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Easiest and Hardest Succulents To Grow

they’re billed as the no-fuss style icons of houseplants, but not all succulents are created equal. Simply put, caring for these denizens of low-moisture environments isn’t always all that simple.
Read on to learn about a few that are fail-safes, and a few to steer clear of—unless, of course, you’re up for a real challenge.

1. Easy: Donkey's Tail

The hanging leaves of this succulent can grow up to 4 feet long, and caring for it couldn’t be easier. Donkey’s tail likes bright light but can’t tolerate very high heat, as it will burn and dry out. Every leaf of this plant holds water, so overwatering will actually rot the plant. Watering once every two weeks is enough. As your donkey’s tail grows, divide it up and repot it to grow even more in the garden.

2. Harder: Lithops (aka Living Stones)

The ‘living stones’ genus Lithops look exactly like its namesake. Rock colored and growing almost prone against the ground, these succulents are virtually invisible in their native environment. Mimicking that native environment is what makes growing Lithops harder than most succulents—without immaculate drainage and hot, arid air, these little living stones will be living no more.

3. Harder: Feather Cactus

Proffered alluringly in every indoor nursery’s houseplant section, feather cactus is a dangerous proposition for the uninitiated succulent grower. Drainage for this hair-covered Mexican native must be without flaw or the entire plant will shrivel up to a wrinkled, rotted shell. If you decide you’re up for a challenge, put it on the hottest sunniest sill available and water sparingly.

4. Easy: String-of-Pearls

The only caveat to growing this no-fuss succulent is to neglect it even more than usual during the low-light days of winter. Most succulents do well in normal indoor temperatures, but the string of pearls will appreciate a cooler room closer to 55 degrees from December to March. Here’s exactly how to grow string-of-pearls.

5. Easy: Aloe Vera

The virtually bulletproof aloe is hands down the easiest succulent on the market to grow. Stick it on a hot sunny windowsill or relegate it to the shadiest corner of the bathroom—either will work in a pinch. Other tips to remember: water aloe sparingly and when its pups (new shoots) start to climb out of the pot a la Little Shop of Horrors, give the whole plant a larger container pronto.

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