The fascination with succulents continues. They can be grown alone or mixed with other plants. We are seeing them not just in the garden but also within home décor and even as wedding bouquets. Succulents are easy to care for, low maintenance, and have a long lifespan. They are really also interesting plants. We thought we would share some facts about these plants. After reading our list, let us know if you have anything to add. 

1.  The Name Is Latin In Origin

Succulent comes from the word “sucus”, which means juice or sap. This makes sense since the water stored in the plant's leaves enables the plant to survive for weeks without water. This is why you do not need to water them that often. 

2.  There Are More Than 60 Different Succulent Families

Many people think succulents are from a single family but they are actually from more than 60 different families. Across these families, there are around 20,000 varieties.  These families include Cactaceae (cacti) and Crassulaceae (aeonium and sedum).  Just remember all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. Since there are so many you need to make sure you find the right succulent for the growing conditions. For instance, use tender succulents in frost-free regions or as a houseplant in the winter.

3.  Succulents Come In Many Colors And Varieties

When people think of succulents they think of shades of green but there are succulents that are shades of blue, orange, pink, purple, red, and yellow.  There are succulents that have curvy leaves and ones with fuzzy leaves. Some look like flowers and others like cactus grow quite tall. There are many to choose from depending on your aesthetics and growing conditions.

4.  You Can Grow New Plants From Succulent Cuttings

This practice is known as “Propagating”. To do this just take a cutting and let it dry in the sun. A window is a great location to place the cutting. When you see new sprouts start growing you can plant it in soil and give it a little water.

5.  Succulents Grow Well In Dry, Hot Conditions

It is believed the first cacti plants started around 5 to 10 million years ago when the earth’s climate was suitable for vegetation.  Researchers think that after a long dry spell, along with lower levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the Earth was ready for the rise of these plants and a broad vegetative makeover.  

6.  Leaf Size Makes A Difference

The smaller the leaf on the succulent means the plant’s native habitat is a higher elevation.  Some sedums grow in alpine areas and produce small flowers in the early spring.

7.  Succulents Have Natural Sun Protection

If you grow succulents you might notice they have a waxy or dust-like coating on their leaves. Succulents have a natural sunscreen known as epicuticular wax or farina. This coating or film protects succulents from the sun and keeps the succulent leaves from burning if they get too much light.

8.  Pest Resistant Plants

Succulents are fairly pest resistant. This is another reason why they are so easy to maintain. If you grow your succulents indoors you could have fungus gnats, mealybugs, spider mites or woolly aphids.  Outdoors the problems could be scale or aphids. Overall, most succulents do not have pest problems.

9.  Succulents Symbolize Wealth

Succulents have been known to symbolize enduring and timeless love for they are resolute plants that store water in their thick leaves and stems. In Asian culture, they represent prosperity. In the Japanese practice of Fen Shui, water is a symbol of wealth.  Succulents are considered good fortune since they retain water.  

10.  Succulents Can Be Fashionable

Did you know there is succulent jewelry?  There are succulent rings, bracelets, and earrings and they continue to grow as you wear them. They will grow for weeks at a time.  If you are creative, this might be an idea for you to try. You can find the succulent rings here.  Another place succulents are showing up is in cake decorating.  This Food Network article shows us succulents are replacing icing flowers on cakes.  The ivenoven Instagram account has many photos on this trend. 

Photos Courtesy of Jill Mazur.  Succulent cake photograph can be found on Instagram at @ivenoven 

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