All home cacti and succulents were once wild. And most modern cacti and succulents are found in the wild and up to the present time in a virtually unchanged form. These representatives of the flora are perfectly adapted to adverse growing conditions. Before you organize their content at home, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with all the features of the building. This article presents such indoor plants as cacti and succulents, they are considered in the context of their biological and structural features. In order to properly grow succulents and cacti as indoor plants, you need to know what it is and what growing conditions they are adapted to. Recreating them at home, you can grow stunning instances of incredible power and beauty.
See what cacti and succulents look like in the photo, where the most varied types of these beautiful plants are illustrated:
Description of the home colors of succulents (with photo)
The very peculiar appearance of the colors of succulents can almost certainly be interpreted as an adaptation to the extreme conditions of existence in dry climatic regions. Of course, even cacti cannot grow at all without water.
The main difference between homemade succulents and non-succulent plants is that succulents treat moisture completely differently. A normal plant in its above-ground green part is two-thirds or more of water. However, if it loses even some water that cannot be replenished by the root system, its surface becomes as impenetrable as possible: the plant closes its stomata, microscopic pores, thereby reducing evaporation of moisture to one-tenth. But simultaneously with the closure of the stomata, the plant loses its ability to produce carbon dioxide from the air and cannot produce the organic substances necessary for normal development. It does not die, but only ceases to grow. The plant can lose a maximum of about half of its water, otherwise it fades, and its leaves dry out and fall. After some time, the stems also dry up.
Homemade flowers succulents behave differently. Their fabrics up to 95% are made up of water. When they do not have the ability to get new water using roots, their moisture reserves accumulated in special vitreous water-retaining tissues are still enough for a very long time. Part of the stored water can evaporate over many weeks, however, it is enough to ensure that green tissues are normally supplied with moisture, since the evaporating water slowly comes from the water-saving tissues.
Look at the homemade succulents in the photo, which shows beautiful specimens grown in indoor conditions:
In addition, succulents have developed a special, water-saving way to get carbon dioxide from the air. During the day, the stomata plants remain closed.
At night, when the temperature drops and at the same time the relative humidity of the air rises, because cooler air cannot contain as much water vapor as warm, the succulents houseplants open their stomata. At this time, the evaporation of moisture is minimal. However, without light, the carbon dioxide produced by the plant cannot be immediately processed into sugar or starch. Therefore, at first it is stored in the plant tissues in the form of malic acid. As a result, at night, the succulents cell sap is indeed very sour. During the daytime, this similarly stored carbon dioxide is normally used in the process of photosynthesis, which can then occur with stomata closed.
Look room succulent plant On the photo, where the variants of compositions from these plants are presented:
Appearance and properties of houseplants succulents
Another important property of succulent plants is their ability to quickly accumulate moisture in water-retaining tissues. If during the dry period to dig room soil succulent, you can immediately see that all the small lateral roots, through which he alone can get water, dried out and died out. However, if the soil is moistened, then within a few days the plant forms a mass of young roots, capable of squeezing the stems in a short time.
See how the succulent plants look in the photo, where this amazing property is illustrated:
Some of these processes have been accurately studied only in recent decades. Let us return to the appearance of houseplants succulents, closely related to the lifestyle of these plants.
Stem succulents demonstrate the simplest way of forming water-retaining tissues: they have a more or less strong thickening of the stems. We can meet such thickened, columnar shoots, for example, in some prickly pears. With a strong loss of moisture, they shrink unevenly.
True, in most prickly pears, the segments of the stems are flattened laterally. The fact that these are not leaves can be easily seen by looking at the plant: new shoots grow from these segments, that is, branches are formed. With leaves this does not happen.
On the young shoots, you can still see small awl-like, rapidly falling formations, which are actually leaves. Much less with the loss of moisture changes the surface of cacti, formed by tubercles and papillae, as in mammillaria and rebution. Their spherical stem is slowly compressed, and the prickles stick out, as before, in an orderly manner. Due to its typical ribbed form of the stems, columnar cacti especially easily change their volume like an accordion. Although the seedlings of the columnar cacti can be seen that these straight ribs appear only with age as a result of the fact that the initially spirally raised tufts of spines, which are located at first, gradually line up in many vertical rows.
These bundles of thorns, or areoles, are the best distinguishing feature of cacti. Only of them develop lateral shoots or flowers. In principle, each areola has the ability to form sprouts, as can be easily seen by cutting, for example, the top of a columnar cactus: one or more closest to the place of the areola cut will give rise to shoots.
Thus, areoles look like dormant buds. In some prickly pears, modified leaves also develop in them, while in Pereski (Pereskia) even normally developed broad leaves. In the case of areoles, we are talking about the remaining very short shoots, which morphologically botanists define as modified axillary or lateral buds. In this case, the spines of cacti appear only as underdeveloped leaves, that is, they are botanically renal scales.
Further, these room succulents are presented in the photo illustrating the appearance of specimens of different ages:
Why do we need thorns to the room flower of the family with succulent (with photo)
The spines of the flower of the family of succulents can occur in different numbers and differ in exceptional diversity in shape and color. In some genera, such as Mammillaria, spines are often clearly distinguished between central and radial. The fact that the spines well protect the indoor flower succulent from eating pasture animals can be easily seen. In this case, the most effective are not the largest and thickest spines. A very thin and short glochidia in opuntia. They dig deep into the skin with their microscopic hooked processes.
The flower succulent presented below in the photo has a small number of spines and this is enough for a successful struggle for a place in the sun:
Some crocheted spines, on the contrary, are more likely to be fixed in the fur of animals, so that some detached children can likewise spread over long distances. On the other hand, a very dense, light outfit of thorns and hairs reflects most of the sunlight falling on the plant, thereby preventing overheating of the surface of their stems. In recent years, it has also been proven that some cacti can perceive moisture condensing on their spines. To protect plants from small animals and insects spines are most often unable. However, most cacti on the surface of the stems contain a lot of tannins, solid crystals of calcium oxalate or very slimy, bitter juice.
Look at the adult room flower Succulent in the photo - you can see the abundance of spines that protect it from destruction:
Growing conditions for succulents and cacti
We offer to learn about the natural conditions of growth of cacti and succulents in the wild. Along with the lack of water and the danger of eating animals, cacti also have to cope with other difficulties. In arid areas with sparse vegetation, very significant temperature fluctuations are observed. At night, the air there is cooled by more than 20 ° C. Storing water in the stems is also very useful in this case. Since water retains heat well, cacti are cooled much more slowly than the surrounding air.
Thanks to its spines and hairs, Eulychnia saint pieana looks very decorative already at a young age, however it practically does not bloom in culture.
Larger cacti with the heat they have stored for the day, they can tolerate even light frosts until the morning, when they warm up again under the rays of the sun. However, here for the vast majority of cacti there are very clear boundaries.
Freezing, which any cactus cannot be avoided during severe frosts lasting for a few days, is tolerated by very few species. Moreover, cacti from warm areas are severely damaged already at positive temperatures, if they approach zero.
A permanent lack of light appears much more slowly, but over time this also leads to the fact that cacti die. Due to the compact shape of their stems, cacti receive relatively little light, and therefore one would have to assume that all of them can grow normally only in the sun. But being extremely undemanding plants, cacti stand for a long time also very low light, not dying at the same time.
As long as they have enough water, it is hardly possible to kill them. However, like all other plants, cacti react to inadequate illumination the fact that very much drawn out; their tissues become loose and watery, and the stems reach for the light.
In nerds, this is called etiolation. Plants react in a similar way also to excessive fertilization and excessive watering. Therefore, in shaded places it looks as if cacti grow particularly well. Although in reality plants suffer from nutritional deficiencies and change their shape mainly due to the accumulation of water in the stems, without producing organic substances necessary for normal growth. Once in a bright place, cacti recover very quickly, but they are no longer able to change deformed as a result of abnormal growth.
On the other hand, the striking fact is that many cacti not only do not need bright sunshine, but are also damaged by direct sunlight, such as hymnocalcicia, for example. It is also necessary to pay attention to the fact that compared to other plants, cacti grow very slowly.
What are succulents (with photo)
Cacti, like many other plants, are called succulents. These plants can store large amounts of water in their thickened stems or leaves. What are succulents - described in detail later in the article, where you can find the main botanical characteristics.
Leafless stem succulents are easily distinguished from leaf succulents, such as aloe, agave and cholstyanka. Euphorbias, which are also stem succulents, on the contrary, often look like cacti. However, when the stocks bloom, it immediately becomes clear that they have no close relationship with cacti.
In addition, the different types of milkweed and stocks can be easily distinguished from cacti also without flowers: Euphorbia and building piles contain a lot of milky juice, which at the slightest damage to the stems immediately stands out in the form of white drops. In contrast to cacti, only some spherical papillary cacti are present in the milky juice.
Succulents do not manage their water balance like other plants. A normal plant withers or dries out without water in a few days, a maximum of weeks, and succulents with their large supply of moisture in the stems or leaves can withstand a complete drought for months.
Moreover, due to their relatively small surface, they lose moisture very slowly.
There are hardly other more unpretentious and more hardy plants than succulents. That is why there is nothing surprising in the fact that they are among the most popular houseplants.
However, despite this, it will still be very useful to learn a little more about their lifestyle, structure and natural habitat. Then it will be easier to understand how to care for them best.
See what succulents are in the photo, where various plants from this family are represented: