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What is farina on succulent

3 min read

What is farina on succulent

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Have you ever seen your succulents build up some strange, powdery, whitish coating on their leaves and stems? These are called Farina, and they actually have a lot of purposes, which your succulents can benefit from.


But what is Farina, and how exactly will your charming little succulents benefit from it? Read on to learn more.



WHAT IS FARINA?

Farina, or also called epicuticular wax, is a white powdery coating of wax found on the stems and leaves of succulents. It plays an important role in your succulent's well-being, as this gives them a natural sunscreen and raincoat that will help lessen the risk of sunburn and root rot.

Farina on Succulent

A few succulents where you can usually find farina are Echeveria, Pachyphytum, Sedeveria, Kalanchoe, and Graptoveria, like Graptoveria Debbie.



PURPOSE OF FARINA?

Farina has more to offer, aside from making your succulents look prettier. They can also act as a protective coating or a natural sunscreen. This is very useful, especially for succulents that are always under the scorching sun for too long, as it reflects those harmful rays, preventing the plant from being sunburnt.

Farina on Moonstones Pachyphytum

In addition to that, Farina is considered hydrophobic. Meaning, it repels water, which helps prevent succulents from absorbing an extensive amount of water, lessening the risk of getting root rot problems.


So better be careful whenever you handle your succulents to avoid rubbing them off accidentally.




DOES REMOVING FARINA HARM YOUR SUCCULENT?

The answer is no. However, since farina plays the role of providing your succulents a natural layer of protection, removing it might expose them to dangers, like the hot sun in the afternoon, too much watering, pathogens, and even insects, so we really don't recommend removing them off from your succulents.


With that in mind, you should avoid using pesticides, fungicides, and as well as horticultural oils like neem, as these can totally remove the farina from your succulents.

Avoid touching the leaves since the oils on the skin can ruin the farina on succulent
Photo credit: ssucsforyou.com

In case your succulents with farina are infected by bugs, you can treat them using 50% rubbing alcohol and water mix for mealy bugs, then mist it onto farina-covered leaves without any issue.


If you have to clean the leaves of your succulents, consider using a super soft makeup brush or just simply blow it away, rather than using your fingers since the oils on the skin can ruin the powdery appearance.



HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE FARINA FROM POWDERY MILDEW?

It's not surprising to see some gardeners become concerned about the health of their succulents after witnessing farina for the first time. Some have even cleaned the entire plant only to find out that the powdery coating is actually beneficial.


Well, you can't blame them, as the soft, powdery look it gives to succulents will definitely give you an idea they might be starting to have powdery mildew or even mold.

To differentiate farina from powdery mildew, check the evenness of the coating

But to make it simple, one way to tell the difference between farina from Powdery Mildew is to check the evenness of the coating. Unlike farina, powdery mildew does not evenly spread on the whole plant and looks a bit patchier compared to some thick parts of the farina, and appears to be furry or fuzzy.


Additionally, powdery mildew usually only covers one or two whole leaves before spreading to other leaves and nearby plants.



BOTTOMLINE

Now we all know that farina is not only beautiful but also an important part of your succulent's health. But if ever you have accidentally rubbed the farina off your succulents, then it is best to keep it away from the sun until it's acclimated again.


Since you’re now an expert on farina, why not add some adorable pastel succulents to your collection? I’m sure you can find a few ones in our shop.

 

SEE MORE ABOUT WHAT IS AERIAL ROOTS ON SUCCULENTS

WHAT IS AERIAL ROOTS ON SUCCULENTS

 

For Types of Succulents Careguide. Read more information here.

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