You probably know that succulents are low maintenance plants that can add beauty to your indoor and outdoor gardens, but did you know all the other cool things they can do?
These versatile plants can smother weeds, heal burns, and (legend has it) even bring you wealth (no promises, of course).
Lucky for you, Kauai Seascapes Nursery has a plethora of these hardy plants. Come along as we take a look at the unique benefits of seven of them.
1. Echeveria derenbergii
More commonly known as the “painted lady,” this hardy plant hails from Oaxaca, Mexico. It’s part of a genus of plants named for the Mexican botanical artist Atanasio Echeverría y Godoy, one of the first people to attempt to catalog all of Mexico’s native plants.
True to its Mexican roots, it can tolerate extended periods of time without watering. It’s often used as a window plant, but feel free to use it outside as well. If you do decide to go the window plant route, the plant comes potted and ready to display, as you can see from the photo above.
2. Aeonium “kiwi”
It’s easy to see why this succulent is nicknamed “kiwi”–it looks “succulent” enough to eat (though I wouldn’t recommend it). Originally from Australia, the plant gets its name from the Greek word “aionos,” meaning “ageless” or “evergreen.”
Green’s not the only color this plant displays, however. It also develops bright yellow blossoms in the summer, which would make it a fitting accent to a rock garden.
3. Kalanchoe tomentosa
Of all the succulents on today’s list, this one has the wackiest set of nicknames. Depending on who you talk to, you might hear it called everything from “panda plant” to “pussy ears” to “chocolate soldier.”
I can see how it got the first two names–the leaves are furry like a panda and shaped like cat ears, but “chocolate soldier?” That nickname baffles me. If you have any possible explanation, please share it in the comments!
In Madagascar (the plant’s original home), the traditional belief is that the flowering of this plant is a sign of wealth and prosperity. Now, I’m not saying this plant will guarantee wealth and prosperity, but it couldn’t hurt, right? If nothing else, you can say your garden is protected by chocolate soldiers.
4. Crassula ovata “Jade Plant”
Usually known as the “jade plant” because of its vibrant green leaves, this South African native is also known as the “friendship tree,” “lucky plant,” or “money tree.” Friendship, luck, and money? Why wouldn’t you want this in your garden? If that weren’t enough, Feng Shui masters claim the jade plant has a calming effect.
In some African cultures, the plant is also recommended as a treatment for warts, though I’d stick with conventional medicines for those if I were you. Besides, this plant is too beautiful to grind up and use for medicine.
5. Crassula ovata “Coral”
This variation of crassula ovata gets its name from its resemblance to coral. If you’re looking to bring a bit of the ocean into your home or garden, this succulent offers an attractive alternative to fake plastic coral.
6. Sedum “Tricolor”
Of all the succulents discussed today, this one will do the most to beautify your garden. Taking its name from the Latin word meaning “to sit” (“sedere”) the tricolor provides a sturdy ground cover that chokes weeds, making sure that it and anything else you plant will be visible in their full beauty.
More directly, the tricolor produces vibrant pink star-shaped flowers that will add a pop of color to your plant arrangements.
In addition to its innate beauty, the tricolor also attracts butterflies, which, besides being gorgeous to look at, are also an important pollinator insect.
7. Aloe vera
I’ve saved the most useful for last. You knew that aloe vera was great for treating a burn from a hot stove or soothing a sunburn after a long day on the beach, but did you know all the other uses aloe has?
Before I get into some of the surprising uses for the plant, you should learn how to harvest the useful parts. These include the latex, which comes from the plant’s skin, and the gel, which comes from inside the leaves. Here’s an article explaining how to make aloe vera gel, which is useful for:
- Removing makeup. Just dip a cotton ball in pure aloe vera gel and rub that mascara away.
- Treating cracked, dry feet. Mix 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup corn meal, 4 Tbsp aloe vera gel, and 1/2 cup unscented body lotion and rub all over tired feet until well exfoliated, as Prevention recommends.
- Making a soothing ice cube. Simply fill an ice cube tray with aloe and pop it in the freezer. The cooling effect of aloe combined with the numbing effect of ice is perfect for treating treat sunburn, bug bites, or minor burns.
These are just a few of aloe’s many uses. Check out this article from Prevention and this page from the University of Maryland Medical Center to learn more.
Succulents for Sale at Kauai Seascapes Nursery
Bet you had no idea succulents could do all those things. Whether you’re looking for a ground cover, a multi-purpose medicine, or a dash of color for your garden, Kauai Seascapes Nursery has your ideal succulent. Still not sure which succulent is appropriate for you? Stop by the nursery, and we’ll be happy to advise you.