Succulents are plants that store water. Derived from the Latin word sucus, which means juice or sap, these plants are often considered to be drought-resistant. Succulents are usually characterized by thick, rubbery, or “fleshy” parts. However, there are many options and these plants come in an array of shapes, sizes, textures, and colors. Succulents are often noted for their exotic or unusual appearance.
CHARACTERISTICS OF SUCCULENTS
Succulents are typically adorned with thick leaves, stems, or roots. The thicker parts of the plant are used to store water. These plants are common in geographic locations that experience high temperatures with little rainfall. They can store water to survive long periods with little or no moisture. Native to areas like deserts or steppes, these plants will usually appear swollen when preserving water.
Succulents cannot survive in freezing temperatures. While some may last through a brief spell, these plants will thrive in warmer temperatures. They are often characterized by spiky, needle-shaped or rosette-shaped leaves.
Succulents are also unusual because they propagate easily. On occasion, a new plant will even grow from a piece of fallen leaf.
WHY SUCCULENTS ARE EASY TO GROW
In recent years, succulents have grown in popularity as houseplants and in gardens. These plants are ideal for gardeners who don’t have an immense knowledge of sophisticated gardening practices. Here are some reasons these unusual plants are easy to care for:
- As part of their exotic nature, these plants are striking and aesthetically pleasing.
- Succulents require little watering or pruning.
- They are easy to transport from their native areas because of their low-maintenance nature.
- Easy to contain, these plants can be placed in small pots and placed almost anywhere.
- Most pests are not attracted to succulents.
- Succulents can be planted alone or among other plants.
- Many types of succulents are inexpensive.
- Some, like aloe, even have alternative or medicinal uses.
For more info about succulents, or any other gardening concerns, check out the Prickly Pear Garden Centre in Steveston, featured in our Business Spotlight. The Prickly Pear has a large selection of succulents available.