Flower beds of succulents

Succulents: common characters and numerous species

Succulents, or more correctly succulents, are distinguished by their ability to store considerable quantities of water, to be released in the long periods of drought that characterize the places where these plants originate. In these territories, in fact, a more or less long period of rain is followed by a long period of drought. They therefore live in very arid countries, but they could not live in deserts, since they still need water to store. In order to carry out this function they have equipped themselves with particular fabrics, which give leaves, stems and roots a thick and fleshy appearance, and have assumed particular shapes that limit transpiration such as sphere, rosette, flat. They often transformed the leaves into thorns, entrusting the chlorophyll function to the stem. They belong to different botanical families,

The succulents most suitable for growing in flower beds

It is not always possible to grow succulents outdoors, in fact if the winter is rather cold and humid, with temperatures that drop below zero, it is necessary to shelter them at home or in small greenhouses, so it is better to create flower beds of areas with a mild climate, with sunny and little rainy winters. Among the succulents that bear the most low temperatures and humidity, and more resistant in general, there are those belonging to the Crassulaceae family, easy to grow and very beautiful, such as Sempervivum, which grow well on sunny and stony soils, or Sedum , the most numerous genus with about 600 species; or the Echeveria, suitable for forming borders of flower beds, with the leaves arranged in a rosette, and the beautiful Kalanchoe. The Lampranthus, rustic and bushy, characterized by a spectacular colorful flowering, are very popular for composing flower beds, especially in seaside areas. Among those that best resist drought are the Cactaceae, which have a very deep root system and in which the stem takes on various and original shapes,

Succulents, which have evolved to survive in an arid and poor environment, are robust and tolerate poor watering and high temperatures well, indeed they need a very sunny position to live well. The main problem, however, is the intense cold, poor lighting and even more excessive humidity, conditions that can occur in our latitudes, especially in winter. Temperatures should never drop below 5 ° C, and it is advisable to protect the flower beds with canopies, where the rains are abundant and frequent. For the same reason, irrigations must be contained, more or less twice a month, which can increase to 5-6 where summers are very hot. In early spring, to help vegetative growth and flowering,

Flower beds of succulents: Maintenance interventions

If the climatic conditions are the right ones, the flower beds of succulents do not present major problems. They can naturally suffer attacks from parasites, such as mites, aphids, mealybugs and spider mites and fungi, which cause mold and black spots all over the plant, usually due to excessive humidity. It is necessary to intervene with specific products, or perhaps in a preventive way with systemic insecticides and fungicides in early spring and winter. Excess moisture also causes plants to yellow and rot, starting with the roots. The poor lighting makes the stem weak and thin, the intense cold causes it to crack. Lack of nutrients causes plants to become stunted. In all these cases the solution is simple, change the conditions in which the plant lives, but action must be taken as soon as possible to avoid serious damage. Succulents do not need to be pruned, except to eliminate damaged or diseased parts, or to obtain cuttings for reproduction.

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