A question I come across now and then is “What are succulents?”
Succulents are becoming more and more popular and so is the extreme curiosity that comes with loving to ogle at these amazing plants. While succulents are increasing in popularity, many people are still unaware of these amazing plants.
Hopefully, this article will give you a better understanding of what succulents are.
What Are Succulents?
Wiki defines succulents as the following: In botany, succulent plants, also known as succulents, are plants with parts that are thickened, fleshy, and engorged, usually to retain water in arid climates or soil conditions. The word succulent comes from the Latin word sucus, meaning “juice” or “sap”.
Basically, Succulents are a group of plants that generously suck up water with their roots and store that water in their leaves. The leaves tend to be thick and fleshy, but some genus and species like some Cotyledon, have thicker leaves than others. Succulents tend to thrive in dry climates where the potential for rot is low and they don’t like a lot of humidity because their roots are prone to rotting if kept wet.
Caring For A Succulent
As with any other plant, watering succulents properly will ensure optimal health and the best growth and flowering. While succulents need water to survive, they can endure extended periods of drought, relying on the stored water and nutrients in their leaves. If their roots are sitting in water for too long, the succulents will start to rot and die.
Most succulents do best in warm temperatures and are not able to survive frost and freezing. Due to their cubby, water filled leaves, freezing will often result in the plant dying or getting mushy leaves. Some species of sedum and sempervivum are able to withstand temperatures below freezing, although they still prefer warmer temperatures.
Extremes in temperature as well as lack of water or sunlight can often result in a color change for succulents. We refer to this as “stressing” your succulent. Succulents tend to “blush” or turn a different color when stressed, such as when they receive more sunlight than they are used to.
Generally, when succulents are lacking in sunlight or endure high temperatures, they will be dull or green. When fully blushing, they range in color from pinks, oranges, and purples to almost black and red.
Propagation + Succulents = Easy!
One of the coolest things about succulents is their ability to propagate easily.
While some species propagate more easily than others, many can grow new plants from a leaf that has fallen off the plant and most put out new pups as the grow larger. Look for our next blog to find out more about propagating succulents!
While most cactus are succulents by definition, they are often referred to separately from other succulents. Succulents include a wide variety of genus and species and therefore come in a variety of colors, shapes, and textures.
Typically, when most people think of succulents, they think of beautiful Echeverias, Sedeveria, kalanchoe, haworthia or even variegated succulents but those beautiful pokey cacti are sometimes succulents, too.