Are Succulents and Cacti the Same?

Image by Milada Vigerova from Pixabay

Many folks have a quiet sunny corner during a room where favorite winter houseguests have camped out for the past 5 months approximately . These are the simplest quite guests because all they require is sun, occasional water and loving words as we travel by . the maximum amount as we enjoy their presence therein sunny corner, it’s getting time to think about who can maybe return to outside decks, who needs a replacement container and who is tolerant enough to be planted outside within the sun. Succulents provide diversity in colors, shapes and textures in our gardens and decks.

Whether inside or outside, start with the premise that for the foremost part succulents & cacti demand attention to three fundamental basics so as to survive our high, cold and dry growing zones. These include light (depending upon varieties, a minimum of 4 hours of direct sun and afternoon shade); soil to market drainage since soggy roots simply produce plant disease or fungus; and lastly, water. While many cultivars are drought resistant perennials, it’s important to understand plant water needs may require a more selective approach, especially when planting adjacent to at least one another. Watch to ascertain what your plants tolerate. Succulents store their water in their fleshy leaves or stems and that we all know when the temperature drops, those leaves may freeze and therefore the plant is broken or killed.

A fourth area of consideration is that the more common sort of insect infestations you'll discover before you begin shifting containers or planting for the summer season. These can include mealy bugs, whitefly, scale, aphids and a few mites. Inspect your plants closely.

Whether in smaller terrariums or larger outside settings, cacti are most selective about their clay soils, good drainage and limited watering needs. Ball and barrel shapes may add diversity to your decks or rock gardens but winter protection is important so containerizing these could also be a secure bet.

Perhaps you’ve hosted a number of these visitors during winter months:

Jade plant Crassula ovata. Mine may be a cutting from my mother’s immense container plant that lived on a balcony in direct afternoon sun in California for years. Originally a part of a various genus from Africa, the Jade plant has undergone a spread of scientific classification name changes. this is often a well-liked indoor only houseplant which will thrive on neglect! My only issue is susceptibility to mealy bug. a minimum of once a year I find myself gently cleaning leaves w/q-tips, alcohol and soapy water. These varieties are popular in small terrarium size plants or as large container plants. It does bloom, but more frequently in larger mass plantings. they're going to not overwinter outside at our altitude but could also be content with an occasional secluded warm afternoon on an outdoor deck. Water is stored within the leaves, stem and roots. Roots can had best in compact container settings.
  • Aloe Vera Aloe barbadensis. Aloe may be a good specimen to possess during a container for the dramatic leaves also as for its medicinal qualities. Break a leaf spike off and you’ll find a gel good for burns and minor cuts. Because I ignored this plant for quite while, aside from occasional watering, I learned what plant pups are! Like many succulents, this plant reproduces by growing ‘pups’ from a main root. (Also mentioned as offsets, or root portions that develop leaves and sprout a replacement plant). Break pups off carefully, soak for twenty-four hours before re-potting and you've got a replacement plant. 
  • Hens and Chicks Easily one among the foremost popular of numerous colorful and unique Sempervivums. Check the cultivar for hardiness. Good in containers also as planted within the right site.
  • Snake Plant Sansevierratrifasciata Popular because the mother-in-law's tongue or Mother-In-Law’s tongue among interior plant circles, but it's actual a succulent from Africa and Madagascar. It’s low-light and straightforward maintenance needs are alluring. Caution … this is often a plant not meant for outdoor containers or use. It’s perfect for an inside succulent specimen.
  • Pencil Cactus Euphorbiaceae tirucalli this is often one among the primary and more unique succulents I learned about upon moving to Colorado. it's not an actual cactus despite the name, but a real succulent. it's a part of the Euphorbia family. Members of this family are often annual, perennial, evergreen, shrub-like in gardens or maybe tree-like. My initial encounter was a singular 5’ tall interior specimen. Years later, I still just like the vertical, simple nature of the plant and have a 6” high specimen during a terrarium bowl. A characteristic this family all shares is that the milky white sap which will irritate or be toxic to people and animals. If you’re taking cuttings for propagation, wear gloves and don’t go near your eyes while handling anything w/sap. There are more varieties which will be planted in outside beds in warmer zones, but not for our cold. confine mind this family includes spurge varieties and even poinsettias!
  • Stone Plant Lithops marmorata I’ve always thought these small, funny ‘living stone’ succulents looked intriguing. I became more inquisitive about these as I’d pass large trays of 2” pots purchasable at box store garden centers. From South Africa originally, they grow to mimic the rocks and dry environment they grow among. they're going to test the foremost determined grower! Sometimes they split, sometimes they bloom and sometimes they only die! I’ve discovered The Denver Botanic Gardens features a bed of them in their Steppes gardens to market education about the threatened Steppes regions round the world. The stems and roots are underground, while large rounded leaves store water. These are sensitive to cold and water, so require protection in winter months the payoff is that the interesting addition to a xeric or rockery space in your yard. Leave them alone and they’re happy when dry and warm.

These are just a couple of of my winter houseguests, but as I undergo garden centers now, i feel perhaps i want to feature a couple of new varieties to my deck containers this coming season. an excellent reference tool for anyone curious about succulents or cacti is Hardy Succulents by Gwen Moore Kelaidis, Storey Publishing, 2005. Currently it seems most are selling containers crammed with multi-colored varying succulents, so it’s good to understand what can work for your own house and garden environment.

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