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. From Africa to North and South America, the majority originate in arid regions, deserts, and semi-deserts. Other species are found in mountainous areas 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 require soil that drains properly, or soil that doesn’t retain water. 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. There are a few things you should watch out for when keeping succulents indoors in order to ensure their success.
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. If grown indoors, succulents require far less water, so make sure the soil you use drains effectively.
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 totally dry before watering again. You can avoid root rot by using a soil that drains efficiently so that your succulent doesn’t spend the entire day sitting in moist soil.
Where can you find succulents the most?
People tell me about great plants that they recall from years ago far too frequently. They would like to know what it is so they can get another. It is immediately clear from their description of the plant that they are referring to a succulent.
The variety among succulent plants is astounding. Because of this, they aren’t always recognized or recalled as succulents, but it’s also one of the things that makes these plants so appealing. Succulents haven’t always had a lot of popularity. However, because of their low maintenance needs, odd plant forms, broad variety, and striking colors, they have gained increased notoriety in recent years.
Succulents are simply plants that conserve water in their leaves and stems in order to survive in arid environments. The majority have thick stems and leaves that serve as water storage tanks. Many also show other techniques for minimizing water loss through transpiration, such as waxy leaves or hairy coverings. Succulent plants are native to every continent and are frequently taxonomically unrelated. However, many of them resemble identical due to their adaption to arid environments.
The plant families that are categorized as succulents number over 50. They are most frequently found in semi-desert areas. Compared to real deserts, these are dry locations that get a little bit more rain. High alpine slopes (where hardy succulents are endemic), temperate coastal environments, and the dry tropics are often used to categorize them. There are exceptions, which is why I say “most frequently” and “usually.” Succulent species can also be found in humid, tropical environments. Cactus plants are among the most popular succulents. In their stems, cacti store water.
Throughout their growing season, all succulent plants prefer continuous hydration. During the dry season, they then use their water reserves. Succulents may be a successful addition to any garden since they thrive in locations with poor soil and conditions where other plants will struggle.
Sempervivums and sedums are two lovely succulent kinds. Both cultivars produce bright, eye-catching groundcovers that are resistant to both summer neglect and below-freezing winter cold. Succulent plants come in a variety of forms, dimensions, and hues, so your yard will be the ideal place for them. For fantastic succulent species, check out Young’s or your neighborhood nursery.
Do succulents come from Dollar General?
Visit your neighborhood Dollar General to see if you can discover these adorable faux succulent potted plants, which are only $2 both in-person and online. Remember that there may be significant differences in product availability between stores.
Aloe—is it a succulent?
An easy-to-care-for, eye-catching succulent that grows well indoors is the aloe vera plant. Aloe vera plants are helpful as well because the juice from their leaves can be administered topically to treat the discomfort associated with burns and scrapes. How to cultivate and take care of aloe vera plants at home is provided here.
About Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a species of succulent plant in the Aloe genus. The plant has thick, fleshy, greenish leaves that fan out from the stem at the center and is stemless or has extremely short stems. The leaf’s margin is toothed and serrated.
Be aware that you will require an area that delivers bright, indirect sunlight before you purchase an aloe (or artificial sunlight). If your aloe is located in an area that receives a lot of direct sunlight, you may need to water it more frequently because the plant might become overly dried up and develop yellow mushy leaves.
ALOE VERA LEAF GEL SHOULD NOT BE EATEN BY PEOPLE OR PETS. WARNING: Aloe vera leaf gel can be applied topically. It may even be harmful in higher doses and can result in unpleasant symptoms like nausea or indigestion.
- Selecting the appropriate kind of container is crucial. It is advised to choose a pot made of terra-cotta or another porous material since it will allow the soil to completely dry between waterings and be weighty enough to prevent the plant from toppling over. You may also use a plastic or glazed pot, but they’ll hold more moisture.
- Make sure you select a container with at least one drainage hole on the bottom when making your selection. This is crucial because the hole will let extra water drain away. Aloe vera plants are resilient, but poor draining can lead to rot and wilting, which is by far the most prevalent reason for this plant’s demise.
- Choose a container that is around the same width as it is deep. Choose a container that is deep enough to allow you to bury the full stem of your aloe plant if it has one.
- Use a well-draining potting mix, such as those designed for cactus and succulents, for aloe vera plants because they are succulents. Never use soil for gardening. Perlite, lava rock, bits of bark, or all three, should be used in an excellent mixture.
- There is no requirement for a layer of gravel, clay balls, or any other “drainage material in the bottom of the pot. Only space that the roots could have used is being taken up by this. A hole for drainage is sufficient drainage!
- Dust the plant’s stem with a rooting hormone powder before planting your aloe to help it produce new roots. Rooting hormone can be purchased online or at a nearby garden center or hardware store.
How to Plant (or Repot) an Aloe Vera Plant
It’s time to repot your aloe plant if it has become lanky, has become too big, or just needs an improvement. This is how:
- Get your pot ready. Place a tiny piece of screen over the drainage hole after fully drying the new pot and giving it a fast rinse (or a good scrub, if it’s a pot you’ve used before). This will prevent soil from falling out the bottom and will allow water to flow correctly. Although these will degrade over time, a piece of newspaper or paper towel folded twice can also be used in a pinch.
- Get your plant ready. Remove the aloe vera plant from its existing container and, taking care to avoid damaging the roots, brush away any extra dirt from the roots.
- If your plant has puppies, get rid of them right away. (For information on how to take out and pot pups, see the “Care” section of this page.)
- Trimming the stem can be done if your plant has an extremely long, spindly stem that won’t fit in the pot. Be aware that the plant could die if you do this. Trim the stem by cutting off a portion while keeping as much of it attached to the plant as you can. Take the naked plant next, and set it somewhere warm with indirect light. After a few days, the wound will develop a callus. Continue now with the repotting methods listed below.
- Establish your plant. Place your plant in the soil after filling the pot with potting soil that drains properly approximately a third of the way. Remember to leave at least 3/4 of an inch of space between the top of the soil and the rim of the pot when you fill in the soil around the plant. The aloe plant’s bottom leaves should also be barely visible above the ground. After planting, stop watering.
- Neglect your plant (temporarily). Don’t water your aloe for at least a week after putting it in its new pot. This will lessen the possibility of rot and give the plant more time to grow new roots. Keep the plant in a warm location with bright but indirect light until it appears to be rooted and content.
How to Care for an Aloe Vera Plant
- Lighting: Use artificial light or direct, bright sunlight. The best window is one facing west or south. Low-light aloe plants can get lanky.
- Aloe vera thrives at temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (13 and 27C). Most flats and residences have comfortable temperatures. You can bring your plant outside without issue from May to September, but if the nights are chilly, bring it back inside.
- Fertilizing: Use a balanced houseplant formula blended at half strength only in the spring and summer, and fertilize infrequently (no more than once a month).
- Repotting: When the roots become bound, repotted using the guidelines in “Planting, above.
Watering Aloe Vera
The hardest part of maintaining good aloe vera is watering, but it’s really not that complicated. Although the aloe is a succulent plant used to dry conditions, its thick leaves nevertheless require enough water.
- Aloe vera plants need deep, but intermittent, watering. To put it another way, the soil should feel damp after watering, but you should let it partially dry out before you water it again. The roots of the plant may rot if the soil is kept excessively moist.
- Allow the top third of the potting soil to dry out between waterings to make sure you aren’t overwatering your plant. For instance, if your plant is housed in 6 inches of potting soil, wait until the top 2 inches are completely dry before giving it another drink. (Check the soil’s dryness with your finger.)
- Typically, you should water your aloe plant every two to three weeks in the spring and summer and even less frequently in the fall and winter. One general guideline for watering in the fall and winter is to roughly double the intervals between waterings (as compared to your summer watering schedule). In other words, water every four weeks in the winter instead of every two weeks in the summer.
- When watering, some extra water could leak out the pot’s bottom. So that the soil may absorb as much of the water as possible, let the pot stand in it. After waiting 10 to 15 minutes, discard any leftover water.
Removing & Replanting Aloe Vera Offsets (Pups)
Offsets, also known as plantlets, pups, or “babies,” are frequently produced by mature aloe vera plants and can be removed to create a completely new plant (a clone of the mother plant, technically).
- Utilizing pruning shears, scissors, or a sharp knife, locate the locations where the offsets are linked to the mother plant and remove them. Leave the offset with at least an inch of stem.
- For several days, let the offsets remain free of soil; this will allow the offset to develop a callus over the cut, helping to prevent it from rotting. During this stage, keep the offsets in a warm area with indirect light.
- Put the offsets in a typical succulent potting mix once they have developed calluses. The soil need to drain well.
- Place the freshly potted puppies in a bright area. Keep the soil on the dry side and wait at least a week before watering.
How to Get Your Aloe Vera to Flower
A tall flower spike termed an inflorescence, which is occasionally produced by mature aloe vera plants, gives rise to dozens of tubular yellow or red blooms. The already beautiful aloe is surely given a new degree of intrigue by this!
Aloes cultivated as houseplants unfortunately rarely blossom because they need virtually perfect growing circumstances to do so: lots of sunshine, enough water, and the correct temperature range. Aloe blooms are typically only found on plants cultivated outdoors year-round in warm climates due to these needs (mostly lighting).
To increase the likelihood that your aloe will flower:
- Give it as much light as you can, particularly in the spring and summer. Aloes can be kept outdoors in the summertime when the temperature is over 70F and the sun is shining (21C). Bring the aloe indoors if the temperature is expected to drop below 60F (16C) at night.
- Note: Give your aloe time to acclimate to the harsh light before moving it from indoors to full sun. Otherwise, it could get sunburned. Prior to relocating it to a more sunny position, let it remain in partial shade for about a week.
- Ensure that the plant receives the proper amount of water—enough to prevent it from drying out completely, but not too much to drown it! Make sure the plant isn’t getting constantly sopped by summer rains if it’s being maintained outside.
- Provide your aloe with a suitable period of dormancy in the fall and winter. Aloe often flower in the late winter or early spring; therefore, allowing them a period of rest with less regular watering and milder temperatures may encourage them to flower.
- If it continues to fail to flower, don’t be shocked. Despite our best attempts, most aloes simply can’t thrive indoors, so don’t be surprised if yours simply won’t blossom!
Aloe that stand out as appealing include:
- or Partridge-Breasted Aloe, the Tiger (Aloe variegata) Short, smooth leaves with irregular white stripes make up this tiny aloe.
- A little plant with delicately sawtoothed, white-spotted leaves is called a lace aloe (Aloe aristata).
- Aloe Vera (Aloe glauca)
- a bigger kind of aloe that has silver-blue leaves.
Aloe Vera Gel
Remove a mature leaf from the aloe vera plant and cut it lengthwise to benefit from the plant’s calming effects. Lay the opened leaf, gel-side down, on top of the burn, or squeeze the gel from the leaf and apply it to the wound. Find out more about the therapeutic benefits of aloe vera.
- Aloe vera serves as both a beautiful decoration for a kitchen shelf and a self-regenerating first aid kit. Learn more about how aloe vera can improve your health naturally.
- Aloe can also be used for cold sores, but its most well-known use is to soothe sunburned skin.
Scale and mealybugs, two common indoor plant pests, are most likely to attack aloe vera plants.
Typical ailments include:
- Root decay
- Hard rot
- bacterial stem rot
- Leaf decay