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12 Amazing Facts You Didn't Know About Succulents

12 Amazing Facts You Didn't Know About Succulents

This is not the first time we've returned with a fascinating discussion about succulents. If you thought you knew everything about succulents... you'll learn twelve new things here!

If you have a succulent collection or thinking about starting one, you don't want to miss out on these exciting tidbits. Amazing houseplants that can survive with minimal attention or care are succulents. Because of their compact size and striking leaf colours, these are perfect for decorating inside spaces.

But did you know not all succulents are real succulents? And where did succulents first originate? We are discussing all of them now, so hop on, and let's learn more about these little green kids!

1. Christopher Columbus & Cacti 

Let us kick off with an interesting but unusual fact about succulents and who discovered them first.

Surprisingly, succulents have been around for hundreds of years or more. Ancient Egyptians were the first communities to cultivate succulents; they covered their temples and tombs with succulents because they believed they had mystical and therapeutic abilities. It has also been recorded that the Aztecs of Mexico and the Incas of Peru made use of cacti and succulents.

cacti collection

 

Astoundingly, Christopher Columbus was the first person to come into contact with these plants. As the legend goes, Columbus brought the first Melocactus to Europe as a gift to Queen Isabella of Spain and she was fascinated by these leafless plants. The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama also discovered succulents native to India and southwestern Africa. Over the centuries, succulents began to be exported to other countries and regions. These little plants, which are widely available locally and online, can be planted both indoors and outdoors.

Can all of us who adore succulents agree that Christopher Columbus deserves some credit?

2. What is "Sucus"?

The word "succulent" originates from the Latin word "succus," which can be translated as either "juice" or "sap." The thick, fleshy leaves of the plant can store moisture. When conditions get dry, the plant is able to survive, thanks to its unique leaves. Succulents are extraordinary plants that can survive independently in dry spells. This is made possible by the presence of water storage cells in the leaves of succulents.

3. Happy & Huge Family 

It's impossible to generalize this plant because there are so many unique species, each with its physical attributes, colour palette, and size range. You can use these plants anywhere, including as a ground cover, indoors, or in pots on your patio. Succulents are often classified based on their water retention capacities; those that keep moisture well are often referred to as "hardy" and "dormant," while those that do not retain moisture well are referred to as "vigorous." 

colourful succulents

 

Members of the succulent family include aloe vera, cacti, sempervivums, and echeverias. It's intriguing to learn that cactus and aloe vera are both classified as succulents. Don't you think so?

4. Cacti & Aloe vera 

Is it true that cacti and aloe vera are a part of a succulent family? 

Yes, all 2,000 species of cacti and 20 aloe vera species belong to the succulent kingdom. 

cactus and aloe plant

Cacti are native to the dry climates of South America, particularly Mexico, where an abundance of them grows in dry climatic conditions in deserts. Cacti are also found in the wild at great altitudes in the Amazonian rainforest. These peculiar plants have adapted to harsh conditions by developing thick skin membranes around its stem. These membranes shield the plant from drying out during extended periods of drought and dry spells. You may bring the desert inside by placing a cactus on your desk, or you can grow them in your yard to have your very own mini-desert.

5. Succulents Store Water 

Succulents have the unique ability to store water in their leaves, stems, or roots. This gives them a superpower, as they can endure arid environments and circumstances of drought, thanks to this adaptation.

fleshy succulent

 

Succulent plants can live without water for long periods, and because they grow at a snail's pace, you don't need to baby them too much. Over time, they can develop into lovely plants that provide flowers during the suitable growing season (spring, summer, or winter)

Learn all about flowering succulents here!

6. Some Succulents Are Not True Succulents

As we have seen, succulents make up an enormous family with countless wonderful species. However, not all succulents can be considered true succulents. Was that a shock to you?

unique succulent plant

Some are classified as a subgenus of aloe, such as the well-known aloe vera (Aloe barbedensis). These plants don't use their roots or stem to hold moisture; instead, they keep them in their leaves. This false notion about what constitutes a succulent will be pointed out, along with the equally widespread misunderstanding that succulents require constant exposure to direct sunlight. It depends on the variety you have as to how much light these lovely, tiny creatures require. But if you want yours to be cheerful, it's best to provide as much light as possible without burning their leaves!

7. Some Succulents Are Toxic To Pets

Some succulents are actually toxic to pets and animals. This fact could come as a surprise to you. It is because the same poison that makes animal foods toxic to humans can also poison those animals. Fortunately, there are some ways you can protect your pets from eating a potentially harmful plant.

cat and plants

If the succulent you have at home is toxic and there are curious hands and paws around, it's better to keep it out of reach. There is good news for pet owners, though: most succulent varieties are completely pet-safe 

Echeveria, gasteria, haworthia, sedums, sempervivums, lithops, etc. are examples of succulents that can safely coexist with your furry friends at home.

8. Easy To Propagate

To create new plants from the "mother" plant, the technique is known as propagation. It's not hard to start new plants from cuttings or leaf cuttings with many succulents. We can also propagate succulents through cuttings that are rooted in water.

succulents propagation

This is a fantastic fact about succulents. It's easy to get a lot of new plants from just one succulent plant you buy. Growing a single succulent into several is a piece of cake. However, before you try your hand at gardening for the first time, it's smart to get some expert advice.

9. Fuss-free & Pet-Free!

Without a shadow of a doubt, succulents are among the easiest plants to care for and require the least amount of attention. But in addition to that, it is resistant to pets, which means that there aren't too many bugs that prefer succulents.

cat and succulents

You won't very likely have to deal with pests and insects, regardless of whether you're inside or outside. Most succulent species are anti-pest and that's a fine thing for indoor plants, isn't it?

10. Protection Shield On Succulents

Another interesting fact that we should not miss out on, is noticing the chalky and waxy substance found in most types of succulents. This coating spreads out evenly across the plant's leaves and helps shield the succulent from direct sunlight. How cool is that?

farina on foliage

Most succulents are adapted to survive in hotter regions; therefore, this remarkable trait serves as an important defence mechanism.

Farina is a hydrophobic coating that protects plants from excess water. Therefore, it acts as a shield against the sun's damaging rays, too much water in the soil, and pests and bacteria that could otherwise destroy your plant. Succulents are great superheroes in your home because of their resilience and longevity.

11. Spin The Succulents! 

You will probably ignore the fact that succulents require bright, warm conditions to thrive. The leaves of succulents are best kept an even colour by spinning the container they are kept in when direct sunlight is not reaching all areas of the plant.

succulents in sun

You can also reposition your succulent so that it receives light from all directions. Simply giving them a little spin once or twice a month might enhance their overall leaf colour and growth. Once you put in the effort, you'll see a change.

12. Warm & Cold Climates

It shouldn't come as a surprise that there are succulents that do well in both hot and cold environments. Succulents can either be cold, hardy or tender. These remarkable plants can endure extreme temperatures, from the hottest deserts to the coldest tundras.

Seasonal locations like Central America, the European Alps, South America, and Africa are all home to succulents. They are so adaptable and require little maintenance that you can find them, even in the sweltering rainforest. Your own home is a perfect environment for their development, and you won't need to do anything to tend to them. These tiny plants can be grown indoors or outdoors to create a miniature desert landscape.

For your edification, we present this useful content, and we hope you've gained some knowledge from it. The succulent plant is one of the most impressive and hardy in the plant kingdom. What are you waiting for? Grab some sucs for yourself!

Our succulents here!


-ChhajedGarden

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