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Indoor succulents: cultivation instructions
The succulent plants most correctly named succulent plants are often cultivated in a domestic environment, whether it is represented by a garden or it is represented by the walls of a house. Their charm is due above all to the great variability of their shapes and to the beautiful and colorful flowers that they manage to give.
Often we tend to think that succulent plants are easy to grow and that, since they require scarce amounts of water, they need little care. These have never been more wrong thoughts, considering that they too are plants and as such they need numerous tricks so that they can live and develop in health.
Before buying a succulent plant to keep in the apartment it is therefore necessary to evaluate the characteristics of the environment that will host the new guest and these must be compatible with the natural environmental peculiarities of the plant itself.
As with any vegetable, there are parameters that must be respected such as temperature, humidity and aeration.
As is well known, succulent plants have the ability to retain water inside them to survive periods of drought. This could lead to think that they are all native to arid areas, on the contrary they have managed to colonize the most varied environments, differentiating in their body specific structures.
They live and grow luxuriantly and naturally both in arid and almost desert areas and on snowy mountains, they are therefore capable of great environmental adaptations, of which many other plants are lacking. Precisely for this reason it is possible to grow succulent plants even inside apartments, respecting simple rules, which will allow the plant to properly perform its vegetative cycle, to have the correct development and, in the right moment, also to flourish.
Flowering is another important element as we do not expect it to occur every year or in any case repeatedly according to seasonal rhythms. In fact, there are succulent plants that have the ability to bloom every year despite their small size, while other plants do not bloom before reaching maturity that can be linked to the size of the individual.
Rules to follow to grow a plant in the apartment
First of all it is necessary to evaluate the characteristics of the apartment itself and also, if we want, the style of the furnishing of the latter. It is essential to have clear ideas about the type of plant that you want to receive in your environment, for example based on the shape or size.
It is then necessary to understand if you want to propose it on a vase on the ground or on raised pots; but above all it is necessary to calculate in advance with respect to the purchase if there are spaces with sufficient light, humid environments at the right point and with favorable temperatures.
Once established the characteristics of the apartment or at least of the room that will host the plant, it is necessary to proceed with the search of the suitable species, going to exclude all those that present needs incompatible with those that can be offered.
In this regard there are generalizable rules that can be followed for the evaluation of an ideal environment or not for a succulent plant. To recreate the ideal environment it is first of all necessary to avoid heating systems that keep the temperature and humidity rate constant in the environment, since this would prevent the plant's vegetative cycles from being based on external climatic factors and therefore on the one that takes the name of photoperiod.
In general, succulents prefer environments with low humidity and the possibility of varying temperatures. A constant temperature of 20 ° C, for example, would not allow the plant to recognize the alternation of the seasons and to perform the so-called winter rest. For what concerns the lighting it is preferable that it is abundant especially in the summer months. In fact, in the latter, the plant tends to grow more, therefore having the need to perform chlorophyll photosynthesis more quickly.
Which species are most easily adapted to the domestic environment
There are many species that are cultivated in confined spaces and among these the most common are described.
If you had to draw up a list of succulent plants suitable for classic furnishings, Echinocactus, Notocactus and Mammillaria would be perfect.
If you have a modern decor the advice is to prefer plants with the most upright and more tapered shape, such as Pachycereus and Cleistocactus.
The epiphyllum, also called Lingua di Suocera, with its hanging habit is ideal for those who want a suspended plant.
Sometimes it is also possible to create succulent plant compositions, but this is rather complicated both for the logistic needs of the plants themselves, and for the food and environmental ones. In order to create compositions, it is necessary to combine plants with life cycles and similar environmental characteristics.
Risks and dangers
As with all plants, there are possibilities that the environment in which they are housed proves hostile or that they may be attackers of various types of agents. In this regard it is important to recognize any signs of suffering of the plants to be able to intervene immediately. If the plant has dark spots on the surface it means that it is receiving too much water or that a stagnation has been created inside the vessel (something to be avoided absolutely).
But the danger is given above all by cochineals, small insects that first colonize the soil and then the plant itself, leading to certain death. To eliminate it, it is necessary to change the vase and the earth and remove the white-colored cottony clusters formed on the plant itself with a toothbrush soaked in water and soap. The plant will grow so healthy showing itself in all its beauty and complexity.
Flat succulents: Light for succulent plants
Although it is a category of plants with fairly homogeneous characteristics, as far as light is concerned, even succulent plants have very substantial differences between one species and another. As with all the major categories of plants, even among succulent plants we find species that love full sun and species that resist without problems even in the corners or crevices of our homes.
In addition to an unspecified number of fat plains with fleshy leaves that resist practically in all conditions, we feel we are signaling a plant that grows quite well even in low light and above all that gives splendid blooms: the schlumbergera. This plant, also known as the Christmas cactus, also blooms when kept in areas that are not exactly bright in the house and is a plant that resists well even if it is not treated constantly.
On the other hand, other plants, such as cacti, need a lot of light to stay well and vegetate properly.