top of page

Succulents vs Foliage

In general, the houseplants we buy can be grouped into these two categories, which tell us a lot about how the plant likes to be cared for.

By determining simply if a plant is more foliage or succulent, you will be able to make quick and informed decisions regarding light, soil, and water!

Succulent Plants:

  • More common in dryer, desert settings

  • Often smaller and more colorful; could include cacti as well

  • Leaves/structure of the plant feels firmer

  • What makes them "succulent"? To save up water for their naturally drier home- environment, these plants store water in their leaves.

  • Plant will shrivel as water is used up. Use this as a clue for when to water!

  • Most need stronger, more direct light. Southern and western windows are generally better for these plants.

  • If the plant looks stretched out, like there's a lot of stem in between plants, it isn't getting enough light.

  • Examples: Haworthia, Echeveria, Jade, Cacti, Aloe Vera, Burro's Tail

Foliage Plants:

  • More common in forest, wetter settings

  • Wide variety of appearance, size, shape. Generally more leafy.

  • Leaves/structure of the plant feel more like typical "leaves"

  • Plant will droop as water is used up, and sometimes the color will fade. Use this as a clue for when to water!

  • More variety in light needs. Many are also more flexible with their light.

  • Often easier to get started with, especially if your light availability is more limited. Many are more forgiving when it comes to watering as well, and aren't as quick to react to over/under watering.

  • Examples: Ivy, Pothos, Philodendron, Scindapsus, Dracaena, Monstera

Recent Posts

See All

Watering Houseplants

How to tell if your plant is ready to be watered: Check the soil. Absolutely most important! If the top of the soil is dry, stick your finger in as much as you can, being careful not to disrupt the pl

Windows + Light for Houseplants

Plants need light. They need light. Light is needed by plants. Plants need light. Say it with me: Plants. Need. Light. Each window is going to be a little different in terms of how "good" a plant wind

Getting Your Houseplant Set Up

Pots: #1 rule for your pots, especially if you're still mastering the basics, is to have a drainage hole! Many nursery pots (the plastic pots plants typically come in from the store) already have drai


bottom of page