Succulents are well-known drought-tolerant plants that look stunning in any context. Succulent care isn’t very difficult, anyway, so you’re undoubtedly well-versed in these fascinating plants. You may be astonished to discover something new about succulents and cacti, whether you are an experienced gardener or have just acquired your first succulent.
Succulents Exist in Many Colors
You probably picture succulents in various shades of green when you think of them. Succulents, on the other hand, come in practically every color of the rainbow. They are available in a variety of colors, including blue, purple, pink, white, orange, red, and even black. Some succulents even change color depending on the season or how much sunlight they get each day. It’s not uncommon for succulents to show off their most bright colors after going through a stressful moment.
Succulents Can Grow on Vertical Surfaces
If you’re weary of traditional horizontal gardening, try planting your succulents vertically! Living walls are growing more popular as gardeners experiment with different methods to display their favorite succulents. They look fantastic both indoors and out, and they can even be moved around if you need to protect your plants from the elements. Because of their sluggish growth and need for infrequent irrigation, succulents are great for vertical settings. They can be planted close together, limiting their growth ability, but the roots will form a sturdy base to help keep your vertical garden in place.
There Are Over 10,000 Species of Succulents in the World
When there are so many succulents to chose from at your local gardening center, it might be difficult to pick just one. The number of types available at your local nursery, however, pales in comparison to the number of succulent species worldwide. There are about 10,000 succulent species worldwide, but only roughly 2,000 of them are classified as cacti. The majority of cacti species are located in North and South America. Members of the Rhipsalis genus, which can be found throughout southern and western Africa, as well as Sri Lanka, are the only exceptions.
Succulents Exist in Many Different Sizes
The enormous variety of succulents is one of their most appealing characteristics. Succulents come in a variety of shapes and hues. Mother Nature has you covered whether you have a specific project in mind or simply want to spice up your landscape. However, the variety of succulents does not end there. The variety in succulent sizes is impressive, ranging from microscopic little plants to massive trees. The Baobab Tree of Africa is the world’s largest succulent. The plant’s trunk, or main stem, can grow to be up to 92 feet in diameter and up to 82 feet tall. It is found in southern Africa, where the weather is hot and dry, and the soil is well-drained. Blossfeldia liliputana is the world’s smallest cactus, measuring approximately a half-inch in diameter at maturity. It is indigenous to South America, particularly Bolivia and Argentina.
Succulents Have Many Uses
Succulents not only make lovely complements to any landscape or interior decor, but they can also be used to manufacture a number of items. Aloe gel from the leaves is utilized in a number of skin and aesthetic applications. Aloe is well-known for its calming and healing capabilities, particularly when applied to burns. Everything from alcoholic beverages to rugs and rope may be made from agave. Tequila is fermented using the liquid derived from Agave tequilana. Rope and thread are typically made from the firm, resilient fibers extracted from the leaves of Agave sisalana. Fibers are now utilized to manufacture anything from rugs and clothing to footwear and caps.
Succulents Have Natural Sun Protection
You may have noticed that the leaves of some of your succulents have a waxy, almost dust-like coating. This layer is known as epicuticular wax, sometimes known as farina. Consider it nature’s sunscreen. The waxy covering shields succulents from the sun’s harsh rays and can help prevent the leaves from burning if exposed to too much light. When working with plants that have been coated with farina, use caution because the coating is quickly removed. Because epicuticular wax does not regrow fast if at all, you risk permanently harming your plant if you unintentionally remove it.
Related: Are Succulents and Cacti the Same?
Succulents Can Disguise Themselves
A water-filled succulent may appear to be a pleasant food for animals living in a desert area, but numerous varieties of succulents have evolved to disguise themselves as less tasty objects such. While certain succulents, such as cacti, use sharp spines to protect themselves, many other species prefer to hide in plain sight. Because of their resemblance to stones, lithops are sometimes referred to as Living Stones. This camouflage protects them from birds and animals that might otherwise try to bite them. Avonia papyracea, a South African native, has been compared to bird droppings in appearance. Because bird droppings aren’t particularly appetizing, most potential predators would continue their search for a more delectable prey.
The Area with the Most Native Succulents in Southern Africa
Succulents are found all throughout the world, mostly in dry, arid conditions. The southwestern United States, Mexico, South America, and southern and western Africa are home to the majority of succulents. Southern Africa, on the other hand, has the highest concentration of succulents. Southern Africa is home to about half of all succulent species. Southern Africa is home to a diverse range of succulents and cacti. There are over 5,000 species in total, ranging from Haworthia to Lithops to Aloe. However, the majority of cactus found in the wild in southern Africa are invasive species. It is estimated that roughly 200 invasive cacti species have been imported.
Related: What Succulents are Winter Dormant?
Some Succulents Can Survive Freezing Temperatures
Although succulents are well known for their ability to withstand hot desert climates and long droughts, some species can also withstand freezing temperatures in the winter. Winter-hardy succulents may withstand cold, rain, and snow if the soil is well-drained. Even the toughest succulents can succumb to root rot if kept in wet soil for an extended period of time. Sempervivum and Sedum are the two most well-known succulents for their winter hardiness. Certain Agave and cactus species can also withstand all but the worst winter conditions. Mountain Crest Gardens features a large selection of these hardy plants.
Succulents Are Symbolic
It’s common knowledge that different flowers represent various notions, such as prosperity, happiness, and success, but did you know succulents are also symbolic? Because of their ability to withstand harsh environments, succulents are frequently used to represent eternal and timeless love in the Western world. Succulents are thought to represent wealth and prosperity in Asia. Because of its reputation for bringing riches into a household, jade plants are also known as Money Plants. Jade plants are also a traditional business present to bring success to the company. It appears that just when you believe you know everything there is to know about them, you discover something new! You may quiz your succulent-loving pals and impress them with your knowledge now that you’re well on your way to being an expert on succulents and cacti!