Succulents are different from other plants because they are known to store water in their leaves instead of their stems or roots. Because they store water in their leaves, they tend to look enlarged and rough around the edges. Their ability to store water works better for longer periods of time as compared to other plants, which is why they are healthy even in dry climates. Normally, plants without a lot of water or moisture in the air tend to wither faster. But succulents do not. In fact, they are considered the most tolerant plants during droughts.
Having water in their leaves means that these plants do not thrive in humid or cold temperatures. When winter comes, it can be detrimental to the plants since the water that is stored inside their leaves can freeze up due to the low temperatures.
Succulents come in all shapes and sizes, and have a wide variety of genus and species. With such a vast number to choose from, you’re bound to find the one that best suits you. Thus, learning how to prune succulents is an important skill you have to learn if you want decorative succulents to color your environment.
FACT #1: Famous Types of Succulents
There are a number of succulents to choose from, which means finding the right one for you and your home may be an easier task than it appears to be. Though there are different types, succulents still generally need the same kind of care and environment, with only slight differences between some of them. Knowing some of the types of succulents may help get you started on your journey towards discovering the right one for you:
1. Aloe Vera
The aloe vera is one of the types of succulents most famous for its applications on skin. But before it serves as a skin irritant gel, the aloe vera started off as a succulent plant. Aloe vera are thick, green plants with leaves that are thin and veer off in a circular direction. There are small white spots and portions spanning the leaves of the plant.
Aloe vera plants can even produce smaller plantlets, which, in turn, can be removed and replanted to produce a new aloe vera plant.
To harvest the aloe vera gel, all you need to do is cut a leaf, preferably close to the stem, from the plant that has matured, cut the leaf in half lengthwise, and then squeeze the gel being stored in the middle of the leaf. The leaf has to be healthy and free of any mold or damages. The thicker the leaves, the more gel you can get. Usually, the outer sections of the plant has the good leaves.
Aloe vera gel can help heal or alleviate the pain from skin burns, sunburns, or boils and bruises. It can also be a good source of alleviation for frostbites or acne.
2. Air Succulents
Air succulents such as the tillandsia stricta also come in many shapes and sizes, and can be mounted on almost any type of wall. Air succulents are usually seen hanging on pots on walls or ceilings, and are a good source of decorative aesthetics to your home or garden. With air succulents, you can recreate a portion of the beauty of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world: the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
To take care of air succulents, the air must always be dry. Like all other succulents, a humid atmosphere can be detrimental to its health. Air succulents must also be fed once a month with fertilizers and water, though having temperatures that are a bit high do not necessarily mean that they will wither.
There are many types of cacti, all of which can be grown as succulents. Cacti are perhaps most known for their lack of leaves and abundance of thorns. Cacti are very easy to take care of since they have very unique ways of water conservation. Their thorns, or spines, also lessens their susceptibility to be eaten by herbivores.
FACT #2: How to Propagate Succulents
Learning how to propagate succulents is important for maintaining the plant’s health and upkeep, as well being able to maximize the use of the succulent. Propagating a succulent means removing leaves from the plant, then replanting said leaves to grow a new succulent plant. In simple terms, plant propagating is simply growing a plant from one source or the mother plant.
There are many methods to successfully propagate a succulent plant. One way is through leaf propagation. This involves removing the leaf from the stem. The removal must be a clean break, otherwise, the leaf won’t grow into a new succulent.
To make sure the leaf is removed properly, you need to grab the leaf towards its base, and move the leaf from side to side until it is removed from the main stem or plant. Make sure that the leaf does not tear, but rather be removed cleanly.
After removing the leaf, let it dry in a warm place until the wound has closed. Once that’s done, you can plant the leaf in a new pot of soil.
Another method of propagating succulents is through beheading. If the plant has grown too tall. Simply cut the head of the plant from the main stem. Leave about an inch of the stem attached to the removed head. Let it dry and grow roots, then it is ready to be planted.
Benefits of Succulent Propagation
This is a no-brainer, really, but the benefit of succulent propagation is that it allows you to grow more beautiful plants without much additional costs. Instead of buying a new plant, you can remove a part of an existing plant and grow something beautiful from there.
This saves you quite a bit of expense. You need only a new pot or a small piece of land, depending on where you want to place your new plant.
FACT #3: Pruning Succulent Flowers
One of the skills you need to learn is how to prune succulents. Pruning succulent flowers involves the cutting off of blooms that grow on the flower. To cut off the blooms, you need to use really sharp shears or scissors, and cut the blooms as close to the main plant as possible.
Pruning can be done occasionally for plants like the Echeveria, Aenoium and Yucca, which are considered to be long-stem succulents. Pruning should be done during early spring, and not during days when winter is close. This is a useful technique that also allows you to shape the succulent in the way that you want. Tidying up an unruly plant can make your garden look a lot better and neater.
Pruning is the process of removing unwanted growth on the succulent, so it is important to always check what’s growing in your succulent plant.
The Benefits of Pruning
The overall benefit of pruning your succulents is that it promotes growth. Pruning plants means removing dead or dying branches. It gives room for new growth. Additionally, it also prevents pests from making a prime estate of your plants.
Another benefit of pruning your succulent plants is that it helps you control its shape. It helps them maintain a dense and proportioned look. Also, pruning helps your control the size and beauty of the succulents.
Succulents are a wide variety of plants that are not that difficult to take care off as compared to others. The number of kinds that are available in the market means that you can choose the types of succulents you want to take care of. They can even also have beneficial components to them, such as the aloe vera succulent, whose contents are known to have healing effects on burns. Caring for succulents involves learning how and when to water them, and knowing what kind of environment they grow best in.
Another technique that you need to learn in order to properly care for them is how to prune succulents. Pruning succulents involves cutting off blooms that are unwanted and unnecessary, and allowing the succulent to grow at the kind of shape you want it to. Cutting off certain parts can lead to open wounds, so giving them enough time to heal after pruning is also important. Succulents can be a placed inside and outside your home, and can be a good added aesthetic.
In short, succulents are a great source of decoration. The exciting thing is, they are not that hard to take care of.