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7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Succulents

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I would bet that if you have any houseplants as living decor in your home, you have at least one succulent taking up residency on a bookshelf, coffee table, or resting in a sunny windowsill. And this is with good reason! Succulents are super cute, easy to care for, and incredibly popular right now which makes them a no-brainer addition to your collection. But did you know that succulents can also be grown outside, even if you don’t live in the desert? Here are a few other facts you probably didn’t know about your favorite plants.

Succulents have built-in sun-protection

Because they are native to bright, sunny climates, succulents will never get sunburn. That whiteish, chalky substance that you probably notice on many succulents is a built-in form of sun protection that prevents the leaves from burning. Of course, you may notice slight discoloration of your plant with too much sun exposure, but this doesn’t actually harm the leaves.

What’s in a name?

The term “succulent” doesn’t necessarily cover a particular species of plant. This name categorizes any plant with fleshy parts that store moisture for drought resistance. If you look at the Latin roots of the word, this definition makes sense. Succulent stems from the word “sucus” meaning juice or sap. Referring, of course, to those essential moisture-retentive leaves, stems, and roots that help keep the plant alive in extreme conditions.

The gift that keeps on giving

Once you have a mature, large succulent plant, you can begin breaking off small sections to grow new plants. This phenomenon is known as propagation, and it relates to plants that can grow and develop roots independently of the primary source. This means that succulents make lovely gifts!

If you notice leaves that have broken off of your plant, save them and set them aside in the sun until they start to grow small roots. Then lay them in a pot with soil and give them a drink. Your little leaves will soon grow into full plants that can be given as gifts, party favors, or used to expand your ever-growing plant collection.

Variety isn’t a problem

Though you may have only seen green succulents, (which are still beautiful in their own right) these little plants come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Whether you are looking for a bright purple addition to your living room, or merely want some low-maintenance green groundcover to fill an empty spot in your garden, succulents can deliver. In fact, you can pretty much find succulents in every color including blue, purple, pink, orange, and red or even a combination of multiple colors in one plant.

Have fun experimenting with different succulent arrangements and matching colors and textures to achieve the perfect look.

Pests are a thing of the past

In case you needed more of a reason to love succulents, not only are they incredibly easy to care for in the water department, they hardly ever develop pest problems either.  When you bring a succulent into your home or garden, you rarely have to worry about common bugs and diseases that will affect your other plants. Aphids may be found occasionally on various outdoor varieties, but this is extremely rare.

They’re not restricted to warm climates

As we’ve already established, succulents are hardy in almost every aspect. Though they do best in warm, dry climates, there are a few groups that will flourish even in the freezing north. If you live in a place that isn’t exactly familiar with the words “warm” and “dry,” check out cultivars from these three groups for outdoor growth.

  • Optunia (prickly pear)
  • Agave
  • Yucca

They can be grown almost anywhere

Because their soil nutrient needs are incredibly minimal and they only need to be watered every few weeks, succulents are the dream plants for the avid DIY enthusiast. These aren’t plants that are restricted to boring pots in the windowsill. Many people have taken to growing succulents in frames as living wall art, or even in tiny necklace terrariums. Talk about statement jewelry! Your imagination is your only limit when it comes to these exciting, versatile plants.

Did we miss any other little known succulent facts? Let us know in the comments below!

-Taylor Ramsey

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