It’s hard to go wrong with succulents. Even those with the least-green thumb would have to practice at killing such a hardy plant. Indigenous to arid climates and low-moisture ecosystems, succulents differ from many other plants in the kingdom Planta by storing lots of water in their waxy leaves, making them great low-maintenance plants to keep around the house or office.

Plants offer some unexpected benefits when allowed to inhabit the same spaces as people. Whereas humans breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, plants do the opposite during photosynthesis, so plants make air more breathable. Plants are also known to increase the humidity in dry homes, so homes with plants show decreased instances of dry skin and sore throats.

So what can you do in the cold winter months? Get some succulents and start up-cycling some items around your house or treasure collected from a field trip to your local thrift store. Most gardening stores should sell cactus potting mix, which will be perfect for your new plant friends. Stock on on appropriate potting soil and pebbles or stones for proper drainage, and start the planting!

One popular planter for succulents is old kitchen items in an act of upcycling, or taking something basically worthless and making it useful and beautiful again by giving it purpose. Some upcyclers take old dishware, like mugs, teacups, bowls, frying pans, or wine glasses. Others use old storage containers like old soup cans or candy tins to plant their succulents. You can leave the items as they are, paint them, decorate them with lace, or decoupage them for a personal touch.

To keep with the theme of making the home more green, some choose to plant their succulents in other sorts of natural potting. You can plant succulents in hollowed out logs or corks, since succulents aren’t terribly picky about their homes. Some upcyclers have gone so far as to plant succulents in eggshells for delicate natural centerpieces.

For an all-day project, make a succulent terrarium. Find a glass fish bowl or tank, some soil, stones, sand, and maybe even some additional figurines and start assembling. Once your bowl is situated and stable in its position, start with the rocks for proper drainage, then moss for a soft barrier, then the soil, and lastly the plants themselves. 

Between the crafting and the final product of having a new inhabitant in your space, planting succulents is a fun winter activity with enough hidden benefits to make the trouble worthwhile.