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What Are Succulents?

Succulent plants, or succulents, are plants that can store water in their thick, fleshy parts like leaves or stems. They thrive in an arid environment and are generally drought tolerant.

Are succulents the same as cactus?

Cacti, in the Cactaceae family, make up one of these families. So all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. Cacti are simply a subcategory within a group of plants, which are known collectively as succulents. All succulents are defined as water-storing plants.

Types of Succulents

There are many types of succulents. The most popular succulent genera are Echeveria, Aeonium, Aloe, Agave, Haworthia, Aeonium, Gasteria, Cactus, Crassula, Cotyledon, Kalanchoe, Sedum, Sempervivum, Senecio, Graptoveria, Adenia, Euphorbia, and Lithops.

Succulents as a whole have very similar care needs. But sometimes particular plants will need slightly different amounts of water or sunlight than others. So you need to know about detailed care instructions to enjoy beautiful and healthy succulents for many years.

General Care

Watering

Water your succulents deeply every time the soil is completely dry. Tip to check the soil moisture: Insert your finger in the soil to the second knuckle. If it feels wet then it’s not time to water yet.

Succulent watering routine heavily depends on the climate (humid or dry). For beginners, we recommend watering your succulents once every 10-14 days.

Sunlight

Most succulents require at least 4-6 hours of morning sunlight to grow. Some succulents prefer bright but filtered light like Haworthia, others like Echeveria or Cactus love full sun.

Colorful succulents often tolerate direct sun better than green succulents.

Underexposure: Lack of sunlight often results in etiolation and leaves growing downwards. Colorful succulents will lose their vivid color and turn green.

Overexposure: Succulents might get sunburned given too much sunlight so it is not recommended to expose your succulents to direct sun when the temperature is above 90F.

Soil

Succulents prefer gritty and well-drained soil. Porous soil is crucial in improving drainage and preventing root rotting in succulents.

You can either use a cactus mix or prepare the potting medium by mixing organic (eg. dark soil, compost, bark fines) and inorganic components (eg. perlite, granite, or pumice) at a 50:50 ratio.

Temperature

The ideal temperature for succulents is from 60 to 80°F. Some succulents like Sempervivum can tolerate temperatures as low as 20°F or as high as 90°F. Extreme temperatures can “stress” succulents into changing color.

Most succulents are drought-tolerant. However, high summer heat and direct sun can still damage your succulents by causing brown patches or sunburn on the leaves. Move your succulents indoors if you spot similar signs.

 

Are succulent plants good for your health?

Succulents are not just easy to grow, beautiful, and popular they are also one of the best ways to bring a little bit of freshness, greenery, and life to any living space. Succulents help improve the airflow in your home by releasing oxygen. Succulents can contribute to reducing flu-like symptoms, headaches, fever, and coughs. Succulents like aloe and agave can do much more than be an eye-pleasing accessory.

Related article: Why Everyone Should Have A Succulent in Their Office

 

Succulent Gifts & DIY Project Ideas 

If you are looking for a gift for someone special? Succulent is a perfect choice! You will be surprised to know that many people today prefer receiving succulent plants as gifts.

Check out this article to find out Why Succulents make for a great gift?

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