Pandemic Plant Parents Boom During Covid Lockdown

As pet adoptions flew over the roof during the Covid lockdown to fill up the social void, so did the demand for house plants as many people sought other activities aside from binging in their favorite streaming apps, playing games on their devices, and spending time on social media.

According to NBC News, merchants went from selling 10 to 20 plants a day in 2019 to 200 plants daily during the lockdowns. An online shop without even having a physical store got over 67,000 sales alone from the lockdown period up to the start of the mass vaccinations in January 2021. Searches and inquiries for things related to houseplants have soared and vlogs involving them have thrived during the period too.

Although many people have tried becoming plant parents during the Covid lockdown due to the activity’s many benefits, not all of them have been successful as they didn’t turn out to have a green thumb after all. Even if they seemed to have all the time in the world taking care of their plants during that, it didn’t always produce their desired results.

In addition to time investment, many people have poured a lot of money into their newfound pastime. Aside from the cash they spent in buying plants, they also bought grow lights, humidifiers, gallons of distilled water, anti-pest spray, vitamins, fertilizers, gardening tools, and other materials to support their hobby.

If you are one of the unfortunate plant parents, don’t lose hope. Maybe you’re just not compatible with your plant. Why not try shifting to succulent plants?

Does Not Require Much Watering

Succulents are very easy to maintain. Unlike other plants, they do not require much watering. You can sprinkle it with water only once or twice a week and it’s good to go.

It is easy to spot signs that indicate when to apply more water or less of it. If your succulents and the soil where they are planted start appearing dry to the touch and the leaves start looking shriveled or lighter than their original colors, that’s the time you have to apply more water. On the other hand, stop watering them in the meantime if they appear soggy or darker than their usual colors.

Can Survive Varying Temperatures

Many succulents are hardy enough to withstand drought or even very low climates. For example, some variants of Aloe Vera can stand temperatures just below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degree Celsius) while other types of it can take temperatures over the 85-degree Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) mark. Despite the said facts, it is not always advisable to push them to their limits.

Stop watering your succulents during winters and keep them under a grow light if possible. In contrast, increase your watering frequency during summers when their soil and leaves tend to dry up easily.

Natural Insect Repellent

Succulents have chemicals that repel insects. Aloe plants, for example, have N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, which is a natural active ingredient used in many household insects like mosquitos, ticks, leeches, fleas, chiggers, and other pests.

One of the common pests that can withstand this particular defense mechanism of succulent plants are mealybugs though. However, these are easy to spot and eliminate using these mealybugs removal methods.

Top 6 Healthy and Edible Succulent Plants For You

Can you imagine sinking your teeth into succulents like CAL Farms Beautiful 36 of 2″ Assorted Succulents? Well, not these kinds exactly, but the kind of edible succulent plants that you can ingest and are actually beneficial for you.

Yes, they do exist. It’s the last thing you’ll think about when you see your succulents on your windowsill, of course. Succulents are rarely known for their health benefits. They are, after all, just gorgeous adornments in living rooms, office spaces, kitchen countertops, and the like.

And yet, many restaurants have already started using succulents in their salads and even in their main entrees. That sounded a bit weird writing down, but many have already tried eating succulents and they were not disappointed. Here are the six  edible succulent plants that can be a part of your meal:

1. Saguaro

This is more than just something you see in the desert. Saguaro, which have night-blooming white flowers that are the state flower of Arizona, produces a greenish-pink fruit that has bright red pulp and small black seeds that are said to be sweet to the taste. The black seeds give it a nutty flavor. The Tohono O’odham Tribe of Arizona and Mexico has been using Saguaro to make jams, syrups, and ceremonial wines. You can use Saguaro for salsa or biscuits.

2. Opuntia

If you have eaten Nopales in a Mexican restaurant, then you have consumed Opuntia. It has a mild and neutral flavor that is similar to green beans. It also has a chewy texture. The fruit is called “tuna” in Mexico but stateside, it is known for its prickly pear shape. Opuntia can be used in salads, soups, salsas, and tacos.

3. Stonecrops

There are 600 species of plants that will fall under Stonecrops. Also known as Sedums, these are flowering succulents with leaves that have a mild peppery flavor. You can use it for salads and stir-fry. Be careful about consuming a lot of these because they can cause stomach upset.

4. Sea Beans

Salicornia or sea beans grow in salt marshes and sandy beaches, which accounts for its sea salt flavor. Sea beans are slowly becoming favorites of gourmet chefs and they are becoming ubiquitous in grocery stores around the country. You can eat the sea beans raw.

5. Dragon Fruit

Not many people know that dragon fruit came from a cactus. This candy-colored fruit came from a cactus known as the Queen of the Night. The flavor of dragon fruit is very mild, similar to a slightly sweet melon or kiwi. To eat it, you simply have to slice it open and scoop up the white pulp or you can add it to smoothies and shakes.

6. Aloe

Aloe is probably one of the most popular succulent plants out there. We already know that it can treat burns, rashes, minor cuts, and scrapes, but do you know that it can also benefit us when we consume Aloe? You can peel away the tough and bitter outer leaf to get the translucent inner part. You can mix that into drinks, shakes, and salads.

Understanding The Different Types of Succulent Plants

The different types of succulent plants have been getting a lot of attention lately because of how easy it is to take care of them. Their unique appearance also make them such a gem to look at. There are many varieties of succulents like CAL Farms Beautiful 36 of 2″ Assorted Succulents. Some are more adept indoors while others are more suited outdoors.

Agave

Agave is both suited indoors and outdoors. It offers a wide range of small and large varieties. In your outdoor garden, the agave will stand out because of its unique shape. These are especially delightful in warmer climates. When they are placed indoors, they are sculptural and modern and very low maintenance. You may choose Butterfly Agave or Twin Flower Agave for indoor use.

Aloe

You may hear the term aloe vera and perhaps, that is really the most popular variety of aloe. But, there are plenty more varieties that look absolutely beautiful in every garden, whether indoors or outdoors.

Crassula

The most famous member of the Crassula family, which has more than 1,400 different varieties, is the jade plant. The name crassula comes from the Latin word meaning “thick.” The fleshy leaves of the varieties of crassula is the most appealing thing about this plant. It comes in different colors, too.

Echeveria

This is a favorite for many because it is rose-shaped. It’s almost like giving a rose to your better half, albeit this one is colored green and has fleshy leaves. It is available in light green and light blue hues. What we love about the echeveria is its personality. It can be combined with many other different varieties of succulents.

Euphorbia

Most of the varieties of euphorbia are mistaken for cacti, but this could not be farther from the truth. These are also called stem succulents because of its tree-like appearance. Garden spurge and poinsettia are members of the euphorbia family.

Gasteria

This stomach-shaped succulent is mostly found in South Africa. It has tongue-like leaves that require well-drained soil to prosper and grow. Gasteria comes from the Latin word “gaster,” which means stomach.

Haworthia

Related to aloe and gasteria, these rosettes also came from South Africa. The little rosettes can either grow singularly or they can grow in clumps. Haworthia is sometimes referred to a zebra cactus because of the appearance of stripes.

Kalanchoe

There are different kalanchoes, and almost all of them are known under a different name. The Kalanchoe thyrsiflora, for example, is called flapjack because of its flat and pancake-like leaves. Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, on the other hand, is perfect to give as gifts. It features green succulent leaves and colored flowers.

Portulacaria

This succulent has small leaves growing along the stems that can grow two feet long. These are mostly used as the “spiller” in mixed succulent containers.

Senecio

The senecio is popular for its finger-like leaves. It comes in varied colors such as gray-green and powder blue. This is another good mixer with other succulents because of its narrow foliage and shubby growth.

Once you are able to identify the different types of succulents, you can say that you are ready to pick up your very first succulent plant.

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