5 Facts About Succulents You Might Not Know

1. Origins of the word succulent.

Of course, it’s Latin. Succulent comes from the word "sucus," which means juice or sap. It hints at the water contained within the supple leaves that help sustain your little plant friend for weeks on end. That’s why you really only need to water it about twice a month.

2. You can use those leaves that drop off to grow new succulent plants.

Propagation is the term for this sneaky little magic trick. Sometimes your succulent will drop leaves or they accidentally break off. Save those little guys, set them aside in the bottom of the pot or in a window seal. They’ll start to sprout little roots at which point you can gently lay them on top of some soil and give them a little water. Watch them grow!

3. The size of the leaf tells a story of it’s origins.

Smaller leafed succulents grow better in higher elevations, their native habitat. Some sedums grow in alpine areas and produce small flowers in the early spring.

4. Succulents are prehistoric.

The first cacti sprung up somewhere around 5 to 10 million years ago when the earth’s climate was just right. “Researchers propose that a prolonged dry spell and possibly lower levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide opened habitat that contributed to the rise of these plants and a broad vegetative makeover on Earth.”

5. Some succulents prefer to be outside...all the time.

There are so many varieties of succulents, around 20,000 varieties across 60 plant families to be exact, and it’s important to understand the appropriate place to plant and keep your succulents. If you want to add succulents to your outdoor landscaping be sure to check the label. “Some succulents are rock-solid landscape performers in northern gardens, while others prefer a warmer climate. Use tender succulents in frost-free regions or as houseplants during the winter.”