What Is A Succulent Plant

Any plant that has fleshy, thick tissues that can store water is considered succulent. Some succulents, like cacti, only store water in the stem and have no or few leaves, but other succulents, like agaves, primarily store water in the leaves. The majority of succulents are endemic to deserts or areas with a semiarid season and have deep or wide root systems. More than 60 plant families have succulent species, with the Aizoaceae, Cactaceae, and Crassulaceae having the highest proportions. Aloe, Echeveria, Kalanchoe, and other plants are among those that are grown as ornamentals and indoor plants.

The timing of the opening of stomata, which are tiny mouthlike structures on the surface of plant leaves and stems, is one adaptation shared by many succulents. Stomata enable the exchange of water and oxygen with the environment as well as the uptake of carbon dioxide from the environment. The stomata of many succulent plants are closed during the day and open at night, in contrast to those of most plants. As a result, less water loss (transpiration) happens during the hot, dry daylight hours, while carbon dioxide (CO2) uptake takes place at night. As a result, these succulent plants display crassulacean acid metabolism, a modified form of CO2 fixation and photosynthesis.

What makes succulent plants unique?

Because they can uplift a space and a person’s mood and are even known to reduce indoor pollutants, houseplants are a popular addition to many houses. However, some indoor plants are better for you than others. Succulents are among the greatest indoor plants for the following six reasons:

1. They are tolerant of dry, enclosed environments.

2. They require little watering.

Unlike other houseplants, succulents can endure limited watering because to a special adaption. They do not require watering as regularly as other plants because of their ability to store water in their thick, fleshy leaves, stems, and larger roots. Even their name derives from this characteristic; “succulent” is a translation of the Latin word succulentus, which means “containing juice,” according to the Online Etymology Dictionary.

  • Your fingers will come out dry even if you bury them two knuckles deep in the ground.
  • The normally glossy leaves start to wilt.
  • The leaves shrink or pucker.

3. They don’t need a lot of fertilizer.

During the warmer months of the year, you only need to fertilize succulent plants three or four times overall. You can use only approximately half of the fertilizer you would normally spend on a standard houseplant because they don’t need as much feeding, which results in cost savings.

4. They resemble living works of art.

5. You may create indoor gardens with them.

  • same growth rates
  • similar watering requirements
  • like what the sun requires Don’t combine two succulents that require full sunshine with those that prefer partial shade, for example.

6. They will look good in your house.

Succulents are they indoor plants?

Consider succulents if you desire for indoor greenery but have had trouble growing houseplants. They make pleasant house visitors and can easily endure interior circumstances.

They have unique characteristics that help them thrive in dry indoor conditions.

expanded roots, thick stems, or fleshy leaves that enable plants to store water. Cacti, which are a kind of succulent, are well known to the majority of people. But a variety of other plants grown primarily for their eye-catching foliage also belong to the succulent family.

Succulents have remarkable textures and strong, angular leaf shapes that make them become living sculptures for interior spaces. They are excellent indoor plants since they can thrive in dry environments. Many houseplants do not thrive because dwellings, especially in the winter, provide their inhabitants with dry interior air. A houseplant’s enemy is low relative humidity. However, because they can store water, succulents can withstand dry air without suffering unpleasant consequences.

Learn how to take care of succulents inside and how to grow these low-maintenance plants.

Succulents are either outdoor or indoor plants.

Succulents thrive in hot, arid conditions and don’t mind a little neglect due to their unique capacity to store water. They are therefore ideally suited to growing indoors and are the perfect choice for anyone looking for low-maintenance houseplants. Follow these instructions for successful plant care if you’re choosing succulents for the first time.

Select a succulent that will thrive in your indoor environment.

The majority of succulents need direct sunshine, however if your home only has a shady area, choose low light-tolerant plants like mother-in-tongue. law’s A trailing variety, like string of bananas, is an excellent option if you intend to grow your succulent in a hanging planter. To learn about your succulents’ requirements for sunlight, size, and spread, always read the plant labels.

Give the plants a good draining potting material.

You should repot your succulent as soon as you get it home since nurseries always plant their succulents in soil that is overly rich and holds too much moisture. A coarse potting mix with sufficient drainage and aeration is a good place to start. You can use an African violet mix or unique cactus and succulent mixtures that you can purchase at the nursery. Add perlite or pumice to the cactus or African violet mix (up to 50% of the total potting mix, depending on your particular succulent’s moisture requirements) to further increase drainage and prevent compaction. To make sure the mixture is moist throughout, always moisten it before using.

Decide on a container.

When repotting, use a container that is at least 1 to 2 inches bigger than the nursery container and has a drainage hole. Avoid using glass containers (such mason jars or terrariums) for long-term potting since they prevent roots from breathing and over time may result in root rot. Place your plant inside the container and backfill with extra pre-moistened potting mix after filling the bottom one-third of the container with pre-moistened potting mix.

Put the succulent plant in a pot somewhere sunny.

Try to arrange your succulents close to a south or east-facing window because most succulents need at least six hours of sun each day. Insufficient sunlight may cause your succulents to become spindly or to extend toward the light.

Between waterings, allow the potting mix to dry out.

Overwatering succulents is the most common error people make with them. Watering more deeply but less frequently is preferable. Before the next watering, completely saturate the potting mix (while making sure the water drains out of the drainage hole properly). The plant can finally perish if the potting soil is left moist every day.

Succulents should be fertilized at least once a year.

Fertilizer works best for plants in the spring (when the days lengthen and new growth starts) and again in the late summer. Use a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer (such as 8-8-8 or 10-10-10) that has been diluted to half the strength indicated on the container. Since succulents are semi-dormant in the winter, there is no need to nourish them. Because they are not actively growing, they do not require the nutrient boost.

Are succulents and cacti the same thing?

What distinguishes a succulent from a cactus? The only plant that can survive in a hot south window, where the light shines through the glass intensified, is a cactus. Any plant that stores water in juicy leaves, stems, or roots to resist recurring droughts is considered a succulent. Some people accept non-fleshy desert plants while others exclude plants with flesh, such as epiphytic orchids (yuccas, puyas).

Cactus is merely a type of succulent that can hold moisture and is classified separately from other succulents (cacti is the plural form of cactus in Latin) (Cactaceae). On the other hand, not every succulent is a cactus. In addition to being close relatives of the pointsetta, geranium, lily, grape, amaryllis, crassula, daisy, and milkweed, succulents are members of approximately 40 botanical families that are distributed throughout the world.

The name “cactus” derives from the Greek word “kaktos,” which means “spiny plant.” The ancient Greeks used this word to describe a species that was actually an artichoke variety rather than a cactus. 2000 years later, Linnaeus, who classified plants, gave a family of plants with distinctive characteristics like thick stems that served as water reservoirs, prickly or hairy coverings, and few, if any, leaves the name Cactaceae.

Cacti are simple to spot. They rarely have leaves because they have to work so hard to stay alive. They have stems that have been altered into cylinders, pads, or joints that store water during dry spells. Skin thickness lowers evaporation. For defense against browsing animals, the majority of species have bristles or spines, but some lack them, and others have long hair or a woolly covering. Large and vibrant flowers are the norm. Fruit may be both edible and colorful.

Every cactus has leaves when it is still a seedling. Additionally, some plants briefly produce tiny leaves on their new growth each spring. The majority of cactus progressively lost their leaves as shifting climatic patterns transformed native environments into deserts, evaporating too much limited water into the dry air. They switched to storing the water that was available in their stems. To adapt the size of their evaporation surfaces to changing conditions, many may modify their shape. When moisture is abundant, ribs that resemble an accordion can extend; when there is a drought, they can contract.

The majority of succulents, such as aloes, hawthorias, crassulas, and echeveria, originated in environments with less harsh conditions than cactus, such as those with rainy seasons followed by protracted dry seasons. They all have leaves. Their leaves gradually grew fattened by water-storing tissues and covered in a waxy or horny substance that lessens evaporation from the surface to help them get through the dry spells.

From Canada, through Central America, the West Indies, and south to the chilly regions of Chile and Patagonia, the cactus (Cactaceae) family can be found (southern end of South America). The largest collection may be in Mexico, but there are also a large number in the western deserts of the United States and at higher elevations in the Cordilleras of Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina.

The majority of succulents are native to milder, semi-desert regions of the planet (Mexico, South Africa). Some (such as sedums and sempervivums) are native to cooler regions where they thrive on sunny, rocky ledges and slopes. Although there are many succulents around the world, not all succulents are desert plants. They can be found on mountains, in jungles, and next to bodies of water. Succulents can be found in semi-arid parts of North and South America, Asia, and Africa, but many also live in rain forests. Succulents can be found in the mountains where they can survive inclement weather, strong winds, and poor soil. Aeonium is a succulent native to Africa, the Canary and Madeira Islands; Agave is a succulent native to the Americas; Aloe is a succulent native to Africa, the Mediterranean, and Atlantic islands; Cotyledon is a succulent native to semi-arid regions of Africa; Crassula is a succulent native to mostly Africa; Dudleya is a succulent native to coastal California and Mexico; Faucaria is a succulent native to South Africa; Sempervivum: North Africa, Asia Minor, and Central and Southern Europe.

Succulents purify the air?

  • They aid in breathing – While plants emit oxygen during the process of photosynthesis, most plants respire at night, generating carbon dioxide. Other plants, such as orchids and areca palms, in addition to succulents, continue to produce oxygen throughout the night. Keep these plants in your bedroom to get a better night’s sleep by breathing in more fresh air as you sleep.
  • Succulents, such as snake plants and aloe vera, are great in purifying the air and removing toxins. According to NASA studies, 87 percent of volatile organic molecules can be eliminated (VOC). Because VOCs like benzene and formaldehyde are present in rugs, cigarette smoke, grocery bags, books, and ink, these plants are especially useful in libraries and study spaces.
  • They aid in illness prevention. Plant water released into the sky accounts for roughly 10% of the moisture in the air. In your home, the same rule holds true: the more plants you have, especially in groups, the better your ability to increase the humidity and so reduce the likelihood of dry skin, colds, sore throats, and dry coughs. According to a research by Norway’s Agricultural University, offices with plants had sickness rates that were 60% lower. Environmental psychologist Tina Bringslimark explained to The Telegraph: “We looked into how many people reported taking self-reported sick days and contrasted that with how many plants they could see from their desk. There was less self-reported sick leave the more plants they could observe “.
  • They aid in concentration – Numerous research on both students and workers have discovered that having plants around while studying or working improves concentration, attentiveness, and cognitive capacities. According to a University of Michigan research, the presence of plants increased memory retention by as much as 20%. Small plants like succulents, which don’t take up much space on your desk, are particularly helpful at the office.
  • They promote faster healing – Succulents can help to lessen coughs, fevers, headaches, and flu-like symptoms. Hospital patients who had plants in their rooms needed less pain medication, had lower blood pressure and heart rates, and were less worn out and anxious, according to Kansas State University researchers.

Do succulents require sunlight?

Depending on the type, succulents need six hours of sunlight each day because they are light-loving plants. You might need to gradually expose newly planted succulents to full sun exposure or give shade with a translucent screen because they can burn in direct sunshine.

Succulents—can they be kept in small pots?

Don’t you share Nell and my passion for succulents? By include them in your design, you may add some life and light to a dark spot in your house. And if you pair those succulents with the appropriate container, everyone wins. I put up this collection of 20 compact succulent pots to make your buying easier.

Succulents can thrive for a long time in these little pots because they don’t have extensive root systems. Because succulents don’t like to have their roots maintained consistently wet, it’s preferable if the pots contain a drain hole. Put at least an inch or two layers of stones on the bottom of the pot if there isn’t a drain hole, and reduce the amount and frequency of watering.

Remember that succulents are not low light plants when deciding where to place them. As much natural light as you can provide them with, the better. Check out this post on two incredibly simple techniques to propagate succulents if you already have them and want to grow more of them to plant in your new pots.

Although selecting pots is enjoyable, it may be overwhelming. These are my current favorites among the many different fashions that are available. Even if there are still many options, they are all conveniently located for easy browsing.

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