Getting to know succulents

Succulents can be just what indoor or outdoor gardens need. Even though succulents are becoming more popular, there are still some people who are unaware of their attributes. By learning more about succulents, people may become devotees of these unique plants.

The word “succulent” brings to mind juicy, savory foods. But succulents aren’t meant to be consumed. In fact, they get their mouth-watering name from their uncanny ability to store water in fleshy stems or leaves. That means they do not require frequent watering like other plants might. Succulents also may prove more durable in the face of drought and are a handy plant for forgetful gardeners or those who travel often and want something more hands-off in their gardens.

According to the succulents resource Succulents and Sunshine, most succulents prefer warm temperatures and are not very cold-tolerant. However, there are some varieties that can survive freezing temperatures. Still, for most succulents, it’s best if they are kept in warm, moderately sunny conditions. The DIY Network says succulents grow best in bright light, but not always in full, hot sun.

Succulents also may attract gardeners thanks to their diverse looks. Better Homes & Gardens says that color variations of succulents are quite varied and include green, yellow, burgundy, white, blue-green, pink, red, and variegated combinations. Their shapes can be just as diverse, with many having pointy, rounded, spiky, or ruffled leaves.

People may be particularly familiar with one type of succulent: cacti. These traditional desert-dwellers are prized for their water-retention abilities, but some seem downright scary with their prickly exteriors. While all cacti are succulents, it’s important to note that not all succulents are cacti. Less needle-like succulents include aloe, jade, snake plant, and agave. Hens and chicks (sempervivum) and wax plant (hoya) are other succulents to consider.

Searching for succulents online is another great way for gardeners to discover these wonderful plants. ~ Metro Creative Services