What Makes Succulents Unique?
Succulent is taken from the Latin word “sucus” which refers to sap or juice. Succulents are quite unusual because they store water in their stems and leaves. This is why they can survive even during dry conditions.
Most succulents have broad stems and leaves because they will serve as water storage. Succulent plants can be found in different parts of the world. There are more than 50 succulent plant families and most of them can be found in semi-deserts. Rain occurs more often in these areas than in real deserts. However, some types of succulents can survive in tropical and wet regions.
When succulents are still starting to grow, they require constant watering. When the dry season comes, they are going to use the water that they have stored in their stems or leaves. Succulents can grow even in poor soil. Hence, this is a great plant for any garden.
Two of the most stunning varieties of succulents are sedums and sempervivums. They come in different colors and can endure summer and winter conditions. Succulent plants are perfect for your backyard since they are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors.
Is Cactus a Succulent?
Cactus comes from the Greek word “kaktos” which means a spiny plant. One of the most popular succulents is cactus plants. These plants use their stems for storing water. Most people are getting confused with cactus and succulents because most often they are either grouped together or separately.
The cactus family is one of the subcategories of succulents. Also known as Cactaceae, they are considered as one of the biggest families among the succulents that are found all over the world.
However, succulents are not only made up of cactus plants since there are also other varieties. Some horticulturists argue that cactus plants are not part of the succulent group. Bur for those who love to grow succulents, this minor difference wouldn’t matter.
Where Can Succulents Be Found?
Succulents exist in different parts of the world. They can grow in a variety of habitats. Most often, they can be found in uninhabited places. Succulents can be found in deserts, semi-deserts, or any dry areas. However, they can also grow in rain forests and mountains. They can survive in harsh areas where other plants can’t. For instance, in areas where there is low rainfall or have high temperatures. This is why succulents are very adaptable.
Succulents in Africa
Several native succulents are found in Africa. Probably due to its ideal climate and environment. Here are some of the common succulents that are found in Africa:
Aloe Juvenna – Also known as Tiger Tooth Aloe due to its thorny edges. It comes in different colors and can branch from the base. Aloe Juvenna does not grow fast, so you don’t have to change pots more often. Avoid overwatering them since it can result in rotting.
Haworthia Attenuata – Also referred to as Variegated Zebra Plant. This type of succulent looks like an aloe plant since they belong to the same subfamily. They can be distinguished by their pointed leaves which have white spots. You have to water them thoroughly while it's growing.
Haworthia Cymbiformis – This is usually identified by its unique appearance which is a cluster of thick green leaves that look like roses. Cymbiformis means “boat-shaped”, which is exactly the shape of its leaves. This type of succulents is very easy to grow. Just be careful not to overwater them.
Succulents in Mexico
There are a lot of native succulents that can be found in Mexico. Here are some of the common ones.
Echeveria Pulvinata – Also called Plush Plant or Ruby Blush. They have hairy green leaves with red edges. Its flowers vary in colors. Although they are very easy to grow yet you have to protect them against cold temperatures.
Sedum Morganianum – This is usually referred to in different names such as Burro’s Tail, Donkey’s Tail, or Lamb’s Tail. They are highly distinguished by their numerous lengthy, hanging stems. These succulents can withstand harsh conditions and requires little maintenance.
Graptopetalum Paraguayense – Commonly known as Ghost Plant, these plants have triangular leaves that form into roses. The color of its leaves can change in different varieties depending on the temperature.
Succulents in Asia
Hoya – Best known as Wax Plant or The Hindu Rope. They can be instantly recognized by their dense, heart-shaped leaves which are enduring. Keep in mind that not all hoya plants are succulents. They require lots of light during their growing season.
Euphorbia Paralias – Also known as Sea Splurge, these succulents have yellow-green flowers on top of the stems. Just like the other type of succulents, they are also very easy to maintain.
Sedum Makinoi – These succulents have lengthy round leaves. They do not require a lot of maintenance. You can either grow them in containers or use them as a ground cover in your backyard.