Each of us has some preferences when it comes to succulents. Some people love tall succulents that never stop growing and take lot of space in their house or garden. Others though prefer smaller plants, for one reason or another. Euphorbia Milii, for example, is low maintenance and long life succulent that can grow for a couple of inches up to several feet. On the other hand, Roseum is an example of a low-growing succulent that only gets to be about four to six inches tall.
In this post we will look at succulents that stay small, at least when compared to other succulent species. Let’s start!
1. Lithops – family of small succulents
Lithops are sometimes called as living stone plants or split rock plants. Lithops are little succulent plants that have almost fused leaves and a split in between where the stem is located and where the succulent flowers (once it does). Let me show you some of the estimated thirty-seven species of Lithops.
This Lithops species have a leaf that can grow for about two inches wide, quite larger than any living stone plants. Hookeri’s flower usually blooms in the shade of bright yellow. The color of the upper edges of its leaves can range from brownish turns to pink or red.
This species prefers cold desert regions and rocky areas. Fulviceps’ leaf shape looks like a neat oval without a flower but will look like a kidney bean when a flower passes through its split. The edges of its leaves are found in a grayish green pigmentation also in a yellowish tone or sometimes cream-colored.
The Lithops lesliei is the only type that is found in its natural environment. This species matches the color of the soil that surrounds it. It rarely rises more than a couple of millimeters above the surface. Its yellow flowers can also be used for medicinal purposes.
Discovered by Dorothea Huyssten, this Lithops species has a creamy pale green pigment with its leaf colored in a darker shade of green.
Being discovered by and named after Juanita Aucamp, this succulent species naturally grows in sandstones and other ironstone based oils. Aucampiae is kind that tolerates occasional incorrect watering.
Also known as Karas Mountain Living Stones, this species produces a brilliant white flower with a yellow center. Karasmontana sometimes mimics the grey and brown hues of stones. The other will develop brilliant red-orange upper edges.
Also called as Green Rock Plant, Viridis is a Lithops species that is found to be uniformed in pigmentation. It has greyish pink edges, sometimes greyish green, with an upper surface of a dark grey-green tone.
These split rock succulent plants can grow in size by creating two leaf pair that gradually expands and become a clump of small plants.
Lithops aren’t the only succulents that stay small. Also known as Karoo Rose, Lapidaria Margaretae is a dwarf succulent plant. It has two to four pair of leaves that could be one and a half to two cm long and one cm wide. Over a period of time, its yellow flower can get about 5cm wide. L. Margaretae is usually used as an ornamental plant that needs full bright sunlight.
Having its pair of the leaf being fused entirely, Conophytum Calculus looks like a rounded ball succulent plant. It only has a tiny split on top where its flower grows and passes through.
Conophytum calculus is a kind of succulent that is known to be stemless. Its spherical leaf body has a diameter that could be measured up to 30mm, and its body is found to be smooth and hairless. Its brown seed capsules of 3 by 5mm could be small but are found robust bearing many tiny seeds inside. Conophytum Calculus has two subspecies:
Conophytum calculus subsp. calculus
This type is round and has uniformly grayish green heads and smooth sheaths mounds. Its golden yellow to dark orange flowers is nocturnal that only open at night.
Conophytum calculus subsp. vanzylii (Lavis)
This subspecies is found to have a paler, smaller, lesser scented flowers, and more depressed and globose shape.
Benefits of growing small succulents in pots
Scientific studies found that caring for a plant of any type can lead to several benefits. And succulents top the list!
- Helps in better breathing. Keeping plants around the house or room can improve air supply and air quality as they help in reducing carbon dioxide by absorbing it and emitting oxygen in the air.
- Helps in gaining focus. Studies show how having plants around us can help in increasing concentrations and it also helps in boosting memory.
- Helps in decreasing air pollution. Succulents increase humidity as they help in reducing air pollutant and airborne dust levels as well as keeping the temperature low.
- Happiness. Taking care of succulents can improve moods as you witness how they grow and change. As a result, plants boost overall well-being and happiness.
- Succulents that stay small can also help in saving space inside a room because the dwarf type of succulents you can easily place anywhere. As a result you have a lot of room left for other objects, or to simply keep it without any objects.
Few specific needs of dwarf succulents
- Light. Succulents need sunlight. So if you have indoor succulents, you need to expose them under the sun for about 4-6 hours a day, and this is especially true for dwarf succulents that typically grow in sunny rocky areas.
- Water. Succulents are known to be low maintenance because these plants store water in their leaves. But this does not mean that they don’t need water. Lithops, for example, have fleshy and rock-like leaves that are basically for storing water acting as a water tank for the plant to sustain itself. The best time to water Lithops and other succulents is morning time. Make sure to just give your beautiful succulents a tiny bit of water.
- Hold back watering during the hottest days. Make sure that the soil has dried out before watering. Rain exposure should be limited because these plants are water-rich already. Too much amount of water could cause succulents to die and decay.
- Pot. Lithops and other split rock plants have a long taproot. Make sure to use garden pots that would house the long taproots. Also, make sure to use pots that have holes at the bottom to be able to achieve proper drainage and avoid root rotting because of too much water.
In conclusion, taking care of succulents will be great for people who love to keep plants indoors or outdoors. Since succulents are low maintenance and can live longer than other plants, you can enjoy their beauty without them taking too much of your time away (as some other high-maintenance plants will do).
As you can see in this post, you do not need a lot of space to grow succulents. Some succulent varieties like Lithops stay small, and you can keep them basically anywhere, in any spare place… Hope this helps, and do not forget to check also: How To Grow Succulents? My Complete Guide