The number of people in owning and caring for a variety of ornamental plants. The name of succulents are often hide among the types of ornamental plants that exist. Maybe this one term feels familiar for you to hear. But, how much do you know about succulent plants? If you don’t understand or don’t know at all what a succulent plant is, in this article we will learn more.
What is Succulents
Summarized from various sources, succulent plants are plants that can store water in thick fleshy parts, such as leaves or stems. Succulent plants are not a plant name, but a classification for a variety of plants. The word succulent or succulent comes from the Latin word which sucus means ‘juice’, or ‘sap’. Succulents are often grow as ornamental plants because of their striking and unusual appearance and their ability to thrive with relatively minimal care.
Plants that are classified as succulent can thrive in an arid environment and are generally drought tolerant. There are many types of succulent plants, namely aloe vera, aloe-in-law, cactus, burros tail, string of hearts, Jade plant or jade plant, panda plant, zebra haworthia are some types of plants that enter succulent plants. Some succulent plants, such as cacti, store water only in the stems, while others such as agaves store water mainly in the leaves. Most succulents have deep or extensive root systems and come from deserts or areas with dry springs.
Succulents are discovered in more than 60 plant families, with members of the Aizoaceae, Cactaceae, and Crassulaceae. A number of plants are cultivated as ornamental plants, including Aloe, Echeveria, Kalanchoe and others. One common adaptation in many succulents is the timing of the opening of the stomata, which are tiny mouth-like structures on the surfaces of the leaves and stems of plants. The stomata allow the absorption of carbon dioxide from the environment and the loss of water and oxygen to the environment. Unlike most plants, the stomata of many succulent plants are closed during the day and open at night. As a result, water loss (transpiration) during the hot, dry hours of the day is minimized and carbon dioxide uptake occurs in the dark.
General care for succulents
Water the succulent plants deeply whenever the soil is completely dry. Tips for checking soil moisture: Insert your finger into the soil into the second knuckle. If it feels wet then it’s not time to water. Routine watering of succulent plants is very dependent on the climate (humid or dry). For beginners, it is recommended to water the succulent plants once every 10-14 days.
Most succulents need at least 4-6 hours of morning sunlight to grow. Some succulents prefer bright but filtered light like haworthia, others like echeveria or cacti like full sun. Colorful succulents are often more resistant to direct sunlight than green succulents. Lack of exposure: Lack of sunlight often causes etiolation and downward growing leaves. Multicolored succulents will lose their bright color and turn green. Overexposure: Succulent plants may burn from too much sun exposure so it is not recommended to expose them to direct sun when the temperature is above 32 degrees Celsius.
Succulents prefer sandy, well-drained soil. Porous soils are essential in improving drainage and preventing root rot in succulent plants. You can use a cactus mixture or prepare a potting medium by mixing organic, for example dark soil, compost, fine bark, and inorganic components such as perlite, granite or pumice in a 50:50 ratio.
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The ideal temperature for succulent plants is from 15-26 degrees Celsius. Some succulent plants like sempervivum can tolerate temperatures as low as -6 degrees Celsius or as high as 32 degrees Celsius. Extreme temperatures can “suppress” a succulent to change color. Most succulents are drought tolerant. However, high summer heat and direct sunlight can still damage most succulent plants