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Succulent Glossary - Beginner Succulent Terms That You Should Know

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Succulent Glossary- Beginner Succulent Terms That You Should Know



1. Hardy succulent

Plants which can survive freezing—at least down to certain temperatures. Typical example for hardy succulents are most Sempervivum and some Sedum genres


2. Soft succulent

Aka tender succulents. This term covers a broad range of succulents which are less cold tolerant than “hardy” succulents.

Soft Succulent Plant

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3. Hardiness (USDA Hardiness zone)

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones.

Succulents Hardiness Zone


4. Propagation

The act of producing a new plant by using leaves, cutting or seed from the parent stock.

Succulent Propagation


5. Dormancy

The state in which a plant is alive but not actively growing., usually in winter, in drought or in extreme heat or cold. Some succulents can produce flowers when otherwise dormant.

Succulent Dormancy


6. Etiolate

Pale, sickly, excessive growth or elongated stem caused by insufficient light, or overcrowding.

Succulent Etiolation

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7. Aerial root

Small roots that grow on the stem of your succulent rather than in the soil. They are usually pink or white. Aerial roots will form on a succulent that isn’t getting enough water and often when it’s in a humid environment.

Succulents with Aerial Root


8. Corking 

Gradual ripening of stem from the base, to produce a bark-like texture.

Succulents with Corking

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9. Areole 

Small light- to dark-colored bumps which are unique to cacti, usually hairy and/or spiny; from which the flowers and spines spring.

Succulents with Areole

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10. Variegated

A naturally occurring mutation, which appears as white stripes or multiple color on the leaves, stem or flower. Variegated varieties are often prized for the attractiveness of the markings caused by the mutation.

Variegated Succulent Plant

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11. Monocarpic

Often refer to succulents that dies immediately after flowering once, such as most species of Agave, Kalanchoe or Aeonium genus.

Monocarpic Succulents


12. Crest 

Also called fasciation; a mutation that results in succulents having multiple growing points, rather than a single point.

Types of Crested Succulents


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