Succulents are some of the most popular house plants. Not only can they be adorable, but they are also extremely hardy. So what is it about these stunning plants that is making them fly off the garden section shelves?
These spectacular little plants are not only easy to care for, but they are also pretty cool looking! Whether you are looking to spruce up your office, or start your own home garden, there is a lot to learn about succulents. Keep reading to learn about 14 amazing facts you didn’t know about succulents that will surprise you and make you want to grab a few for yourself!
1. Succulents Come in a Variety of Colors
Succulents come in all shapes and sizes and colors. Not only can you find beautiful greens and flowering plants, but you can also find purple, pink and so many other colors! Whatever your home decor, there is a succulent that can brighten up any room.
Because there are so many species and subspecies, it can be hard to narrow down exactly what you may want. Do you want a tall plant with bright green leaves? Or a short and stout plant with a purple hue? You can have them both and still have a succulent plant!
Here are some succulent colors that are very popular and easy to find:
- Light Purple
- Pink Hues
Succulents can also change color based on a few different factors. The amount of sunlight the plants get can fade or change the color. Over- and under- watering can be a contributing factor as well.
Temperature change can also impact the color of your plants. All of these factors together means that if you move your plant to a different place in your home or office, you could potentially change the color of your succulent.
2. Cacti and Aloe Are Succulents!
All cacti and aloe plants are considered succulents. That means that all 2,000 species of cactus are succulents and all 20 different aloe species. So when you put your aloe vera on your sunburns, you are using a succulent to help you heal.
Because cactus species are succulents, it is no surprise to learn that most species of succulents are generally found in dry, arid climates. So wherever you imagine cactus growing in the world, you are actually thinking about succulents.
The leaf size and stem size of your succulent plays a huge role in how much you will need to water it. The bodies of cacti are the stems. So however large your cactus is determines how much water it will need.
The diversity of succulents alone is astounding. You could have a small cactus on your desk, or grow a garden that looks other worldly!
3. Named for Their Leaves
Succulents are named because their wide leaves are filled to the brim with sap. Stemming from the Latin word “Succus”, or “Sucus” (pronounced Sou-Kus), succulent leaves are filled with sap and water.
The stems of most succulent plants are also incredibly thick. This allows for water storage. Allowing for most succulent species to be drought resistant. Not to mention easy to care for if you are new to having plants in your home.
The leaf size on your succulent plant is also an indication of the altitude that your succulent is native to! Meaning if it has smaller leaves, it probably is native to a higher altitude. The leaves also determine how much water your succulent can store over time. It really is no wonder these fascinating plants are named for their leaves.
4. You Can Propagate Succulents
Succulents are great for beginner plant owners because they have simple care instructions and are extremely robust. You can also propagate most varieties of succulents as well!
Propagation is when you can breed a new plant from the stem or root of the “parent” plant. This means that if you buy one succulent plant that can be propagated, you can easily end up with many, many new plants.
How to Propagate Succulents
Some succulents can be propagated through leaves. Some varieties you have to use a stem. However, it is quite simple to propagate most species of succulent.
Here are the basic steps on how to propagate your succulent:
- Gently remove the leaf from the bottom of the leaf, right where it meets the stem
- If you are using a stem, or cutting, cut on the stem just above a leaf
- Let the leaf dry out for a few days
- Wait until you see it start to have a small protective layer. Some gardeners call this a “scab”
- Place your leaf on top of soil
- You can also choose to put the base of the cutting or leave into the soil a small bit
- Water your cutting everyday
- Patiently await your new succulent to grow! You should start to see results of growth after two weeks
It is that easy to go from one succulent to a few. It is always best to seek the advice of a professional when working with plants, or testing out your green thumb. Be certain you know what you are doing before you start taking leaves off of your succulents. But you can have a full garden of succulents after only buying one.
5. Succulents Are Pest-Resistant
There are not a lot of pests that like succulents. That means that no matter where you are trying to grow them, it is highly unlikely you will have to deal with bugs. Though overwatering can lead to fungus gnats, or aphids, most varieties of succulents are pest resistant.
It also makes a big difference on whether you are growing your succulent inside or outside. Though some pests are found outside no matter what, it is very rare for succulents to have an infestation.
This makes caring for succulents just that much simpler. Imagine never having to do a fungal gnat treatment, or having to air out and replant your succulent! If you have a green thumb, and you have a lot of houseplants, you know how tedious that can be.
6. UV Ray Protection
Taking a closer look at your succulents will reveal a white film coating the leaves. This waxy, chalky substance found on most species of succulent is called farina. It evenly covers the leaves of your succulent plant to help protect it from harsh sunlight.
As most succulents are native to harder, warmer climates, it is amazing that they are able to produce such intricate protections! So that means that they not only have some sun protection, but they also have animal protection as well.
Farina is also a hydrophobic layer for your succulents. That means that it helps repel excess water from the plant. Therefore, it protects against all of the following:
- Harmful UV rays from the sun
- Excess water in the leaves and soil
- Harmful insects
- Harmful bacteria
- Microorganisms that could kill your succulent
This protective layer on succulents protects them from all these external forces they may encounter in their environment, making them resilient and durable.
7. Succulents Love to Spin!
Because they love the sun, it is important for your succulent to stay in the right light! However, you also need to move your plant around. Regularly spinning your succulent will mean even coloring throughout all of its leaves.
All you have to do is rotate your succulent every month or so in the same light. This can mean spinning it a few inches to the left or right once a month. Making a complete circle every few months.
Succulents also lean towards the sun, as most plants do. So spinning them in place will help them to grow straighter and stand taller. It will also help for even growth throughout the spring and summer months.
8. A Little Water, a Long Way
Many people love succulents because they are not temperamental plants. One of the biggest draws is that these beautiful plants do not require a lot of water. They can survive for longer periods of time on less water, making them great houseplants for people who are always on the go.
Succulents require more water during the growing seasons. Meaning you should water them about once a week during the spring and summer months. It also means that you can water them as little as once a month during the dormant season!
Succulents grown in your home actually require a special kind of soil. This means you cannot just plant them in regular potting soil. Try not to use a spray on the leaves as you can take off some of the natural protectants like the farina!
9. Succulents Can Grow on Jewelry and More!
Succulents are so diverse in size and hardiness, which allows them to grow on jewelry. That means you can wear your plants as an accessory such as a ring, necklace, or other piece of jewelry.
In the last few years, it has become an incredibly popular thing for plant lovers to use succulents on bracelets. You can also put succulents on tiny necklaces, earrings and even hair pieces. Succulent jewelry is great for a big event that you want to remember for a long time to come!
After a week or two of rocking your succulent on your wrist, you will simply detach it and plant it into a new pot. Meaning your special jewels can become a staple of your home for years to come.
There are also lots of different ways that creative green thumbs have found to utilize their succulents. Here are other ways people are using tiny succulents throughout their personal spaces:
- Magnets: There are tons of DIY tutorials out there right now showing you how to put your succulents in tiny, magnet pot holders. This makes it easy to have a garden on your fridge, on your microwave and even on your cubicle.
- Gift Wrapping: Plant a tiny succulent in a small plate and you can use it as a bow on your next gift. Two gifts in one!
- Wall Decor: Planting succulents on wall planters, hanging wall planters and even around picture frames. It is also very popular to create massive wall fixtures filled to the brim with indoor plants.
With how durable these stunning plants are, it is no wonder you can use them on jewels and as accents. Be certain to only purchase this type of jewel from an artist who includes proper care instructions. Get creative with your space, your plants and now your accessories.
10. Seasonal Treatments Are Needed
Succulents require seasonal treatments and care for them to thrive. This means mimicking their natural habitats as closely as possible. Simply add more water during growth periods.
The different ways you treat your succulents throughout the year are important. In order to take proper care of your plant, you will need to know how and when to change your routine.
Spring and Summer
Plants love the spring and summer. Be certain to add a bit more water to your succulent during the summer months as it will be growing more. However, make sure to check the soil with your finger to be certain that there is not excess water. Your soil should still be dry between waterings.
Fertilizing the soil is also a great idea for the spring and summer seasons. As this is the time when your succulents will grow the most, it is important that they are getting vital nutrients. You can find high-quality fertilizers at your local gardening store. You can also choose to create your own compost as well.
Succulents, like most greenery, will “rest” in the autumn and winter months. This allows them to retain energy for growth in more comfortable times of year. When there is more sun and more warmth. You will need to water your succulents less frequently during these colder months.
No matter what time of year, it is good to pay attention to how your succulent is responding to the sunlight and your watering schedule. But it is best to take a little extra care during the summer and spring months.
11. Succulents Help Make Scientific Breakthroughs
The study of sturdy, drought-resistant plants like succulents have led to significant scientific breakthroughs. Scientists are studying how some plants are able to survive in more extreme weather conditions. Succulents can easily tolerate drought and could potentially lead to newer, more hardy crops.
The information and research could lead to deserts potentially being farmed. It could also mean new strains of crops that could survive in even the harshest climates on the planet! Universities all over the world are finding how they can learn from these amazing plants.
12. Succulents Come in a Variety of Textures
There are so many varieties of succulents that you could actually have a choice of textures. From cacti with sharp needles, to soft and squishy leaves, succulents have so many shapes and forms.
You can find small, rubbery, round leaves. You could choose super tall and skinny “vines”. Or you could even find succulents that flow over the tops of pots like a waterfall. Whatever kind of texture you are looking for in your home, you can find it in a succulent.
13. Succulents Live in Both Warm and Cold Climates
Succulents can survive in all sorts of climates. From incredibly hot, dry weather, to cold tundras. The many species of succulents are so diverse that they can be found all over the world.
Succulents can be found in all the following environments:
- Central America
- European Alps
- South America
- South Africa
They can even be found in humid jungle environments. They are incredibly impressive and adaptive. Because they are able to grow in more extreme climates, it is no wonder they are easy to grow in the comfort of your home.
This also means that it may not matter where you live. If you want to grow a succulent garden outside, you probably can! Though it is best to find some locally grown, or locally native succulents that will thrive in your yard.
14. Succulents Provide Many Benefits
There are some fascinating benefits to having succulents in your home. Not only can you use things like aloe vera on your skin, but there are also interesting health benefits just from the plants being in your home.
Succulents are constantly creating oxygen. Most house plants can not produce oxygen at night when there is no photosynthesis, but succulents do. They continue to add clean oxygen into your home all day long.
Plants also evaporate water into the air. Adding humidity into your home. The added humidity can sometimes be helpful with certain health conditions. Aloe vera also has antibacterial properties that can be helpful towards healing wounds.
Succulents also add life and color to your home and workspace. Making it feel more alive and visually pleasing. Seeing these incredible plants can help to create a more calming environment and be a positive influence on your mental health.
Whether you want to start with some easy house plants, or you are just curious about succulents, these facts can definitely help you grow your own succulent garden. Find the texture, color and variety that works best for you. There are many types of succulents to choose from.