Where Do Succulents Originate From

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 do succulents naturally grow?

There is a vast variety of succulents and cacti in terms of their sizes, colors, textures, and shapes. We can readily find a wide range of different sorts and species from all over the world today because of their appeal.

These plants are cherished for their distinctive traits, in addition to their beauty and carefree nature. Are cacti and succulents the same thing? How should these plants be cared for? Are they worthwhile to collect? Can I cultivate them inside? These issues, along with many others, will be covered.

What are succulents?

A group of plants known as succulents or succulent plants have tissues that can store water. Succulent plants can withstand droughts. They have evolved to withstand the extreme aridity. Typically, the leaves, stems, or roots of these plants serve as water reservoirs.

The Latin word sucus, which means juice or sap, is where the word succulent first appeared. Their leaves typically have a meaty, plump, and thick texture to assist them conserve water and reduce water loss.

Are cacti succulents?

There can be some confusion because cacti and succulents are sometimes classed together and other times they are not. A distinct subset of the succulent genus is the cactus or cacti. One of the largest families of succulents in the world is the cactus family, or Cactaceae.

The Greek word kaktos, which means spiky plant, is where the term “cactus” originates. Cacti belong to the succulent family because they are fleshy plants that can store water. This class of plants is notable for its fleshy stems that act as water reservoirs, prickly or hairy coating, and scant, if any, leaves.


These distinguishing features make cacti nearly instantly recognizable solely by their outward appearance. In general, all succulents are termed succulents, however not all cacti are called succulents. However, depending on your information source, meanings and terminologies may change.

Cacti are frequently left out of the succulent category by horticulturists. However, for the vast majority of us who enjoy succulents or cultivate them as a hobby, these distinctions in definitions and classifications are not particularly significant.

Where are they from?

Succulents can be found in their natural environments all over the world. They have a diverse and extensive range of habitats, and they frequently live where no one else would. Most come from dry areas, deserts and semi-deserts ranging from Africa to North and South America; still others are found in mountainous regions and rain forests.

These plants have become exceptionally resilient and adaptive to environmental conditions that are typically too harsh for other plants to survive, such as high temperatures and low precipitation. Natural habitats for some succulents include arid lakes and seashores, which, because to their high concentrations of dissolved minerals, can be harmful to other plant species.

How do you care for a succulent plant?

I adore succulents, and they require little maintenance. Succulent plants require less maintenance than other types of plants. Your succulent will flourish as long as you take care of the three fundamental factors.

Generally speaking, to properly care for your succulent plant. You want adequate sunlight, not long stretches of intense sunlight. Succulents need soil that doesn’t retain water basically soil that drains well. And enough fertilizer for your plant to develop new leaves and roots.

Are succulents indoor plants?

Both inside and outside, I have succulents. There are succulents almost everywhere. When you want to keep them indoors there are a few things you’d like to make sure you take care of so that your succulents will thrive.

As long as they are placed close to a window, succulents can flourish indoors. By the window, succulents do not require direct sunshine. For optimal lighting, place them on a south-facing window. Succulents need much less water if they are kept indoors and be sure the soil you use drains well.

Do succulents need sun?

Almost all plants require sunlight to survive. Succulents are no exception. But it’s crucial to comprehend how much sunlight a succulent requires to not just survive, but also develop.

The majority of succulents can withstand modest sun exposure—roughly 6 hours per day. Before exposing your succulent to the entire six hours of sunlight, you typically need to gradually adapt them to the sun.

How often do you water succulents?

All plants will die without water, but sometimes it’s difficult to remember to water your plants each day to ensure their survival. Fortunately, succulents don’t require a lot of water, but you still need to take care not to overwater them.

As a general rule, water your succulents when the soil feels dry and wait until the soil is completely dry before watering again. You can avoid root rot by using a soil that drains well so that your succulent doesn’t spend the entire day sitting in wet soil.

Where are most succulents native to?

These distinctively formed, colorful, and occasionally fuzzy succulents are indigenous to tropical areas of the world. These originated in Africa, Asia, and Madagascar.

Why are there succulents?

Succulent plants, sometimes referred to as succulents in botany, are plants having thickened, fleshy, and engorged portions that typically serve to retain water in arid regions or soil conditions. Due to the fact that it frequently can only be used as an accurate characteristic at the single species level, it is a feature that is not used scientifically for the definition of the majority of plant families and genera. The Latin word sucus, which means “liquid” or “sap,” is where the word succulent originates. [1] Water can be stored by succulent plants in a variety of parts, including the leaves and stems. Some succulent organs can contain up to 9095 percent water. [2] Since roots are sometimes included in definitions, geophytes that endure adverse conditions by dying back to underground storage organs may be referred to as succulents. The term “succulent” is occasionally employed in horticultural contexts in a way that excludes species that botanists would classify as succulents, such as cacti. Because of their eye-catching and distinctive appearance, as well as their propensity to flourish with only a small amount of care, succulents are frequently grown as ornamental plants.

There are several succulent species found within many plant groups (more than 25 plant families).

[3] The majority of species are succulents in some families, including Aizoaceae, Cactaceae, and Crassulaceae. These water-preserving plants frequently live in deserts and other hot, dry climates as their homes. Succulents are well-suited to surviving in an ecosystem with scarce water sources because they can grow well on scarce water sources like mist and dew.

Succulents originally appeared when?

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 over 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 reduced 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. You can reach us at (401) 863-2476 for further details.

What advantages do succulents have?

Seven Advantages of Growing Succulents Indoors

  • In every climate, they may enliven a house.
  • They could aid in air filtration.
  • Your home’s humidity is improved by them.
  • They can improve the air quality in your environment.
  • They can help you focus better.
  • They Can Increase Pain Tolerance.
  • They Strengthen Memory

A succulent can you eat?

Many succulents are not only edible but also delightful, despite the fact that some are harmful to children or pets. They can be consumed raw, grilled, juiced, or mashed, among other ways. What’s best? Most of these can be grown easily!