To say that succulents are now popular would be an understatement. However, we believe their popularity is long overdue given how adorable they are, how simple they are to care for, and how many different colors there are. Here’s what you need to know before buying your next stonecrop or agave plant:
Due of their ability to store water in their leaves, succulents first appeared in regions that had extended dry spells (like Africa).
Sucus, which meaning juice or sap in Latin, is the root of the English word succulent. It also honors the nutritious leaves that enable these plants to endure in the sweltering heat (aka you only have to water yours once a week, since they thrive in sunlight and dry air).
Green hues are a certainty.
However, you can also find blue, purple, pink, orange, and red succulents!
Another benefit of these plants’ ease of maintenance. (If your succulent is outside and you do suffer problems, you might be dealing with scale or aphids. If it’s indoors, the issue can be caused by mealybugs, woolly aphids, spider mites, or fungus gnats.
“Propagating” is the term for it. Cut off a succulent leaf, allow it to dry in the sun, then put it in soil with water to accomplish this.
Although not all succulents are cacti, cacti are succulents. What distinguishes a cactus as such: Its thorns, which are essentially its leaves.
They have a very festive name because they bloom right before Christmas.
You may flaunt your green thumb on your wrist, ears, or fingers for weeks at a time because these plants require such little care.
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Where are succulents native to?
Succulents are native to many regions of the planet, but they are most common in South Africa, Central America, and Africa. These locations provide various environments for their development and give rise to various species.
When were cacti first found?
If you’re wondering like I was about how these plants eventually became ubiquitous houseplants that we currently enjoy, you’re not alone. After doing some research, I found it amazing how the first few cacti or succulent plants were “discovered” and how they sparked further research that led to the current state of knowledge.
Cacti were solely native to the American continents, and different parts of northern Europe and the Far East were home to succulents. They were found in great numbers throughout southern and eastern Africa.
Major voyages started in the late 15th century when the hunt for a western sea route to India began. One of the earliest explorers, Christopher Columbus, is credited with bringing the first few cacti to Europe. He sent Queen Isabella of Spain these odd-looking, leafless plants. Succulents were discovered by other explorers in southwest Africa and India, including Vasco de Gama.
Plants were transported back to Europe on merchant ships by Spanish missionaries who settled Central and South America between the 15th and 17th century. The Dutch East India Company transported a large number of plants to Holland and the Royal Botanic Gardens throughout the 17th century.
Numerous new plant species were discovered throughout these excursions, and interest in succulents and cacti grew. It became increasingly desirable to cultivate and collect these plants.
As prices rose and it became increasingly beneficial for the villagers to swap these plants for cash, the search for newer, more exotic species persisted, which, tragically, eventually led to their theft from their natural habitats.
The majority of cacti and succulents are now in danger of going extinct owing to habitat loss and poaching. The Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) now governs the trade of cacti species from the Americas.
Fortunately, cultivation of cacti and succulents has been well established, and optimum growth techniques may be followed, allowing us to enjoy these plants for many years to come. This is thanks to the enormous knowledge and research amassed over the years.