May 13, 2021

Succulents can take the heat

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, a lot of people have taken an interest in taking care of plants, especially succulents and cactus plants.

Rosie Lerner, retired Purdue Extension consumer horticulture specialist, said succulents are a broad category of plants that store water in their stems, roots and leaves.

“In general, it refers to plants that tend to have thicker leaves and able to resist extreme heat,” she said, adding that some succulents are tolerant to both hot and cold temperatures.

There are about 60 different plant families within the group of succulents, including aloe, sedum and, of course, cacti.

Cacti are fleshy plants that store water, making them part of this group. All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti, Lerner said.

A lot of succulents are not winter hardy; most of them grow inside and individuals tend to put the plants outside for sunshine during the summer.

Lerner said more information about succulents can be found at the Cactus and Succulent Society of America. The organization is for both people who grow succulents commercially and people who grow succulents as a hobby.

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Ashley Langreck

Field Editor