Succulents are one of the most popular plants, quickly becoming a part of most homeowners’ gardens. While most people know these plants for their distinctly recognizable looks, they know very little about them other than when to water them and where to place them.
This article will take you over some of the most surprising and uncommon succulent facts that you probably will never have heard before. So put on your seat belts, and let’s dive in.
Here Are 12 Succulent Facts That Will Blow You Away
1. Succulent Exists in Many Colors
A very common misconception that people have these incredible plants is that they only come in different shades of green. On the contrary, you may be surprised to learn that succulent plants can be found in many colors, almost in all of the colors of a rainbow. Some of the colors include blue, pink, orange, white, black, purple, red, and of course, green.
Even more astonishing is the fact that some succulents can change their color according to the amount of sunlight they get each day or with the change of the season. It is also common for succulents to display their most vibrant and vivid colors only once they have made it through a period of stress.
2. The Name “Succulent” Originates from Latin
Succulent plants have leaves that are filled with thick, dense sap, which helps provide the plants with essential nutrients and nourishment when they do not get it from their surroundings. This thick gooey sap is responsible for the plants getting named as “Succulent,” which is derived from “Sucus,” a Latin word that translates to sap.
The sap is a vital segment of the plants that allow them to survive, grow, and become self-sustaining. In fact, the sap in the leaves makes it so that you do not have to water the plants very often and do not have to add fertilizers at all to supplement some missing nutrients from the soil.
3. Succulents Are Easy to Grow
Succulents are one of the most easy-to-grow plants making them perfect for people that love DIY gardening. You can plant and grow a succulent simply from a piece of the stem that you can easily cut off from the main plant.
All you need to do is to place the cutting in the open air, and soon you will observe new sprouts growing out of the end of the cutting. Once the roots have started to form, plant the cutting into fresh soil and water it slightly. Succulents are also one of the most low-maintenance plants. You hardly ever need to water them or fertilize the soil they grow in.
4. Succulents Can Grow on Vertical Planes
If you are fed up with the same old traditional gardening on a level landscape and are looking to switch up things, succulents offer the best innovative gardening alternative. The ability of succulents to grow on vertical walls and surfaces has considerably contributed to a trend called living walls, where plants are grown on or around vertical walls. This looks stunning, both indoors and outdoors, and is a common aesthetic feature of many modern homes.
The slow-growing nature of succulents coupled with a scarce need for watering makes these plants ideal for vertical plantation. Furthermore, placing them close together will restrict their growth, helping maintain their stability. Meanwhile, the roots of the plants will create a stronghold on the wall, thereby keeping your vertical garden intact.
5. Succulents Are Naturally Resistant to Pests
Pests aren’t a major problem for most succulents. Aphids can be found on some exterior plants, but they are pretty uncommon. This makes succulents one of the easiest plants to maintain and care for. Only a few specific types of succulents are susceptible to insects. One such succulent plant is the stapelaids which are excellent for pollination and therefore are quite vulnerable to insect attack.
6. There Are More Than 10,000 Different Types of Succulent Plants in the World
If you have ever visited your local nursery in order to buy a succulent plant for your garden. You will have found that choosing a succulent can be very challenging, mainly due to the massive variety of succulents the nursery offers. However, you’ll be surprised to know that the variety of succulent plants in your local gardening center pales in comparison to the immeasurable number of succulent species that are known to exist around the globe.
Succulents are found all throughout the world. There are, according to a rough estimate, more than 10,000 known succulent species around the world. While around only 2,000 of them are classified as cacti. North and South America are home to the majority of cacti species. Members of the Rhipsalis genus are an exception, which can be found throughout Sri Lanka as well as southern and western Africa.
7. Succulents Have Many Uses
While most gardeners know succulents only for their uniquely eye-catching aesthetics, it might come as a shock to you to learn that succulents are more popular in the cosmetic industry than they are for gardening. A wide variety of cosmetic products use succulents such as Aloe Vera as the main ingredient in their formula. These products include shaving creams and gels, skincare creams, skin healing creams, anti-aging products, and many other beauty products.
The thick gooey sap in succulent plants is packed with some incredible attributes such as skin-soothing and healing properties, antiseptic properties, and cleansing properties. These properties make succulents an ideal ingredient for the cosmetic industry.
Moreover, Agave is used to manufacture a large variety of products such as rope, rugs, and even alcoholic beverages. The fermentation of tequila uses a liquid compound that is extracted from the Agave Tequilana. The strong and durable fibers derived from the leaves of Agave Sisalana are also used in the manufacture of twine, rugs, rope, clothes, hats, and footwear. Surprisingly, you can even eat some succulents such as Nopales and Dragonfruit.
8. Succulents Are Very Resilient and Adaptable
Succulents can be found in some of the harshest natural environments on earth. These plants have the ability to adapt and survive in extremely hot climates as well as in frigid cold environments. This has allowed these plants to grow in almost all parts of the United States.
9. Succulents Have Natural Sun Protection
Succulents have a coating called farina or epicuticular wax, which protects them from the sun. You might have come across this coating while handling your succulent plants. The coating has a dust-like, almost waxy texture and can be found on almost all succulents. This waxy protective layer acts as a shield against the sun’s harmful UV rays, preventing the leaves from getting burnt in case they are over-exposed to the sun.
When handling your succulent plants, be careful not to scrape off this vital protective film. Farina, in normal cases, does not grow back, and even if it does, it does so at an extremely sluggish pace. So if you remove the coating, even by accident, your plants are at risk of getting permanently damaged.
10. Succulents Hold a Symbolic Importance
The symbolic importance of flowers in the society is quite popular. Different flowers are known to represent different notions, such as prosperity, happiness, and success. However, you might be unaware of the fact that succulents are also symbolic. Because of their ability to withstand harsh environments, succulents are generally associated with an enduring and eternal love in the Western world.
Furthermore, succulents are known to advocate prosperity and wealth in Asia. Because of its reputation for bringing fortune into a home, jade plants are commonly referred to as Money Plants. Jade plants are frequently given as a customary business gift to help the company succeed.
11. Southern Africa is home to the Most Number of Native Succulent Plants.
The remarkable adaptability and resilience of succulents have allowed them to mark their presence all over the world. While a large number of succulents can be found in Mexico, South America, the United States, and West Africa, Southern Africa boasts the greatest number of succulent plants in the world. Almost half of all known succulent species originate from here.
Succulents and cacti can be found in abundance throughout Southern Africa. There are over 5,000 species in total, ranging from Haworthia to Aloe to Lithops. The majority of cactus seen in the wild in southern Africa, on the other hand, are invasive species. A rough estimate shows that nearly 200 invasive cacti species have been introduced in Southern Africa.
12. Succulents Have the Ability to Disguise Themselves
Succulents can appear to be a delightful and refreshing snack for animals due to their water-filled leaves, especially for those living in warm climate areas. While some succulents, such as cacti, have developed sharp spines to protect themselves from animals, several other succulent species have evolved to disguise themselves in plain sight.
Because of their resemblance to stones, Lithops are also referred to as Living Stones. This camouflage protects them from birds and animals who would try to bite them otherwise. Avonia papyracea, a South African native, has been compared to bird droppings because of its look. Because bird droppings aren’t particularly appetizing, most potential predators would continue their search for a more appetizing prey.
7 AMAZING FACTS ABOUT SUCCULENT PLANTS
This 3-minute video will inform you of the 7 most amazing facts about succulent plants unknown to most people.
While succulents make a marvelous addition to your garden due to their unique and appealing aesthetics. These plants have much more to offer than just their looks. The list of succulent facts above outlines some of their most distinct attributes and properties that set these plants in a class of their own. On a final note, remember to handle these plants with care and not to rub off the protective film their leaves are covered with.
I’m Natalie Garcia and I started this website to share my love of trivia, facts and fun knowledge tidbits. We cover things like celebrity gossip, historical facts, tv shows, world leaders and just odd and random fun things. I started this site to have some fun with my hobby and share some useful information with you, our community. Please feel to send me your suggestions and feedback through the contact form. And if you have suggestions for things to write about, please shoot me a message!