One of my favorite seminars I took at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale had nothing to do with plants. Personal Finance 101 was covered. Some of the best advise I’ve ever heard in a classroom was provided by the professor, Dr. Ted Pilger, over the course of a full semester. from picking a retirement strategy to learning how to purchase an automobile. One of the most remembered remarks was in reference to his car price haggling. “I’ll know I’m progressing when they stop calling me sir,” he added.
The horticulture students presented Dr. Pilger with a container of succulents and cacti as a token of their appreciation for his lectures. “Thank heavens something I don’t have to water,” he quickly said.
If only we had known back then how succulents would take over the garden center industry. Since 2007, the appeal of this collection of plants has increased. Succulent sales in Midwest garden centers amounted for 15% of total sales, according to a 2017 poll by Garden Center Magazine. For 2019, that number has unquestionably increased.
There are succulents everywhere! They are available in supermarkets, farmers’ markets, and even clothes stores. Succulents don’t require much watering, at least not frequently, which is one of the many reasons these plants have gained popularity.
A plant known as a succulent has thick, fleshy leaves or stems that are suited to hold water. Consequently, the term “succulent” is very general and can refer to a variety of plants. You might be familiar with hens and chicks, jade plants, aloe plants, Christmas cacti, and other typical succulent plants.
Succulents thrive in neglect and dry soil, according to Candice Hart, an Illinois Master Gardener Specialist. A succulent can be easily killed by overwatering.
It turns out that succulents are perennial. Both baby boomers and millennials adore these plump and charming indoor or outdoor plants! However, many professionals in the sector assert that millennials are fueling the market for succulents.
The Great Recession may have sparked the appeal of succulents. This may seem like a strange market driver, but there is a hypothesis shared by some of those whose job is to think about the home garden industry. During the recession, many millennials found it difficult to make ends meet when they first entered or tried to enter the job market. They frequently had to return to living with their parents or friends. Succulents are reasonably priced and require little maintenance, in contrast to certain pricey home decor. For newly independent young adults, succulents were a terrific way to transform a house, apartment, or basement room into a home.
Millennials were early adopters of social media, so they started posting photos of their brand-new houseplants online. Succulents are fortunately gorgeous to photograph. Succulents can be used to decorate homes, according to posts on Pinterest. Succulent-focused Instagram profiles have begun to appear. The trend for succulents started online and has now grown to include succulents in every store and household.
Good Growing Tip of the Week: Succulents grow best in windows that face the south or west when grown inside. Many succulents will thrive in the presence of supplemental incandescent or fluorescent lights if the proper lighting conditions are not present.
Why are cacti popular right now?
The fact that succulents are simple to grow is one of the entertaining reasons for their popularity. Simply clipping off leaves or branches and placing them in some soil will produce new plants. Cut and plant are just two easy procedures. The cut piece will eventually take root and grow into a new plant.
Succulents have been around for how long?
Between 5 and 10 million years ago, the Earth’s topography underwent a significant alteration. Cacti appeared on the planet at around the same geologic time as other succulent plants and tropical grasses, according to biologists at Brown University and their colleagues. The catalyst was a worldwide cooling and aridification episode, possibly accompanied by a decrease in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences publishes their research.
PROVIDENCE [Brown University], Rhode Island
The cactus, a desert stalwart, has a fascinating tale to tell about the development of plant communities found all across the world.
Researchers from Brown University and their colleagues found that the rapid speciation of cacti took place between 5 and 10 million years ago and coincided with species explosions by other succulent plant groups all over the world. Their findings were published in a paper that was made available online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers hypothesize that a protracted dry period and probably lower atmospheric carbon dioxide levels during that period, known as the late Miocene, created environment that supported the emergence of these plants and a significant change in the Earth’s vegetation.
“Although the cacti as a whole have been there for a while, Monica Arakaki, a postdoctoral researcher at Brown University and the paper’s primary author, claimed that the majority of the species diversity we see today was created only recently.
The primary goal of the Brown team’s research, along with those of associates from Oberlin College and the University of Zurich in Switzerland, was to determine when the cacti first appeared (scientific name Cactaceae). A phylogeny, or evolutionary tree, for angiosperms, the genealogical line of flowering plants that accounts for about 90% of all plants in the world, was constructed by the team by sequencing the chloroplast genomes (the organelles inside plant leaves that engineer photosynthesis) of a dozen cacti and their relatives. The scientists came to the conclusion that Cactaceae and its relatives in the angiosperm family first diverged approximately 35 million years ago, but that rapid speciation did not occur for at least another 25 million years.
“According to Erika Edwards, an assistant professor of biology in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University and a corresponding author on the paper, cacti were actually present on the landscape for millions of years looking like cacti and behaving like cacti before they started their major diversification.
The crew then read up on the time of diversification in other succulents from different geographical areas. Aloes, North American agaves, South African ice plants, and other varieties are examples of succulents. Their natural habitat is in water-scarce environments, and they have developed physical adaptations to survive there, including shallow root systems, specialized water-storing tissue, and gas exchange at night when it is cooler and less humid, resulting in less water loss. The researchers were surprised to find that all succulent lineages underwent dramatic diversification between 5 and 10 million years ago, nearly at the same time as the cactus. This occurred across habitats and continents.
The tropical grasses known as C4 grasses, which currently make up up to 20% of our planet’s vegetative cover, also emerged during this same time period.
The researchers reasoned that this must be more than just a coincidence. “It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that the majority of the standing cactus diversity is quite young. But when you consider all the other changes in plant communities that were occurring at the same time, all around the world, these species radiations beg the question of a worldwide environmental cause, according to Edwards.
The experts believed that a drying up of the globe and a decline in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were the most likely explanations. Numerous studies using oxygen isotopes from a deep-sea organism revealed the Earth’s temperature dropped, which the experts believe caused worldwide rainfall to decline and aridity to rise.
The carbon dioxide connection is more complex and debatable. The authors draw attention to a study that suggested that atmospheric CO2 levels began to fall downward around 15 million years ago. When coupled with the global cooling, “According to the authors, a decrease in CO2 concentration would consequently rapidly increase the ecological space in which drought-tolerant succulent plants would be competitive due to their high photosynthetic water consumption efficiency.
We propose that the global diversification of plant lineages with a preadapted succulent condition during the late Miocene was mostly driven by a rapid expansion of suitable habitat (rather than any specific new ‘key’ innovation), the researchers write.
A dramatic CO2 reduction is a likely cause of the simultaneous spread of C4 grasslands, the clustering of new C4 origins, and the diversification of succulent lineages against a background of growing worldwide aridity.
Other authors who have contributed include Michael Moore from Oberlin, Reto Nyffeler and Anita Lendel from the University of Zurich, Urs Eggli from the Succulent Plant Collection in Zurich, graduate student R. Matthew Ogburn, and undergraduate student Elizabeth Spriggs, all from Brown.
Note to Editors:
Editors: For domestic and international live and recorded interviews, Brown University has a fiber link television studio available. For radio interviews, the university maintains an ISDN connection. For more information, call (401) 863-2476.
Why do young people prefer succulents?
Due to millennials’ worldwide desire for the plants, there has been an increase in theft and smuggling.
At the weekend, when I casually scrolled through Instagram stories, I was shocked to witness a crime being committed. Home CCTV footage of a man stealing my friend’s cactus cut short my routine frenzy of macha lattes and kid boomerangs. The cactus appeared to be flourishing when it was placed in a doorway in Clapham, south London—at least, it did until the thief swiftly snatched it out of its container. The bad guy understood what he was going for, therefore it was obvious that this was a targeted attack.
He may have been a part of a global criminal wave, it turns out. This week, two South Korean men in Cape Town were convicted guilty of smuggling 60,000 miniature succulents from South Africa and Namibia and were sentenced to significant fines and suspended jail terms. This conviction was the fourth of its kind in recent months.
It appears that millennials’ desire for decorative green houseplant “pets” has peaked. Succulent lunacy is well on its way to defining our own horticultural age, echoing the boom-and-bust calamity of tulip fever in 17th-century Holland.
Since it took this long, I must admit that I’m astonished. As a “millennial gardener” myself, I’ve seen the succulent fever develop over the past ten years (in a way that most succulents exposed to British temperatures and light levels rarely will). After beginning in 2013, crassulas, kalanchoes, and echeverias soon filled store shelves and were frequently dusted with glitter. These days, it’s almost impossible to get a coffee without having to consider the impending demise of the grossly overwatered haworthia in the center of the table.
Succulents and indoor plants are dear to millennials because they provide a concrete means of interacting with nature.
The important thing to understand about houseplant crazes is that they are cyclical, much like many other things we place in our homes. When my mother first did it in the 1970s, having little cacti and succulents in your room and hanging them up in macrame hangers was all the rage. Before that, the 1930s Hollywood celebrities who relocated to Palm Springs were fond of cacti. Since then, cactus rustling has been a concern, which is why the anti-plant trafficking Lacey Act was introduced in 1981. Not that it made much of a difference: by 2018, so many tall saguaros in Arizona were being uprooted at night that park rangers had to microchip their cactus.
For the staff at London’s Kew Gardens, who nurture three plants of each type before placing any on show, this is all depressingly familiar ground. An impossible-to-find small water lily was stolen from the glasshouses in 2014, and even a visit to Crimewatch couldn’t save it.
Not that our obsession with plants necessarily leads to crime. Frequently, it is only a dangerous activity. A few young Victorian women perished while searching for a rare species of fern, much like the unlucky individuals who plunge to their lives from cliffs while trying to take the perfect selfie. Teenage girls’ pteridomania, often known as “fern fever, was a common passion in the middle of the 19th century. The rituals involved searching the countryside with a trowel and an identification book before pressing their find with a coffee-table book. Rare plants were routinely uprooted from the ground, which always had an adverse effect on the local species.
The terrible part is that these crazes typically have excellent intentions hidden behind them. Because they provide a physical connection to nature that is lacking in a society that is becoming more and more reliant on screens, millennials are drawn to succulents and other houseplants. For the first time in generations, society had permitted those young Victorian women to venture outside and interact crudely with nature. Both groups had to put up with dwindling gardens and unreliable leased housing; in other words, they both really needed the quiet delight of seeing green leaves spread out all about them.
Humans are hard-wired to respond to nature, just like all other species. In Shetland, “green prescriptions” are given to those with mental-health disorders because it has been demonstrated that exposure to the outside world is so beneficial. Cactus crime frequently starts with a basic, understandable yearning for some greenery.
What makes succulents 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.
Why are succulents so popular now?
Two weeks without watering a succulent may cause it to somewhat wither. I’m done now.
They hardly want soil to grow in, and they don’t want you to water them frequently. The stony desert is where many succulents naturally flourish; they don’t require peat moss or fertilizers.
Therefore, succulents are ideal for millennials who enjoy flying. They are ideal for our hectic lives because they can tolerate some neglect.