Types, Maintenance Tips & Benefits

What are succulent plants?

 

Succulent plants, commonly referred to as succulents, are types of plants that have enlarged, fleshy, and swollen parts. They typically have these characteristics to retain water in arid climates or soil conditions. The Latin word succus, which means “liquid” or “sap,” is where the word succulent first appeared.

Water can be stored by succulent plants in a variety of parts, including the leaves and stems. Some succulent tissues can contain up to 90–95% water. 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. Succulents can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Approximately one-third of all succulent species are found in South Africa.

Source: Pinterest

 

Succulent plant: Key facts

 

Common name Succulents 
Native  South Africa, every continent except Antarctica
Climate  48-50 degrees Celsius
Temperature  Temperate climate
Soil   Good drainage soil
Sunlight  A few hours of sun a day
Propagation By leaf or stem cuttings
Maintenance  Low-maintenance
Toxicity Most succulents are not toxic

 

Succulent plant: Physical description

  • The property known as succulence, which occurs more frequently in succulent plants than other plants, causes them to appear more bloated or fleshy.
  • Reduced, missing, or spherical-to-cylindrical leaves are present.
  • Extremely tough outer cuticle (skin).
  • A waxy, hairy, or prickly outer surface produces a humid microhabitat surrounding the plant, which limits air movement near the surface of the plant, reducing water loss and possibly creating shade.
  • One adaptation that all succulents have in common is shallow roots.
  • There are some cultivars with deeper tap roots, but the majority have wide, surface root zones that maximise moisture absorption during occasional rains. 
  • The tubular flowers have a variety of colours, including white, yellow, and red.

 

Best indoor succulent plants for your home

Over the past few years, succulents have skyrocketed in popularity, and for a good reason. There are countless distinctive varieties available, and even beginners can grow most of them. They can live in settings that are too dry for most other plants because of their unique water-storing tissues, so they will persist even if you neglect to water them for a long time. You don’t need to do anything different to grow a succulent in your living room because succulents also flourish in dry air and mild temperatures, which is what most homes already have.

Burro’s Tail 

Sedum morganianum, a trailing succulent that is also known as “burro’s tail” or “donkey’s tail,” looks best when it is grown in a hanging basket or container and set up on a ledge, shelf, or plant stand so it may hang over. Each three-foot-long stalk is crammed with grey-green leaves that resemble plump grains of rice in shape and size. 

It’s essential to keep your distance from this plant as much as possible because it has delicate leaves that are prone to dropping off. The burro’s tail, a native of Mexico, performs best in bright light. When this plant isn’t growing as actively as it is in the winter, you can let the soil dry up between waterings.

Christmas Cactus

The Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi) lacks sharp spines in comparison to other cacti. Its flat, fleshy, segmented stems can grow to a length of a few feet and frequently hang over, giving it the name “crab claw cactus.” The top inch of soil in its container should be watered whenever it is dry because it prefers a little bit more moisture than its spiky kin. 

However, if you don’t water it for a bit, it will quickly recover from any drying out. This plant will probably surprise you by flowering in the winter if you keep it in good light close to a window.

Jade Plant

The jade plant (Crassula ovata) is a traditional favourite: it grows easily! When planted in full sun, this long-lived South African native develops stocky, branching stems with thick, glossy green leaves that are occasionally tinted with red around the edges. Some cultivars feature unusual-looking leaves, such as the “Gollum” variety, which has leaves that resemble green monster fingers. 

Although jade plants have the potential to grow to several feet tall, when planted indoors, they often stay around a foot tall. It’s a good idea to plant them in a sturdier pot like terra cotta because they can become a little top-heavy. Allowing the soil to completely dry out in between waterings is essential for maintaining a healthy jade plant. Some gardeners only water jade when the leaves pucker or begin to lose their lustre, but these are signs of stress; if you wait that long, the plant may begin to drop leaves.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has long, slender leaves which form a cluster on a short stalk as it grows. It eventually generates more offsets, which are leaf clusters that grow together to form a colony that can fill the entire container. When things get too crowded, splitting them up and moving to different pots is simple. Aloe vera has sharp “teeth” along the edges of its leaves that can cut an unwary bystander, so handle it with caution. 

Aloe vera’s healing sap, which has been used for generations to cure burns and wounds, may be its most famous feature. Aloe vera is a hardy indoor plant that is tolerant and simple to grow. Similar to other succulents, it favours drier conditions rather than soil that is always damp. While it thrives in bright light, its leaves might burn if you quickly bring it into a hot, sunny window.

Snake Plant

This traditional succulent houseplant appears to be practically unbreakable. Dracaena trifasciata, or snake plant, may persist for weeks without water or light without losing its beauty. Its roughly three-foot-long, thick, rigid, pointed leaves frequently have snake-like patterns and grow straight up. It will eventually grow into a large clump that fills the entire pot, but it is simple to divide and repot as necessary. Despite tolerating low light, snake plants look their best in medium to bright light. Additionally, they appreciate a little water anytime the soil appears to be dry.

 

Zebra Plant

Haworthia Fasciata also called as Zebra Plant is a delicately small succulent houseplants, ideal as indoor plants. As the plant can tolerate a wide range of conditions, it is good for a rookie gardener. Equally good as an underplant for a tree, or in hanging basket arrangement, Zebra plant is hard and perfect for beginners. This no-nonsense creeper can grow with simple cuttings.

 

Hens and chicks

Hens and chicks are members of the Sempervivum group of succulent plants. Known as houseleeks, these plants grow well indoors and outside.

Succulent plant: How to grow?

Due to their attractiveness and ease of care, succulents are popular houseplants. Since at least the 17th century, people have grown them as indoor plants.

  • Some succulent species may survive milder or even colder conditions, though most require warm temperatures, somewhat dry, well-draining soil, and sunlight.
  • These hardy succulents can resist damage from cold and brief freezes.
  • Sometimes, a plant will go into dormancy due to a cold period, but well-established hardy species will reappear when the warm weather arrives.
  • If your succulent is going to be planted outside, it’s crucial to know if it’s a tropical or hardy species.
  • Most succulents propagate easily by leaf or stem cuttings.
  • Regular garden soil is not ideal for succulents; they demand fast-draining soil. This is available for purchase or DIY creation. A blend of 50% compost soil, 25% perlite, and 25% small rocks is what we advise.
  • Nurseries frequently offer containers with three to four succulents inside. Although they have a beautiful appearance, they prevent the plants from thriving.
  • They’ll compete for space, rob one another of water, and tangle the roots. Therefore, avoid purchasing these plants from the market and instead try to grow them from seeds or through other home propagation techniques.
  • There are various ways to propagate succulents.
  • The most typical method of propagation is vegetative, which involves cutting where several inches of a stem with leaves are removed; the area being cut then heals to form a callus. Roots may start to form after about a week.
  • A second technique is division, which entails removing an overgrown clump and separating the roots and stems.
  • The development of a callus during leaf propagation is the third technique. This technique involves twisting or clipping a bottom leaf completely off the plant. The leaf then dries up, and a callus develops to stop it from collecting too much moisture and turning to rot. Healthy roots that will eventually grow new plants using this strategy often take up to a few weeks to develop.
  • Depending on the species, the vegetative propagation may vary.

Succulent plant: Key facts, description, types, growth, maintenance, uses, and toxicity 2

Source: Pinterest

 

Succulent plant: How to care?

Succulents are unusual plants that frequently demand slightly different maintenance routines than common houseplants. Succulents may be very temperamental, despite their reputation as low-maintenance plants!

  • Succulents are low-maintenance plants that may grow in a wide range of environments! But that does not imply that they can be ignored entirely.
  • For succulents, watering is the most frequent source of problems. The leaves may expand, turn mushy, and eventually fall off as a result of receiving too much water. The leaves may dry out and fall off if there is little moisture.
  • Don’t forget to water the “feet,” not the “hands.” As much as you can, try to keep water away from the foliage of your succulents because water can cause rot.
  • The pot your succulent is in ultimately determines how much water you should give it. Wait until the earth is completely dry before watering your succulents.
  • It probably doesn’t make sense to water the plant if the soil isn’t crumbly! Root rot is a highly unfavourable result of moist soil.
  • Succulents require watering every 10 to 14 days.
  • It’s crucial to use the proper type of pot for your succulent plants. Succulents require pots with good drainage holes and appreciate infrequent but thorough waterings.
  • Make sure to water properly if your pot has a drainage hole. Drainage holes make sure that your succulent doesn’t spend a lot of time submerged in water.
  • Considering a pot’s building material is also essential. Concrete and terracotta pots are the best options because you want the pot to be as permeable as possible.
  • A succulent that has been overwatered will exhibit excessively lush leaves, fading foliage, and tipping over.
  • However, wrinkled leaves frequently show that the plant may want more water.

 

Succulent plant: Uses

Succulents are advantageous in so many more ways besides merely being attractive.

They enhance air quality, offer a wide range of medical applications, can increase concentration, and more.

  • Aloe and snake plants are two succulents that are exceptionally effective at removing toxins from the air.
  • Cuts, burns, stomachaches, and other medical conditions have all been treated with succulents throughout history. Aloe vera and yucca are only two of the many that have medical qualities.
  • Yucca has traditionally been used to cure scrapes and cuts, but it is now being used to treat arthritis.
  • Saponins found in yucca and other antioxidants aid in lowering inflammation and alleviating joint discomfort.
  • Yucca can be consumed as a supplement, but you can enjoy chopping it up and making excellent oven-baked fries out of it.
  • Aloe vera is one of the plant species that are currently most commonly utilised in the world. The juice and gel of aloe vera plants, among other parts, have medicinal uses.
  • Aloe vera juice has gained a lot of popularity as a beverage. It is well recognised to lessen inflammation, particularly in the digestive tract.
  • Aloe vera gel, a popular ingredient in body lotions and face creams, has numerous skin-friendly properties.
  • Different edible succulents include sea beans, pineapple, yucca, and various types of cacti, including opuntia and saguaro.
  • Cactus-based salsa can be used and is low in calories, high in fibre, and rich in vitamin C.

 

Are succulents toxic?

Fortunately, most succulents are not. There are two varieties of succulents that could be harmful if ingested or handled. These succulents are Kalanchoe and Euphorbia. Thankfully, the majority of succulents are non-toxic to animals. In addition, most animals naturally steer clear of succulent plants.

 

FAQs

How long does a succulent plant live?

There isn’t a single answer to this because each plant variety’s lifespan differs based on various factors at play. Some succulents like Jade live for very long, i.e., over 70 years, while some succulents live for only 3 years or so.

How much exposure to sunlight is ideal for succulents?

This depends on the type of succulent you own, along with the surrounding climate conditions. Most succulents may need to be provided with a little shade during extremely hot summer afternoons, especially the newly planted ones. Ideally, about six hours of direct sunlight is great.

 

 

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