your plant looks crispy, it’s best to cut your losses and salvage what you can. Remove any dry leaves and allow the newer leaves to grow back.

How long can plants go without water?

Different types of plants vary in how long they go without water. Most succulents can survive for about a month without water while some plants can only live a few days!

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