What Are Succulents

What Are Succulents

The succulents are a type of plant that is grown in temperate and warm regions of the world, and even in the cold weather inside greenhouses. Its maintenance is very low, and as they adopt very diverse forms, being also very decorative they are often in pots decorating the home, or outside occupying the space of one or several tables.

There are many species, and all of them are precious, not the following. So if you want to delve into this fascinating world, we are going to show you some of the most curious succulent plants. And if you still want to know more, after reading you will know what care they need to look and be nice all year round.

what are succulents

Our protagonists, known as succulents, are those that have some part that has become a water storage . Generally, they are the leaves, but they can be the stems and, sometimes, both. Thanks to this adaptation, they can survive in arid and dry environments, where other plants cannot.

One of the ways they have developed to absorb the water from the spray has been the production of some hairs that are in the leaves that hold it , which is why some have a soft touch, like the Echeveria setosa for example.

However, there are others who have chosen not to grow too much . When a body is small, it needs less water than when it is large, so there are species that are so small, like the Lithops , that survive for days and weeks to drought.

Which are The Main Types Of Succulents?

The plants considered as succulents are those that belong to these families:

  • Agavaceae : is composed of about 300 species of succulent succulent organ leaves.
  • Aizoaceae : is composed of about 2000 species of succulent succulent organ leaves.
  • Apocynaceae : is composed of about 500 species of succulent succulent organ, the stem.
  • Asphodelaceae : is composed of about 500 species of succulent succulent organ leaves.
  • Crassulaceae : is composed of about 1,300 species of succulent succulent organ leaves.
  • Didieraceae : is composed of about 11 species of succulent succulent organ is the stem.
  • Euphorbiaceae : is composed of more than 1000 species of succulent succulent organ is the stem.
  • Portulacaceae : is composed of 26 botanical genera to which belong species whose succulent organ are the stem and leaves.

Types of Succulents

As you see, there are many species. Here are some of them:

Aloe pillansii

It is an arborescent aloe native to the African continent that reaches a height of about 4-5 meters . Its rate of growth is very slow, but it can be accelerated a little bit if it is grown in a pot with sandy substrate and is fertilized regularly.

what are succulents

Conophytum minutum

It is one of the plants called “window plants”. Originally from Namibia, its height does not exceed 4cm. It is small and very curious, which is why it is one of the most cultivated in the world.

Conophytum minutum

Crassula arborescens

The Jade Tree, Jade or Crassula is a succulent plant native to South Africa that can reach 3m in height . It has a succulent stem that thickens to 2-3cm. Although the size may seem otherwise, you can grow in a pot for her entire life.

Crassula arborescens

Echeveria Setosa

It is a plant native to Mexico that, although it grows only up to 20-25cm in height, it has to be cultivated in ample pots or directly in the rockery, since it tends to branch out a lot.


Euphorbia obesa

It is an endemic plant of the Cape Province that can currently be found in virtually all the world’s succulent plant collections. It can have a diameter of up to 15cm .


How are they cared for?

If you have doubts about how to take care of these beautiful plants, follow our advice:


Most greens should be placed in a sunny exposure , but there are some, such as Haworthia , that it is best to protect them from the sun during the central hours of the day.


Rare . Ideally, always check the moisture of the substrate before watering. To do this you can insert a thin stick of wood and see how much dirt has adhered to it: if it has been a lot, it will not be necessary to water.

Other options are to use a digital humidity meter, or weigh the pot before watering and then again.

Special case: winter with frost

If you live in an area where frost occurs in winter, watering in this season has to be very scarce . In fact, it should not be watered if subzero temperatures are expected because otherwise the roots could freeze.

Bearing this in mind, if frosts occur very often, it is best to water once a month.

Sedum pachyphyllum

Substrate or Recommended Soil

It has to have very good drainage . From my own experience, I recommend using a pumice , or mixing it with a little – less than 30% – of a universal growing medium.

Anyway, if you have them in a pot you can also use mulch mixed with 50% perlite.


During the spring and summer they must be paid with mineral fertilizers . You can use a fertilizer for cactus and liquid succulents, or you can use a small spoonful of Nitrophoska every 15 days.

Dudleya brittonii

Time of planting or transplant

Whether you want to plant them in the garden or change pots, something you have to do every 2 years, the ideal time is in the spring .


To get new specimens you can sow their seeds in a nursery with vermiculite during spring or summer; or take stem cuttings and plant them in pots with sandy substrate, like the pumice, during the spring.


The most frequent problems they have are the following:

  • Rotting : of leaves, stems and / or roots. It happens when we overdo it with watering, or if we have a dish under them. 
    What to do? Remove the affected parts, change the substrate for one that has better drainage, and water less.
  • Etiolation : when they do not have enough light, the leaves and stems develop more than necessary to capture more light. 
    What to do? Put the plant in a brighter place.
  • Snails : they eat all the parts of the succulents, to the point that if we leave them unattended we can end up losing them in less than we think. 
    What to do? Treat the plants with molluscicide or use a remedy that repels molluscs, such as those we tell you in this other article .

Resilience and Resistance

It will depend on the species, but the great majority withstand weak and punctual frosts of up to -2ºC , provided they are of short duration. Of course, all need protection against hail.

BLOOMING Crassula falcata

What do you think of these succulent plants? Do you have some succulents at home?

Don Burke

I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide.  I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.

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