Succulents and studying success: pocketsized powerhouses as revision ramps up

01 May 2019


Our desktop space can be at a premium, even in these days of an increasingly paperless world, so when you read about plant and design experts advocating a desk plant to help you combat stress, it can be difficult to imagine where it might fit.

But some of the smallest indoor plants on the market are some of the mightiest when it comes to freshening stale office air, removing harmful toxins and, well, simply looking good. Take the succulent family of plants. These sculptural beauties are enjoying a huge surge in popularity thanks to social media fans, especially on Instagram (simply search under succulents and you’ll see profiles in the millions, spanning the globe. The hashtag stats alone are eye-popping: #succulents has 7.1 million posts to date, and the many variants on the word are close behind in terms of popularity.

It’s not surprising that succulents are all over Instagram: their almost unnaturally perfect leaves come in so many different formations and shades, all with a rigid structure and an interesting sculptural form (many are downright unearthly), that they are effortlessly photogenic. Fans of flatlays have cottoned on that succulents look best from above and you’ll often see a symmetrical rosette of a succulent in the corner of desktop flatlays, bringing a flash of green beauty to an array of objects.

Even handier – succulents come in miniature. I have a trio of small succulents on my desk, each of them in pots no bigger than 7cm in diameter, and they are by no means the smallest. Just google miniature succulents and you’ll get an array of baby plants no bigger than a coin. But at any dimension, they are still a real statement plant, thanks to their striking forms. Although they are always there and I sit at my desk most days, they still catch my eye. In fact, when work gets a little overbearing, I find my eye automatically casts across to them.

It’s no wonder – many studies have proven that the mere sight of plants boosts our mood and lowers our blood pressure and stress levels. And that’s before we consider the many ways they improve the air quality: raising humidity levels and spriting away nasty toxins, so that we can breathe cleaner, fresher air and avoid common complaints such as sore throats, headaches, coughs and dry eyes.

At Urban Planters, succulents are a go to for workspaces where space is at a premium, and even the smallest of plants creates visual impact. We even strongly recommend them for the bedroom. After a long day of study, sleep is vital, and succulents set themselves apart from other plants by emitting oxygen at night instead of the day. Breathing better during sleep is hugely restorative.

They may be hard workers, but succulents ask of little in return. In the wild, their natural habitat is in sunny, dry climates, so they are very easy to keep alive. Water them once at week tops (but don’t soak them) and they’ll be perfectly happy. The best rule of thumb is to water when the soil feels dried out.

Easy to care for, great-looking, health-boosters and productivity powerhouses – do any of us need any more reason to have succulents on our desks?