About SucculentsКратко о виде растений - суккуленты

There is an endless variety of shapes, sizes, and colors of plants in the plant world. Some florists have beautiful flowers, others are fascinating in their foliage coloring, others are memorable for their unique shape. But one group of plants stands out for their unique shapes: succulents.

The term “succulents” appeared in scientific terminology as a description of members of flora with moisture-accumulating tissues in the late 19th century, when pioneering research into plant interaction with water, gas exchange and photosynthesis was gaining momentum.

In botany, this epithet is attributed to plants that are able to store moisture in specific parts of their bodies – in the leaves or in the stem. The name “succulent” comes from the Latin word “sucus”, which means “sap”.

The plants belonging to the conventionally united group “succulents” are not related to each other by a common origin, their unifying property to accumulate moisture is caused by similar habitat conditions. More than 60 unrelated plant families contain succulents. Some families, such as Cactaceae, Aizoaceae, and Crassulaceae, are dominated by succulents.
The habitats of these moisture-conserving crops are often in areas with high temperatures and low precipitation. Succulents have the ability to grow in places with limited water sources, such as fog and dew, which allows them to survive in an ecosystem containing scarce sources of moisture.

Some flower crops (geophytes) can store moisture in their roots. They can also be considered conventionally as succulents.

Definition of a succulent plant

The following condition is accepted in scientific circles – in order to call a plant a succulent, three requirements must be met:

  • Water must be stored in living tissue;
  • The accumulated moisture can be used for further growth;
  • The plant can maintain some metabolic activity by being independent of an external water source.

The commonly accepted definition of “succulent” is based on the fact that these plants are drought tolerant. Some parts of the flower – leaves, stem or roots – have evolved to be able to store moisture in their tissues.

Some sources on the list of succulent crops exclude plants that store moisture in their roots (geophytes). These underground organs, such as bulbs and tubers, are often fleshy from the presence of water-storing tissues. Thus, if roots are also included in the definition of succulent crops, many geophytes can be classified as succulent crops.

Florists who grow succulents use the term differently than classical botanists. Gardeners exclude the cactus family from the succulent group, but botanical terminology includes cacti in that group. Different sources may classify the same plant differently.

Surprising properties of succulents

The retention of water in tissues often gives succulent plants a thicker, fleshier appearance than other plants. Such crops are attached to a characteristic known as succulence. In addition to succulence, succulent plants have other moisture-conserving properties in various ways.
Succulents can sometimes be found as epiphytes, aerial plants because they have limited or no contact with the ground and depend on their ability to store water and obtain nutrients in other ways.

Natural habitats of succulents

Many succulent crops come from arid areas such as steppes, semi-deserts and deserts. High temperatures and low rainfall have “taught” plants to collect and store water in their tissues to survive long dry periods. Some cactus species can survive for months without rainfall.
Succulents are also found as inhabitants of seashores and dry lakes, which are exposed to high levels of dissolved minerals that are deadly to many other plant species.
Most succulents prefer fairly high ambient temperatures and are unable to withstand frost. Because of the water stored in their leaves, freezing often results in the death of the plant or damage to the leaves and stem.
Succulents are often grown as ornamental plants in the home because of their bright and unusual appearance.

How Succulents Propagate

One of the amazing qualities of succulents is their ability to reproduce easily. Some species propagate more easily than conventional crops. Many succulent crops can germinate from leaves that have fallen from an adult plant.
Some representatives of Sansevieria, can propagate by division. Here, the plant is divided into several parts, keeping the crown and root intact. This is a very old technique that has been used for centuries by gardeners.

Why are succulents so popular with florists?

Succulent crops have long existed in nature and have long been used as home and garden crops. In recent years, however, their popularity, has increased greatly. There are many reasons for this:

  • Succulents do not require much attention to themselves. They do not need a lot of water, fertilizers and they are practically not pruned;
  • They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. Even very small plants in small pots, will decorate any corner of the house in an original way;
  • They attract fewer pests and diseases. Many plants attract pests because of the constant need to water them. But, in the case of succulents, the risk of pests and diseases is dramatically reduced. They are easier to transport;
  • They do without water for a very long time, which makes them easier to transport. Many succulents are quite small, making them easier to move with less transportation costs. Some can be easily packed in plastic bags and sent to faraway recipients. They also last much longer at garden centers.

There are many succulent plants that are easy to care for in the home, and some are some of the easiest plants to grow. They are really great as plants for beginning florists. But, in both gardening and growing houseplants, you have to understand what you’re doing and what you’re up against in order to succeed in growing them. Our site will help you dive into this wonderful world of succulents.